Video Game Review: Rock Band Blitz

Rock Band Blitz is the latest entry in the Rock Band franchise from Harmonix and the results are a fast paced and fun music game that is both deep and full of strategy.

Blitz ditches the instruments but keeps the music of the Rock Band series, allowing you to play every song you own in the Rock Band Catalog; besides Beatles and RB3.  All those songs you downloaded have been filled with new breath as you can now try and master the songs in the Blitz platform.

Where Blitz differs, greatly, from instrument based Rock Band games is that you use two buttons on your controller to play the scrolling notes and use the triggers to switch between instrument track lanes.  All instrument tracks have notes to play and figuring out the best way to play all of those to maximize your score is a fun and challenging endeavor.  To maximize your score you need to raise your multipliers for each track which are only able to go as high as your worst instrument at each scoring gate.  This all sounds confusing but you will catch on pretty quick.

Throw in the three different varieties of multipliers and even more strategy gets thrown into the mix. Should I sit on the Guitar and knock out the Vocals when they come by? What about those Keys notes that all of a sudden popped up all the way on the other side from the Drums I am playing.  Or should I just chill on Bass and blast my shockwave power up to get more points.  The possibilities will seem to be endless.

Enjoying the music is also a lot easier when you are only fretting over two button presses and knowing the songs has never been more important in Rock Band. Being able to recognize if you have hit the last gate or not on the song is super important if you want to be able to ride your X2 Guitar track all the way out to the end of the song.  The game is also far less distracting to the non-gamer in your house as you are basically serving as a jukebox and not banging instruments all over the living room.

The new Facebook App Rock Band World also brings a fun twist to the game as it allows you to earn extra coins and adds another wrinkle of challenge to the game.  Goals range from playing all the songs on an album, scavenger hunting for certain parenthetical songs or, my favorite so far, The Grohl Goal where I successfully played every song featuring Dave Grohl (50 songs!).  The coins you earn allow you to use the power-ups on songs and you will find after beating a couple of the tougher Rock Band World Goals you will have more than enough to boost your scores for a long time.

Harmonix could have done a couple things better.  First I would have loved to have set lists so I didn’t have to go back into the menu every time to pick a new song. A heads up, online & local, two player mode could also have been a lot of fun so your roommates could join in instead of complaining about you hogging the TV.  The biggest oversight is not having Rock Band World integration in the actual game.  All my current goals should be able to be found in the game’s menu as even someone with an iPad, like me, will find it to be a pain in the ass to keep track of your progress jumping back and forth between devices. The App could also be far more user friendly when on Facebook, hopefully a standalone app is in the works.

Rock Band Blitz is a lot of fun to be had for 15 bucks and I encourage you to at least download the demo and try it out for yourself. The game is fast, easy to play, and can be as deep as a game as you want it to be.  I have only Gold Starred one song so far, but I plan to change that as I pick up and play Rock Band Blitz for months/years to come.

Rock Band Blitz is a B+

One thought on “Video Game Review: Rock Band Blitz

  1. Per recommendation – and cause I had points to spare – I decided to give this a whirl. The first song I played was “Welcome Home” by Coheed and Cambria, a song I know front to back from Rock Band 1. I three starred it. With a little more practice and the appreciation for each track I had to play, I finally five’d it. Blitz is an incredibly fun game without all the clutter. I do hate….HATE…the piano track. Mostly all 20 or so songs the game brings in has it at some point, and if you miss it while trying to level up the drum slide, you just wont level up at all, and when you do hit it, I don’t feel like it really fits into whichever song it was. Also, they’re usually long whole notes, so you will miss valuable points on other slides while you sit there and wait.

    But I found it really fun nevertheless. I’ve gold starred 6 songs so far, and making my way through my entire collection.

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