December 13, 2010

World Tour

Lasting First Impressions of Rock Band Reloaded HD from Harmonix

RB Reloaded iPadThose of you who know me or have read my Soundproof post, know how much I love music.  When Rock Band was first introduced back in 2007, I was among the first to buy the full package just so I could experience a music game with drums (since I’m a dummer), and later bought the ION Drum Kit to go with it.  Like so many others, Rock Band holds a very special place in my heart and all versions of Rock Band for the console are in my possession.  So you can imagine my excitement when I learned that Rock Band Reloaded HD was available for the iPad.  Immediately I knew I had to have this.

Rock Band Reloaded HD is a completely updated version of the original Rock Band for iPhone (which I also have).  All the different modes of Rock Band are here including Quick Play, World Tour, and even Multiplayer.  Launch the World Tour and you will find your typical venues open up as you gather enough starts and fans to progress.  Several special challenges await you as you are forced to perform a specific instrument in order to pass the challenge.  Custom track lists are now available so you can create and play your own setlist.  The only thing missing from this mobile version of Rock Band is the creation of your own custom band name and character.  Looks like my band Toxic Moose will have to remain with the console versions for now.

Not only will you find the typical Drums, Guitar, Bass, and Tap Vocal tracks available but, for the first time ever, Harmonix has added a ‘fifth’ way to play: vocal recognition.  Now, you can actually sing the songs, just like in the full console game, using either your headphones with microphone, or the build-in device microphone.  I used the build-in microphone and it could hear me just fine, so I see no real need for the headphones in this case.

Vocal recognition isn’t the only new feature added to this version, however, as now a split-screen head-to-head mode is also available.  You and a friend can play the game together on the same iPad.  Want to get a full band together in the same room?  That’s also possible.  With Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled linking you can have all 4 band slots filled each using their own iPad.

The 25 song track list included in Rock Band Reloaded HD includes favourites from all three previously released Rock Band games including Nirvana’s “In Bloom”, Alice in Chain’s “Your Decision”, and “Hungry like the Wolf” by Duran Duran.  Additional songs are always available in-game from the App Store and with new song packs costing only $0.99 for two tracks, it’s a relative no-brainer if there are new titles you want.

Since the game was released, I’ve found myself playing a song or two whenever I get a chance.  Harmonix has done a fantastic job bringing the console look and feel to this portable device; it really feels like I’m playing Rock Band.  The note tracks vary from Easy to Expert and the Hard tracks can definitely prove to be a challenge.

If you have an iPad and want to take your love of Rock Band with you wherever you go, I highly recommend checking out Rock Band Reloaded HD.  Everything you love about Rock Band is here and it is the perfect “pick up and play” game for wherever you happen to be.

Harmonix, I gave you an hour and I am very IMPRESSED.

About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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