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by Dev van der Bank

We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare, with our shelled friend overcoming all odds to take victory from his furry counterpart. Harmonix seems to be using this metaphor to build on its Rock Band franchise by observing and listening to its consumers, slowly chiseling out its next addition to the music game genre, with the end product being something innovative, revitalizing and a whole heap of that delightful sensation we have come to know as fun.

These factors tick all the promising quality boxes as Rockband 3 has come at a point where many people may already be shying away from the music game genre. Lets see then how exactly Rockband 3 has brought a shimmer of hope back into lounge bands all over the world.

The first thing worth mentioning about Rockband 3 is the inclusion of a new instrument, namely the keyboard, while I did not have a keyboard for this review, it is in my opinion a refreshing addition into the plastic peripheral stock pile even though none of your previous songs will have keyboard support. Rockband 3 still makes use of the microphone, guitar and drums that are compatible with any third party instruments you may already own, if you do however not own the new Rockband peripherals you will not be able to play the new Pro Mode which promises to deliver the most authentic real instrument experience. You will literally be playing the songs note for note. I used the Guitar Hero guitar and drums with no issues in Rock Band 3.

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The main story line of Rockband 3 takes place in the Road Challenge area where you will play through a set list at different venues, gaining fans throughout your journey of rock until becoming a band of epic proportions. The Road Challenge works well because you are given 3 set lists per gig to choose from, these range from Custom songs, that allows you to decide which songs you play, a random set list of a particular genre or in some cases a fixed set list that the game has already laid out giving you the option of what you play. In order to progress you need to meet certain fan targets to increase your band rank, some of which are instrument specific, you can also achieve fans by completing certain goals in the career menu. Rockband 3 also has various achievements that will earn you more fans, for example you may have to keep your override meter running for as long as possible or hit sections accurately but to name a few.

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The track listing is top notch with its mixture of classic and current songs, Rockband 3 boasts an impressive library of over 80 songs as well as over 1600 songs available for download and the option to import your previous versions of Rockbands music library, giving you endless hours of gameplay. Not much has changed in terms of game play beside the new Pro mode but Rockband 3 still feels as solid as ever.

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Conclusion

Rockband 3 is fun, energetic and at the same time a revamp that the music game genre might just have needed with its inclusion of Pro mode. Jump in with friends, grab your partner or even get your parents on board and enjoy the game for what it is, pure simple fun.

Scoring


Gameplay: 8.5

A solid campaign with drop in and the inclusion of the new Pro Mode brings out the best Harmonix has to offer.

Presentation: 8.0

With its wide variety of stage set ups and effects over the background visuals it’s easy on the eye and each characters will take center stage as they rock out during solos.

Sound: 8.5

A great track listing and large amount of songs available gives any player endless possibilities.

Value: 9.0

As with any music game you are going to be putting many hours into Rockband 3 where the only limits would be the individual players skill.


Overall: 8.7

Rockband 3 has delivered a realistic and believable journey that leads you through the exciting, yet tough, quest to fame with many rewards along the way. The new Pro Mode offers a completely rejuvenated experience making Rockband 3 a definite must have.

Last Updated: November 3, 2010

Rockband 3
Summary
8.7

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