Rock Band Unplugged
Unplugged is a fresh and creative take on the Rock Band formula
- Incredibly addictive gameplay, beautiful visuals, fantastic setlist
- Lack of multiplayer really dampens the experience, slight learning curve
As a rhythm game, Unplugged is a wonderful portable title. Its addictive gameplay, stunning visuals, and fantastic setlist make it a must-own for PSP gamers. Even with its multiplayer shortcomings, an accessible Rock Band music store and a myriad of hard-rocking features and modes are more than enough to make up for any of Unplugged's shortcomings. I can't help but recommend it — it's a much needed musical experience for the PSP.
They did it. They actually did it. I don't know exactly how they managed it, but the superstars at Harmonix were able to capture the rhythm-based, lighting-in-a-bottle phenomenon that is Rock Band and package it into an innovative portable package that is a must-own title for touring virtual rock stars everywhere.
One Man Band
I was a complete sceptic when I first read the announcement for Rock Band Unplugged. Images of four PSP-toting gamers huddled into a circle, trading notes via laggy wi-fi came to mind; I mean, how else can you make the ultimate musical ensemble simulation work on a portable device? Guitar Hero: On Tour worked extremely well as a solo effort, but that was largely achieved thanks to the DS' touch screen and microphone novelties; oh, and it also had that sweet peripheral as well. But the idea of balancing four instruments on a singular handheld device sounded simply overwhelming. Thankfully, Rock Band Unplugged captures the energy and musical appeal of its predecessors while also offering up something completely different.
In the same manner as earlier Harmonix titles such as Frequency and Amplitude, Unplugged gives players the option of toggling between four separate tracks: bass, drums, vocals and guitar, respectively. Rather than focusing all of your energy into one instrument, Unplugged puts more of a focus on micro-managing the entire performance. Each set of notes is locked into a bracket known as a phrase, and once that phrase is completed successfully, the selected instrument will play on its own for a bit, giving players the opportunity to toggle to other tracks via the shoulder buttons on the fly. While this may sound hectic at first (and believe me, it can be) players will soon find themselves conducting entire songs on their own, achieving a fantastical unified band melody that's as rewarding to hear as it is to play.
Rock Band Unplugged features four main modes that span an astonishing 41 tracks. Tour mode is all but identical to the one found in Rock Band 2, allowing players to jump from city to city, collecting stars as they hire new staff members and make their name known across the globe. There's also a Quickplay mode for speedy jam sessions, a Warm Up feature where gamers can focus on just one instrument at a time and a Band Survival Mode where every safety net is removed, and you're challenged with the task of managing all four tracks as long as you can.
While Unplugged is a fresh and creative take on the Rock Band formula, there's no denying that this new direction is going to alienate some franchise veterans. While I found the rhythm-puzzle aspect downright addicting, I can also see how fans of the series might be a bit let down. The lack of a multiplayer was especially disappointing. While the single player mode is more than enough to keep your thumbs busy, one of the pioneering aspects of the Rock Band franchise has always been the ability to play with your friends. Not being able to jam with other "musicians" was a huge let down.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
- Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes looks sharp, but will it survive the freemium transition?
- Nintendo's bringing Super Mario Run to Android in March, but Fire Emblem's coming first
- The Switch is a mix of Nintendo's past consoles
- Dead Rising 4 impressions: 'Tis the season to BBQ zombies with your flaming sword
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
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.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCDevOps/Senior Sys Admin - eCommerce - Contract - Sydney Northern BeachesNSW
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- FTProject Manager (Software product development)VIC
- CCArcSight Security Engineer - Contract - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- TPIT Project ManagerNSW
- CCFullstack .Net DeveloperNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Manufacturing and Trade & Logistics Modules)ACT
- TPSenior Network EngineerWA
- TPProject CoordinatorNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst AO7QLD
- TPSenior Project CoordinatorNSW
- FTSenior Functional Consultant - Data Analytics - TelcoVIC
- FTInfrastructure Architect (Adelaide Based)VIC
- TPOrganisational Change ManagerQLD
- TPICT Project CoordinatorQLD
- FTSystem AdministratorNSW
- CCProgram ManagerVIC
- TPBI & Report Developer (SQL Developer)QLD
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer -NetApp & TSMNSW
- FTDeveloper/ ProgrammerSA
- TPMicrosoft Dynamics DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Project CoordinatorVIC
- FTSenior .Net Developer with Silverlight proficiencyVIC
- FTBI Developer l Microstrategy , HadoopNSW
- TPPerformance Test Analyst - Perth BasedQLD