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.
Excerpt: First Impressions My reaction is The first Rock Band was revolutionary in one way or another. Having four friends rocking it out as one band in a video game was a farfetched dream before the release of the game. With the peripherals on hand, you were blessed with basically four games in one. The game play itself was not a major attraction; after all it was very similar to Guitar Hero, simply hit the notes rolling your way.
Excerpt: Last year Rock Band turned the music industry—and music video game industry—upside down. It became such a powerful delivery tool for music that artists began releasing their new singles inside the game before making them available to the public. It also made the music genre a group activity, and the text book definition of a party game. With these lofty standards to live up to, Rock Band 2 takes the stage, but is this encore worth applauding?
Conclusion: Rock Band 2 is a great way for MTV and Harmonix to improve upon one of last year's most successful music-rhythm games, despite Legends of Rock reigning supreme. While the package isn't as impactful as 2007's was, I've thoroughly enjoyed everything RB2 has to offer, and then some. The Music Store receives regular updates, the instruments are dependable, and the co-op aspect is of the most immersive ever conceived. RB was the catalyst, and RB2 continues holding the torch.
Excerpt: Revolution does not come cheap. $200 million and 20 months work saw Harmonix and Electronic Arts release Rock Band, the game EA will hope does for downloadable content what the iPod did for MP3 players. Historically, music games such as Guitar Hero were limited to one instrument and a maximum of two players, whereas Rock Band allows up to three friends to play music across a range of instruments at the same time.