Rock Band 2 Review

A few months ago, I found out that you can use Guitar Hero 4 instruments for Rock Band 2. I hadn’t thought this was possible previously because it wasn’t with Rock Band 1, and I just kind of assumed it would be the same. This knowledge instantly put Rock Band 2 on my wish list and I got it for my Birthday, much to my delight.

[amazonify]B001BXA9CE:left[/amazonifyFirst the track list. I will be honest in saying that I haven’t yet finished all the songs in RB2, but I have looked through the track list and played many of them. From what I have seen and played, the Rock Band track list seems far better than Guitar Hero 3 or 4 track lists. Guitar Hero seems to trend towards olden goldies whereas Rock Band 2 seems to pull more from modern songs. Not that they don’t have the older songs too, there just don’t seem to be quite as many as what Guitar Hero relies on. Even more, there seem to be far more indie songs as well, which even if I don’t particularly like a song, I think it is nice to have the variety more.

I also like how you play the songs a bit better. Like Guitar Hero, Rock Band lets you travel around to different venues with each venue offering a few new and different songs. However, Rock Band seems to use how well you do in a particular song as means to unlocking future venues. If you perform well, you gain more fans, and the more fans you gain, the more venues you unlock and thus the more songs you have access to. The other nice thing is for each venue there are random sets as well as custom sets. Each set either chooses, or lets you choose a couple of songs  to play in a row. I really like this as it allows you to get access to songs that you haven’t unlocked yet and helps keep the monotony of the game down a little bit by mixing it up.

I also kind of like the graphics a little better in Rock Band than Guitar Hero. GH has always had a more cartoony feel to it which may have been because they were trying something new and thus wanted to have a “fun” look to it in addition to the fun play just to make sure everything was fun. Rock Band though has a grittier feel to it that actually feels like you are trying to make it as a band. I think it is a much more fitting feel for what is going on and I do think it is better.

My negatives of the game is that I do think that Rock Band 2 is much easier to play than even Guitar Hero 4 (which was easier than Guitar Hero 3). In GH4 I was still having an issue with some Medium songs, but in RB2, medium is boring and I barely have to think in order to complete them. Even many of the Hard songs have been fairly easy to go through, although I have found this a benefit in some ways as it allows me to practice the Orange button without moving as quickly as GH4 does.

I also think that aesthetically, GH4’s round notes to hit are better than RB2’s square ones. Though I like the golden overdrive compared to the bright blue star power.The stages of Rock Band don’t seem anywhere near as nice as Guitar Hero’s. While I think that Guitar Hero is far overdone and wild and I do like the smaller stages that Rock Band offers, I can’t really tell a difference from one to another.

I also do like how customizable that GH4 seems compared to RB2. I mean you can customize everything in Guitar Hero down to your bands logo (even if it doesn’t save). Rock Band has some customizations, though it doesn’t seem as great a change graphically. I do like that you can start in different areas of the world. I chose a guy who is from Chicago whose band was based out of Dublin for some reason. Plus you can make your own songs in GH4 which is pretty kick ass.

Overall, I do get the feeling that Rock Band is what Guitar Hero should be. It has a better music selection that actually feels rocky and just feels more refined despite being a newer product. I give Rock Band 2 an A. I would suggest though if you need the instruments, buy [amazonify]B001ABP8BO::text::::Guitar Hero’s band kit[/amazonify], I think it is just better in layout and quality from all I’ve seen and heard.

I am really looking forward to the [amazonify]B001TOQ8LG::text::::Beatles Rock Band pack[/amazonify], which I think is funny because I have had absolutely no interest in Metallica, Aerosmith or even Van Halen and Rock Band seems to have struck the idea dead on with the first go with The Beatles.