After runing through the first few stages of the game I thought that it was time to see if anyone else had given this one a go and discuss.
For starters, I have purchased every Guitar Hero since I for PS2 and X360 with my fair share of wired, wireless and 3rd party controllers. Reluctantly wading into the Rockband waters last fall, I have now picked up RB2 and have 100+ DLC easily for RB. GH DLC? Everything except Dragonforce...(why bother? avoid the frustration
Most of the time its guitar or bass for me, occasionally with a diva on the mic, filling out the band with mates online.
I like rhythm games.
With GH:WT a couple of weeks away and RB2's Endless Setlist behind me, I broke down and found a copy of Rock Revolution. Covers or not, Skid Row, Scorpions, Quiet Riot and Motley Crue just couldn't be passed up.
IMHO, although the master track recordings are (always?) preferred if they are in good shape, these covers mange to do the job without causing too much of a distraction. An example? GH:80s "Round and Round" just couldn't help itself. The covers in Rock Revolution that I have heard are for the most part, "technically accurate" but lack the nuances, or passion of the original performances. You may have heard Steve Perry's replacement and although he offers an impressive rendition, you just "know" somehow that it is different.Gameplay:
I played RR with both the LP and Strat (no real preference besides the fact that one had dead batteries) with no problems. My guess is that the drums will be the biggest change/adjustment, especially with the getup that RR has!
The shocker was the note "runway" is completely vertical -straight from the top of the screen to the bottom with now depth or perspective to blend it in with the rest of the scenery. The "overlay" is acutally confused by the action behid the note chart that at times includes the singer who could easliy be shown in the other two-thirds of the screen that is available.
I'm not sure if the note windows are that much more difficult, but the scroll is faster and the "long notes"/sustains are thick bars that make it harder to pick out the notes in between. The HO/PO are identified with a little white center which can take some adjustment. There are counters for streaks and combos on the left, but your "fail" meter is over in the top right corner so you may not immediately know how you are "playing with fire" during a solo or "machine-gun strum." The pace of the notes, perspective might even make you a little nauseous - just sayin'
The stages are organized into albums with 3 songs and 3 "Challenges" (one for each) that give you the arcade-style play. Challenges I've seen so far:
- increasing difficulty throughout the song, or faster note charts with higher multipliers ...
- memorizing a few bars to be played back without a note chart
- "poison notes" wich are purposely overcharted with the challenge that you do not play the "bomb" notes. This seems like a good idea until you see that the "bomb" notes are mixed in with chords so you must play 2 out of three notes, etc. and see reference above about picking notes out of the line-up.
The crowd meter is the "Atmosphere Meter" and you get it by playing well if not totally dependent on "StarPower phrases." The Multipliers diminish instead of dropping to zero. There is a streak meter, or counter. "Strum Boxes" are kept alive by strumming and maybe a welcome change from trying to match up those really fast (and hard to read) notes.
The good thing is that you only have to pass the song or challenge version of the song to move ahead (3/6). After clearing two albums, you open up a new venue that allows you to make a custom setlist (3) of songs from the other two albums. These performances offer solo sections were you can improvise. The solo/freestyle sections are interesting but I'm not sure how purposeful the sounds are: Could you play the same solo twice, or is it somehow random? Also, if you are going for a highscore perhaps the win goes to the fastest masher. Either way, I like the possibility to take it off the rails now and then.
The character selection offers up (8?) predicatable types to get you started with a handful of unlockables. Diving right into game play, there didn't seem to be any obvious customization options and the characters are pretty dull. The animations are very limited and lack the personality that is conveyed by RB gestures or the caricature GH models. RR has a difficult time creating that sense of "being there" as part of the band -more like being part of the audience with wide crowd shots seeming to dominate. Then again, maybe the notechart is taking most of my focus and there will be a greater opportunity to appreciate the other details once the songs are more familiar.
You can "fake" animations with quick pans, angles, and other tricks but for the most part these faces seem unexpressive and they are pretty the much digital mannequins... that they are.
The venues look fairly decent but they come accross as sterile. There are some interesting twists, though and perhaps its just a style preference. (Even GH:ON Tour had some interesting ones -Aircraft Carrier!) Maybe it just needs more fog juice. Edit: The "Vegas Strip" and "Rooftop" venues are pretty cool.
Songs? You may miss the 200+ songs in RB when you are revisiting tracks within each stage. Covers aside you still can get a good feel for the songs and, IMHO, the hair metal is a perfect match for this type of game. This way you can have some fun and not take it too seriously. This type of game is enjoyable like "costume party" and I think it takes the fun out to play too much thinking music. This isn't cello hero, or anything.
The songs are listed under their cover band's name so if there is a track that you are not familiar with don't be put off by the unknown group
. Originally, the idea of covers didn't bother me much - you wouldn't be playing in that band anyway, right? But the quality of master tracks help to put you in the moment. Of course, GH franchise takes that a little further by now offering a chance to play against, or as those bands. It's all good.
Maybe I'll find some players online to round out the band and take a look at that "recording studio."White Room, Spirit of Radio, Youth Gone Wild, In the Still of the Night
I realize that the focus and appeal of RR, RB and GH:WT will be the "band play" and that this is basically my impressions of the single player mode.
Well, that's my "stream of consciousness"/wall of text post for now. (I don't think I've created a thread since getting error codes on HD DVD's
Considering what games I've spent money on lately, this is one that will at least offer a significant amount of play in a genre that I enjoy. Without the requirement to purchase other instruments, this becomes even more accessible. Rock Revolution may not get a lot of use as new RB dlc, or GH:WT hit the streets, but its at minimum a good rental and one that I don't feel I've wasted my money on.
Maybe, in some small way, this will motivate RB to release more of the RR catalog.