The Rock Band games have been so successful among players, both casual and more hardcore, that many developers have been left pulling out their hairs for not having thought of the idea sooner. The franchise is now moving away from its traditional platforms, and with the latest Rock Band Unplugged, you can now carry your own rock concert adventure in your pocket wherever you go!
If you’ve played any Rock Band game before, then you’ll surely be familiar with the basic concept. The mobile version has been slightly modified to cope with the PSP’s functionality though, but the gameplay remains largely the same. You’re given a set of four instruments which comprise the songs – guitar, bass guitar, drums, as well as vocals. While playing, you’ll have to separately control all of these instruments, one at a time, by pressing the PSP’s buttons as you’re instructed by the on-screen popups. If you manage to hit all of the buttons for one instrument without failing once, you can move on to another as the one you’ve just completed continues playing on its own for a while.
The controlling scheme is very convenient, with the four main buttons being used for completing the combinations, while the shoulder buttons are employed to switch between the different instruments. There are 41 tracks included in the game, more than enough to keep it varied for a long time, and there are some very popular pieces in there as well, such as “Ace of Spades” by Motorhead and “Would?” by Alice in Chains. Count the amount as more than double if you buy all of the available DLC as well, and you have a pretty solid title in terms of content.
Graphics and System Requirements
Many dedicated fans were worried that the PSP’s small screen can’t truly convey the feeling of the original games – and while that’s true, we should tell you that the PSP version of Rock Band still has its own unique charm – plus, there’s nothing like riding on the bus wearing your high-quality headphones with the music blaring directly in your ears, killing the twenty or so minutes it takes you to get to school – the graphics will grow on you very quickly, and you’ll soon actually start to enjoy the minimalistic style the game offers.
Some of the HUD elements are missing of course, but that’s understandable considering the small screen size – plus you still have access to all of the important ones, so you shouldn’t feel like anything’s missing.
We mentioned some DLC above – if you ever find yourself growing tired of the original content, make sure you have a look around the store. There’s plenty of additional content to download, including some all-time favorites like “Smooth Criminal” by Alien Ant Farm (not the original by MJ), and even “Still Alive”, the theme song from Valve’s hit “Portal”, which has become a staple of the Internet community since Portal came out.
It may not be the original Rock Band, but if that’s what you expect, you’re missing the point – Rock Band Unplugged is meant to give you a few exciting minutes on the go, and that goal it achieves perfectly.