There are two reasons why this is my first time playing Rock Band. First of all was the price, but then I found the drum-kit for £15 on TheHut.com. I considered it, but after checking the prices and soundtracks of the games, decided against it.
A couple of months later, the drum-kit was down to £9.93, and I discovered that the upcoming Rock Band 3 had Huey Lewis and the News' “The Power of Love” on its setlist.
I knew then that I had to have this game in my life.
Thr drum-kit was ordered and despatched on the same day, and, unable to wait until the 29th October for RB3, signed up for a free trial with Boomerang, which gave me 21 days to try out RB 1 and 2, and the Lego version.
However, once I knew the drums were on their way to my house, and as Boomerang had not sent me any games, I went and bought Lego Rock Band second-hand.
Despite being a Rock Band virgin, I managed to maintain a mid-80% or higher score for the songs. I also found some tracks on Xbox Live to download and play. I loved the Lego Queen band on “I Want It All”!
Two days before the release date of RB3, I received the email to say it had been despatched, and on the morning of the 29th when the post came...there was no RB3.
It arrived this morning.
Rock Band 3 has the best soundtrack out of all the games by far. Mainly 70s and 80s rock, along with oddballs such as Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” (rather tricky, that one) and Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” on Xbox Live (really enjoyed playing that song!).
It also has the most extensive setlist, which admittedly takes some scrolling through, but it’s worth it for the amount of songs available both on the disc and through download.
Among my favourites are Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” – although I found it harder than the others at first, Dire Straits' “Walk of Life”, REM’s “Stand” (looked all over for that one on Xbox Live!), Elton John’s “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting – on which I achieved my highest score of 105,000-plus, and of course, “The Power of Love”.
There was something very satisfying about getting the opening beats exactly right at the start of Huey Lewis’ classic before launching into the chorus with gusto.
Yet for all the uninhibited rocking exuberance of Elton and Alice Cooper, John Lennon’s “Imagine” brings a gentler feel to the game, and even when concentrating on hitting the right notes, the words of the song still filter through to your mind.
I’ve only had time to go on free-play, as I like picking my own songs and don’t like being told what to play next, but already I have unlocked a few rewards such as clothes and designs. No doubt they will be useful to play with when I embark on the career path.
As with Guitar Hero, after a couple of non-stop hours of watching a scrolling fret, objects around me appeared to be levitating, and now I have a bit of a headache. Perhaps then, it is best enjoyed in moderation.
Now I just have to re-arrange the cluttered underneath of my bed to find somewhere for the drum-kit to live when I'm not playing on it. I have ordered the drum silencers to dim the monotonous thud of wood on plastic when I strike it, and to protect the thing: at times I had to give it a right bashing to keep up. Also I may have to invest in a USB microphone as well as the guitar to go along with the drum-kit. I tried the Lips microphones to no avail.
Finally, I cannot write this review without submitting my own song requests: let's have some Meat Loaf songs available for download, please! Preferably those written by Jim Steinman!
Oh, and the drums are now up to £13 on TheHut!