There’s a little rhythm game called Rock Band which has been making the rounds. Whilst I own neither the Xbox 360 nor a PS3, I am lucky enough to have friends/colleagues who do, so I’ve been able to play. Every Monday night several of us tromp over to Xaroth’s and JavaLuv’s place for band practice, which has supplanted the pre-Rock Band arcade and console gaming.
On the day that Rock Band was released, Xaroth, who had not pre-ordered it, queued up to obtain his PS3 version. He was able to snag one, and he brought it to work. When I arrived at work that fateful morning, I found that it had been set up in one of our conference rooms, and people were already jamming away. After securing my mug of morning tea, without which I function poorly, I walked down the hall and joined in. I played a couple of songs, once on the drums and a few times on the guitar. The morning session ended shortly thereafter, as everyone needed to get to work. Come lunchtime, however, it was time to rock out again, and rock out we did. We feared that the noise from our incredibly awesome playing may have disturbed the office building’s other occupants, however no one complained. Playing Rock Band at work on the release day was incredibly cool. It’s truly a special thing to be able to play videogames at work with your colleagues and friends.
Since the release of Rock Band our group, Really Vulgar, has met every week to jam. The roster sometimes varies, depending on the availibilty of members. I have missed a few band practices due to illness and whatnot, but I join in when I can. Recently, one of the fellow bandmates/colleagues shared the Rock Band soundtrack with us, the reasoning being that if we’re more familiar with the songs, we’ll be able to perform better. I’ve been listening to the Rock Band songs for the past two days.
My favourite instrument to play in Rock Band, like many others, is the drums. Whilst the feel of the Rock Band guitar is new and different and also quite fun, the drums require new skills and I like the challenge. I’m still not quite used to the guitar, but I expect it’s only a matter of time. I do like the feel of the guitar, though I often find myself accidentally hitting the orange fret button (I only play on Medium) when I mean to hit the blue one. I’m a terrible singer, as are most of the other band members, but we all still try anyway. We need to. When people created their characters, someone designated the singer as the leader, and apparently the band cannot play without the leader.
Another annoying aspect of the game, which I’ve seen people mention as well, is that the game’s characters are tied to their instruments. Everyone in the band switches from instrument to instrument, but our characters cannot. This is understandable if you’re trying to make it as close to reality as possible, but it’s a game. We should be able to have our characters follow us. It’s silly to expect that gamers will only play one instrument and never try anything else, and irritating that a game which provides so many customisation options would not permit players to take their characters with them when they swap instruments.
There are a few other irritating aspects of the game, but it’s still loads and loads of fun.