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ROCKBAND 3 Review

 

ROCKBAND 3 Review

 

  Rockband 3 arrived on October 26, 2010, we have The Beatles Rockband and Rockband Greenday to thank for delaying the development of this game until this year because Harmonix was busy working on these two licenses.

 

  These games were the testing ground for some of the new features to be added to the core Rockband experience, such as the addition of harmonies to the game.

 

Great news, the instruments you bought previously will be compatible! No need to buy new ones, YES!!!

Rockband Special Edition

 

 

Oh wait a minute, you wanted to be able to unlock everything in Rockband 3? Including the outfits that you and your band mates wore in Rockband 2? Well you have to buy the "Pro Instruments" than. BOO!!!

Rockband Pro Intstruments

 

  One of the great new features to rockband is the addition of the new keyboard instrument, this builds upon the previously available mix that already included the guitar, bass, drums, and vocals for use in play. Add to this the new harmonies carried over from the other licensed products as stated above, and you are looking at a band size of up to seven players.

 

We're going to need a bigger living room...

 

 We tested out the Play Station 3 version of Rockband 3 and were able to export Rockband 1, Rockband 2, and Lego Rockband songs from our library for use in Rockband 3, along with all of our previously purchased Rockband DLC (sans The Beatles DLC, and about 5 Rockband 1, and 14 Rockband 2 songs).

 

  Many hopes were dashed when it was discovered that The Beatles Rockband would not be one of the music libraries available for export. This is not a problem that is limited to the PS3, as all versions of Rockband 3 suffer from this due to licensing agreements. Furthermore not all of the songs will transfer over using the export including some rockband 1 songs that were available during the previous export to Rockband 2. Once again most likely due to licensing agreements.

 

  Being able to use songs from the previous rockband library really helps to keep the game going so that you are not stuck playing the same 80+ songs over and over again. But all of these licensing agreements and changes make you wonder about the future ability to do so down the road in new installments of Rockband. Especially when the big three decide to move on to the next generation of videogame consoles.

 

Rockband Export Issues

"I'm sorry Mr. Bond, but your passport looks nothing like you."

      Quote from an old role playing game, Top Secret S.I.

 

  With all of this exporting we were able to have 66 songs available for use with the new keyboard. Not a very large selection to choose from, but the keyboard can also double as a guitar or base allowing you to take advantage of most of your music library.

 

  Rockband 3 now includes a new mode called Pro, available for use if you have the new Pro versions of the instruments. Not only is this a great teaching tool that will translate into real life musical skills, but playing in Pro mode will also unlock Trophies, and costume items that you can use in the game. The downside is that those without these special instruments will not have access to these in game rewards, some of which were available in previous editions of Rockband that did not include Pro mode.

 

Rock Band 3 Pro Mode

 

  We only had the pro keyboard for testing, but playing in expert on pro keys really made you feel like you were playing music in a real life band. The downside to pro keys was the on screen interface that would only show portions of the keyboard at a time, shifting to the left and right in the middle of certain songs. This made it difficult to learn where to place your hands and fingers to strike the proper keys.

 

  Rockband 3 also comes with some much needed new filter options, that allow you to filter songs by difficulty, artist, song name, type of instrument available, and more. However we lost the ability to filter by location, and the new interface is a little bit counter intuitive making me miss the old filtering system.

 

  One nice new feature is the ability to delete a song from the library, this feature is long overdue as there are just some songs that you just never want to play (or listen to) again.

 

  The world tour mode (now known as road challenges) has been completely revamped and in addition to collecting stars to measure your progress, you are now given challenges that fill up a new spade meter. The progression is well thought out and gives you many more options then what was available in the old world tour mode.

 

  Another new feature is the ability to drop out of a song or enter one at anytime. No longer do you have to worry about people who are running late or who need to leave early. You can also restart a challenge or song and change the difficulty without penalty.

 

  Speaking of people coming and going if you want to advance in this game together, then be careful to choose the option to not save your progress when your solo, as even playing songs alone in non challenge mode can advance the storyline leaving your friends feeling left out.

 

  The old way around this used to be creating an alternative band to use for different friends or solo play, but the ability to have multiple bands has been removed. Why? We have no idea, other than to reduce the amount of band names and data that the website has to track for the leader boards.

 

  If for some reason you do advance without your band mates you can go back and view the cut scenes that you unlocked at anytime.

 

  When creating your character you no longer have the option to chose a particular rock style for them. The new textures and body options allow for a greater variety of choices in how your band looks. Don't be too concerned on the limited amount of costume options in the character builder as you will be able to go right into character customization which offers additional costume choices after you create your band mate. Once again I don't know why they did this. I can only theorize that it was an attempt to get people into the game faster.

 

  Speaking of the new textures they did a nice job on the human flesh components of the textures, but the clothing textures and also some of the hair textures are a bit to plastic looking and really detract from the upgraded visuals in this game.

 

Rock Band 3

 

  As in previous installments of Rockband you can make up your own band name and logo and decorate some of your instruments by applying art to them. I say some because we have lost the ability to add art to the mic, and you cannot add anything to the drums or keyboard. The art work also does not scale as well as it did in previous installments causing frustration to those of us who really like to make a custom guitar and bass.

 

  Another flawed decision was to not have any kind of Keytar visual for the keyboardist on stage. You are stuck with playing it on a keyboard stand even though the keyboard you actually use comes with a strap for keytar mode.

 

Anti Social Hermits

 

  As in Rockband 2, and Rockband Lego, you can assign certain characters to always appear in your band. Thankfully we did not lose this feature as I personally like to create the look of each band member. But... they did remove the ability to assign them to a particular position within the band. Why is it for every new feature added to this game we either lose one or they screw up an old one?

 

Christine Smith of A.S.H.

 

So what songs can you look forward to playing in Rockband 3? Here is the new set list.

 

Rockband 3 Setlist

 

2000's

  • Amy Winehouse - "Rehab"
  • At the Drive-In - "One Armed Scissor"
  • Avenged Sevenfold - "The Beast & the Harlot"
  • Dover - "King George"
  • The Bronx - "False Alarm"
  • The Flaming Lips - "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1"
  • HIM (His Infernal Majest) - "Killing Loneliness"
  • Hypernove - "Viva La Resistance"
  • Ida Maria - "Oh My God"
  • Juanes - "Me Enamora"
  • Metric - "Combat Baby"
  • Paramore - "Misery Business"
  • Phoenix - "Lasso"
  • Poni Hoax - "Antibodies"
  • Pretty Girls Make Graves - "Something Bigger, Something Brighter"
  • Queens of the Stone Age - "No One Knows"
  • The Ravonettes - "Last Dance"
  • Rilo Kiley - "Portions for Foxes"
  • Riverboat Gamblers - "Don't Bury Me...I'm Still Not Dead"
  • Slipknot - "Before I Forget"
  • The Sounds - "Living in America"
  • Tegan & Sara - "The Con"
  • Them Crooked Vultures - "Dead End Friends"
  • Tokio Hotel - "Humanoid"
  • The Vines - "Get Free"
  • The White Stripes - "The Hardest Button to Button"

 

1990's

  • Faith No More - "Midlife Crisis"
  • Filter - "Hey Man, Nice Shot"
  • Jane's Addiction - "Been Caught Stealing"
  • Maná - "Oye Mi Amor"
  • Marilyn Manson - "The Beautiful People"
  • The Muffs - "Outer Space"
  • Phish - "Llama"
  • Primus - "Jerry Was a Racecar Driver"
  • Rammstein - "Du Hast"
  • Smash Mouth - "Walkin' On The Sun"
  • Spacehog - "In the Meantime"
  • Stone Temple Pilots - "Plush"
  • Swingin' Utters - "This Bastard's Life"

 

1980's

  • Anthrax - "Caught in a Mosh"
  • Big Country - "In a Big Country"
  • The Cure - "Just Like Heaven"
  • Def Leppard - "Foolin'"
  • Devo - "Whip It"
  • Dio - "Rainbow in the Dark"
  • Dire Straits - "Walk of Life"
  • Echo & the Bunnymen - "The Killing Moon"
  • Huey Lewis and the News - "The Power of Love"
  • INXS - "Need You Tonight"
  • J. Geils Band - "Centerfold"
  • Joan Jett - "I Love Rock N' Roll"
  • Night Ranger - "Sister Christian"
  • Ozzy Osbourne - "Crazy Train"
  • The Police - "Don't Stand So Close to Me"
  • Roxette - "The Look"
  • The Smiths - "Stop Me if You Think You've Heard This One Before"
  • Tears for Fears - "Everbody Wants to Rule the World"
  • Whitesnake - "Here I Go Again"

 

1970's

  • The B-52's - "Rock Lobster"
  • Blondie - "Heart of Glass"
  • Bob Marley - "Get Up, Stand Up"
  • Chicago - "25 or 6 to 4"
  • Deep Purple - "Smoke on the Water"
  • Doobie Brothers - "China Grove"
  • Elton John - "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting"
  • Foreigner - "Cold As Ice"
  • Golden Earring - "Radar Love"
  • John Lennon - "Imagine"
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd - "Free Bird"
  • Queen - "Bohemian Rhapsody"
  • Ramones - "I Wanna Be Sedated"
  • Steve Miller Band - "Fly Like an Eagle"
  • T.Rex - "20th Century Boy"
  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - "I Need to Know"
  • War - "Low Rider"
  • Warren Zevon - "Werewolves of London"
  • Yes - "Roundabout"

 

1960's

  • Beach Boys - "Good Vibrations (Live)"
  • David Bowie - "Space Oddity"
  • The Doors - "Break on Through (To the Other Side)"
  • James Brown - "I Got You (I Feel Good" - Alternate Studio Version
  • The Jimi Hendrix Experience - "Crosstown Traffic"
  • The Who - "I Can See for Miles"

 

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What songs are we losing on exporting the old Rockband 1 and 2 discs you ask ? See below.

 

Rockband 1 missing export songs.

 

  • Black Sabbath - "Paranoid"
  • Metallica - "Enter Sandman"
  • Iron Maiden - "Run to the Hills"
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Dani California"
  • Sound Garden - "Black Hole Sun"

 

Rockband 2 missing export songs.

 

  • AC/DC - "Let There Be Rock"
  • Journey - "Any Way You Want It"
  • Metallica - "Battery"
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Give It Away"
  • Soundgarden - "Spoonman"
  • Abnormality - "Visions"
  • Anarchy Club - "Get Clean"
  • Bang Camaro - "Night Lies"
  • Breaking Wheel - "Shoulder to the Plow"
  • Libyans - "Welcome to the Neighborhood"
  • The Main Drag - "A Jagged Gorgeous Winter"
  • Speck - "Conventional Lover"
  • The Sterns - "Supreme Girl"
  • That Handsome Devil - "Rob the Prez-O-Dent"

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  The balancing act of gaining and losing features, along with the costume texture issues, and the lack of full song export brought the score of this game down a bit. Rockband 3 is still a great game but beware it is not perfect.

  

  If you liked the previous Rockband installments then this is a pretty safe buy, it will just take a little getting used to, the new menu options and the road challenge will keep you on your toes a little more than before.

 

Final Verdict Rockband 3: 7/10

  -Professor

 

Anti Social Hermits A.S.H.

 

  For those who keep predicting the doom of rythm games with plastic instruments keep the end is near signs in a safe place. You will not be needing them for sometime to come yet.

 

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