Maybe this review does lack as I don't have the pro instruments and that's the main focus but then relate to me. If you don't have them or don't intend on and have been playing since GH started, listen in.
The soundtrack in Rock Band 3 is not all that impressive in my opinion. There is a strong and good mix I must admit but if the game was targeted to younger musicians then the songs don't really fit although I can't complain – I would hate to have to play pop-rock and hardcore throughout a game. The game wanted to focus on bands like Queen which offer all the instruments along with the new ones, pro mode and vocal harmonies. The end result is a lot of old rock, new wave, pop rock and a tiny bit of metal. This gives you an interesting mix of stuff ranging from Queen, to War's 'Low Rider' from SA to many other weird things you would have not expected back in RB such as Elton John.
If you're like me and 5 starred all of GH3. Rock band 3 is a miss I'd consider. Although before you turn away, allow me to say the timing window is absolutely amazing. Hammer ons and pull offs are tighter this year but that's fine with me, I always did them in time anyway rather than mashing my buttons. Strumming is much looser and almost feels like a GH game. Squeezing is much easier and fast strumming won't give random, unexpected and picky misses like it would in previous games. Great choice Harmonix.
Thankfully any DLC purchased for RB and RB2 or any of the spinoffs will work perfectly here. However it costs 400 points for Rock Band 1 and 800 for Rock Band 2. Some songs like Visions and Rob the president (I don't know how it's spelt in the title) are free on the marketplace. So if they were your only intentions then ha, there you go. Some songs are missing from RB>RB3 which wouldn't be missing in the RB2 port so be sure to check a list before exporting, this may only be on some consoles and updates do keep happening so BE UP TO DATE. There are no DLC issues.
Track Charts: 7/10
Where as charts are usually great provided by Harmonix, they don't feel as strong this year and it's mainly due to the setlist. The game almost feels like playing GH3 on Hard mode as they've just has a good laugh with chords this year and making much more frequent use with 3 note chords. Charts aren't accurate. There are single notes when there are clearly 5ths or octaves, chords are sometimes 3 notes when it should just be 2 and in the same song some 2 note chords (actual chords) end up charted as 3 notes. It becomes a mess and doesn't make any sense. That's the problem I had when playing through the game, it starts to feel desperate. As if they knew the setlist wouldn't be difficult so just throw chords everywhere. It's not as bad as GH3, trust me. Before I forgot isn't half as bad as GH3…..oh man.
The goals and activities in this game are sure to keep you occupied for a long time and unless you FC the whole game then you're not going to get them all, but even then there are some stupid things like 53,596 hammerons. Also whilst I'm here, allow me to add this. Did anyone else notice the achievements…..
Dead Rising - Defeat at least 53,594 zombies.
Left 4 Dead - Kill 53,595 Infected.
Prototype - Kill 53,596 infected.
Dead Rising 2 - Kill 53,596 zombies.
Rock Band 3 - October 26, 2010 - Kill 53,596 Hammer-ons and Pull-offs.
Anyway back on topic…
Goals can be done in a band or single player but they are divided up into each instrument. Pro instruments too. The problem is the goals aren't exactly rewarding asides from getting more fans, and I beat the game and the final setlist very easily.
There are "Road challenges" and they work like this. You do 6,9 or 12 songs and you get "spades". These spades are offered through challenges in the song which is a good idea however they don't work too well. I've had instances where they have been impossible to get all of them and times when they flat out ruin your score. For example, in 'Sabotage' (RB1 import) I had to deploy overdrive 4 times however I couldn't do it, it was impossible due to the unison bonuses now counting on single player. Also in the Megadeth track pack I got told to get my overdrive bar filled and deploy it. What's the point in that? Also even when it was filled, I kid you not – after deploying it wouldn't count it. So it's a good idea but doesn't work too well.
The visuals do what they need to do and they entertain well for those who may not be playing but watching. I never would complain about visuals on a GH or RB game but god damn, I have to for the first time ever now. The flashing of the lights constantly is so off-putting and it gives me constant headaches, no joke. It's sickening. The grain filter has also been applied heavier although it releases more as your band progress which is good but it's still notably there. Sadly, animations still can't be applied and nor can personalities or stage presence.
Again like with the visuals, it just does what's needed. Rock band 3 is about co-operative play so there are no competitions or ranked battles this time around. Just bandplay. Some people may not like it but I do, it's all RB should have ever been about – even if I do love beating people. Getting people to stay is a pain in the hole but that's down to the sulky kids who can't play anything and not the game itself. Haha.
Overall: 8+6.5+8+7+6 = 35/50
X2 = 70/100
It's worth purchase as it's very very very cheap at the moment. Also if anyone fancies some good bandplay and high scores feel free to add me on XBL. MartinBooth259