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Rock Band 3 Wii review

It's got the beat to move your feet

It was only a few months ago that we were trumpeting Guitar Hero: Warriors Of Rock as one of the best music games yet. How quickly things change then, as here we are looking at a game that eclipses everything it offered.

The main core of Rock Band 3 is more or less the same, and all of your previous Rock Band and Guitar Hero instruments will still work with this latest instalment of the franchise.

This time though, EA is chucking in support for some slightly different instruments.

There's a new keyboard option, which lets you play using the brand new keytar instrument (sold separately, of course). It's certainly fun to play (if a little tricky getting the hang of it), but since around 20 of the game's 83 songs don't have keyboards and many of the rest only feature them as bit parts, expect to be standing around not doing much during some tracks.

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Considering the keyboard costs a whopping £69.99 on its own, it might be wise to leave it for now until more keyboard-based tracks become available.

Meanwhile, the Pro Guitar option lets you play using one of Madcatz's new 102-button guitar controllers. The argument is that it teaches you how to play real guitar by holding the real chords you'd be expected to hold, but we think the idea's just madness, especially considering how expensive the guitar is (well over £100).

Wii Love Rock & Roll

Stick with the normal guitar/bass/drums/vocals combo then, and what's left is a great music game. Gone is the World Tour mode, meaning you'll no longer be forced to play set lists at various locations. This time, the whole game revolves around your band profile.

Thus, whether you're messing around with tracks in Quickplay mode or trying one of the new Road Challenges, (like hitting note streaks and activating Overdrive a set number of times), you'll continue to gain XP and fans for your band, while still feeling like you're progressing. In time, this lets you unlock more costumes, instruments and animations.

What impresses us the most about Rock Band 3 is that it forgets it's a Wii game. All the stuff that other game developers claim is impossible, or too difficult to do on a Wii, is here in perfect working order. Want to play some online multiplayer? Go for it. Fancy downloading a track from a choice of hundreds of downloadable ones? It's all yours. There's even an option to rip the music from Rock Band 2 (as long as you have a copy of the game and some Wii Points spare) and save it onto an SD or SDHC card.

Even better, they're all playable in Road Trip mode and all have their own challenges set for them as if they were part of the full game.

Rock Band 3 is about as complete a music game as you could hope. Do we recommend using the new instruments? Not necessarily. Does not using them limit the game? Absolutely not. Stick with the instruments you have and buy the game without the trimmings, and there's still plenty of new stuff to get stuck into.


5 comments so far...
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  1. arkeous Tuesday 7th Dec 2010 at 19:09

    I don't see why "New Instruments aren't great" isn't really a negative -
    you don't have to use them. Why should a game's review score be less because of a feature you don't have to use?

    First Post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

  2. AMthedude Tuesday 7th Dec 2010 at 19:38

    This is a really bad review. Not in the sense that it's a bad score - Rock Band 3 definitely deserves 90% if not more! It's bad in the sense that it's basically half-finished. You write the keyboard off completely based on the fact that some songs don't have a good keyboard part, failing to mention that it can be used to play the guitar or bass part on other songs and can also be used as a MIDI keyboard outside the game, but worst of all you ignore Pro mode completely! It's pretty much the game's main selling point and is what got me interested in it in the first place! I'm disappointed - your reviews are usually some of the best quality around!

  3. davva Wednesday 8th Dec 2010 at 13:02

    I think this review is far too dismissive of the pro insruments; ok so they are quite expensive but to completely write them off just seems like you couldn't be bothered to do the review properly.
    I'd actually agree with the overall review score you have given, but feel like you've missed out a big feature of the game and something the developer has obviously sepnt a lot of time and effort to get right.

    If you just use the old instruments there's not much to differentiate this from the glut of GH/RB games which have appeared in the last year, save for some improved menus and other minor improvements.

    I've got the keyboard and think it's excellent, it greatly expands the playability and lasting appeal of the game and i think it's well worth the additional cost because it provides a very different experience to the guitar.

  4. imbusydoctorwho Thursday 9th Dec 2010 at 22:20

    I glad I'm getting this for Christmas .
    Great music in it.

  5. Eragon Firesword Sunday 26th Dec 2010 at 22:28

    Why should this game have deserved more than 90%? One word - Roundabout.
    Apart from that, you didn't really review the instruments - you just moaned about the price of them. What would the verdict on them be if the old "bangers and mash" was taken out of the equation?

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