May 26, 2008

FREE GAME: Build up a Rock Band

Ahh, the word free is like music to my ears, and it's probably gonna be in yours too, because not only is Guitar Hero the only popular rhythm game to receive the free software treatment, Rock Band is too.

Initially a Guitar Hero clone as well, the project was first released as a Rock Band clone on February 2008 with the tentative name "Garage Band". But since Apple had the rights to the brand GarageBand in its iLife suite, the developers changed its name to Unsigned and thus started to slowly gain popularity in just 3 months.

And although I myself haven't tried my hand at doing a drum part for the 5 downloadable songs only currently available (songs can be ripped directly from the Rock Band game) with a keyboard, the game has been presented in Microsoft's Maker Faire (because the big M itself invited the developer) just recently. Probably because of Microsoft's new XNA Framework made for PC, XBox 360 and eventually, Linux and Mac. According to Wikipedia, the game has also been received quite warmly and had people trying it out almost every minute of the exhibition. And that was the 360 version.
CAPTION: Unlike Frets on Fire, Unsigned also provides 3D people,
and a Rock Power meter.

But from what I tried, the program is still buggy, and it usually quits by itself in the song selection screen. Judging from the quality of the first few screens though, the developers are trying hard to actually make a solid game with actual 3D graphics unlike that of Frets on Fire which had boring 2D backgrounds. On the flipside, song installation is not really as organized as that of Frets, but it's still easy. But like Frets on Fire, the game also supports the supplied controllers that come with the real games they try to emulate and unlike Frets, Unsigned has a few mechanics that actually stick more to the game because of the ability to "resurrect" a fallen band-mate during its own version of Star Power called Rock Power, etc..

Maybe you can download it for free in the following months and only in the following months because it's a bit hard to determine when the bugs will be fixed... But if you want this game to be running smoothly all the time, you can wait for the XBox 360 version- yes, an XBox 360 version- that will probably be available for download at the end of the year.

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