Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Rock Band 4 Review - FINALLY

The most important thing first - my kick pedal trigger works fine with RB4. Like I said in my last post...I did purchase the Rock Band 4 Bundle. I have been using my RB1 drum-set though. I've been having issues with my RB4 Drum- Kit. I've tried many things to get it to work and currently I'm waiting for a response from Mad Catz.

So first the good stuff. I love Rock Band 4. It combines some of the wonderful stuff from Rock Band 1, 2 and 3. The guitar is much more responsive than the previous Rock Band Guitars. I don't play guitar nearly as much as drums but I had no problem playing on Expert on Bass and Guitar. I also did some vocals. Again not my prime instrument but as a test drive I think the vocals were what I would expect them to be.

The soundtrack is everything I wanted it to be. When I saw the track list I was worried because I wasn't familiar with a lot of the songs. When I played through the RB4 Soundtrack though I enjoyed every single song. Harmonix was not exaggerating when they said, "Top Tier Soundtrack." I was surprised how much I enjoyed the U2 songs. From a drummer's standpoint the songs were mostly more challenging than the other songs in their tiers but not terribly so. Where this is good is that Harmonix chose songs that you wouldn't play through once and Gold Star or FC (Full Combo) easily. They all have rhythms and patterns that are new and make the game fresh and enjoyable again. Standouts to me were both U2 songs, No One Like You by the Scorpions, Panama by Van Halen, The One I Love by REM, Friday I'm in Love by The Cure, Lazaretto by Jack White, Uptown Funk, Brandi Carlie, Cake, Avenged Sevenfold, The Protomen, 4 Non Blondes...and I could go on. My personal opinion is that it would be extremely difficult to come up with a mind-blowing set-list that would satisfy everyone. With all of the great songs available in previous games and in DLC there isn't a lot to choose from outside of new songs that were released in-between Rock Band 3 and 4. The DLC is reasonably priced and there is something there for any music lover. The new features are split for me. I love the dynamic drum fills. It makes learning the song more interesting. It also makes a full combo far more rewarding. I didn't get a chance to try out the freestyle vocals. I personally didn't like the Freestyle Guitar Solos but I just turned them off. You can also easily turn off dynamic drum fills and freestyle guitar solos. By the time I got my game up and running I was able to get the RB3 Export. I also had no problems getting my previously purchased DLC. There are some DLC songs that haven't been ported over to RB4 yet but they are working on them. They are releasing legacy DLC, Track Packs and Exports at a very reasonable rate.

Some people complain that the game was released only partially completed. I'd rather have the game that came out at release with regular updates now than have to wait even longer to get a completed game. The updates are free and to me the updates keep the game fresh which in my opinion will help the longevity of the franchise.

As far as "missing features" 2 out of 3 of them are in development. They are Practice Mode, Set-lists and Online Play. With RB2 and 3 I think I only used online play once or twice. No big loss for me but I'd love to have it. There is still new DLC coming out in regular intervals and there are almost 1700 DLC songs available today for RB4. That with any of the export packs that might have been purchased is a daunting amount of material to try and conquer.

So my TLDR review is: Rock Band 4 continues rocking and it rocks well!

I've also contacted Harmonix Customer service. . .and truly they are amazing. Mad Catz still remains to be seen. More on that later. The Harmonix folk are very enthusiastic about Rock Band and that makes me want to support the franchise until I am too old to play. Hopefully that never happens.

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