It’s easy for me to romanticize about the glory days of Rock Band. From the hundreds of songs I’ve purchased, to the countless number of hours I had playing that series with friends, to the way the games inspired me to start learning real instruments, its influence on my life can’t be ignored. As much as I adore that franchise, there are reasons why I – and many others – abandoned the entire genre years ago and haven’t really looked back.
Are people ready for the return of Rock Band? Am I ready for its return? Whether we’re ready for it or not, Rock Band 4 is here, hoping we’ll all get our bands back together.
When it comes to video game franchises and their influence on my life, not too many rank higher than Rock Band. Besides the hundreds of additional songs I’ve purchased, and the countless hours I’ve spent rocking out with plastic instruments, the franchise inspired me to graduate to real instruments. I am by no means the next Keith Moon, or Geddy Lee, but I know just enough about playing the drums, and bass to actually play in a band. Even without ambitions of unleashing my real-life rock star, those games were the best the genre had to offer.
Years after the genre collapsed, Harmonix is back with a downloadable music game devoid of the peripherals that defined the Rock Band experience in the first place. Is Rock Band Blitz enough to breathe new life to the genre, or is it way too late to the party?
I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is more…Rhythm Heaven? To my surprise, the Rhythm Heaven franchise is back on North American shores; this time on the Wii. While the DS original was wildly popular in Japan, the game’s inherent craziness in a way that only Japan can provide pretty much sealed its fate as a cult hit at best everywhere else in the world.
My brother, who was a huge fan of the original, recently picked up a copy of Rhythm Heaven Fever. I took some time out to watch him play. Did watching the game win me over like it won my brother over? Or did I find it as culturally inpenetrable as the Mr. Sparkle commercial?
For my brother’s birthday, I got him a copy of Child of Eden. He’s a big fan of the music and rhythm game genre, and he did enjoy Rez. I on the other hand, fell out of the music game genre pretty hard with the crash of the plastic instrument scene, and couldn’t tell you anything about Rez other than the fact that you could get a vibrator with it.
Going into Child of Eden, I had no idea what to expect. Having just finished two out of the five levels in the game, I not even sure what it was I just played.