Review

So music games eh? Can’t move for them nowadays – cramming the shelves with 3 or 4 core versions and then the added celebrity band versions such as Metallica or the Beatles. Plus there’s the song list DLC available to expand your record collection. So what is new about Rock Band 3? The PlayEject team dusts off the plectrums, picks up the sticks and turns up the mic to find out…

Rock Band and Guitar Hero have been in competition with each other since they both hit the shelves in 2007. Since then both games have introduced new instruments to expand the game and keep adding the track listing. Rock Band 3 is no different but this time including the use of a wireless keyboard for all those budding Elton John’s!

The Keyboard is only half-size but feels solid enough meaning hanging it around your neck like an 80′s techno head is more than feasible. Playing the keyboard is simple enough to get to grips with, going along the same lines as the guitar with the option of starting out easy with just a few keys to focus on. But after an hour of mastering the simplicity of the easy mode and jumping straight into Pro Keys mode, where the entire keyboard is used, you’ll be overwhelmed – to begin with.
Rock Band 3 Game Keyboard review PlayEject
Give it time and expect lots of bum notes but eventually it will pay off and there’s a great feeling to be had when you crank every note by dancing your fingers over the ivory keys (or plastic in this case).

Add to that the now-standard guitars, drums and microphones and a fully fledged band can rock out in no time.

One thing to mention about the new keyboard that we found out while doing the review is that not all songs on the Rock Band 3 disc will work – some of the songs don’t have keyboard notes in them and therefore aren’t compatible. The same for previously purchased DLC from other Rock Band games. A big negative there – especially if you’ve forked out for the Wireless Keyboard. However, more DLC with Keyboard notes will enable you to expand on the 60+ tracks that are compatible.Rock Band 3 Game review gameplay PlayEject

The career mode has been revamped for Rock Band 3 so rather than trawl from one location to the other you are now given challenges to complete. The challenges vary depending on what instrument, song and part of the career mode you are on at that time. You might have to hit every note in a song or get into Overdrive for as long as possible – each Challenge unlocking more stages to advance.

The Career challenges affect your entire band though which adds a bit of longevity to the Career if you’re playing on your own (encouraging you to play with different instruments).

Overall, Rock Band 3 injects a bit more life into the series with the new wireless keyboard and the career challenges. However we can’t help but feel a bit let down that not all the games songs work with the new instrument and not all the DLC will either. We understand why – it would be silly to play along on an instrument that isn’t part of the track but it means paying for more DLC.

Although there’s nothing especially new in this release, its a good addition to the series, ideal for parties and a great bit of fun.

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