LEGO Rock Band


posted 12/29/2009 by Tina Amini
other articles by Tina Amini
One Page Platforms: 360
There’s also the usual surprise setlists, and the build your own setlist when playing the gigs within a venue. The issue here, however, is that you’ll end up repeating songs often, as there are only a stack of 45 of which to go through. This quickly gets boring, and when I played on my own I’d end up randomly switching difficulty or switching from guitar to bass just to keep things interesting.

There are also useless additions to the game that perhaps might be appealing to someone obsessed with the idea of consumption, but not to my rocker’s heart. You can spend your LEGO currency to decorate and accessorize your rock den and crew, respectively. The only LEGO Studs I was spending was on the vehicles and entourage members, and you’ll remember that that is because I had to make these purchases in order to get to new gigs. Some of your entourage will actually help you get interesting gigs like recording music videos or recording an album. I was never concerned about how many Studs I had at my disposal, so this wasn’t a hindrance to my gameplay per se, but it felt unnecessary.

The menu and loading screens are another waste of time. To get to story mode you have to traverse several menu options, some of which are definitely necessary and therefore unavoidable, but many of which could have been left out. After completing story mode and unlocking all vehicles and arenas, sorting through to get to your un-played gigs becomes a hassle and a half. I don’t want to pick my vehicle, and I don’t really care for which venue I play in, especially considering that when trying to get a game going it will usually be for my company of casual gamers. I suppose that situation would call for free play rather than story mode. At the same time, however, I did enjoy the limitations put on the songs I played until I proved myself worthy enough to progress, and I’m sure my company would, too. I want to like story mode, I really do.

As for the music itself, the variation makes for good family fun. I didn’t personally particularly enjoy the pop songs or Disney featured songs like “Accidentally in Love” by Counting Crows. There were, fortunately, some select rock songs that were fun to play as well as old school rock tracks perfect for a group of diverse ages (aka, a family). I’ll emphasize the limited 45 tracks you have at your disposal, but this is where Rock Band DLC comes into play. Obviously that will include some extra pennies from your pocket. For another additional fee, you can export these songs to your Rock Band 2, should you own it, which will at least consolidate your in-game music collection.

You’ll notice in your song selection menu that some of these tracks won’t be much fun if you’re playing drums, bass, or whichever instrument is your preference given their low level of difficulty range. You’ll end up avoiding certain tracks simply because they don’t play well. They’re repetitive, slow, boring, and other similar adjectives. These are also some of the more appealing songs, like Blur’s “Song 2” of which I’ve always enjoyed. I imagined it would be a great selection, but the track couldn’t be more boring. You’ll find a few of these seemingly great playing songs that amount to simple repetitions of notes.

Being that the game should be accessible to all members of a family, LEGO Rock Band also features the new Super Easy mode. This mode is, as you would imagine, incredibly easy. Hitting color-coded notes is no longer an issue – you’ll just have to hit the notes at the appropriate time, applicable to both the guitar and drums. Vocals seem completely useless on this difficult setting given that pretty much any noise making will suffice.

It seems in the end that with the addition of the LEGO feature of the game, the other Rock Band features were replaced. Gone are the days of online multiplayer, which was a huge bummer. There’s also no bundle pack with this game, so you’ll either already have gotten some form of Rock Band bundle to get your instruments and game, or you’ll have to buy them separately. You’ll have to decide whether or not the cute LEGO features and appeal of a “family” Rock Band game is enough to give up on the other titles of the franchise with bigger song sets and more gameplay features.

LEGO Rock Band is as cute as you would imagine, with unique storylines coupled with adorable cut scenes. While these aspects are sure to instigate fun family time, the game is by no means comparable to its predecessors with almost double the songs available and some of the more prominent gameplay features like online multiplayer. The tracks become monotonous, and once the novelty of the LEGO characters wears off you’ll be wishing you bought a different Rock Band title.

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