PAX East 2012: Rock Band Blitz hands-on

Rock Band 3  - 1099775

If you're familiar with a number of Harmonix' older games, Amplitude or Frequency, or even the handheld Rock Band spin-offs, you might feel right at home with Rock Band Blitz.

We were able to get a hands on time with a few songs such as Sum 41's 'Fat Lip', or the Darkness' 'I Believe in a Thing Called Love'. The first thing you'll notice is that instead of picking one instrument, you're now playing as the entire band, and instead of worrying about multiple button pressed, the game is simplified to a two button format, relying on the left d-pad and A button for inputs. Even though the formula is different, the game is still very recognizable, with its multi colored lanes which correspond with different instruments.

As you play the song, you switch between instruments with the right or left bumpers or triggers. When you switch is up to you, but if you want to maximize your score, as well as your star count, there are certain things to be aware of. First of all, the track that you're currently playing will start to fill up with its corresponding color, once you hit a certain number of notes in succession. This not only raises your score but gives you a nice multiplier. Your task is to enable all the tracks before a song checkpoint which disables the colors and you're then once again trying to fill them up again before the next checkpoint.

Other things at your disposition are power-ups which make your score gaining that much easier. The rocket will destroy some upcoming gems in your currently selected lane, Bandmate will enable the computer to take over another lane while you focus on another one, and of course the familiar Overdrive makes a comeback as well.

The song selection is pretty great, and we'll make sure to post the entire track list later on, but one key thing to remember here, and this will please long time Rock Band fans, is that you can import your existing Rock Band library, which is then playable in Rock Band Blitz. Alternately, the songs included in Rock Band Blitz will also be playable in Rock Band 3, pretty sweet!

You can look forward to jamming out in Rock Band Blitz this Summer. Make sure to check back for our full review once that time comes.

Charmander
Mike Splechta GameZone's Editor-in-Chief, retro game enthusiast, savior of kittens. Follow me @Michael_GZ
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