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Published on October 29th, 2010 | by Kyle Spencer, Editor

Rock Band 3 Review

Rock Band 3
Release Date: Oct. 26, 2010
Publisher: Electronic Arts / MTV Games
Developer: Harmonix
Genre: Music
Platforms: Xbox 360 [Reviewed], PS3, Wii, DS

Rock Band 3 is finally here, and unlike Guitar Hero, this was well worth the wait. Although we have seen previous Rock Band titles over the last couple years, “Green Day”, and “The Beatles”, this is the first official sequel in over 2 years. Many artist in the music industry have argued over the years that these type of music games are not beneficial, and teach no one about music. Rock Band 3 takes that argument and flips it on it’s head. Read this review Prince and read it well, because this is a game that should make you apologize for your remarks two years ago.

If you have played Rock Band games in the past, you will be familiar with how the game plays and progresses. There is not much else to it. Get a few friends together, one plays Bass, Guitar, Drums and the other Sings. Rock Band 3 throws in a curve ball this time around, if your willing to invest the money into it. Rock Band 3 now adds a new instrument in the form of a keyboard this time around. Even though the keyboard is half the size of a standard keyboard, and playing it on easy seems to become more redundant as the game goes on, it will teach you little by litter how to actually play in based on difficulty or if you decide to play on PRO mode.

Pro mode adds a whole new layer to the genre, and makes Rock Band 3 shine well above any music game made over the past 3 years. There is Pro Guitar, which features 100 + button frets and actual string MIDI guitars, which can get pricey. If you were looking for a game to do more than just simply strum matching color frets as the song goes, this will teach you how to actually play chords, and play the songs for real. I had decided to invest the money into a PRO guitar by MadCatz to get the full feel of Rock Band 3 was all about and I must admit I was very happy with that $150 investment. Playing chord for chord I actually walked away feeling like I could pick up a full size Fender and rock out with the best (although I doubt I could perform well). Although the MadKatz guitar was the only one I was able to get for the review a full sized string guitar is in the works and I will have a review update with that gameplay as well.

They keyboard added more for the Rock Band library that you could have imagined. Think about it, who would have thought that Elton John would have made it onto Rock Band without this peripheral? Again the real enjoyment out of this instrument is in PRO mode and even Hard mode. The only downfall is that not all songs on the game disc support the keyboard, and non of the downloaded songs from the music store support it. It is another instrument and another way to rock out with your friends on a game that was designed to be a party game. The pro drums are not much of an upgrade, except that there are a few more symbols now and the chance for a double pedal which Guitar Hero did with Metallica.

Rock Band 3 Career mode was the most fun to me, and sadly enough it never used to be in the past. I used to hate going to a travel map, with different cities and set lists for each city. Play the set lists to earn fans and travel the world. In Rock Band 3 that has been completely removed. Now you have challenges to complete, that are instrument specific, so if you thought that you could beat the career mode without having to play the drums, sorry but yes you do. That is if you want to complete 100% of the challenges. You are never tied to career either if you want to  complete challenges. You can complete them in PLAY NOW, or even training modes to earn fans and earn points to unlock new outfits and venues.

The Rock Band song list, is impressive, but also had us asking ourselves “Why this song”? 75% of the tracklisting we were pleased to play and to see our setlists from The Beatles, Green Day and AC/DC was also impressive to see, and yes they are set with their own challenges as well. From “Beautiful People”, to “LOWRIDER” I was impressed. This version of Rock Band was a love letter to 80’s and early 90’s rock, and included a list of influential artists. From Jimmy Hendrix, Elton John, and Ozzy Osbourne to Slipknot and Def Lepord, this had something for everyone. 83 Tracks in all, and that’s not including your downloaded songs, or imported songs from prior games.

Rock Band 3 was a great advancement in the music genre. It stepped up and created something fresh and new for the music lovers of this generation, and generation past. This silences all the nay-sayers and puts a muzzle on the harsh criticism that the genre has been suffering from for years. If you want to know whats it’s like to really play an instrument, the new PRO MODE makes that possible, and will show you what it is like to play like a Rock and Roll Genius. Without the extra investment into the instruments this is just another Rock Band game with your plastic instruments. With the extra money put in, this is an experience that will leave you wanting more! If your looking for the best music game this year, there is no contest here, as Rock Band 3 is the game of choice this holiday season, and offers more for big spenders.

[xrr label=”Rating: 8.5/10″ rating=8.5/10]


+ Inclusion of DL Songs and imported songs into challenges

+ Challenges are a spectacular addition

+ No more sloppy career mode!

– only 63 of the 83 songs use keyboard

– No Keyboard feature for imported or Downloaded songs

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About the Author

I have been a video game enthusiast for many many years, and have been in the industry for the last 10 years. I love what I do and I love, well VIDEO GAMES! I have a degree in computer programming and currently working on a arcade/indie title.

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