Between the 84 new songs to the wireless peripherals, “Rock Band 2″ improves on the already outstanding concept of creating a cohesive band experience through a video game.
My family first played “Rock Band” last summer at my husband’s cousins’ house in Florida, and we really got into fun of playing rock star together.
So, for my older son’s combined Christmas and birthday gift (that’s the upside of a late-year birthday, you can combine to get bigger, better presents), we picked up the new “Rock Band 2 Special Edition,” which includes the microphone, drums and guitar.
This time out, the drums and guitar are wireless, which is much more convenient. As an added bonus, the introduction of the wireless components has driven down the price of the earlier versions, so we were able to pick up a used a guitar with a cord for about $20. This allows us to have both a guitarist and bass player perform together.
My experience with “Rock Band” was limited, but it seems that the biggest improvement to the game is the addition of 84 new songs. It’s a diverse lineup representing many different eras and subgenres of rock. AC/DC, Metallica, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Jethro Tull, Panic at the Disco, Kansas, Megadeath, Modest Mouse, Rage Against the Machine, Bon Jovi and more all have songs in the game. My son Chris and husband Patrick were most pleased with the inclusion of Journey in the new game.
“Shackler’s Revenge,” the first Guns N’ Roses single in more than a decade, from the upcoming and long-awaited album “Chinese Democracy,” is one of the new songs. In my opinion, that idea is cooler than the actual song itself.
Even better, the game is compatible with all the songs from the original “Rock Band” and any songs you uploaded for it. So, if you already owned “Rock Band” or can pick up a used copy cheap, you can get a really robust selection of songs.
The sequel also includes a No-Fail option that makes it a lot friendlier for first-time users. In fact, we attended tonight a Halloween party some friends were hosting and one of the attendees brought “Rock Band 2.” We were able to even let the little kids play without worrying that the game would penalize us.
That really is the strongest endorsement I can give “Rock Band 2″: It is the ultimate good-time game. We had people of a variety of ages and skill levels all playing together and having a great time. All that’s required, besides the game and console, are a love of music and willingness to have fun.