Rock Band Blitz is Amplitude for your extensive Rock Band collection. That’s not a bad thing if you’re a fan of Harmonix’ previous titles and are looking to dust off your collection of songs, but for those of you looking for something more original from the minds at Harmonix, you’re out of luck.
Don’t get those plastic instruments out of the closet! Rock Band Blitz doesn’t use the trademark instruments you’ve come to love (or in most cases, loathe). No, instead Harmonix returned to their roots and made the gameplay of Blitz similar to Frequency, Amplitude and their PSP hit, Rock Band Unplugged. Think you can make the adjustment from toy instrument to controller? It might take some time getting used to playing with a controller, but once you find the control scheme that works for you, the rock gods won’t be able to stop your score from reaching the very top. Well, unless you straight up suck.
Rock Band Blitz (Xbox 360 [Reviewed], PS3)
Released: August 28, 2012 (PS3), August 29, 2012 (Xbox 360)
MSRP: $14.99, 1200MP
While you speed through the streets of “Rock City,” you are presented with up to five instrument tracks on the screen at once. As the player, it’s your job to swap between them and hit as many notes as possible. As you progress through songs, you unlock power-ups that change the way you play the game. There are three types of power-ups in Rock band Blitz: Overdrive, Note and Track. Once the “Blitz” meter is filled up, you can unleash powerful Overdrive power-ups such as a flaming tire that plows through notes. An example of a Note power-up is Runaway, where you must follow the highlighted stream of notes to catch the leader, who is worth an impressive amount of points. Track power-ups simply increase the amount of points you receive for playing on a specific instrument or switching between tracks. Sometimes it makes sense to mess up your perfect streak to trigger a special power-up that is worth more points.
Rock Band Blitz features a set list of 25 songs, 23 of which are new to Rock Band. The other two songs were previously released on Rock band 2 but were not made available in Rock band 3. The full set list of songs can be found below.
- “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More “Touch Me”” Fall Out Boy
- “Always” Blink-182
- “Cult of Personality” Living Colour
- “Death on Two Legs (Dedicated To…)” Queen
- “Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)” Shinedown
- “Give It Away” Red Hot Chili Peppers
- “I’m Still Standing” Elton John
- “Jessie’s Girl” Rick Springfield
- “Jungle Boogie” Kool & the Gang
- “Kids in the Street” All-American Rejects
- “Bang Your Head (Metal Health)” Quiet Riot
- “Moves Like Jagger” Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera
- “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” Great White
- “One Week” Barenaked Ladies
- “Pumped Up Kicks” Foster the People
- “Raise Your Glass” P!nk
- “Shine” Collective Soul
- “Shout” Tears for Fears
- “Sing” My Chemical Romance
- “So Far Away” Avenged Sevenfold
- “Spoonman” Soundgarden
- “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” Kelly Clarkson
- “These Days” Foo Fighters
- “We Are Young” Fun. feat. Janelle Monáe
- “The Wicker Man” Iron Maiden
My major problem is with Rock Band Blitz is the presentation. “Rock City” feels uninspired, pointless and lifeless. The entire concept of rocking through the streets of the city adds nothing to the game and when your song is finished, you are left staring at some of the most poorly rendered character models ever seen in an Xbox Live Arcade title. There are no different cities to unlock or any customization outside of the gameplay mechanics.
Facebook integration plays a big part in the Blitz experience in the form of the Facebook app “Rock Band World.” From there you can create score wars with your Facebook friends, trade coins for a peek at your opponent’s power-ups and complete goals for coins and badges.
Despite giving your Rock Band collection a new reason to exist, I can’t help but feel Rock Band Blitz is anything more than a desperate attempt to make rhythm games relevant again. By relying so heavily on existing gameplay mechanics, Rock Band Blitz does not do anything new for the genre. Forcing Facebook integration on the player to get the most out of the game is ridiculous considering this is not a free-to-play social game. But it is social, and that’s a double-edged sword. You might as well kiss Score Wars goodbye if your Facebook and Xbox Live friends lists aren’t full of devoted Rock Band Blitz players.