Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Video game number one hundred and twenty one: Rock Band Unplugged

Video game review number one hundred and twenty one in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is"Rock Band Unplugged".

After my time with Guitar Hero on Tour, I can't say I was looking especially forward to this one. The stupid Guitar peripheral thing that plugs into the DS wasn't something I enjoyed, and the game itself felt nerfed. Rock Band Unplugged doesn't even come with a guitar thingy, so I figured it would be a quick rent and return to Gamefly.

Interestingly enough, this game ended up being pretty damn fun. The lack of a guitar thingy isn't hurting it at all (and will probably make it much less embarrassing to play on my next flight). The graphics are good and the gameplay is easy to pick up, but hard to master. You can play one song, or (just like the console version) start a tour.

"How does it work?" you might ask if you had never heard of this game before.

To control your instruments, you use the left D-pad to control some of the notes and the buttons to control the rest. It's a lot like playing Dance Dance Revolution with a controller, except you're playing for four. That's right, you control every instrument. This sounds confusing, but it's actually pretty cool. All four instruments have notes coming down at the same time...but by getting perfect streaks, you can make an instrument "play itself" for awhile, freeing you up to move to another one to rinse and repeat. Ideally, you'll always have three instruments playing themselves while you focus on one.

All in all, this makes for a pretty fun experience. I've played it several times now, all of them at home. The real test will come in a week or so when I take it on an airplane and see how enjoyable it is on the go (as games like this are meant to be played). I'll update my review after I've done that...but for now:

Overall Score? 7/10. I like this a lot. I don't think it'll have a lot of replay value (there's no DLC for it, and I wouldn't purchase it even if there was)...so I figure once I've finished the limited setlist, I'll be pretty much done with it for good.

Trophies? Nope...but I wish PSP games supported these. Why don't they?

5-24-2010----------Post Travel Update---------------

I took this one on the plane with me this weekend and turns out, it's pretty fun to play on the road. I started a tour and unlocked 4 or 5 cities before my fingers got tired. I was able to 100% a song or two on medium, but completely failed when I tried to play the hard mode. My comments about the limited re-playability may still stand, although I'm not sure. On the one hand...I am already starting to get sick of the limited setlist, but on the other...I haven't even scratched the surface as far as the difficulty ramp-up goes. I have a long way to go before I'd be an "expert" at this game.

Ultimately, I returned this to Gamefly this morning, but I think I may actually buy a copy if I see one used someday. It's fun!

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