Wednesday, 06 June 2012 12:03
Games - Games
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In Rock Band Blitz there is a track for every instrument in the song. Lead guitar, bass, drums, vocals, keyboard and whatever else the song calls for. Rather than trying to emulate the rock and roll experience with plastic instruments, Blitz is a more arcade style experience. It is a rhythm game set to famous rock songs rather than one that puts you in the shoes of a rocker. Each track has two lines for note buttons that you press the Left and Right triggers when they cross the bar. Standard Rock Band gameplay, but you play all the tracks at the same time. The notes will continue coming at you whether or not you are on that particular instrument. You switch between the different tracks by pushing left and right on the analog stick. The more notes you hit the higher the multiplier goes up for that particular instrument. The key is to be on the right instrument at the right time during a song. Power notes come along at different times for different tracks and there are also special powers ups scattered throughout the track. They provide advantages like getting rid of all the upcoming notes for the track allowing you time to get them elsewhere or clearing out all the notes to the left and right of you at that moment. There are 10 different power ups in all.
The game was so quick and I was so focused on the notes that I probably missed some of the more subtle elements that would be more apparent with a full copy of the game. There is an element of strategy to getting the highest score possible and it isn’t just if you can nail the timing. It’s extremely fun to play and offers a bit more than just a manual dexterity test.
Most notable to me was the audio mixing. Harmonix really outdid themselves with it. The annoying twang and hiss that accompanies a missed note has been tempered and the song doesn’t skip that part of the instrument track that note represented, instead it is merely dampened. You know you messed up, but it’s no longer in your face about it. Also, the mix changes depending on what instrument board you are currently on. The game will bring that particular part of the song to the forefront and push the rest into the background a little. Suddenly those subtle base lines that get drowned out by the lead guitar, vocals, or keyboard can be made out. The game switches these mixes on the fly to match your quick switching of tracks.
You can really tell Harmonix picked apart the songs to get the programs to mix them just right. Not as much work has to go into the fret boards since each track only has two buttons, but since you are now playing all the instruments the challenge is still there. Playing on a controller abstracts the concept more and gives it that more arcade feel giving you the feeling that you are playing along with the music rather than the illusion you are playing the music.
Rock Band Blitz is a downloadable title coming to PSN and XBLA. It is backwards compatible with nearly all the songs from your Rock Band library and comes with an additional 20 new tracks. The game is set for a summer release. Rock on.
Announced tracks include: Always by Blink 182, Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People, Metal Health (Bang Your Head) by Quiet Riot and Jessie’s Girl by Rick Springfield.
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In Rock Band Blitz there is a track for every instrument in the song. Lead guitar, bass, drums, vocals, keyboard and whatever else the song calls for. Rather than trying to emulate the rock and...
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