The LEGO franchise is one of the most popular and well known in the world. In the past few years that popularity has extended into the digital realm with titles such as Lego Star Wars, Lego Batman and Lego Indiana Jones. Each title was received favorably so it was only a matter of time before we would get to play our plastic instruments with plastic Lego figures on our television screen. To say there have been no shortage of music games over the past few months would be an understatement, however, Harmonix has done a great job in differentiating their music titles so each one feels special, while still retaining the core play mechanic. If you have ever played a Rock Band title then you generally know what to expect here. You have the free play, training, extras and almost everything else that Rock Band games tend to have. What makes this particular title special is the use of the Lego license. Harmonix has done a fantastic job utilizing this license and should be applauded. Even the opening video looks a lot like the opening video for Rock Band 2, only in Lego form. It really is a sight to behold and put a smile on my face when I saw it.
The story mode is where this game really shines. You can create your band, customize your rocker and come up with a name and logo or if you don’t want to do any of that the computer will randomly generate them for you. As you begin your career you find yourself in your “Rock Den”. This place serves as the central hub for your game and it is where you get everything done. For starters, there is the Rock shop. This is where you can customize and change the look of you, your band, your entourage or your road crew. This is also the place where you would buy new outfits for your rocker once you have earned them during your gigs. You can also buy new instruments that you have earned during your career. Next you have your “Practice Stage” where you can practice a song that might be giving you trouble or go through the tutorials to make sure you know how to do everything. You, of course, have the Free Play option as well so you can simply go and play music and not have to worry about the story if that is what you want to do. Going through Free Play will give you the complete list of music in the game that you can immediately play. Next up is your office where you can get the various statistics surrounding your career as well as hire more people for your road crew and/or your entourage. Hiring more people to become part of your team is important because they will go out and spread the word about your band, allowing you to gain more fans as well as more money. If you have been going through the story for a while and there was a cinematic that you really enjoyed you can rewatch it at any time in your “Rock Den”. You have a television in your den and you can use it to rewatch all of the cinematics that you have unlocked up to that point.
As you play more songs in a venue you will eventually get presented with a “Rock Power Challenge”. This is generally some special challenge that is presented to you and has some extra rewards associated with it, if you complete the objectives. For one of these challenges you are in a construction area and you watch as some Lego construction workers are trying to blow up a building. They aren’t having any success though until one of your road crew turns the volume completely up on your instruments and sends them into overdrive. Once that happens you start shattering windows while you are playing and the construction foreman gets the idea to have you play a song to help take down the building. Once that happens you start playing the song “Tick Tick Boom” by the Hives and if you play well enough (and loud enough) the building starts coming down and eventually your band walks off with the building collapsing behind you. It actually looks very cool. Another challenge has you at a mansion and some ghosts have escaped. You need to use the power of rock to chase the ghosts and send them back where they came from. There are nine “Rock Power Challenges” throughout your career and each is quite a bit of fun to play.
As you continue to play through your career you will start earning a lot of money. That money can be used to purchase items in the Rock Shop as I mentioned above, however, it can also be used to customize your “Rock Den”. You can put posters up, buy assorted pieces of furniture, different lighting fixtures and a bunch more. As you begin to add to your entourage you will start noticing them walking around your den as well. They aren’t really doing much but it can be kind of cool to see some activity going on in your den and that it isn’t the type of situation where you buy them and then never see them again. The younger audience should have a blast decorating their “home” in the game while everyone else will probably do it to unlock the achievements associated with doing so. As you continue to unlock items while on tour they will also start popping up. You have certain animals that you unlock as you progress and once you have unlocked them, they will be seen hanging around your den. There is a parrot that hangs around, a spider that sits on one of the walls in your office and more. As you gain more and more stars while playing you will open up different venues to play in. Some of these venues are pretty far away and you will need vehicles to get there. You will eventually be able to unlock vehicles such as a minibus and a speedboat so that your band can go to more exotic locales and gain more of a fan following.
All of the stuff that I have mentioned above is fantastic and I have had a lot of fun playing this title. Unfortunately though it does falter in some areas. For starters, there is no online multiplayer. Taking out the multiplayer for this title makes absolutely no sense at all and will severely limit replayability for some people. The number of songs on the disc is also way to small. You only get 45 songs on the disc, which means you will be playing a lot of the same songs over and over again. This game does work with some of the downloadable content from Rock Band 2 but it really should have had more music to begin with. If Harmonix wasn’t able to get more music for whatever reason then they should have dropped the price. This is a bit of a disturbing trend where specialty games such as The Beatles Rock Band and Lego Rock Band don’t have as many songs as the main Rock Band titles. I am sure it is done that way so the company can make more money selling more music to you, however, if that is the case the price of the game should drop right alongside the number of songs that make an appearance on the disc.
Overall, I had a lot of fun with Lego Rock Band. Although there should be more music and modes on the disc, the ones that are on there are fantastic. Just like with previous Lego titles it can be a lot of fun to see what the developers came up with. The cinematics are definitely cute and will make you chuckle. It is a great family title that everyone should enjoy. Using the “power of rock” during those challenges can also be a lot fun and offers something different we haven’t seen before. Whether or not you should buy this game is going to be dependent on how you feel about the Lego license. Both kids and adults should get a blast out of this game. You just have to decide whether you want to pay full price for less songs than previous Rock Band titles or simply wait for the price to go down.
Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network