Excerpt: Rock Band 2 is the sequel to Harmonix\'s Rock Band, the game that popularized virtual bands for the Western audience. The game play has been improved, but there are some new features as well as many great new songs, while it still has that same solid feel to it. Many view it as more of an expansion than a sequel. Either way it\'s worth considering if you like playing air guitar, singing, or banging on drums.
Summary: I picked up my first guitar when I was in elementary school, and I asked my father -- an amateur guitarist who strummed along along to David Bowie vinyl records for fun -- to teach me a basic chord. It wasn’t 15 minutes before my whining began: my fingers were too small, the strings were too tough... the human hand doesn’t stretch like that, I complained.
Excerpt: Last year Rock Band was an instant hit. Taking all the best aspects of past music based games (Guitar Hero, Karaoke Revolution, etc.) and combining them into one package was a recipe for success. But while there were a lot of things done right, there was one critical factor that was missing: the ability to play the main game mode, Band World Tour, online, requiring bands to get together in one location, something that could prove difficult for those who enjoy playing...
Conclusion: With so few core changes and just enough improvements to keep the game from feeling like an add-on to last year's effort, I'm not quite ready to call it a universally better experience, but it's certainly just as good, and that's saying something.
Excerpt: There's no doubt about it that last year it was Rock Band that was easily the best music game, boasting not just a guitar but also a microphone, and more importantly, a drum set! I've spent copious amounts of time with the game, most of it spent behind that drum set too. So as soon as I heard word from MTV and Harmonix that the second one was on the way, I couldn't have been happier.
Conclusion: THE VERDICT: A significant enough step up from the original to warrant your renewed attention this year. The only question that remains is whether it can stand up to the promising Guitar Hero World Tour.