Rock Band News Roundup


Game Informer reveals a slew of Rock Band information, ranging from online play to band customization.

Gaming magazine Game Informer‘s recent issue features a report on MTV and Harmonix’s upcoming music game Rock Band that unveils fresh details about the title.

The game will be carried on one disc that contains four campaign modes focused on specific musical acts: guitar, drum, vocal and band. Each instrument has been developed to allow fun and in-depth mastery for any interested player. Guitars and bass now have ten frets on their “Stratofender” and bass guitar necks, five for regular play and an extra five open for creative use during jam sessions. The whammy bar and tilt sensor, mainstay features from Harmonix’s last music game series, Guitar Hero, have returned. Additionally, a new five-way switch on the guitar allows the sound to be altered to five different effects.

Singing has received many improvements since Karaoke Revolution, another Harmonix classic, due to a phoneme detector that will pick up individual vowels and consonants. When highlighted phrases are sung correctly, the vocalist will enter a free-form state that can trigger the singer’s “star power.” The singer’s microphone also doubles as a tambourine that can help ease the wait in-between guitar and drum solos. Drums feature four different colored pads that will be hit with drumsticks in conjunction with a kick pedal.

Similar to the vocalist, the drummer will need to perform an impressive freestyle before earning his “star power.” To accommodate all these roles, the screen is divided into four familiar sections. The drums, guitar and bass all have vertically scrolling bars a la Guitar Hero and the lyrics and vocalist notes scroll horizontally across the bottom of the screen like in Karaoke Revolution. Each peripheral will be either Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 exclusive.

When taken online, four players can be found using a developed networking system. Online rocking offers each player his or her own difficulty level and opportunities for bands to share their achievements. If one player fails a song, the entire band will continue playing while the failure’s screen section turns gray. However, should all members survive, the song will end with a free-form jam session.

Customization will undoubtedly become the most addictive of the Rock Band experience. Band names and logos will be completely customizable and creatable. Characters can be built, blinged out with labeled accessories and learn specific dance styles.

Queens of the Stone Age announced that one song from their new record, Era Vulgaris, will be featured next to licensed songs from EMI Music, Hollywood Records, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Enterprises and Warner Music Group’s Rhino Entertainment.

Four songs have been confirmed thus far:

  • Weezer- “Say It Ain’t So” – Original Master Track
  • Black Sabbath – “Paranoid” – Original Master Track
  • The Who – “Won’t Get Fooled Again” – Original Master Track
  • Nirvana – “In Bloom” – Original Master Track

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