Rock Band 3: Blurring the Line

I’m sure at some point you’ve been to a party (or gathering, if you’re old) where someone had Rock Band. If not, the terrorists have already won. What caps off an already brilliant event? Your own personal full band karaoke set up. Nothing more fun than watching friends and family slam on the drums or scream nonsense into a microphone.

Games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero completely changed the scene for video games. All of a sudden playing video games didn’t mean you dressed up as a wizard and lived in a basement; the music games made being a gamer kinda cool. But as with everything that gets 15 minutes of fame, the music games fell into a niche market of ‘gamer’ and faded from the stage. After the honeymoon was over, gamers who stuck with the music games were saddled with their own stigma. WoW gamers lived in a basement, Halo gamers are racist homophobic spazzes with ADD and daddy issues, and Guitar Heroes were wasting their time with plastic toys when they should be getting lives and learning how to play real instruments.

In 2008 Guinness came out with the Guinness Book of Records: Gamers Edition and a young kid named Danny made history by setting the high score in the final boss song of Guitar Hero 3, Through the Fire and Flames by DragonForce. He was on a variety of daytime television shows demonstrating his awesome plastic instrument skills. Danny became the poster child for hardcore music gamers, inspiration for tons of kids to waste their time not learning real instruments.

On October 26, 2010, Rock Band will once again change the gaming industry. Plastic instruments will join with plastic sex toys in being hidden in dresser drawers in favor of the real thing. That’s right, the silly music game company that brought you the first few Guitar Hero games and the Rock Band franchise is sticking their drum sticks in the eyes of all their fiercest critics. Rock Band 3 will be played with real instruments. Mostly.

The first big announcement was the addition of a new instrument, the mighty, mighty keyboard. Included with various release packages of RB3 will be a fully functional midi keyboard.

Next up is the unicorn of music game controllers, the Squier Stratocaster. Wanna jam out in your garage? Plug it into an amp and play away. Wanna set world records on Rock Band? Plug it in to your favorite gaming console and RB3 will pick up your notes through cleverly places sensors in the frets. In Pro mode (the new difficulty setting that was designed for the real instruments) you will be playing exactly what the original artist played when he/she/it recorded the song in the studio. Note for freaking note.

For those of you that want the real deal feel but don’t want to worry about things like tuning your new favorite axe, there will be a plastic/nylon stringed counterpart.

Up last is the “Mostly” aspect to Rock Band’s transformation into real life. The plastic drum kit from before has received some fancy new cymbals to make the kit as realistic as possible.  In the new Pro mode the game differentiates between toms and cymbals and gives the plastic-toysician the most life-like drum experience you can get without pissing off your neighbors.

The game is backwards compatible with all previous Rock Band instruments, exported setlists and downloadable content. For those that aren’t ready to embrace the future and want to stick to the 5 button plastic toy instruments, that mode of play is still there.  Band frontmen will finally have a chance to have their own backup singers as well, up to two of them. A full band now consists of 7 people and with Pro mode, you will really believe you are the rock star you always dreamed you’d be.

Heroin problem sold separately.


    1. As much as I want to be a Debbie Downer about this, I can’t. I liked the earlier music games for what they were (great for people who couldn’t or didn’t want to learn an instrument), but I would rather play a real guitar. The ‘party game’ aspect of it is nice, too. And I like that it gives people an excuse to get together in real life instead of over facebook.

      So…all they did was improve it. I can’t even snark on it. You win this round, Fun Music Game.

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