When Rock Band emerged from the whole Harmonix-RedOctane-Activision fiasco, the game took the world by a musical storm. The game was like nothing we’ve ever played when it was released in November 2007. While reminiscent of its fan-favorite predecessor, Guitar Hero, the game had an entirely new flavor of its own predicated by the notion of “band” — friends who play together.
Since then, the saturation and sheer costs of the music game genre brought on by various Guitar Heroes, Band Heroes, Rock Band: [Insert Artist], and other various copycats (I’m looking at you, Rock Revolution) has brought a “music game fatigue” to the industry and the public.
Amidst that sea of fatigue and complacency, Harmonix releases Rock Band 3, with two particular upgrades to the series that the company hopes will reinvigorate the genre and “help feed the appetite for music for years to come”: a 25-key midi keyboard and a “Rock Band Pro” mode.
As originally reported in the USA Today, Rock Band Pro mode fixes a criticism that has plagued the music game genre since the beginning: “it doesn’t really teach you how to play an instrument.” The new mode uses six-string guitars and requires proper fingering in contrast to the single-strum, color-coded system we’re used to. Pro mode will also be available for drums and keyboard.
The keyboard, an instrument I’ve wanted integrated in to Rock Band for years, opens a whole new set of possibilities for awesome songs, and Harmonix isn’t one to disappoint. In their partially release Rock Band 3 track list, they’re bringing kareoke fan favorites (Queen, the Doors, Whitesnake, and many others) to the peripherally-laden game. Other bonuses in RB3: three-part vocal harmonies, better story mode storylines, easier menus, and other little tweaks.
While I have certainly been feeling the music game fatigue of late, I can honestly say I’m excited about this. I will have to find a place for all of my old plastic peripherals, though, because I know I’ll want the full-sized, fully-functional, fully-armed, and fully-operational six-string Fender Stratocaster for Pro mode along with the improved drumset and keyboard. Small price to pay.
Rock Band 3 is currently slated for release this holiday season. No price has been announced.
Partial track listing after the jump.
Combat Baby — Metric
Dead End Friends — Them Crooked Vultures
Get Free — The Vines
Lasso — Phoenix
Me Enamora — Juanes
Oh My God — Ida Maria
Portions of Foxes — Rilo Kiley
The Hardest Button to Button — The White Stripes
Been Caught Stealing — Jane’s Addiction
In the Meantime — Spacehog
Plush — Stone Temple Pilots
Walkin’ on the Sun — Smash Mouth
Crazy Train — Ozzy Osbourne
Here I Go Again — Whitesnake
I Love Rock and Roll — Joan Jett
Just Like Heaven — The Cure
Rainbow in the Dark — Dio
The Power of Love — Huey Lewis and the News
Sister Christian — Night Ranger
Bohemian Rhapsody — Queen
Break On Through — The Doors
Crosstown Traffic — Jimi Hendrix