October 18, 2008

Beware the Rock Revolution

Konami’s oddball guitar and drum title Rock Revolution was just released, with decidely.. mixed.. results.

konami-rock-revolution

Rock Revolution supports standard Guitar Hero and Rock Band guitar controllers. However, this is the game with its own weirdo seven input (six panels plus foot pedal) drum controller.

rock-revolution-drums-overview

The game is compatible with existing Rock Band drums — you can switch into a five input drum mode in the options. Here’s an example using The Spirit of Radio by Rush. Note that it is a cover, as almost all the tracks in Rock Revolution are covers.

The representation of the kick pedal as the orange shield in the center is sure to throw a lot of fake plastic drummers for a loop. There’s a nearly complete youtube stream of all the Rock Revolution songs played on expert drums, if you’d like to see more.

As for guitar, here’s Magic Man by Heart.

The complete track list follows, with YouTube links for each song if you’re unfamiliar.

  1. ‘All My Life’ Foo Fighters (GH3: DLC)
  2. ‘All The Small Things’ Blink-182 (RB: DLC)
  3. ‘Am I Evil?’ Metallica
  4. ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl’ Jet (Rock Band)
  5. ‘Bad Reputation’ Joan Jett (Rock Band 2)
  6. ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ Ramones (Rock Band)
  7. ‘Cum on Feel the Noize’ Quiet Riot
  8. ‘Chop Suey!’ System Of A Down (Rock Band 2)
  9. ‘Dance, Dance’ Fall Out Boy
  10. ‘Detroit Rock City’ Kiss (Rock Band)
  11. ‘The Diary of Jane’ Breaking Benjamin
  12. ‘Dirty Little Secret’ All-American Rejects (RB: DLC)
  13. ‘Dr. Feelgood’ Mötley Crüe (RB: DLC)
  14. ‘The End of Heartache’ Killswitch Engage
  15. ‘Falling Away from Me’ Korn
  16. ‘Given Up’ Linkin Park * master track
  17. ‘Heading Out to the Highway’ Judas Priest
  18. ‘Highway Star’ Deep Purple (Rock Band)
  19. ‘Holy Wars…The Punishment Due’ Megadeth
  20. ‘Joker & the Thief’ Wolfmother (RB: DLC)
  21. ‘Kiss Me Deadly’ Lita Ford
  22. ‘Last Resort’ Papa Roach
  23. ‘Magic Man’ Heart
  24. ‘No One Like You’ Scorpions (GH: 80s)
  25. ‘Our Truth’ Lacuna Coil (Rock Band 2)
  26. ‘Pain’ Three Days Grace
  27. ‘Paralyzer’ Finger Eleven * master track
  28. ‘Pull Me Under’ Dream Theater (GH: World Tour)
  29. ‘Round and Round’ Ratt (GH: 80s)
  30. ‘Run to the Hills’ Iron Maiden (Rock Band)
  31. ‘Sk8er Boi’ Avril Lavigne
  32. ‘Somebody Told Me’ The Killers
  33. ‘The Spirit of Radio’ Rush
  34. ‘Spoonman’ Soundgarden (Rock Band 2)
  35. ‘Still of the Night’ Whitesnake
  36. ‘Stone Cold Crazy’ Queen
  37. ‘Walk’ Pantera
  38. ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ Twisted Sister (GH: On Tour)
  39. ‘White Room’ Cream
  40. ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ The Who (Rock Band)
  41. ‘Youth Gone Wild’ Skid Row (GH: On Tour)

Many of these songs already appeared in previous fake plastic rock games, often as actual master tracks, too.

Sal “Sluggo” Accardo posted these thoughts after playing 10 songs of the expert guitar campaign in Rock Revolution:

  • I’ve played 10 songs so far, and every cover is as bad as or worse than what we got on GH: Rocks the ’80s. Awful, awful covers.
  • The 2D vertical note layout is hard to get used to. The 3D version in GH and RB is much easier to follow.
  • I have no idea how their version of Star Power works. There’s something about a power meter, and crowd ambiance, and every time I think I’m activating, it lasts like 2 seconds and then it’s gone.
  • The most interesting thing I’ve seen so far, in terms of something I’d like to see Rock Band and Guitar Hero add to their games, is the note grading system. It’s not a binary hit-the-notes-or-not system — like many older rhythm games, there are “Perfect” vs “Good” ratings for each note you hit (although they’re not shown live, only at the end of the song in a stats screen). If GH and / or RB were ever to add an uber-expert mode, this is how I’d like them to do it — grade for accuracy, rather than add a bunch of extra phantom notes.
  • The other reason I’d love to see RB and GH adopt that feature (which, in fact, I’ve personally pleaded with both developers to add for years now) is that it provides a nice way to confirm proper calibration. When I finished my first song, it said I had a 50-50 split between “Perfect”s and “Good”s. Now that I’ve calibrated, I’m getting almost all Perfects and just a handful of “Good”s per song.
  • the Career mode tries to do some interesting things with song “events.” You need to pass a few songs to advance to the next tier, but it’s not just completing songs. There was one event where they throw fake notes you in the song, and if you hit too many, you fail. Another event slowly ramps up difficulty from Medium to Expert. A third accelerates the fretboard as you build up a multiplier. I give them a thumbs up for these ideas, which at the least play out more interestingly than GH3’s boss battles.
  • Each six-song set in career mode has four songs, and then 2 special events where you replay two of those four songs with one of the twists. But for some reason, you can pick the twists right off the bat without realizing it. I would have made those events unlockable, or at the least put up a big flashing “THIS IS NOT A STANDARD EVENT” sign.

I have to admit, despite all the warning signs, I’m actually intrigued. There are about 10 tracks in the game that have never appeared in any fake plastic rock game to date, and are worth playing (at least in my opinion) even in cover form. For one thing, Queen! The last Queen song we got was Guitar Hero 1’s Killer Queen, and that was over three years ago.

As for multiplayer, despite the impression you might get from all the single-player videos above, Rock Revolution does support 3 person bands of guitarists, bassist, and drummer. No vocals, however. Looks like Konami’s Rock Revolution might be decent rental if you’re a genre addict like me.

For the average gamer, don’t bother; stick with Rock Band or Guitar Hero: World Tour.

BTW: the Quiet Riot song in GH80s was Bang Your Head (Metal Health), not Cum On Feel The Noize.
Also, Youth Gone Wild is playable in GH: On Tour, Pull Me Under will be in GHWT, and Joker and the Thief is RB DLC.

Warzone
October 18, 2008 at 3:04 am

(We’re Not Gonna Take It is also GH: On Tour, not 80s)

Warzone
October 18, 2008 at 3:05 am

ah, thank you! corrections made :)

Jeff Atwood
October 18, 2008 at 5:10 am

I’ll get rock revolution and GHwt for drumming anyway! They’re cool drumming game with more input which is more realistic!

Marco NSP
October 18, 2008 at 9:29 pm

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