Price: 1200 MSP ($15)
Release Date: August 28th (PSN), 29th (XBLA)
Rock Band Blitz Review
Rock Band Blitz sees the Rock Band franchise go from using plastic instruments to control the songs, to just your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 controller. Taking cues from Frequency, Amplitude, and Rock Band Unplugged for the PSP, Rock Band Blitz splits each instrument into a section and it is up to you to get as high of a score as you can, in each of the 25 included songs.
What I Liked
Right off the bat, Rock Band Blitz instructs you that this game isn’t about hitting every single note, with high scores and building your multiplier being the main focus. For Rock Band veterans, seeing notes flow down the screen for various instruments that you can’t hit all at once can be overwhelming at first, but once you realize how much strategy is involved with the game, it becomes really fun.
This stems from the way you build up your multiplier throughout each song. Since the game doesn’t allow you to raise one instrument’s multiplier more than 3 times above the rest you have to spread out and switch between every single section as much as possible. The action gets even better from there once you start to unlock the games very interesting power-ups such as a pinball you try to keep from falling off the screen or a flame you have to try to chain together as long as possible.
Though I still prefer to use real instruments when playing along to songs, Harmonix did an amazing job making a plastic instrument-less Rock Band that is actually a ton of fun.
The Song Selection
In most Rock Band games, there is usually about 20 songs that you’ll likely never try or only try once. With Rock Band Blitz, 20 out of the 25 songs are all fun to play through, ranging from older classics like Jungle Boogie by Kool & The Gang to newer hits like We Are Young by Fun. If at some point you become tired of all the included songs within the game, any song you have previously purchased (or will purchase) from the Rock Band Store will work in Blitz, giving you thousands of different songs to play with just a controller.
All Songs Work In Rock Band 3
As much as I enjoyed the actual gameplay, for me, this is the single greatest thing about Rock Band Blitz. Every single one of the songs is fully playable in Rock Band 3 at no additional charge. This means that your Rock Band collection grows by 25 songs as soon as you purchase Blitz. If Harmonix had released all of these songs separately at the usual price for single tracks, they would end up costing $50 and based on the quality of songs, most people would end up spending around $15 anyways. This piece of fan-service by Harmonix is absolutely amazing and it gives everyone the perfect excuse to revisit Rock Band 3.
What I Didn’t Like
Lack Of Multiplayer
The only problem I could find with Rock Band Blitz is that there is no true multiplayer. If they could have somehow added a way to play co-op either online or on the same console, it would have pushed the score up to a perfect 10. As it is, you can only challenge your friends to a score attack mode, rather than doing anything head-to-head.
Not As Fun As: The Main Rock Band Games
Rock Band Blitz won’t replace the main entries within the Rock Band franchise, but it works extremely well as a standalone piece and offers up a different perspective for fans of the series. Hopefully Harmonix decides to bring this game to the PlayStation Vita, because it could really shine on that platform.
Playing the songs without instruments is a little weird at first, but in the end it works really well. What really pushes Rock Band Blitz over the edge is the ability to use all 25 songs within Rock Band 3, making this a must own for fans of the series because you get so much value for your 1200 MSP ($15). If you don’t own Rock Band 3, Blitz is still worth picking up and it will hopefully convince you to finally pick up some plastic instruments.
Rock Band Blitz was reviewed with a copy provided by Harmonix.