Whenever a band's popularity starts to wane, it's common to see them declaring a return to their roots or taking a swerve towards the mainstream in an attempt to win over fresh fans. As for rock bands, so it is for Rock Band. Following lacklustre sales for the ambitious Rock Band 3, this downloadable entry in the series finds Harmonix ditching the plastic guitars and heading back to the controller-based rhythm gaming it pioneered with FreQuency and Amplitude.
The people who made music games great have delivered their best game yet. Harmonix, the developers behind Guitar Hero and Rock Band, have tweaked, polished, and re-engineered the Rock Band presentation, while also adding all-new ways to play. Rock Band 3 introduces two major innovations to the multiplayer music game: the option to play keyboards alongside guitar, bass, drums and vocals, as well as brand new "Pro" modes that transforms the genre into more than just musical imitation.
Think you could skip Rock Band 3 and just cherry-pick the tracks you want to play on your old rig? Think again! Rock Band 3 RB3 tracks include harmony support for vocals, as well as the keytar accessory, in addition to never-before-used lighting and animation cues for the onscreen performance, and all of that extra stuff is unintelligible to the old systems.
The Rock Band series of music video games supports downloadable songs for the XboxXbox OnePlayStation 3PlayStation 4 and Wii versions through the consoles' respective online services. Harmonix typically provides three to six new tracks per week available to all consoles as listed below. From March until Septemberauthoring groups could submit their own tracks for peer review through the Rock Band Network.
First, a disclaimer: Rock Band 4 is the first in the series that I am playing entirely alone. I cannot divorce my feelings about Rock Band 4 from my feelings about, uh, my divorce. Forgive the tinge of bitterness that creeps through.
If Rock Band 4 is your first entry into the recently revived rhythm game franchise, congratulations! Not only are you in for a hell of a partybut you've officially got the easiest set-up out of everyone: Simply buy the Band-in-a-box bundle, insert the disc, maybe download a few extra tunes from the store, and you're all set. For those returning to Rock Band with their old instruments and downloaded tracks, it's a completely different story. Rock Band 4 makes a vast effort to let you use almost every single song or plastic instrument you've ever bought over the years, and while it's commendable what Harmonix has done to cater to a wide variety of returning customers, the sheer number of configurations makes things a bit complicated.
Definitely want! Anyone picking up the pro instruments? I'm planning to get the midi controller to use with my drum kit.