For Those About To Blitz, I Salute You
Posted 8 months ago By - Michael Dulson
Music games, whether you are bored with them, or play them every day, they are here to stay. The thing I love about Harmonix is that they are always trying new ways to get people into the genre, and with each new title that they throw out, it’s always a pleasure to play. I love music games that give you the feeling of being a rockstar, and Harmonix gets it done right. This brings us to their latest effort, a $15 downloadable Rock Band game (a first for the series). The question is, is it a rockin’ good time, or will it get booed off stage?
The best way to describe Rock Band Blitz is essentially Rock Band Unplugged on a much bigger scale (with a bit of Harmonix’s pre-Rock Band classics FreQuency and Amplitude thrown in). In Unplugged, you start a band, customize the members, and tour the world. In Blitz, it’s all about the pick-up-and-play. Just jump in, pick a song, pick your power-ups, and have fun. No going through the motions of piecing your virtual band together here. This is about getting you in the action and having fun as quickly as possible.
"For $15, I had an incredible time with Blitz, and I’m definitely going to be playing more of it as time goes on given the steady stream of DLC that Harmonix throws out every week."
You take control of every instrument in the band; drums, guitar, vocals, bass and keyboards, only without the need for a plastic instrument, as everything is done by the controller. The object is to time your press of the left and right note in a given instrument highway with the notes of the track. You can play any instrument you choose, and switching between them is as simple as hitting the left and right triggers. Some songs are missing instruments, in which case the note highway will be empty. To get to the really high scores, liberal use of power-ups will be required. The power-ups, such as Pinball Note, Blast Note, a Bandmate, among a handful of others, were quite fun, and added to the overall gameplay. However, a minor problem I had with them is that a few felt repetitive, such as the Blast Note and the Bottle Rocket. They both blow up notes, and I didn’t see much of an affect on the gameplay when choosing one over the other. There are a few control schemes to choose as well, from but I had the most fun with the default set-up, which is the left stick and A button to hit the notes, and the triggers to switch instruments. It made things easy and intuitive when first starting out.
At Blitz’s core is competition. You’re given high scores to beat every time you play a song, and you’re put up on a Global Rank of the song after playing, which is where Blitz shines as a solo music game. You bring out Rock Band 3 for parties, and you load up Blitz for when you’re on your own and you want to beat your friends score on a song or two. Complementing that are features like Score Wars, which basically allows you to challenge your friends to a given song. There is a three day window to battle it out for point supremacy, and whoever is on top at the end is crowned the winner. Sadly, this feature is held back by the fact that the game will choose who you can challenge. If you want to challenge someone specific, you have to jump through a bunch of unnecessary hoops by way of a Facebook app. This means that not only do you have to link the game to Facebook, but your friend does too, and you have to be friends on both Facebook on Xbox LIVE or PSN.
The setlist itself was hit or miss for me, primarily because I’m more of a classic rock guy. With that said, I did enjoy playing a few of the new modern songs that the setlist contained. We Are Young and Pumped Up Kicks were fun songs to play, and a few of the other tracks fit perfectly with the beat-rhythm gameplay. I really enjoyed playing the drums section for Shout and I loved how the game kept up a great pace with the song. If the song was going slow, so was the note highways and if the song was going fast, so was the highways, but not ridiculously fast. I loved it when I entered ‘Blitz Mode’’ - which happens after performing perfectly for a short while - as it raised the stakes for keeping that streak up, and made the game a lot more enjoyable overall. I also noticed in the game’s beautiful and extremely colorful graphics is that just about everything in the environment went along with the beat to the song. Seeing buildings, trees, and street lights move to Shout or Bang Your Head (Metal Health) was fun to watch for those brief moments you take your eyes off the note highway.
If you do own a copy of Rock Band 3, then after you download Blitz, you can import the entire Blitz soundtrack into RB3 free of charge, and all of your downloaded and imported songs in RB3 will be playable in Blitz. All my imported songs from Rock Band and downloaded from the music store are playable in Blitz, and if you have any of the other exportable disks, like Green Day Rock Band or Rock Band 2, then they will also be available. That’s all well and good, but one of the things that really bugged me was that the main setlist from Rock Band 3 is missing-in-action There’s no Free Bird or Bohemian Rhapsody to play in Blitz. If Harmonix makes the on-disk RB3 setlist exportable so that it can be played in Blitz, then I will be a happy camper.
[Editor’s Note: According to the official forums, the lack of on-disk Rock Band 3 support is due to licensing issues.]
For $15, I had an incredible time with Blitz, and I’m definitely going to be playing more of it as time goes on given the steady stream of DLC that Harmonix throws out every week. If you’re bored of the music genre, then download the demo for Blitz and give it a shot. You may find a renewed interest in it. But, if you are like me and you still love the genre, then download Rock Band Blitz right now! You won’t be disappointed!
+ Fun and addictive gameplay
+ 3500+ compatible song library
+ Great price point
+ Import the songs into Rock Band 3 for free
- Can’t play the on-disk Rock Band 3 setlist
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Release Date : 2012/08/28
System : Xbox 360
Publisher : Harmonix
Developer : Harmonix
Category : Music,Tempo, Dance
ESRB : T
7.0 / 10
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