A couple of weeks ago, I got a very unusual electronic invitation (Evite) from my good friends Eric and Kristy. They were throwing a party to celebrate the launch of Rockband, a PS2/PS3/Xbox 360 game developed by Harmonix Music Systems. I had heard of the game but in my whole new busy-busy-rush-rush world, hadn’t had a chance to investigate it much. All I knew was that it takes the popular Guitar Hero to a new level by adding a karaoke microphone and a drum set into the mix, allowing you to jam with up to three of your friends. Much as I wanted to attend the party, Illinois is unfortunately too far away for me to drive for a weekend of fun, but here’s an account of the party from fellow female gamer Prisma…
It all started with Karoke Revoultion….our friends Eric and Kristy played host to many parties where we played all versions of this game. Drinks, songs and competition flowed freely. Then came Guitar Hero. Again, parties where kids aged 8-35 rocked and played until our fingers bled. Now comes the culmination of these two games..
The Seymours really know how to throw a geek/rock party. They cleaned out their garage, decorated, placed lights and had a keg. The kids’ bedroom had Xbox games projected onto the wall; the other bedroom had a DVD trivia game going, and in the living room was the Wii in all its glory. This was not a party for the non-gamers… and with the keg, well all inhibitions were left at the door. They even had a laptop set up with headphones so you could listen to the songs available before “signing” your band up for your gig.
The vocals are easy to sing to even if you are not a natural born singer. The bass was the only one I felt comfortable playing (more repetitive). My husband had a great time playing the drums. People of all sorts of playing levels from no experience to expert skills were able to play together because you can set each person on their own level and still play together.
It was an awesome night, fun was had by all. The game truly lives up to its name - you can be a Rock star in your own Rock Band. My husband told me that night that we needed to teach our 6-year-old how to play the guitar so he could play the drums and I could sing- a new twist on family game night! So I know what will be the family christmas gift under the tree this year!
While the game itself only costs $59.99, you can’t really play it without the accessories. As far as I know, the Guitar Hero guitar controllers won’t work with it, and the drums set will only be available in February 2008. So the only way to enjoy it in full is by getting Rockband Special Edition for $169.99, which comes with one guitar controller, a drums set, and a microphone. Since the whole setup requires at least 3 controllers, 40-gig PS3 owners will also have to get a USB controller hub, available at your local electronics store for around $25.
No cheap Christmas gift but it’s definitely worth it!