Game Reviews

Game Review: Rock Band 2 for Xbox 360

Here at Onelargeprawn we really appreciate hearing from our readers be it in the comments or other contributions, and Xbox 360 forum member Marko MG THABO Swanepoel sent in this fantastic write-up. If you have something you’d like to contribute or found something interesting on the web please get in touch with us.

Without further ado, here is Marko’s review of Rock Band 2 for the Xbox 360.

After Rock Band 2 finally arrived on our shores most of the rhythm game nuts couldn’t wait to get their hands on it. Let me tell you…it was worth the wait. Harmonix did an absolutely brilliant job at making Rock Band the most immersive ‘Rock simulator’ that money can buy.

Let me just get right to the juicy part and just say that the song library is just spectacular. It includes everything from Punk rock to Heavy metal and it will satisfy all ages, young and old. Your dad will probably love some songs from the past or your best buddy will like all the famous nu-metal bands that appear in this game. Songs include some of the best artists from all generations such as The Who, System of a Down, Disturbed, AC/DC, Foo Fighters, Judas Priests, and Metallica just to name a few. The feature that takes the cake is the DLC (downloadable content). It’s just packed with great songs. Some legendary songs and some songs that are just awesome to play at a party.

More of this rocking review can be found after the jump.

On to the gameplay. If you are new to rhythm games then this game will take some time to get used to. The timing window is tight and it can sometimes be hard to hit notes that are very close to each other. If you use the tutorials then you should have no problem adjusting to it. Other than that the notes are well designed. Harmonix, as you may know, is composed out of musicians so you know they know what they are doing. They did a great job with the charting to make it as realistic as possible.

On the drums the red is your snare, yellow is your hi-hat, blue is a cymbal as well as a tom, green is your crash and a tom. This is sometimes an issue because the different drum functions change in the middle of the song. For professional or hobby drummers this is a bit irritating, but if you just play for fun then it doesn’t raise too much of a concern. Other than that the drumming is also well done with a realistic feel to it.

The career mode is just so variable that it’s almost hard to explain. There is just so much to do. There are loads of cities to play in and in every city there are single songs that you can play or set gigs. There is also a random gig that you can play that chooses random songs out of your setlist to play. You will be pleased to know you can make your own setlist too if you feel like playing to your own jams. For each song you get cash and fans – the amount of cash depends on the difficulty you play on and fans allow you to play in bigger venues on the various cities. The career will last you for a long while depending on your skill level. There is always something to do.

If you’re getting a little sick of the career mode you can always do the long list of challenges. There are challenges for each instrument including a band challenge. There are also some  that take a certain genre or decade and lets you play it. This will also entertain you for hours because of the sheer variation of the challenges.

As for multiplayer…well it won Multiplayer Game of the Year on so you know it’s good. It’s just so much fun to get a bunch of mates together and jam your favorite song. With one of your mates probably drunk out of their mind and singing it’s just funny beyond explaining. You can also jam rock out with your friends over Xbox LIVE and that’s almost just as fun as the real thing except it’s funnier to watch your best friend throw a drumstick at the bassist when he tells him how much he sucks.

The graphics are good, but they could have improved it a lot more from the previous game. It’s just a bit blocky but after all you’re rocking out not looking at how pretty the drummer’s drumsticks are. Customization is great from designing your own band logo to creating your own character.

Harmonix also does a great job at updating the game every day to satisfy the fans, from humorous messages on your main menu to Battle of the Bands events. Battle of the Bands is basically Harmonix making a contest with songs that they select and choose a name that fits the songs being played.

The achievements are easy from the start with just doing things in career mode to playing with your band. If you want a good score on the game you need to be VERY skilled as some of the achievements require some challenges that will push your skills to the limit. Keep practicing and you will eventually get it.

Audio: 100/100

What can I say? It is a music game after all so it’s bound to have good audio

Graphics: 90/100

It is pretty good, but there is a lot of room for improvement. The notes and the menu screens are well designed, but the character visuals aren’t that great

Gameplay: 95/100

If it wasn’t for the drum functions changing this could have been a 100. Other then that the playability of the game is great and it will have you keep coming back for more.

Delivery: 100/100

With Harmonix constantly updating the game and new DLC coming in every week you are garunteed to enjoy the game for a long time.

Achievements: 80/100

Probably the biggest downfall with achievements requiring you to play 84 songs in a row without pausing and a achievement that needs a Rock Band guitar to obtain. Good list nonetheless

Overall: 95/100