E for All 2007 Preview
I once dreamt of a game like this. I
remember telling a clerk at GameStop how cool it’d be if Konami (the only music
game developer at the time) would tie their guitar, drum, and keyboard
peripherals together, bring ‘em to the States, and release a game that allows
players to form a virtual rock band.
He scoffed at the idea. “Why don’t
you just start a real band?” Others said it would never happen. They didn’t
believe in the power of music games. Then Guitar Hero came along, and now its
creators are making the dream a reality.
Rock Band encompasses two guitar
controllers, one drum controller, and one microphone for an in-depth multiplayer
gaming experience that – to be completely honest – rocks.
It’s hard to say if this demo is any
different from the E3 build (or any shown since then), as this is my first time
with the game. But whether it was a player’s first or tenth time, everyone at E
for All was in awe of this title.
The gameplay is rich in musical
content – the guitar controls and mechanics are very close to Guitar Hero with
different visuals and the aspect of having to keep the song going (no botched
notes!) in order to prevent the entire band from sounding like crap. Likewise,
the vocal functionality is not that far from SingStar and Karaoke Revolution.
But considering that 1 in 4 people who play the game are required to sing (1 in
3 for trios, which were allowed depending on the size of the crowd and if people
wanted to play with a specific person), most of us aren’t going to sound like
the rockers we wish to imitate. But we’re sure going to feel like them.
I wasn’t able to check out the drum
kit (the crowds are growing by the minute), but in watching my bandmates and
others, it was obvious that this is one area where the developers have gone a
few steps ahead of the competition. The kit has four drum pads, each with a
different color (red, yellow, blue, and green), and the game delivers
information faster than most will be able to comprehend on their first try.
Experienced drummers and/or Rock Band players, however, can pound out the beats,
look like a pro, and impress every screaming fan standing below the stage.
Okay, so there weren’t any screaming
fans. But MTV did have an awesome stage setup with multiple kiosks and cameras
filming us from multiple angles. It was a true rock band experience. Get
yours this November.