Game Preview

Harmonix Changes Its Tune for Rock Band Blitz

<LINK REL="stylesheet" HREF="http://guidesmedia.ign.com/guides/uni/IGNE_style.css" TYPE="text/css"><br/><br/>It's no secret that the rhythm game genre is at a low point when it comes to being on the radar of your average gamer. The genre bubbled a few years ago, and you couldn't set foot in a college party or any form of social gathering without someone pulling out plastic guitars and virtual wailing away on some classic rock tunes. Cut to the present, and plastic peripherals are staples in garage sales and thrift stores, as many have completely abandoned the genre as a whole. However, the leading developer in the genre, Harmonix, still sees some life in music games, and is keeping their own Rock Band franchise alive with a new spinoff for Xbox LIVE Arcade and PlayStation Network, titled Rock Band Blitz. <br/><br/><center> <object id="vid_763e0efb0f073497695d6940c62a46a4" class="ign-videoplayer" width="468" height="263" data="http://oystatic.ignimgs.com/src/core/swf/IGNPlayer.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"><param name="movie" value="http://oystatic.ignimgs.com/src/core/swf/IGNPlayer.swf"/><param name="" value="true"/><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"/><param name="bgcolor" value="#000000"/><param name="flashvars" value="url=http://www.ign.com/videos/2012/04/04/rock-band-blitz-video-preview"/><param name="wmode" value="opaque"/></object> <div style="width:468px"><a target="_blank" href="http://www.ign.com/videos/2012/04/04/rock-band-blitz-video-preview">Rock Band Blitz Video Preview</a></div></center><br/><br/>Rock Band Blitz is a peripheral-free take on the rhythm genre, with gameplay evocative of Harmonix classics Frequency and Amplitude. As in those games, you'll press the correct button as colored gems descend down the screen, hitting them in rhythm with the song and earning combos while juggling between five different tracks (drums, bass, guitar, vocals, and keyboards) as you hit gems to the beat. <br/><br/>There are a few differences though. For starters, you'll only be matching two gem locations per track as opposed to the three that you'd find in the aforementioned games. The default control scheme for doing this is by pointing the thumbstick in the gem's direction and pressing the face button. This didn't feel very intuitive, but fortunately you can change the controls to the more traditional shoulder button layout from similar games.<br/><br/>Another key change is the inclusion of power ups. You can unlock power ups and select them through the menu before you start a song, granting you specific boosts for completing segments of a track. There are 10 power ups to choose from, and include bandmate, a boost that will take over one of your tracks for you, bottle rocket, which takes out upcoming gems, and pinball, where a pinball will knock out gems, but also requiring you to keep the ball in play by switching tracks and catching it before it falls off the screen. <br/><br/><img src="http://xboxlivemedia.ign.com/xboxlive/image/article/122/1222232/blitz_1333496126.jpg" /><br/>Power-ups play a crucial part in Rock Band Blitz's gameplay.<br/><br/><br/><br/>Rock Band Blitz aims to not only offer its own arcade-style take on the franchise, but also extend the Rock Band universe in some key ways. First of all, the game will work with any and all existing Rock Band DLC. If you were a Rock Band player in its heyday (and really, who wasn't?), you've no doubt at least some DLC tracks kicking around on your hard drive that you simply don't play anymore. Well, if you pick up Rock Band Blitz, not only will you be able to access that whole library, you'll have a brand new way to play all of those songs. <br/><br/>Conversely, Rock Band Blitz comes with 25 songs new to the Rock Band setlist, and downloading the game will allow you to use all of those songs in Rock Band 3. The new tracks include hits both new and old, including Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People. Rock Band Blitz also uses a pretty cool social element, allowing players to send messages and song suggestions to each other, including challenges and even showcases what they're into.<br/><br/>Rock Band Blitz isn't quite a proper follow-up to Rock Band 3, but will undoubtedly offer a low price point and fun arcade style gameplay. Perhaps the most compelling feature for Rock Band fans is the ability to pull over all of your previously downloaded songs, increasing the tracklist by a huge margin. We'll know more about what Rock Band Blitz will offer fans of the genre when it launches this summer.<br/><br/><DIV CLASS="IGNE_divider"></DIV><br/><br/><i>Steven Hopper is the Executive Editor for IGN's Xbox channels. Check him out on <b><a target="_blank" href="http://people.ign.com/Shopper-IGN">IGN</a></b> and <b><a target="_blank" href="http://twitter.com/Steven_Hopper">Twitter</a></b>.</i><br/><br/><br><br><br/><br/>&#169;2012-04-04, IGN Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved
AdChoices

My Favorite Games

Log in now to find and add your favorite games!
AdChoices