by Chris Brown
Details are now emerging about Rock Band 2. Rock Band 2 will first arrive for the Xbox 360 this September, followed later in the Fall on the PS3, PS2, and the Wii. In this morning’s Microsoft press conference key elements of the game were presented, including the full setlist, backwards compatibility, and World Tour online. The disc will contain 84 songs, every song being a master recording. An additional 20 songs, also master recordings, will be available for free at a later date, as downloadable content. The setlist includes several firsts for both artists and music games. Making their debut on a music video game are Bob Dylan, the current incarnation of Guns N Roses with an exclusive cut off of the long delayed “Chinese Democracy”, and Aussie rock n’ rollers AC/DC.
Rock Band 2 will feature local and global/online modes. World Tour returns in Rock Band 2, this time is can be played online. World Tour also promises to blend the Solo Tour with new challenges, venues, cities, gigs, and staff. It was announced that Quickplay will play faster in Rock band 2 with characters being able to play any of the instruments. Also in Quckplay, players will be able to create customizable setlists These player characters in the sequel are said to feature more customization including new choices in clothing, tattoos, make-up, hairstyles, and equipment.
There are also new additions to Rock Band 2. One such addition are Tour Challenges which offer a sort of mini-campaign. These Tour Challenges are said to focus on such things as playing the best songs based on the player’s instrument, or genre, or decade. Another addition to Rock band 2 is a drum trainer that will teach players the fundamentals of drumming.
However, perhaps the biggest addition to Rock Band 2 was how much of the first game players will be able to play in the forthcoming sequel. In Rock Band 2, players will be able to play ALL downloadable content from the first Rock Band in any of the modes off or online. In additional, for a nominal fee, players can also export most of the songs from the first Rock band disc and upgrade them for rocking out in Rock Band 2.
Rock Band 2 will be available as a stand alone software title, or available as a Special Edition bundle. This bundle will include:
- Fender Stratocaster Controller takes on a new authentic look plus adds a reinforced strum bar, quieter buttons, wireless functionality and a built in calibration tool that automatically sets your AV setup to an ideal setting for maximum rock.
- Drum set goes wireless while also featuring quieter, velocity sensitive drum pads and a metal reinforced pedal.
- Microphone showcases authentic styling and weight.
In addition, Harmonix will gave the different instruments available in individual packages. Third party manufacturer, Mad Katz, is also bringing the following instruments or peripherals for Rock Band 2:
- Fender Telecaster Controller features soft buttons with lower action to help you shred faster than ever.
- Fender Bass Controller, the first bass guitar controller ever, takes the shape of the Fender P-Bass with extended length, tuning pegs and a split strum bar to replicate finger-bass style picking.
- Full-sized Squire Stratocaster Guitar Controller multiplies the authentic guitar experience by featuring a controller built into an actual Squire Stratocaster body.
- Cymbal Expansion Pack is a straightforward but amazing upgrade to the Rock Band 2 drum set featuring add-on cymbals.
And last but not least, Ion will also have a special high-end drum peripheral:
- ION Drum Rocker, a real electronic drum kit that functions as a game controller, brings the Rock Band fantasy to life featuring a simple substitution that takes the drum kit from a controller to a real instrument.