Pretending to have a band couldn't be more fun

User Rating: 9 | Rock Band X360
I have to admit it: since Guitar Hero was released, back when I was addicted to that game, I couldn't stop thinking on how cool it would be to have some sort of a drum "simulator" with a gameplay at the same style of the guitars. And even better: how awesome it would be to play both drums and guitar and, who knows, maybe even another guitar as bass with some friends to survive through those boring raining days. And that's exactly what Harmonix did: turned this kid's "gaming dreams" into reality and created Rock Band.

Whoever played Guitar Hero may feel quite familiar with the game system. Who didn't play it will find it very easy to get used to the simple, but addictive gameplay. The screen will show a sequence of colored little rectangles running through the screen and you have to press the correct color according to the rhythm of the song and its speed. There is a colored bar on the bottom of the display. As soon as the colored rectangle reaches the bar, press the corresponding button. As you increase the difficulty of the game, more rectangles show up, and a lot more faster and in scrambling sequences. During the song, you'll see a bar that seems to be filling whenever white rectangles come and you press them in the right time. As soon as the bar starts to blink, you can activate the "overdrive", which will either allow you to score more points, save your band mate (in case your playing with your friends) or even save yourself in case you're not playing very well. There is also a bar on the left of the screen and a small symbol corresponding to the instrument you're playing. The higher it is located, the better you're playing. If the symbol goes to the bottom, that's a game over and you'll have to play the song all over again.

The principle for Guitar, Bass and Drums are pretty much the same, except maybe for some slight differences. The Guitar and the Bass work exactly the same way and you can activate the overdrive just by tilting up your guitar. As for the Drums, just hit the corresponding drum part as the rectangles go down, just like the guitar. When you see a wide yellow bar, step in the pedal (it may seem stupid to mention this, but I have already seen people who hit the yellow part of the drums when it comes down rather than stepping in the pedal). You can get into Overdrive when you see a wide colored part with a green one in the end. Hit whatever you can hit. The Overdrive will be activated if you hit the green rectangle at the right time.

Oh, there is another thing included in this game: you can also play as the vocalist! The bundle comes with a drum set, a Fender Stratocaster-shaped guitar... and a microphone.
The vocals system is also easy to handle: the lyrics will appear on the bottom of the screen (or top, if you're playing with someone else), as well as the tone in which you should sing. It is important that you get the rhythm right. You can get into Overdrive mode by screaming/singing/saying something random when the vocals bar becomes yellow and sparkling. You may also see some circles when you don't have anything to sing. In this time, you must hit your microphone in the indicated rhythm, as if you were clapping your hands or something like this. Not mandatory, but allows you to get more points per song.

Anyway, everything sounds more complicated than it really is. But it is very easy to understand the game. And in case you're having difficulties, the game has also a helpful tutorial for each of the instruments.

The song selection for this game is just great. You'll find a lot of popular bands, either old and more recent such as Bon Jovi, Iron Maiden, Nirvana and Metallica, as well as lots of different song styles and rhythms. AND, you can also download some songs. There are lots of song packs available, but you can also download them individually.

When you grow tired of playing songs over and over again, you can always spend some time customizing your vocalist/drummer/guitarist/bassist, as well as buy some cool new instruments on the Rock Shop. There are several clothing styles, from punk to metal, as well as cool hairstyles. There are also wristbands, earrings, masks and cool stuff. Fortunately or not, you have to pay for the items you buy with the money you get from the shows. But don't worry about that. By playing on Solo Tour you just keep getting more and more money. The harder the game gets, the greater is the amount of money you get.

Some things on this game that could have been improved:
- You can't play on World Tour mode by yourself, which means that if you're aiming for 100% of achievements or trophies, you'll have to either call a friend to help you or both sing and play an instrument at the same time (I already tried it and, believe me, it is not as fun as playing with your friends).
- Solo Tour does not allow you to play on the Bass.

But overall, this game is fantastic. If you're either planning to play by yourself or with your friends, you'll be willing to spend a couple of weeks with this game!