Friday, January 09, 2009

Rock Band

I’m a big fan of Rock Band. I’ve played it on Nintendo Wii and Playstation 2. Not only are there two guitar players, but a drummer and singer as well. Now four people can pose like musicians!

As a drummer, I find the drums to be comparable to actually playing a drum set. The bass drum pedal is a little awkward because in real life, the pedal operates a stick that bounces off the drum, whereas in Rock Band, the pedal is all there is. Also, there is no second pedal to control the hi-hat in Rock Band, but this is understandable because that would push the player to complete hand/foot independence, which is a little much to ask of the average player with no experience playing set. Another awkward thing is that even at the expert level, I can sometimes hear the drummer in the song doing things a little different than the notes displayed in the game. Even though it isn’t a perfect match to playing set, I find myself playing drums on Rock Band more often than any other instrument.

My least favorite is the singing. It’s not that I can’t carry a tune, but the game is all about matching pitch and rhythmically speaking the lyrics (or your own variation of the lyrics). Also, there are some tambourine/cowbell hits made by smacking the mic. But since I’m not a fan of karaoke, I just don’t get much out of singing in Rock Band. I feel like I ought to be hitting or plucking something, and the tambourine/cowbell parts don’t fulfill my needs (although the cowbell hits on “Don’t Fear the Reaper” come close).

This game was by far the most popular at our New Year’s party. I think it offers enough variety that even those who aren’t that skilled with the guitars or drums would at least enjoy the karaoke aspect. Add an audience, and everyone becomes a ham. Great fun!

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