Rock Band 2 came through my door a couple of weeks ago and unfortunately, I still haven’t got hold of any of the peripherals. Still, I do have a set for Guitar Hero but unfortunately, only a drum kit for the PS3. Still, apart from the fact that the drums are now wireless, not much has changed when it comes to how you hit the buttons so I’m going to concentrate more on what you get on the actual disc.
You get a lot of songs with Rock band 2. Over 500 in fact if you count the 80 on the disc, the 20 you can download for free, the ones you can import form the original game for a small fee and future downloads. There are classics from AC/DC, Fleetwood Mac, Bon Jovi, Bob Dylan and the Chili Peppers in there, as well as some more modern tunes and some from the days of Brit Pop. Remember that? Oh, those were the days. As usual you can play solo or as part of a band, and then hit the buttons and strum, drum or sing in tune in time to the music.
At first glance you’ll think it’s just more of the same, but they’ve tweaked the gameplay enough to make it much more user-friendly. To begin with, you don’t just play songs in order. You can now choose from set lists which are either mystery, user-created or solo songs. As you unlock new gig venues and cities to fly to, the choice widens. Some gigs you can play in 5 minutes, and some are a whopping 7 songs or so which will take you at least half an hour to complete. It’s also good news that you can change your difficulty on the fly without having to play through the career again. This means someone can play unlocked tracks on your profile on easy mode if they’re not as good as you. Individual band members can also set their own difficulty so everyone can play at their own level at once. If someone’s truly dreadful but wants to play along, there’s even a no fail mode which won’t chuck you out of a song when the crowd are ready to kill you.
You can also take the tour online and play with other band members not in the same room as you – useful if you have a small flat or only have the guitar and want to experience playing in a full band.
On top of that there’s a slightly better character creator and extra challenges to compete in to earn yourself double money for example. You can even hire managers and staff which effect how many fans you get and ultimately how successful you are. Rock Band 2 is once again great fun to play and even more versatile this time around. It’s great for parties, playing alone, or even to practice the real drums using the tutorial mode. It gets an excellent 8 out of 10.
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