When I think back on rhythm games, one of the first that comes to mind is PaRappa the Rapper on the good ol’ PS1. When I think of contemporary examples, Guitar Hero,its offsprings and rip-offs come to mind. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, its undeniable that Rock Band (one of the more popular offsprings of Guitar Hero) has left its imprint on all the consoles. Now, the oft’ copied Rock Band has migrated to the palms of eager iDevice gamers.
Prior to Rock Band, I had a few other rhythm-based games on my iPhone, includingGuitar Rock Tour 2 and BeatRider Touch , to name a couple. Considering EA has had much success in the App Store thus far, I was intrigued by Rock Band. Thankfully, on the iDevice it is as close to the console version as you can get.
If you like intimidating white tigers, the menu is gorgeous. Carnivores aside, the game itself is broken down into three modes: Quick Play, World Tour and Multiplayer. In Quick Play mode, you simply choose a song, choose an instrument and difficulty (easy, medium, or hard), then you’re on your way. World Tour mode presents you with five options to choose from: Solo Tour, Play Online, Claims To Fame, Leaderboards, and Tell A Friend. Solo Tour is the campaign in Rock Band, where your band travels around the world to famous locations such as Boston, New York (unfortunately I couldn’t find myself in the audience), Seattle, Paris, and lastly Moscow. Each location has three different songs to choose from, and a mystery song that is unlocked once you complete the others. Depending on how well you perform a song, you’ll earn stars and fans. There is a maximum of five stars per song.
Online play (via Bluetooth for up to 4 players) is very like the console version. There are unison bonuses and you can even save a buddy by activating overdrive mode when they are boo’d into oblivion. Overall, it is very good, but susceptible to a bit of lag. Claims To Fame lets you track your progress through the campaign by showing you which locations you have unlocked. You can also check up on your achievements (hallelujah!) and statistics (your favorite instrument, number of online fans, campaign completion, etc.) from within Claims To Fame. In total there are 22 achievements, some of which can only be unlocked via bluetooth multiplayer. I consider myself an achievementaholic, and I’m still struggling up to this day to unlock a few of the achievements. Anyways, Rock Band makes use of Facebook for leaderboards and to challenge friends. And, thanks to EA’s commercial mind, you can ‘Tell a Friend’ via email about Rock Band.
You simply tap the note that corresponds to its color at the right moment. As you correctly play a sequence of notes, the combo meter will fill up and increase your multiplier. Occasionally, glowing notes will appear and if you successfully hit them, your overdrive meter will start to fill up. Once the meter is filled enough, it can be activated by tilting the iDevice forward and back. When overdrive mode is activated, it is much easier to build a multiplier and be saved from being annihilated by an angry audience.There are also instrument solos that will give you bonus points depending on how well you do. In total, there are four instruments in Rock Band. Guitar, bass, and drums all have a similar feel to them and the vocals (if you can consider that an instrument) are like the instruments except the notes come from the right to left (instead of top to bottom). When first hearing that there’s vocals for Rock Band on the iDevice, I was both curious and confused. That is until I realized you don’t have to embarrass yourself by singing in public, that the notes replace the actual ‘singing’. However, I wasn’t too thrilled with the vocal instrument because it simply felt awkward tapping notes that corresponded to the singing in the song. Every time you hit a wrong note, the singer abruptly stops singing until the next note you successfully hit. Other than that, all the other instruments are great.
My biggest priority is the music and thankfully Rock Band does indeed have rock music, instead of Lady Gage bubblegum bonanza. There are twenty songs in Rock Band ranging from Lynyrd Skynyrd to The Beastie Boys. There are also downloadable song packs that can be purchased for a dollar each via in-app purchases. There are a total of two songs per pack from artists like OK Go and Lenny Kravitz. So far, there have been two songs packs that were released for free as well as others that are a dollar – which is a good sign that EA will periodically update the app with new song packs.
My gripes for Rock Band are few. The first thing I was slightly disappointed with was the fact that there is no band customisation. But, the clips don’t loop and actually correspond to the song, so it isn’t that bad. For example, if there’s a guitar solo in the song, there will be a clip playing of the guitarist.
In the end, Rock Band comes out on top as one of my favorite rhythm games. It has the most polish and glamor among rhythm tappers and is a joy to play. With the addition of achievements, multiplayer, and in-app purchases, Rock Band definitely justifies its $10 price tag.
|Title:||Rock Band||Developer:||Electronic Arts
|Reviewed Ver:||1.1.71||Min OS Req:||3.0|
|Price:||$9.99||App Size:||158 MB|
There are loads of good music apps out there. Below are a few: