EA Games Rock Band
- Fantastic presentation, great set list, a wealth of modes, easy to gather your friends and rock out!
- Guitar controller has some quirks; worries about the drum controller's durability remain; the $US159.99 price point seems steep, but really, you bought Guitar Hero for $99.95, and that only had one guitar.
Is Rock Band better than Guitar Hero III? The answer will vary and really, it's all about personal taste. Rock Band is probably not the right choice for someone who just wants to shred by themselves in the spotlight. While personal glory is great, we like Rock Band's emphasis on collaboration, having a great time with friends and feeling like an actual musician.
At first glance, Rock Band may seem like a Guitar Hero knock off with more instruments involved, but once you delve into the actual game, you'll see that it's so much more. More than any other rhythm game that has come before it, Rock Band gets you the closest to feeling like a true rock star.
There was always a palpable amount of inevitability surrounding Rock Band. Though Konami technically pioneered the concept first with GuitarFreaks and DrumMania's link-up capability, the arcade-only gameplay and track list filled with unknown bands kept it from ever truly catching on.
When Guitar Hero exploded onto the scene and became an instant smash hit with a great peripheral and awesome track list, everyone knew it was only a matter of time before developers would take the game to the next level. Throw in Harmonix's Karaoke Revolution mechanics, and finally all of the pieces were in place.
Rock Band truly elevates the music rhythm genre above and beyond current definitions. Rock bands are all about making music together, and being a Guitar God in Guitar Hero always felt like a solo affair. Most multiplayer modes had you competing against one of your friends instead of playing with them, while a long line of friends waited behind you to take on the next track. Rock Band strips away the egos of each player as four players must work with each other, from building up insane combos to getting huge multipliers going simultaneously, to saving one of your bandmates from abject failure and more, the essence of Rock Band is playing together.
Karaoke requires a certain kind of determination. Most people love to sing -- who doesn't have a rock-star dream of belting one on stage -- though they usually prefer to keep it confined to cars and showers.
Being embarrassed at a crowded Karaoke bar isn't on everyone's to-do list but Rock Band helps out wanna-be vocalists by making them just another part of the band. Sure, everyone will notice if you sound like a monkey that just got its tonsils removed but your band mates will be too caught up with their axes and drums to notice that you sing like Scott Stapp. Plus, the software does a perfectly sufficient job of tracking pitch, so even the worst warbler will still be half-way successful.
It's not always easy, though as most songs are trying on 'Hard' and unbelievably difficult on 'Expert'. But unless you have terminal stage fright, singing in Rock Band is almost always a good time.
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First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
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