Over the weekend, I just so happened to be at an HMV when I stumbled across one of the most ill-conceived games of the last decade (if not of all-time). I have made fun of this game incessantly since it was announced in May of 2008 and have watched it fall into the absolute bottom of the bargain bin. I have seen stores have difficulty selling the full kit for $10 and the disc alone for $5. At the price of $2 (which was the price I got it for), even I had to stand there and think about whether or not this would be a good investment. It probably wasn’t, but at least I can now speak first hand on why this game sucks.
Rock Revolution may go down in history as one of the most poorly thought out games of all-time. Years ago, Konami owned the music genre. They arguably started it with Dance Dance Revolution, and from there, branched out into a number of other music games including Guitar Freaks, DrumMania and Karaoke Revolution. If Konami had the foresight to mash those products together and localize them for users outside of Japan, they could have made “Rock Band” years before Guitar Hero 1 even came out.
Instead, Konami had the rug pulled out from under them as Activision and EA laughed all the way to the bank. Coming in a few years too late and well short on quality, Rock Revolution was supposed to be Konami’s attempt to take back the genre that it once owned. While both of its competitors sold millions during that holiday of 2008, Rock Revolution bombed like no other game has this generation.
The reasons for this game’s failure are almost too many to count. For one, Rock Band and Guitar Hero had already flooded the market with rock music games by the time Rock Revolution had come out. Musically, Konami stuck to their guns and used only cover tunes, which fell out of style the year before. The quality of these covers range from mediocre to flat-out awful. Konami also refused to allow players to sing in this game because they feared it would cut into their Karaoke Revolution sales. For anyone that has played any of the other major band games, those last two reasons alone are enough to not touch this game with a 10-foot pole.
If you didn’t already own any instruments, this was not the game to start with. The full version of the game came with this horrendous drum set that looked like a reject Fisher-Price toy. As if playing drums wasn’t hard enough, the pads don’t line up with the note lanes on the screen, making it even more difficult to play.
Even without the alignment problems, the game is still difficult to play. Konami insisted on going with a Guitar Freaks style lane highway, which is completely vertical. It’s really hard to read the notes as you’re playing.
On top of all of that, the game has very few modes, uninspired graphics and only 12 or so songs available as DLC to expand your game. Not that you would want to play any more of this game once you’ve tried it. Now that I’ve played it personally, It’s absolutely mind-boggling to me to think that people at Konami thought that Rock Revolution in this form would achieve any sort of success. Konami should be absolutely embarrassed to put out a product like this. They had all the time in the world to at least create a product on par with its competitors, but instead released a worthless game that doesn’t even surpass the quality and fun of Guitar Hero 1.
At $2, this game is only worth it to me because I love the story behind the epic failure of this game. It’s also worth $2 as a coaster, or if you need to replace a broken XBOX 360 game case, or if you’re really bored music game fan and you want to something to remind you how good Rock Band and Guitar Hero are. Otherwise, your $2 may be better spent on better things, like your local weekend newspaper, a pack of gum or even an item on the Taco Bell value menu.