Rock Band 1 and 2
have been pretty solid games in the music rhythm game genre and Harmonix’s track record has been pretty impressive. There was no doubt that a third game in the series would be released by them, but what could they possibly do to improve on the first two? Well, Rock Band 3 does improve on the second game and adds some great features as well as polish to the game to make it the best of the series.
By now, everyone knows how the game plays so I won’t go into details on that. I’ll start off with the songs, but before I get into what’s included in the list, let me talk a little bit about the songs from previous games and DLC. Yes, most songs will transfer over, except for the Beatles catalog of course, but if you’ve been spending your hard earned money on DLC and past Rock Band games, you’ll be treated to the ability to play most of them in the third game. As with the second game, there are a few songs that won’t be making the jump over to RB3, but that’s not too big of a deal as you have more than plenty of tracks to play with from all the past content available.
When I talk about the song list for musical games, I usually shy away from saying it’s great or it’s horrible as everyone has different musical tastes. What I do like about the song list is that there’s a great variety of music to play, though, so there’s something for everyone here to play with. A lot of the songs do reflect on the new keyboard mode available and pro modes as well. Not all songs will support everything but that’s to be expected as music do come into a wide variety that doesn’t always include some instruments.
In the gameplay area, Rock Band 3 adds the harmony feature from The Beatles: Rock Band where up to three players can participate in the vocals. It’s one of the features I enjoyed with The Beatles and I’m glad to see it made it to Rock Band 3. The gameplay should be pretty familiar to everyone though, as not much has changed from the second to the third game. It was easy to jump in with all the old instruments and have fun with the new songs that are available with Rock Band 3.
One of the the most significant additions is the keyboard, making it the first new instrument to appear in the series since Rock Band 1 took a guitar game and added vocals and a drum.So, how fun is it to play the new keyboard? Well, if you’re playing it in regular mode, you really don’t need to buy the peripheral. Without going into Pro Mode, it’s sort of a dumbed-down version of a guitar whereby you only need to use five keys and just press them when the notes hit the line. There’s a sliding touch bar that you can use just like the whammy bar on the guitar and a button next to it to activate overdrive. It’s not bad sitting down and playing in normal mode, but that’s not where you’ll get the most satisfaction out of buying the keyboard for.
No, the Pro Mode of the keyboard is what you’ll really need the Mad Catz controller for and that’s where you use every single key. For someone like me who has never played any real instrument outside of a recorder in grade school, this was a pretty tough task to undertake. Just getting my hand in the correct position and knowing where to press without having to look down was a very hard thing to do initially. Now, I’m still taking it pretty slow but like anything, practice will make you better and it’s definitely a lot more fun and a better experience when you utilize the keyboard to its fullest.
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