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Review: Rock Band - Plus Video

October 22, 2009



The console music rhythm band game Rock Band has made its way to the iPhone thanks to EA. Now you can jam to well known tunes on the go either solo or with your friends. You don’t have the music peripherals, just your iPhone, but you can still play guitar, bass, drums, and even vocals. The classic Rock Band interface is included. Go on world tour by yourself or with friends, and try to get five stars on every song across the globe. 20 songs are included with the game, and there are in-app purchases available as well to buy six more songs.


Rhythm based games really depend on the song list, and Rock Band includes the most well known songs yet to hit the iPhone in any music rhythm based game. The songs are: • 30 Seconds to Mars - “Attack” • AFI - “Girls Not Grey” • All American Rejects - “Move Along” • Beastie Boys - “Sabotage” • Blink 182 - “All the Small Things” • Blondie - “Hanging on the Telephone” • Foo Fighters - “Learn to Fly” • Foo Fighters - “Everlong” • George Thorogood and the Destroyers - “Bad to the Bone” • Jethro Tull - “Hymn 43” • Joan Jett - “Bad Reputation” • Lynyrd Skynyrd - “Simple Man” • Motörhead - “Ace of Spades” • Rise Against - “Give It All” • Silversun Pickups - “Lazy Eye” • Steve Miller Band - “Take the Money and Run” • The Pixies - “Debaser” • The Presidents of the United States of America - “Ladybug” • The Go Go’s - “We Got The Beat” • Smashing Pumpkins - “Cherub Rock” • Also there are two songs to download for free by Freezepop RockBand_tour In the game the console interface is maintained, with the bars coming down the screen across four rows. The corresponding buttons that you tap are right below when the bars cross the play stripe. Finally you shake the iPhone to activate overdrive once you build up the glowing gold bar. You can play quick play choosing any song, or you can go on world tour. In world tour you play each city, each of which has three songs, and one unlockable song. Three difficulty modes are included, which really vary the gameplay. Online high scores are provided by using posting to Facebook, and achievements are included. It wouldn’t be Rock Band without the Band part. You can play live with your buds over Bluetooth with 2-4 players. Also you can challenge friends via Facebook. RockBand_hitnote

The Good

The best aspect of Rock Band is the song list. It’s great to play songs you know, and how they are spot on with the drum beats, guitar riffs, and vocal pitch. It’s nice to play the classic guitar of “Bad to the Bone.” How could you not like playing the great tunes of “All the Small Things,” “Learn to Fly,” and “Move Along.” The rock band interface is ported to the iPhone, and if you’ve played Rock Band before, you know that’s a good thing. The game is set up so you’re only tapping the frets without strumming. The four column interface is done well, it feels like the tapping of the bars correspond to the notes being played. The interface looks great, and is wonderfully polished. When you hit a note correctly the bar explodes with glass breaking. As certain parts of the song are played there is a close up of the instrument in action in the top part of the screen. Going into overdrive mode adds the great designed play area flow towards you. The Bluetooth multiplayer works well, and adds a feature we’ve yet to see on the iPhone. The game does actually play live. I played guitar and my buddy played drums and we bammed out Bad Reputation. The world tour is a great way to play through all of the songs, and feel like you’re going somewhere. It’s nice to play a mystery song per venue, and pick up achievements along the way. The online high scores are definitely necessary, and work well. RockBand_score

The Bad

The biggest negative of Rock Band is the $9.99 price tag, and only because it’s directly compared to the $0.99 Tap Tap Revenge 3. Not enough features are included to make it worth 10 times the price. Though the song list is well known, only 20 songs are included and then they want you to pay more money to get additional tunes. Once you play through World Tour mode getting 5 stars on 20 songs, which doesn’t take too long, there isn’t much to do. Though it’s great to play over Bluetooth, it would be great if you could play over wifi as well since not every idevice owner has Bluetooth, but they all have wifi access. Another minor concern is the set up of the interface. It just seems weird as your fingers are separated from the notes. I like to tap on the notes as they cross, rather than pressing buttons below to try to correspond with the notes.

The Verdict

EA has done a great job in bringing Rock Band to the iPhone. The game has top notch quality, the song list is well known, and it’s great to interact with. The songs are a joy to play solo on world tour or with friends. With that said, for $9.99 Rock Band just seems overpriced compared to Tap Tap Revenge 3. Rock Band would have to do more to make it worth the hefty price increase. It is more fun though I can say that. Overall Rock Band has only 20 songs for $9.99, and the game goes by pretty quickly with no reason to come back for more. It still is worth it though because it is Rock Band, with a great interface, and song list. **Check my video below. Begins with guitar for the beginning of Bad to the Bone. At 0:48 is vocals for Bad Reputation and finally at 2:27 is drums for All The Small Things.

Mentioned apps

Tap Tap Revenge 3
Tap Tap Revenge 3
Tapulous, Inc.

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