Publisher(s): MTV Games
Distributor(s): EA Distribution
Platform(s): PlayStation Portable only
Genre(s): Rhythm Game
The new installment of Rock Band on Sony’s handheld console does not entirely live up to the standards of Rock Band but serves as a complete entertainment package. It is a great musical game but like many others it doesn’t come without its flaws. I managed to get this game quite a time ago in August and had earned quite a lot of cash, fans and stars and even the van, the bus and the airplane, but I had to update my firmware and therefore the data got corrupted. Now that I completed the game I have reviewed the game.
Similar to games like Guitar Hero and of course like its Rock band predecessors this gameplay is primarily about hitting a button or sets of buttons while the come near the phrase indicator. Doesn’t seem too fun by just the description but with a blend of intriguing songs it is brilliant altogether. Stars are awarded on how well you play a track. The overdrive system is great gaining power on pressing a series of glowing white notes. The phrase indicator serves well. Playing notes accurately get a higher score and affect the cash and number of fans acquired. At the start of every song the band members are
introduced as bass guitarist, drummer, vocalist and lead guitarist respectively. Switching between vocals, guitars and drums is quite comfortable with the L and R buttons. The rhythm of the gameplay completely absorbs the gamer. The world tour is immensely gratifying and addictive. Getting on the road and playing gigs in places like London, Shanghai, Berlin, Tokyo, Sydney, Moscow, Rome, Paris and numerous more is simply exalting.
The Extras menu offers Band Survival mode in which one is able to play the instrument he wants through the entire song. The Training module offers sets of interactive tutorials that would explain well to any rock band newbie.
One of the major drawbacks in the gameplay is that the visuals are not as inspiring and brilliant as of its predecessors. The worst aspect is of course is the absence of much expected multiplayer feature. No wi-fi or online feature in the game make it feel empty and exhausted after a short while.
The visuals are just fine. All band members have only a small set of moves which become very repetitive after a while. Members can be customized as we like either wearing the heart of bones shirt or pair of funky trousers. Hairstyles have a wide variety. Characters are well highlighted but at many instances flawed visuals and glitches are spotted. The spotlights and transitions are outstanding but a great room for improvement left behind. Band and instruments detailing could be highly improved however I didn’t keep my expectations high on this aspect from a game like Rock Band Unplugged.
Game menus, interactive touring, selecting staff members and various offers all add up Rock Band Unplugged’s superb presentation. The player creates a band, selects a logo and starts on the world tour. He faces challenges and innumerable contests with captivating rewards. Any time he can customize his band members or buy a variety of good looking instruments all that is within the budget. With each staff member comes offers, varying fans and cash and so on. The game never feels empty although your money sure can. There’s a lot to do and if someone honestly gets about 40- 50 hours of dedicated play he would be able to finish every gig (very daring ones would show that dedication). Finishing the game can also mean simply finishing the Shanghai Immortals List or attaining Legendary Status (can be achieved by playing all 41 soundtracks consecutively and is worth 205 stars!!).
The Extras Menu features an option of unlocking all songs. Songs can also be downloaded from the PlayStation Network in the Music Store Menu. As one starts the game he has to complete a set of training missions (they are optional however) to have an idea of how the game works. Unlockables include city shirts, instruments of course and numerous spotlight gigs and song marathons.
A musical game one like Harmonix’s Rock Band or the Guitar Hero series has to have some solid soundtracks which are addictive and fun to play. Rock Band Unplugged is to a great extent successful in offering that. The songs are unanimously superb. Great titles like Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down or Jackons 5’s ABC. Even ones like The Perfect Drug, Miss Murder, Float On, Alive, Today, More Than A Feeling and numerous others. All are different in their way with varying difficulties in different instruments. Some songs might seem slow and worth a challenge on Hard whereas several others might serve as a challenge only at the basic difficulty. Soundtracks from some great bands such as Linkin Park, Metallica and Iron Maiden were missing which was truly disappointing. However, with as many as 41 tracks to play, I rarely felt their absence.
Rock Band Unplugged is just the experience for a rock band fan or the one’s looking for some pleasurable and satisfying musical game. It’s not one of the best titles out there but is a great PSP exclusive altogether. The addictive gameplay, awesome soundtracks, few salient features and a brilliant world tour make this game worth play. However disappointing elements such as few glitches and very limited character customization have brought it substantially below perfection.
Overall- 8.2/10 (Great)