One of the best rhythm games on the market, a must own for anyone with musical talent/interest

User Rating: 9 | Rock Band 3 PS3
I am an avid keyboard player and the Guitar Hero/Rock Band series has never really caught my eye because I was never too interested in guitar and back then they seemed slightly unrealistic with only five buttons on the guitar and cheesy animations. When Rock Band 3 was announced I was a bit excited to see they would be adding a keyboard, but when it released last Fall I never got around to tring it out and now that Summer has come around I decided to pick up the keyboard for cheap online and got the game for $20. But enough about how I came to play the game, here is the review.

The first thing that caught my eyes in Rock Band 3 while playing it was the very strong soundtrack, it features some of the greatest rock songs all in full version ranging from the Doors Break on Through, to Queens Bohemian Rhapsody, Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water, The Beach Boy's Good Vibrations and even some modern hits like Rehab. The variety is very good as well because it has a large variety of genres from metal, to classical rock, to funk, to even some pop and new wave. Chances are if you don't like the songs in this game you will at least find some of the 100s of downloadable songs. The actual gameplay is pretty simple you play through songs and hit the notes when they pop up on your screen. As a keyboard player the actual notes you hit are pretty accurate and true to the song you are playing, even going as for as being in the right key, the only difference being there is no left hand part for good reason. You are ranked based on how accurate you perform the song and you can use overdrive to help, which is basically a button that multiplies your score after you hit a streak of so many notes.

You also have the ability to make your own band create your own charters, and you need to go through challenges which are pretty much playing a set list of songs on a series of mini concerts, and the more of these you unlock, the more fans you obtain. To obtain more fans you need to complete career goals which are present for every instrument and song and even training exercises. This can actually grow more tedious and feel like a chore, especially trying to get 5 stars on every song in expert. You also unlock more items your character can wear by completing these goals. Of course my problem is that some goals are simply too demanding like completing all exercises you need 100% and some of the final challenges are just too demanding and impossible for some players, and don't get me started 5 staring all the songs on expert. The good news is, these goals are pretty insignificant and you will most likely get a majority of them just by exploring the game, playing as many songs as you can, and playing through road challenges using varioius instruments and at least playing on medium or hard mode. Other than this you can set up a no-fail mode so you can keep plaing a song if you messed up more than the limited amount and creating your own character is pretty fun, even though you are only limited up to 10. Overall though, if you just want to play through the songs they are all there from the beginning and you can start right away on any mode.

The visuals are about average. Animations are pretty cheesy and lip syncing is pretty horrid, but while creating characters you can get some pretty good look-alikes. Plus the variety of customization you can do to you character is pretty wide. The soundtrack is definitly 10/10 with a perfect variety and tons of downloadable content.

Now replay is really good because of the accuracy of the notes and you can change the difficulty if things start to feel to simple. You can also get other instruments like guitar, drums or a microphone to sing along with or play with friends. Road challenges feel repetitive aside from slightly different final stages and some of the goals feel more like a chore than a challenge, but aside from this the game is a blast. Of course one other complaint is if you want the full experience and all the trophies you will have to dish out a bit of money, in fact you might even have been able to buy a new PS3, drums with cymbals are going for around 70-100, guitar is no less than 70 and keyboard 50 and the microphone 10 times 3 since you will need 3 singers for the group harmony trophies plus 20 dollars for the game itself making the game around 240 and thats assuming your finding good deals on all the insruments, I don't even want to know how much the game would cost if you bought every instrument at full retail price. Plus the downloadable content is 1.99 a song, when the song could easily be bought for 0.99 on itunes, harmonix really needs to learn to make better deals with the music industry. I could only imagine the torture the completionist who wants every song must be going through. So the conclusion is its a fun game, especially if you have friends and more instruments to try out, the only problem is it gets a bit pricy, especially the downloadable content and certain instruments.