Rock Band 2 Special Edition was released for PlayStation 3 on Oct. 19th. Naturally, I picked it up that day and have been playing it since. Even though there aren’t any groundbreaking updates there are several very fun updates in Rock Band 2. Today I am going to turn Live Musician Central over to our new contributor, Skyler Rushton for a review of Rock Band 2. -Matt-
The new Rock Band 2 Special Edition consists of a drum set, a microphone, and one rock band guitar. The new drum set has rubber pads and a lot more padding so when you hit it, it isn’t very loud, ( Rock Band 1’s drum set had some kind of plastic on it so when you hit it, it whould just go crack when ever you hit it ). Also the new drum set has grips on the bottom so when you’re playing them they won’t slip around everywhere. With the new drum set, you can also purchase a Rock Band cymbal that you can hit instead of the pad,( they plug right into the back of the drum control panel ). Another great thing about the drum set is that the bass pedal is made of metal unlike rock band 1’s plastic pedal,( The pedal on one of our Rock Band 1 drum sets broke when we where using it, so it definitely wasn’t strong enough! ). There aren’t very many things I would change about the new drumset other than make the bass pedal a little thicker, make the cymbals come included, and have a free play mode where you could choose how the drums would sound and then just do whatever you wanted to do,( The new Guitar Hero has a mode where you can do that. ) But other than that it’s a pretty good drumset. Thanks to Nick for pointing out that Rock Band 2 does have a Free Play mode. It’s located in the Practice selection of the game menu. It’s a lot of fun too!
Next up is the new guitar, this new Rock Band 2 Special Edition guitar has an imitation wood neck and looks pretty awesome. The old rock band guitars were really fragile and the pick and whammy bar would always break. We have had to take the Rock Band 1 guitar controllers apart many times to fix the pick and whammy bar. So in the future we will write an article on how all the equipment’s holding up.
Well the microphone didn’t change at all, and that’s a bad thing. You can’t turn on Dolby Digital sound because if you do it will make the sound from singing have a very bad delay. That forces you to adjust the timing of your singing which really isn’t worth it because it’s just too hard. You’re left singing the song out of time with the actual music if you have Dolby Digital. That really sucks because the game sounds incredible in full Dolby Digital. So we have to sing with the sound set to stereo mode in order to actually sing along with the song. The microphone also has a tinny and harsh sound. The microphone originally worked well in Rock Band 1 until they issued a patch to fix some problems, at that point the microphone EQ was badly tweaked and now it sounds tinny like you’re singing in a subway with a bullhorn. It’s too bad because the singing is really a lot of fun in Rock Band 2 and for live musicians, the singing is the only thing that translates to the actual stage.
There are some great new songs that come with Rock Band 2 Special Edition like Dream Theater’s “Panic Attack”, and AC-DC’s “Let There Be Rock” and many more. There is also a new feature called battle of the bands which is updated daily with the battles usually consisting of 1-5 songs. You play all the songs in the challenges and then your scores are updated on the leader boards and ranked against the world. Our band Skrote is ranked #2 in the battle of the bands setlist called “free songs”, which is comprised of songs you can download free from the music store. You can check out the new songlist as well as customer reviews on our Rock Band 2 Special Edition page in the store.
The final word on Rock Band 2 is that overall its very good, I give it 9 1/2 stars out of 10. Time will be the true test and we’ll be giving review updates on Rock Band 2 in future posts. Make sure you check out the songlist in the games section of the Live Musician Central Store.