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Rock Band PlayStation 3 (PS3) Review

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating


Rock Band Screenshot (PS3)

Rock Band Screenshot (PS3)

© EA

The Bottom Line

3 stars? Seriously? Look, I know it's a great game. I have had a blast at Rock Band parties. I've logged more hours than I care to admit into this game. But... the Xbox 360 version is better, the lack of a bass guitar or Guitar Hero axe support combined with the bizarre number of broken instruments hold this back from being a 4-5 star game. It's like a football team, the game itself is a god among QB's, but the instruments are like the weakest offensive line of the world's worst JV team. $170 is too much to pay for a game that breaks this often.
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  • Possibly the single greatest music videogame ever made
  • Takes everything you love about Guitar Hero to the next level
  • Four players on four instruments makes for one memorable videogame experience
  • From customizable characters to the tour mode, this is a compelling single or multiplayer experience
  • Downloadable content and online support make this more of a hobby than a game


  • The guitars frequently breakdown
  • The kick pedal on the drums frequently break in half
  • The mic occasionally shorts out
  • No support for your Guitar Hero guitars
  • Seems to be continually behind the Xbox 360 version


  • Graphics: 4 Rock Band looks good, but next to Guitar Hero III, it looks amazing
  • Sound: 4.5 Great songs that sound beautiful, I appreciate the controls we have, but more audio options would have been nice
  • Control: 0/3 It all depends if your instruments are working, and even then, the Guitar Hero guitar feels better
  • Difficulty: 3 Rock Band gets difficult, but gradually, you rarely feel "stuck" like you do in Guitar Hero
  • Gameplay: 5 From the solos to the challenges, Rock Band creates a near perfect music gaming experience
  • Multiplayer: 3 Even without the fourth player, Rock Band is a party in a box with an appropriate instrument for everyone
  • Online: 4 From leader-boards and the online community to online play and downloadable content this game rocks online
  • Documentation: 4 Some will very much appreciate the instructions on drum assembly
  • Rated: Teen Rock was invented for angst ridden teens
  • All scores are out of 5. Final score is not an average of the individual score

Guide Review - Rock Band PlayStation 3 (PS3) Review

When I first started hearing about the problems Rock Band was having with broken instruments I chalked it up to internet hype. Then the start of the school year came, and I was shocked at not only how many of my students had bought the game, but how many had a guitar that wouldn't down strum, or a broken kick pedal on their drum sets. I even had one poor student complain that his mic had gone south. Then friends started complaining about broken instruments and I realized that while I didn't like how squishy my guitar strum bar felt, I had no room to complain, at least mine worked.

Is Rock Band a good game? Yes, it is simply amazing. From the killer/diverse soundtrack to touring the world with custom made rockers Rock Band is a AAA game. The world tour mode is addictive in a way that Guitar Hero simply lacks. The choice of venue and variety of goals keep you wanting to play just one more song, all night long.

Downloadable tracks, online score boards, and a social network are nice touches, but it seems like it all hits the Xbox 360 long before the PS3. Add to this that Xbox 360 rockers can use their Guitar Hero guitars with Rock Band and you have to wonder if the PS3 is simply not getting the same amount of Rock Band love as the Xbox 360.

Being that you can't buy a separate guitar, yet, and you can't use one you already own (I now have 5 fake guitars, can someone please make them all work together?) means that you can't really have the full four player Rock Band experience. I'm sure they will remedy this, but I have to go back to the fact that this is the world's largest videogame publisher selling you a $170 game. I'm sorry, but it should all work out of the box.

In the end we all want Rock Band, but if you can wait, please do. Let them work out the kinks before you buy it.

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