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Video Game Vintage Title: Lego Rock Band

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Lego Rock Band

Lego Rock Band

Lego Rock Band is a music video game and part of the Rock Band series developed by Harmonix Music Systems, but also incorporates elements from other Lego video games as developed by Traveller's Tales. The game is published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and MTV Games. The game was released on November 3, 2009 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii home consoles in the United States. A Nintendo DS version was also developed in conjunction with Backbone Entertainment.

The game, as with other games in the Rock Band series, allows up to four players to use instrument controllers to play lead and bass guitar, drums, and vocals on a number of rock music songs. In addition, aspects of building with Lego bricks are incorporated into the game, allowing players to customize their avatars and other band assistants, and include additional Lego-themed gameplay modes. The gameplay and the game's 45-song soundtrack has been selected to create a "family-friendly" game. Players are able to export the songs from the game into other Rock Band titles, while downloadable content that passes family-friendly filters can be incorporated into the game; however, songs released after Rock Band 3 are not compatible due to changes in the song format.

Lego Rock Band was met with moderate reviews, which praised the inclusion of both the Rock Band and Lego video game aspects incorporated into the game, but questioned some selections on the game's soundtrack and some features that would be at odds with the target audience of the game.

Lego Rock Band Gameplay

See also: Gameplay of the Rock Band series

Lego Rock Band is based primarily on the same gameplay as the main Rock Band series, though it includes aspects of collecting and building with Lego bricks as in Traveller's Tales's other Lego-themed games. Up to four local players can play lead and bass guitar, drums, or vocals across the songs in the game using specially designed Rock Band or Guitar Hero controllers. During each song, players attempt to match notes (shown as Lego bricks) as they scroll on-screen in time with the current song. On lead and bass guitar, notes are hit by holding down the frets indicated on-screen and using the controller's strum bar when the note passes through the target area of the track. Drummers simply hit one of the four colored drum pads indicated as the notes cross the target area, with wide orange notes indicating kick drum notes. Singers have to sing in relative pitch to the song's original pitch.

Completing consecutive series of notes will build up a player's scoring multiplier and add to the band's total Lego "studs" (equivalent to points) for the song. Certain phrases of notes are glowing "energy phrases"; successfully completing these adds energy to the player's "Overdrive" meter. When they have enough energy, a player can activate Overdrive to double the band's studs multiplier. Players are rewarded with up to 5 stars for completing a song based on their performance.

Players can choose from five difficulties ("Super Easy", "Easy", "Medium", "Hard", and "Expert") at the start of each song, with higher difficulties generally having more notes of the song in the track. Super Easy is a difficulty unique to Lego Rock Band. Super Easy uses the same charts as Easy, but on Super Easy it doesn't matter what pitch is hit for vocals, which fret is held for guitar and bass so long as the player strums in time, or which drum head is hit for drums. Lego Rock Band also includes other features not found in Rock Band 2 to make the game easier, such as an "Automatic Kick Drum" modifier which eliminates the need to use the drum controller's bass drum pedal. It is also impossible to fail a song when a player is performing poorly; instead, poor performances consume studs that have already been earned for the song, although the player will have a chance to recover lost studs before the end of the song. Certain songs which feature long intros or outros, such as "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" by The Police, can also be played in "Short Song Mode", in order to help younger players with shorter attention spans stay interested in the game.

Game Informer gave the game a score of 8 (of 10), praising some of its new features like the Super Easy mode, but criticizing the soundtrack as hit and miss, and a bit repetitive if the player does not have any downloaded songs. Jack DeVries of IGN gave the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions a 7.0/10, calling the presentation "adorable" and "just so damn cute", but still thinks of this game as "half a game for the full price" mainly because of the reduced soundtrack. The Wii version fared less well, receiving a 5.5/10, due to "terrible looks" and "hard to read text." In contrast, the DS version scored an impressive 8.4 from IGN's Craig Harris, who praised it as feeling fresh and new compared to the console versions. GameTrailers gave the game 7.9 criticising the lack of previous features such as online play, and called the Lego presentation superficial, saying the purchase decision will lie squarely on the song preferences. The game has sold approximately 600,000 units by March 2010.

Lego Rock Band was nominated for the "Best Family Game" Interactive Achievement Award from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, but it lost to The Beatles: Rock Band. The nominees also included Guitar Hero 5, Wii Fit Plus, and Wii Sports Resort.









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