Lego Rock Band Review
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On 11/07/2009 at 01:51 PM by Nick DiMola
With a family-friendly presentation and construction, players looking to enjoy a proper Rock Band game with their kids now have the perfect offering.
Families looking for the perfect Rock Band experience needn't look further. Children will appreciate the Lego theme, and will be able to play along with their more apt parents in any of the game's tracks. Others should look into renting and exporting the tracks to enjoy with friends during Rock Band 2 play sessions.
Rock Band is a young franchise, but has already been through many iterations. Given the widespread appeal of the game, many different track arrangements have been released to satisfy all musical preferences. Though all of these arrangements exist, the challenge level of the games have never reduced to appeal to a younger crowd. As such, Harmonix and Traveller's Tales have teamed up to create Lego Rock Band. The game still features an equivalent challenge level for adults while including easier modes and settings for kids.
For the most part, Lego Rock Band is the same old Rock Band gamers have come to know and love. The set list is a bit more mainstream featuring songs like Crocodile Rock, Summer of '69, and You Give Love a Bad Name. On the other hand, Rock classics like We Are the Champions are still present alongside newer Rock tracks like Word Up! from Korn. On the whole, the track list is enjoyable to play, and though there are a few clunkers, in the right environment (...being drunk), even those tracks are fun to play. The biggest detractor is the fact that it features only 45 tracks, a significantly smaller number than your typical Rock Band offering.
As mentioned earlier, the game features some settings to make the game easier and more approachable for the younger crowd. With each instrument, players can now play the Super Easy setting wherein the notes are few and far between, and the note progressions are simple and straightforward. This acts as an easy gateway for very young children who want to feel like they are a part of the team. In addition for those who want to play drums, but can't handle the kick pedal, the game has a setting to make it auto-play throughout the songs.
Lego Rock Band also includes a shortened song mode where players can take on the meat of the song rather than every minute of it from beginning to end. This should help players make it through tracks that aren't their favorites so that they may move on to more enjoyable songs. Finally, the game removes the ability to fail. When players run out of juice, the game subtracts a certain amount of studs from your score and lets you hop back in the game. This allows a more fluid experience that will have definite appeal to families with young children playing the game together.
Of course, part of the appeal for children will be the Lego theme which is well-ingrained in the title. The note charts now feature Lego bricks as notes and the characters are all Lego people. Players now earn Lego studs instead of money, and the locales are also Lego themed. The game also features a number of humorous cutscenes that are sure to engage young fans.
Another unique feature of Lego Rock band is the inclusion of a new type of challenge in the Story mode, called Lego Rock Challenge. As players work through the song, in the background, the music will cause events to occur. For example, in the very first challenge, players will help demolish a building while playing a song by The Hives. These challenges should provide great motivation for the younger crowd to play along with the song to the best of their ability.
While the game features a number of nice additions, there have also been a few unfortunate subtractions. The online mode has been removed, which given the target market is not really a big deal. A bigger deal is the lack of ability to purchase more music via the Music Store. Surprisingly, this option has been omitted, killing some of what makes Rock Band such an enjoyable game.
Regardless of the omissions, Lego Rock Band is still an enjoyable game with a great soundtrack that does an excellent job of catering to a family audience. Young children will be able to play along with their parents and no matter how poorly they play, can feel as if they are also a part of the band.
Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners have the typical graphical advantage, but will also be able to export the game's tracks to their hard drives for $10. Wii owners will only be able to enjoy the tracks through the Lego Rock Band disc, rather than within the rest of their collection in Rock Band 2.