An excellent, unscripted "swan song" to plastic instrument games.

User Rating: 10 | Rock Band 3 X360

In a market oversaturated with plastic instruments in 2009 and 2010, "Rock Band" took a slightly smarter approach than "Guitar Hero" did: yes, Harmonix did release a few "Rock Band" bundles in 2009 to fill up store shelves, and those "Rock Band Track Packs" clogged store shelves a bit, but Harmonix opted not to focus so heavily on releasing new games quickly, and instead kept themselves afloat with consistent DLC releases. Sooner or later, though, they knew there'd be demand for a new game, and that resulted in "Rock Band 3," which unfortunately came at a time when this brand of games had reached a new low. And what a shame, because "Rock Band 3" is truly one of the finest rhythm games we've gotten.

Everything that makes "Rock Band" so great is here in "Rock Band 3," from the great organization and depth of game modes, to the overall fun of playing in a full band with friends and family. The game is packed with songs (83 on the base disc), and there's an excellent array of tracks that feel very balanced in terms of difficulty. There's enough here for the casual fan, but also some great choices for hardcore players that grind out songs on Expert. I also appreciated a lot of the new features in the game, specifically the addition of the keyboard and the Pro Mode. Even if these elements got lost in the pack because they were locked behind pricy peripherals, it was cool that the game actually offered some kind of way of learning real instruments, and had the genre not been close to death, it could've proven to be a pretty great tool for teaching music.

I will say that there is one negative to all of this: the priciness of it. Naturally, "Rock Band 3" came out at a time when people were just not willing to fork over exorbitant amounts of money for plastic instruments anymore, and the fact that there were so many new, expensive peripherals meant that it was easy to be locked out of some of the new Pro Mode content. Perhaps it would've been more appealing had it been released at the height of this genre's craze, but regardless, it sucked that these new peripherals were so expensive to get.

Overall, though, "Rock Band 3" felt as if it was a swan song for the plastic instrument craze, and what an excellent one it was. It continued to push the series forward in excellent ways, while still being fun and entertaining to play with the whole family. It's a shame the genre had to go out in the way that it did, and that market saturation shot this game's chances in the foot, but all in all, "Rock Band 3" is fantastic, and still worth playing to this day.

Final rating: 10 out of 10 "Fantastic"