February 15, 2009

Rock Band 2 Wii Hands-on

I've waited months upon months, called number upon number, and now, I finally have it: Rock Band 2 for the Wii- funded by a shared amount of saved allowance 5 months in the making.

Here's the thing: setup is a bitch. OK, roll out the cardboard artwork, get a blade for the packaging tape, take the tape off the sides of the front of the cardboard found inside, then the back. You know what, I could go on all day.

Moving on since I don't want to bore you further, here's something that you might want to know: Guotar Hero Wii peripherals are guaranteed to work with this game, but not the other way around. Additionally, Rock Band 2 Wii peripherals are not in dire need of additional remotes ala Guitar Hero as they come with their own USB powered sensors.

So on to the game, finally! I'm already sweating since the setup is pure exhaustion, and here we are introduced to several modes. The mode we tried for the night are the Quick Play and World Tour (local) modes.

In Quick Play, you can set your own playlist for successive, uninterrupted play like in Guitar Hero World Tour and you can also set to choose songs one at a time, whichever you prefer. The default list of songs (meaning that not all 84 songs are present right out of the box yet) are pretty good, but my favorites for now are Eye of the Tiger (a track that Guitar Hero also has), the Duran Duran song Hungry Like the Wolf and Paramore's recent hit That's What You Get.

In the World Tour mode, you and your band (aka, your friends and family) can embark on a journey to the top of the rock and roll mountain, while earning cash with your custom-created characters. The character creator is pretty flexible and the randomized band names are really fun.

Here we go to the instruments themselves. Personally, I thought that the guitar could use some more tactility, but other than that, it looks more plasticky and toy-like than the pictures depict and is a solid controller. Like a real guitar, you hold down on a fret, and strum with the other hand.

As for the drums, they're great, responsive, and somehow deceptively simple as it is easy to learn but hard to master. Gameplay-wise, people who are seasoned with the guitar may find a bit of difficulty with this control scheme (that is, if they're making the jump to band games) but Harmonix says that real-life drum players will feel at home. Can't really know whether the claim has credibility or not, but I just thought you might want to know. You might be happy to know that the sticks included are made of what seems to be real wood, so you can also do a "5, 4, 3, 2" with them and sound half-credible.

Playing vocals is like playing SingStar, although I haven't really played that game yet. A wavy line is displayed so if you don't know the song, you can still get through that song by just saying gibberish and getting your vocal range to match the lines indicated on screen. It's fairly accurate, and not that difficult unless you get to Hard which requires you to be precise with pitch.

Guess that's all I have to say about the game for now. Tune in for a review some time in the future.

Posted with LifeCast

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