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Rock Revolution

Rock Revolution

Rock Revolution

Rock Revolution is a music video game developed by Zoë Mode and HB Studios and published by Konami. It was first revealed on May 15, 2008, and released on October 15, 2008 for the Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360. As with similar titles, the game uses various controllers to simulate the performance of rock music, primarily using guitar and drum controllers on its Xbox 360 and PS3 versions.

Rock Revolution received generally negative reviews from critics, who felt that the game was merely an inferior clone of the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises with no distinguishing characteristics to set it apart from its competition; particularly the design of its drum kit controller, the game's interface, and its soundtrack of mostly cover versions as its worst aspects. The game also experienced low sales numbers in its first month, selling only around 3,000 copies.

Rock Revolution Gameplay

Gameplay in Rock Revolution revolves around players attempting to simulate the playing of rock music using special instrument shaped controllers. Scrolling notes onscreen indicate the pattern and timing of buttons that must be pushed on the guitar or pads hit on the drumkit. Songs can feature "fill boxes" and "roll boxes" on drum charts, and hammer-on/pull-off's and "shred boxes" (must be strummed constantly for the duration) on guitar charts. Score multipliers are increased through larger combos, and a temporary bonus period can be activated when the player's lifebar, the "atmosphere meter", is maxed out.

On the Wii version, players instead use the Wii Remote and Nunchuk as air instruments—playing the songs by performing specific gestures and movements. Guitar and drum controllers for the Wii are not usable with the game. The DS version utilizes the touch screen and microphone, utilizing gestured movements for guitar play, playing a virtual drumkit on the touch screen itself with the stylus for drums, and the system's internal microphone for vocals.

Various game modes are featured in Rock Revolution. The game's career mode follows the career of the player's band, recording albums and playing live shows. These stages can feature specific challenges, such as reaching a certain score, performing a song without seeing the notes, avoiding false "poison notes", or completing songs with a limited number of mistakes. Local and online multiplayer is also offered on the console versions, including co-op and battle modes. A "Recording studio" sandbox mode is also available, where players can create their own songs with various options, such as different guitar and drum styles, chords, fills, and beats. Songs created in this mode however, cannot be played as a song in-game.

Rock Revolution has been widely panned by critics. Its drum controller received mixed reviews for its design, which was criticized for its layout and the size of its drum pads. Combined with the game's use of a vertical perspective to present notes, and the use of a separate lane on-screen for the bass pedal instead of using a bar stretching across the entire track like on Rock Band), the drums were considered to be frustrating and difficult to use, especially due to its large number of pads. On the other hand, a Kotaku writer felt that the setup of the drum controller itself felt more natural and realistic than that of Rock Band, but noted that its cymbals were hard to hit due to their size, and because they were not elevated. Rock Revolution was also frequently criticized for having a soundtrack smaller than that of its competition, and for its use of cover versions—contrasting a trend for such games to only use master tracks.

The game's recording studio feature, which allows players to record their own songs using various options, received mixed reviews.

GameSpot gave the console version of Rock Revolution a 3.5 out of 10, commenting that the game "doesn't rock and certainty isn't a revolution", noted that the recording studio mode was the game's only redeeming mode, and concluded that "if Rock Revolution came out two or three years ago, it might have been revolutionary, but in 2008, it's not even relevant." IGN gave the game a 3.0 out of 10, feeling its gameplay was a step backward for music games, criticizing the recording studio mode for being "as intuitive as a tax form", and declaring its drum controller "an abomination that must be destroyed lest it breed and multiply." Rock Revolution's few positive aspects were considered to be several of its song choices, its compatibility with other controllers, its arcade-style challenges, and the ability to improvise guitar solos in career mode.

1UP.com gave the console version a "D" rating, criticizing the drum controller's "intimidating" layout of small pads, its graphics for having "lifeless" character animations and re-using exactly the same crowd in every venue, and its career mode for being boring and lacking any form of narrative. The recording studio mode was considered the only fun part of the game, primarily for having more functionality than any other part of the game. However, it still considered the similar functionality in Guitar Hero World Tour to be superior, due to its ability to play and share creations in-game (which Rock Revolution could not).

IGN also reviewed the DS version, giving it a 4.1/10, specifically criticizing its low-quality gameplay in comparison to Guitar Hero: On Tour, characters for having limited animation and "looking like rejects from old Hanna-Barbera cartoons", and for its small, low quality, and uncredited soundtrack RewiredMind.com's Ken Barnes cited inaccurate controls and the limitations of the Nintendo DS hardware in the vocal sections for a low score in his review of the Nintendo DS version, but applauded the game's developers for attempting to implement vocal gameplay on the DS. However, Barnes also noted that he only reviewed the DS version of the game because of "the prohibitive cost of importing the awful-looking PS3 or Xbox 360 drum 'kit'."

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