Rock Band Demo impressions

So, I heard that Best Buy had been starting to demo Rock Band and I just had to find out how I felt about it. 

Someone was on the drums when I got there so I got a chance to try out the new guitar, and it’s safe to say that I didn’t care for it.  The strum bar has no click and it just feels very loose.  The fret buttons also seem to take more pressure to register and I was having a much harder time on medium than I thought I would have. 

Now, onto the drums. 

None of the demo units have a kick pedal.  As a result of this the drums difficulty is greatly reduced.  I was able to jump straight into Hard difficulty and get some pretty decent scores in the 4 or 5 songs that I played.  Here are a few things that I noticed about the drum kit though, in no particular order.

– Playing the drums while standing up is too f’n weird. I felt like I was Sheila E for a while.  Which was nice, because I don’t feel pretty all that often. 

– The pads are going to take a beating.  Unless you’re a long time drummer, you won’t be hitting the center of the pads and the outsides will get pretty beat up… and the Best Buy ones were getting a decent amount of wear in less than a day. 

– The yellow drum is the high hat and the red is the snare.  I really hope that the full version will allow you to reverse those two.  When I played about 5 or 6 years ago, I was always crossing my right hand over my left to play.  So, the natural position for me would be to have the red be the high hat and the yellow be the snare. That’s just a drummer thing though. 

– There wasn’t a single song that I played with someone where they were able to finish the guitar section while I was playing the drums. Every single person was having really bad issues playing the guitar.  The only person I saw finish a guitar section was a Best Buy guy who went to some conference where they got to play the game a month or so ago. 

Every person who got ticked playing the guitar section immediately walked over to play Guitar Hero 3 and was just nailing things on that.  What that means exactly, I can’t say for sure.

– The on screen singers lip synching was spot on.  That part looked really good.

After putting in about 45 minutes, I did enjoy playing the game with the drums.  I hated playing it with the new guitar and found myself wanting to use the new GH3 controller on Rock Band almost immediately.  Will I want to spend $170 on it?   Not a chance.  I can see myself buying the drums and game seperately next year, but I wouldn’t want the bundle right now.  That might just be me though.

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6 Responses to Rock Band Demo impressions

  1. RumbleDan says:

    The new Guitar Hero Les Paul will work with Rock Band, right?

    Rock Band is going to be a great game. It is going to have its faults just like Guitar Hero III.


  2. BiffMan says:

    Don’t know if the specific guitar you used at that BB was not working right or something, but I’ve played about 10-12 songs over the last 2 days at my nearby BB and found it to be rock solid. I’m a 5* hard and 3-4* expert GH/GH2 player and was getting 4-5* on hard on the BB RB demo without having played it before, so I didn’t see the problems you were seeing with the guitar and the other people I watched while waiting weren’t having problems either. Granted the Fender controller is different, but I really liked the action and lack of click on the strum bar. Waaaaay better feel for me and will be much nicer to not drive the wife nuts with the loud clicking I’d get from GH/GH2.


  3. Brandon says:

    I remember playing GH2 on the PS2 at Best Buy after I had been playing it on the 360 for a few months and absolutely hating it. I don’t know if the guitar was busted or what, but I remember thinking that had I played it on the PS2 first, I would never have bought it. I’m wondering if something was wrong with the demo guitar for Rock Band as well. Then again, it could just be loose and flighty.


  4. Loren says:

    RumbleDan: yes, the Les Paul works with Rock Band, as does the Xplorer guitar. The Rock Band guitar works with nothing but Rock Band.

    Also with the Les Paul or Xplorer you are not able to do all the effects that are present on the Fender with Rock Band. This isn’t a bad thing unless the Star Power (or whatever they call it) gives more power to other effects outside of the whammy. Also you don’t have the buttons at the bottom of the neck that are closer together to pull off the solos so you don’t have to slide your hand as much.


  5. tanis38 says:

    I hope my local Best Buy has one set up, I really want to give it a try. I am extra curious now to see how this new Guitar feels. I purchased GH III (360) without the guitar controller because I already had the one from GH II and since Rock Band was coming with one as well, I did not want to have 3 Guitar controllers laying around (five, if you count the two from the PS2 versions).

    I am now thinking I should have just paid the extra $40 for the wireless GH III axe, because I don’t stop hearing about how awesome it is and how good it feels.


  6. Glen says:

    I’m hearing conflicting things about the guitars, so maybe it’s just a bad axe.

    Still, I’m not overwhelmed by the game at this point.


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