At one point it seemed like there was an endless line of rhythm games in the works over at Harmonix. They had pushed the sereies to the point that it just seemed silly to keep innovating. Rock Band 3 actually taught you how to play the damned instruments. There was nowhere beyond that, aside from actually buying a classical trained tutor with every copy of Rock Band 4. So what was left for the genre? Was there anything left unexplored?
Well no, there wasn’t much. So Harmonix took it back. They made it retro. That’s right they done away with the instruments. Rock Band Blitz needs only a remote and a bit of timing to get the most out of it.
With only two inputs per track and up to 5 different tracks for you to navigate between, the game requires you to jump between each track and increase the multiplier accordingly to score higher and higher. Alongside this there is also a set of power-ups that you can equip that apply different modifiers. It’s a simple idea done well.
The set list is rather large considering the actual size of the game. There are 25 tracks to start and each has it’s own appeal. Ranging from Foo Fighters to Tears for Fears, there is something for everyone. There is even a few guilty pleasures thrown in for good measure.
Although the game is simple, the idea is that you need to beat your friends scores and climb the leaderboards. This means that if you don’t have friends to play against you are pretty much done once you complete all the songs and get 5 stars. With only one mode, it is hard to justify 1,200 MS points as I found my experience was really enhanced by playing imported songs from other Rock Band games.
Now this is an area that really bothered me. I already owned these games and all the songs that came with them. It felt like I should have had the option to play these in the trial for free. I would have been happy to play them and experience the game. After all, I had already bought them. But i was forced to play the odd one or two songs that were available. I would’ve liked to at least have a taste of the setlists I had already played.
The game really pushes DLC. The achievements and layout are very expecting. If you navigate from the first screen of music you will find yourself propositioned by the game at every possible interval to buy more. I shouldn’t feel compelled to buy extra items to get the basic enjoyment out of the game. At one point I was confronted by a track that I thought was in game. Excitedly, I quickly navigated over and tried to play it, only to be confronted by a link to purchase even more songs. I previously touched upon the achievements and even they suggest that you buy more tracks. “Play 300 unique tracks” one of them states. I am aware that some people already have a massive back catalogue of tracks but I am certainly not going to buy more just for Blitz.
Rock Band Blitz is a great game, but a set list of 25 songs for just one mode and a few leaderboards hardly feels worth it. Apparently the songs can be used in the other Rock Band games, which is a massive plus, maybe even the best point of the purchase. Although it took a friend to point that out to me, it really feels like it should’ve been free and the songs could have been released as a massive set list.
I had great fun with the game, but after 1 or 2 days I had beaten most of my friends and I felt that I had better things to do. They could have even included a few game modes instead of the measly one that appears in the full version. I might just play the songs in Lego Rock Band, but it isn’t why I bought the game. It’s almost like buying a car for the fuel in the tank. Stupid.
6 poorly trained musicians in a wonderful 10 man orchestra