Rock Band Unplugged Review

This is one of the most exciting PSP games to come out this year. Harmonix has found a way to harness the Rock Band experience into a portable form without going the gimmicky route. For Rock Band Unplugged you don’t need any peripherals except for you’re inherent sense of rhythm. Rock Band Unplugged is the evolution of Harmonix’ Frequency and Amplitude.

In the console Rock Band you use some plastic peripheral to control the guitar, drums, bass or vocals. In Rock Band Unplugged you control every instrument at the same time. To progress through a song you have to get all the notes in a phrase on a specific instrument’s highway and the instrument will play by itself for a while. You then switch to a different instrument and repeat the process. The more notes you miss the more phrases you have to do for different instruments. Just like on the consoles you unlock new songs in the robust World Tour Mode. In this mode you can make your own band. You can dress them up however you want and have them start off as a local band but by the end of World Tour Mode you’ll be doing just as the name applies, touring the World. The only thing it seems to be missing is any form of multiplayer. Rock Band Unplugged is smaller than the console offerings but still fun nonetheless. While definitely simpler then Amplitude and Frequency, Rock Band Unplugged manages to be just as enjoyable. One reason for this has to do with the awesome soundtrack.

Like its console brethren Rock Band Unplugged has a great soundtrack with new songs like The Jackson 5’s “ABC” and old favorites like Boston’s “More Than A Feeling” and The Dead Kennedy’s “Holiday in Cambodia”. All these songs are incredibly fun to play on the PSP. The only complaint with the soundtrack is the fact that we’ve seen most of these songs in some form on the consoles already. 5-10 of the soundtrack is new songs with the rest either being on Rock Band, Rock Band 2 or downloadable content for the two games. To alleviate this Harmonix plans to have weekly DLC with 10 songs up for download the day Rock Band Unplugged releases.

Rock Band Unplugged is one of the best PSP games to come out this year with Patapon 2 and Loco Roco 2. To describe Rock Band Unplugged in one sentence, It’s a portable Amplitude or Frequency with a better soundtrack.


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