It aint cheap, but plunk down a bunch of money and you can have a new xBox with extra controllers, a cooling fan and a brand new Rock Band 2. Our 3 boys are between 5 and 10 years old and have never practiced an instrument. Katie is musical, so I am hoping they inherit her skills.
It took a while to unpack and set everything up, but once it was ready, the game was pretty intuitive. We practiced guitar and drums first, just getting a feel for how it works. It was pretty cool how the kids were getting the hang of it quicker than I was.
They insisted on trying an actual song. We tried Modest Mouse, Float On. All of the settings were set to “easy”. Surprisingly, we didn’t suck as much as we thought. The kids rocked it. Even the 5 year old was pretty good on drums (with my help).
The graphics were spectacular, but really, you don’t look at any of it. You star at the little colored bars that you have to match. Generally, you focus like a laser and try to keep the beat. It’s easy to get lost. Buying more songs is a bit expensive but easy to do. The entire ecosystem is strong.
Unexpectedly, I was sweating and exhausted at the end of the first song. It’s hard work to stay focused for that long. Pressing the drum kicker with your foot is really tiring on your legs. I literally had to catch my breath after the song. I don’t think I was breathing. I have new respect for anyone in a band. This is not easy.
I truthfully believe that Rock Band 2 will bring joy of music to kids who use it. It will make them want to join a real band. It will teach them rhythm and how to follow the beat and how to concentrate on the music. It will teach them the right body motions. Most of all, it will teach them to rock.
The interaction design is gorgeous. The details have been thought through by real musicians and game designers. A+.