Rock Band with Legos

Sorry for my lack of posts this week. I have been studying like crazy, and reviewing quite a few games. One of them is Lego Rock Band for the DS. Lego Rock Band is a title that I looked upon with enormous skepticism. My first impression upon hearing of this product, was that it was just going to be another failed attempt at making a rhythm game for the Nintendo DS and was probably going to be a shameful product that would only succeed in tricking the consumer into wasting precious dollars on trash. Thank god I'm an idiot, since Lego Rock Band is possibly one of the greatest music games for the DS.
The core game is basically the same as Rock Band Unplugged for the DS. You will be using the up-left-x-y buttons to hit the notes as they appear on the screen. The twist is that you will be forced to change instruments using the left and right shoulder buttons in order to switch instruments. While it may sound that this will make the game hard, it isn't for the following reason: When hitting a certain amount of bricks, a purple brick appears, allowing the instrument user to be "happy", allowing you to switch to other instruments, making their users happy. Doing this brings up your multiplier, allowing you to score more points. Unfortunately, the happiness of a certain instrument user will not be infinite, meaning that you will be switching around instruments, attempting to keep everyone happy, in turn, keeping up your multiplier.
The learning curve is small, since learning everything should take about 15 minutes, allowing you to dive right into the game immediately. Most time will be spent playing tour mode, a mode which has you create your own band, customizing everything from their face to the pants they are wearing, buy vehicles which allow you to access more venues and challenges, hire staff, and customize your "den". Unfortunately, the main problem with the game is the fact that their is only 25 songs total, making tour mode extremely repetitious. I wished that they somehow found a way to add more songs, or at least had a temporary song of the week downloaded with an online connection, allowing for the song list to be extended. All of this is due to the small capabilities of the DS, which unfortunately makes every music game on the DS a short lived experience.

The choice of songs is superb, with songs such as Swing Swing (All American Rejects), So What (Pink), We Are the Champions (Queen), and even I Want You Back (Jackson 5). It's very unfortunate that the game only has 25 songs to offer.

If their is another huge flaw that makes the game suffer, it would be the difficulty. Apparently, the developers decided to do the tremendously stupid act of making the game geared to more younger players, making skilled players in general immediately jump to the Hard and Expert mode. Players can't even fail a song, not even on the hard or expert difficulty setting. It's nice that they are gearing it to their younger audience, but it leaves those who actually play Rock Band with less content and a small challenge.
The visuals are easily the weakest point of the game. The 3D effect are acceptable, with Legos that animate nicely, but the environments are in desperate need of polish.

The multiplayer is probably the best part of the experience, since 4 players can team up, using local wireless connection, to play with each other. While their is no cooperative tour mode, making the experience pretty shallow, the multiplayer will keep groups of friends occupied for a hours on end (or at least until they run out of songs to play). In fact, I realize that this is a feature that Rock Band: Unplugged for the PSP lacked, making it a step up from the PSP version.

Lego Rock Band is one of the best rhythm games for the DS. Sure there's room for improvement, but I believe that the developers can achieve a major landmark with a sequel. Being a person who has searched for rhythm games on the DS, I can safely say that this is one title that music fans should not miss.

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