When Harmonix and Traveller’s Tales announced LEGO Rock Band back in April, the Internet went a bit crazy, charging that Harmonix had finally joined Activision among the ranks of the money-grubbing sequel-makers of the world. Granted, the mash-up seemed to come out of left field -- a LEGO-infused Rock Band game? Really? The connection between the two, not to mention the reasons for the game’s existence, seemed tenuous and dubious at best, respectively.
LEGO Rock Band (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, DS)
The story mode retains the same basic career progression of Rock Band 2 -- you’ll play songs to earn “money” so you can buy better vehicles to get you from gig to gig -- but the developers wanted to provide some context for playing the songs. Drake posited that kids might not understand why they’re playing the music, even though they’re having fun doing it. So when you begin the career mode, you’ll see a funny, cute cutscene featuring your customized LEGO characters (the game includes the full Rock Band 2 character creator) where you’re auditioning potential additions to the band. An octopus blows all the other drummers away, but apparently, you discriminate against sea creatures, so you have to turn him away. (This plays a part in the story later on, of course.)
The songs that you play in each Rock Power Challenge are at least tangentially related to the theme of said challenge -- for instance, one of the Rocktopus songs is Sum 41’s “In Too Deep” (get it?). Again, these story sequences give you a reason to rock out; others in the game include bringing down a construction site and getting rid of ghosts in a haunted house. If you don’t feel like making your way through the story, though, all 45 songs are available in Quickplay from the start, no unlocking necessary. (And they can all be exported to your PS3 or 360 hard drive for $10.)
Finally, the game will have its own Music Store, which will only show family-friendly content (more details here). Drake stressed the selection of artists as the game’s strong point, saying that having Jimi Hendrix and Queen in a so-called “kids’ game” proves that it’s not a kids’ game. You’ll be the judge of that this holiday season.
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