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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: MTV Games / Electronic Arts
Developed By: Harmonix
Genre: Music
Players: 1-7
Rated: T for Teen (Mild Lyrics, Mild Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol)
Release Date: October 26, 2010
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

November 28, 2010 - Rock Band has been a genre defining experience ever since it made its debut back in 2006. No other Music-based videogame has captured the masses worldwide quite like Rock Band. No longer was it all about battling the computer-controlled A.I. characters or simply battling your best friend/stranger. Rock Band brought the “band” experience, which entailed playing cooperatively with a group of friends in order to jam out to some of the greatest rock songs to ever be released. With Rock Band 3, MTV Games, Electronic Arts and Harmonix took this party-based system to the next level and have shaped the way future music-based games will play and help you to play a real instrument.

With the brief introduction out of the way, lets right to the matter that is Rock Band 3. If you have played Rock band and Rock Band 2 before picking up Rock Band 3, you are at home with familiar content, though some things have been polished up and reworked. Gone is the traditional Career Mode you are used to seeing from the Rock Band series. With Rock Band 3, Career Mode and Exhibition Mode/Free Play are one in the same and are placed under the ‘Play Now’ Mode. I know there will be someone arguing that there is indeed a separate Career section within Rock Band 3; and they are correct, however the Career section is solely for checking your stats and progress through the game. Simply by playing any song included within Rock Band 3, you are helping to build your fanbase and your notoriety worldwide. This unique structure allows newcomers and veterans an easier entry into the Rock Band 3 experience, without the need to hop between multiple gameplay modes.

What drives Rock band 3’s unique career mode structure is the inclusion of dozens of challenges. There are the typical challenges like 5 starring 25 songs on Medium or harder difficulty level, and ones specific to a particular instrument. A nice added touch is that depending on what downloaded tracks your have on your hard drive, the game will create special challenges from those songs as well. Whether you tackle these challenges on your own or with a group of friends/strangers, you will earn new fans, and unlock new outfits and new venues. The progression within Rock Band 3 is along the lines of past Rock Band titles where you will unlock a van to tour in, before gaining access to a tour bus and eventually a private jet.

Included within the dozens of challenges within Rock Band 3 are the Road Challenges. Unlike the normal challenges, the Road Challenges require you to play a certain setlist while adhering to certain requirements. The setlists you will be tasked with completing includes the likes of Random ‘90s Setlist, Random ‘80s Setlist, Ready-Made Setlist, and Random Short Song Setlist. The variety of setlists made available also depends on if you have any downloadable tracks already saved to your hard drive. While playing one of the given setlists during your tour, you will be tasked with certain parameters like staying in Overdrive for as long as possible or hitting every note to build your streak count. These requirements help to test your playability, especially on the harder difficulty levels. At the end of the Road Challenge, all your points earned is totaled up, which determine whether you completed said challenged with a bronze, silver or gold rating.

Whether you are just playing whatever song you feel like, trying to complete specific Challenges or venturing into the Road Challenge Mode, you are able to play with up to four other players online. Bass/Pro Bass, Guitar/Pro Guitar, Drums/Pro Drums and Keyboard are all spots that can be filled by a friend or random stranger. The game supports up to 7 players and that’s thanks in part to some songs have three part harmonies which was something, first seen within The Beatles: Rock Band. Just with past Rock Band titles, the more you play the more new clothes, accessories and venues you are able to unlock. For those who have purchased every past Rock Band title; except The Beetles: Rock Band and Green Day: Rock Band will be happy to know that you can or already have imported all those songs into your copy of Rock Band 3. For those who feel they have to be the ultimate Rock Band player, there is a sweet setlist that will require you to play all 83 songs included within Rock Band 3 back to back.

From a visual standpoint, Rock Band 3 looks roughly the same as did Rock Band 2. The virtual characters have several more animations, allowing them to look more realistic when rocking out on stage. The new venues are very befitting of the diverse roster of tracks included within Rock Band 3. All in all, some things didn’t need to be changed and for those, Harmonix rolled with it. In regards to the soundtrack, since this is a music game, we will reference the 83 tracks in the game. The music is really diverse with artists like the Devo, John Lennon, Amy Winehouse and Chicago to name a few. There is literally something for everyone, which has made Rock Band such a popular franchise over the past four plus years. I will admit I do miss the appealing factor of the crowd joining you in singing the song when you are performing exceptionally well on stage. The feel of togetherness added to the depth of past Rock band titles.

Rock Band 3’s experience is contingent on how much you are willing to invest into the title. While you can certainly enjoy the experience sticking with the plastic guitars, venturing into the realm of real music playing via the Pro Guitar and Keyboard accessories will add to the overall experience and make you simply not want to put your instruments down. If this is your first Rock Band title, you will have access to all 2000 plus tracks currently offered via toe Rock band Store. While rocking out with a group of friends will never get dull, venturing into the Pro modes will have you wanting to play by yourself, allowing you to perfect you skills while also learning how to play the guitar. While Harmonix didn’t reinvent the wheel with Rock Band 3, it’s bar far the best music-based videogame experience you will find for any console past and present.


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