Release Date: August 29th, 2012
Developer: Harmonix Music Systems
Publisher: Harmonix Music Systems
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox 360]
Rated: T for Teen
Price: $14.99 or 1200MSP
Harmonix Music Systems have done it again, but this time in the form of an arcade title. Rock Band Blitz is similar to other Rock Band titles except that it brings the entire band into your hands all at once. Fans of previous Rock Band titles will be able to enjoy more awesome music but in a completely different way. Rock Band Blitz is a controller-based game and there are no instrument peripherals needed. Not only does this new title come with 25 songs it is compatible with MOST of the current Rock Band libraries, which includes over 3,000 songs.
So, exactly how is Rock Band Blitz? Well, really it is like any other Rock Band title, minus the instruments and the “real” multiplayer function. The Rock Band Blitz play screen is very similar to other Rock Band titles, in that it has multiple vertical sections for each of the “instruments” that are playable. You have your drums, guitar, bass, vocals and keyboard spread across the screen. It is up to you to play ALL instruments. Now, I know what you are thinking because I to thought the exact same thing, “How am I suppose to play all these instruments all at once?” At first there maybe a little confusion, but just like playing other Rock Band titles you eventually get the hang of it.
What I suggest is to play the tutorial first, as it teaches you how to play all these instruments successfully enough to obtain enough stars to move on to new songs. First things first, obviously you can’t play all instruments at once. So, the idea is to earn as many multipliers as you can for each category. Basically, what you want to do is start with one instrument increase your multipliers then switch, via the RT and LT buttons, to the next instrument. And just like Shampoo “Rinse and Repeat”. Now, I know it is really easy to get into a rhythm and mindlessly strum away, so all you Rock Band die-hards out there are going to have to learn a new technique.
Since there are no instruments in Rock Band Blitz, all you have is your controller. So, within each category, you will notice 2 different buttons that can appear. The buttons either appear on the left side or the right side of each instrument section. All you have to do is use either your LS or RS depending on the side the button appears. And like mentioned previously, to switch in between your instruments simply push the RT to move to the right or the LT to move to the left. Sounds pretty simple right? Well I found myself, on the first couple songs, switching between my instruments instead of pushing the keys. So, like most other games in this genre, Rock Band and Guitar Hero, there is a learning curve.
In Rock Band Blitz you collect both “Coins and Cred”. It is a very simple system. Cred is experience earned as you play, that you can use for power-ups. And coins area also earned as you play but are used to pay PER-USE for power-ups. Purchasing power-ups helps you earn more coins, allowing you to purchase more power-ups to earn even more coins.
Power-ups come in three different types; Overdrive Power-ups, Note Power-ups, and Instrument Bonuses. First there are Overdrive Power-ups, these are obtained by hitting white notes and once you have collected enough you can use any of the Overdrive Power-ups; Point Doubler, Bandmate, Shockwave, Bottle Rocket, Jackpot, and Road rage. Secondly, there are the Note Power-ups, these are randomly scattered purple keys that activate when you hit them. They include the Blast Note, Flame Note, Pinball Note, and the Runaway Note. Third, and finally, you have the Instrument Bonuses. With so many options, make sure you familiarize yourself with them to ensure you are efficiently utilizing all the possible combinations and achieve maximum pointage.
Finally, there is the issue of the lack of multiplayer. For me, this is another huge downfall, but not a deal breaker as they have provided you with your friends score as well as a way to compete with them without having to join online matches. What Rock Band Blitz does offer is “Score War”. This allows you to challenge your friends to compete with you. Once initiated, the Score War is played on a certain song and will run for a set period of time. This allows you and your friend to play as much as you can while trying to achieve as many scores as you can. By the end of the “War” the person with the highest score wins both bragging rights and COINS!
Over all Rock Band Blitz is a typical, although different, Rock Band experience. You play your favourite songs over and over to earn a higher score, more cred, coins and stars, in order to out rank your friends or simply to achieve perfection. Although there are no instruments, there is plenty of fun to be had and a ton of songs to play. Once you have over played your 25 songs, of course, there are more on the marketplace for purchase. The one down fall, for me, was the lack of instruments and although it does not ruin the game it does not maintain the same feel and satisfaction I obtained playing with an instrument. But when you consider the amazing tracks, the hours and hours of fun and the super low price this title is a must have for all you Rock Band and even Guitar Hero fans.
Curious what songs come with Rock Band Blitz? You can check out the awesome titles listed below:
• Avenged Sevenfold – “So Far Away”
• Barenaked Ladies – “One Week”
• Blink-182 – “One Week”
• Collective Soul – “Shine”
• Elton John – “I’m Still Standing”
• Fall Out Boy – “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More Touch Me”
• Foo Fighters – “These Days”
• Foster the People – “Pumped Up Kicks”
• Fun. ft. Janelle Monáe – “We Are Young”
• Great White – “Once Bitten Twice Shy”
• Iron Maiden – “The Wicker Man”
• Kelly Clarkson – “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”
• Kool & The Gang – “Jungle Boogie”
• Living Colour – “Cult of Personality”
• Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera – “Moves Like Jagger”
• My Chemical Romance – “Sing”
• P!nk – “Raise Your Glass”
• Queen – “Death on Two Legs”
• Quiet Riot – “Bang Your Head (Metal Health)”
• Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Give It Away”
• Rick Springfield – “Jessie’s Girl”
• Shinedown – “Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)”
• Soundgarden – “Spoonman”
• Tears For Fears – “Shout”
• The All-American Rejects – “Kids In The Street”
If you don’t like the idea of playing a Rock Band title without all your instruments, you can purchase each of the new songs from Rock Band Blitz for $1.99 a piece. That is only $50.00, and quite a bit cheaper than having to buy a brand new full release!
Replay ability: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5