Rock Band: PS3

10 out of 10

I’ll have to admit that I was embarrassed buying this game.  I went to a K-Mart I knew wasn’t busy late on a Monday night, well after the holiday rush.  My six year old daughter Sophia, tagged along with me.  Marching into the store, we found the big box under a shelf and hauled it up to pay.  Sophia was beside herself, she couldn’t wait to get home to try it out.

My wife had been somewhat skeptical of this purchase.  It was expensive $169.99, but came with the game, the drum set, guitar and microphone.  But once I got it home, she smiled like a kid at Christmas as she set about setting up the drums and guitar.  wasn’t long before we had it set up and I was taking the guitar on its maiden voyage through Nirvana’s “In Bloom”.

I will say that it took some time to figure it all out, but especially with the guitar once you get it, it just makes sense.  We had some issues getting the microphone to work, but did figure it out only after we sent a very disappointed Sophia to bed.  Don’t feel bad for her, she will get her chance.  My wife and I then spent the next few hours (time flies) playing and we had an absolute ball.  My wife said it was the funnest game she had ever played.  She of course played the drums and I played the guitar and it was a rough start on the road, but we started getting pretty good on the easy level.

Graphically the game is nothing, sure the rocker customization is cool and the various venues are unique, but when you are playing you really don’t notice much of the background, you are concentrating hitting your next note.  The sound to me sounds off (I am half deaf), but I think that has more to do with the TV sound system.  Regardless there are series of volume controls so that you can set the sound anyway you like.

While the game has a single player mode, which plays exactly like any of the Guitar Hero’s, Sing Star, only you can do the drums as well.  The real beauty of this game is playing with others.  The game is fun with two people (one on guitar and one on drums), but throw in a 3rd person and the game becomes really fun.  Even though my daughter doesn’t have the hand eye coordination to successfully pull off either the drums or guitar, she can sing (or pretend to) with the best of them.  You could even get a second guitar controller so that a 4th person could play bass (you have your choice to play guitar or bass anyway).  The fun with this co-op mode is that everyone has to pull together to get the best score.  If one part of your band fails, you only have a limited amount of time for the other players to pick them back up, otherwise you are all done and that costs you money and fans.

With downloads available (I haven’t tried yet) the replay value of the game is high.  You can also play on-line (I haven’t tried yet either) and also show off your scores.

Although it does take some time and a lot of practice to get used to the game, it is a game for nearly all ages.  I would love to see some more classic rock (Pink Floyd, the Kinks, the Doors) but have so far been satisfied with the mix of music the game has.  It is a great party game.  And in case your wondering, the song with our best score thus far (for me and my wife) was Bon Jovi’s “Dead or Alive”.

And Corey, the game does have a special song for you from the Blue Oyster Cult “Don’t fear the reaper…”

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