LEGO Rock Band

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Lego_Rock_Band A big hat’s off and ‘thank you’ to the folks at LEGO and MTV/Harmonix for a great game in LEGO: Rock Band

For those that have read my blog before, you know that I am a fan of all of the Lego titles, including Batman, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Battles.  And I have been waiting for this game since it was first announced.

I have tried for a while to find a music game that was kid friendly. 

We initially tried the regular RockBand, but found quickly that the kids were picking up more of the lyrics than we were comfortable with.

I tried a Contemporary Christian music game called Jam Band, from Cloud 9 Games.  I really, really wanted to like that game.  It was all the songs that my kids listen to on the radio, offered up to 6 players (which is key since I have 5 in my family), and used all of the standard USB connected instruments that I have for my Xbox 360.  It plays on a Windows PC (no console versions), so I built a new PC in the family room just for it.  But the interface is not near as easy to use as the console games and I found it very, very difficult to set up even in single-player.  Which is exasperating as I am likely more Windows savvy than the average dad.

We have been pleased with Rock Band : Beatles, especially with the added 5th and 6th players as additional vocalists.  It is a different music genre than what the kids otherwise listen to, though.  I like listening to my sons sing “Yellow Submarine” or my daughter’s “I want to Hold Your Hand”, but am not ready to explain the secondary meanings of songs like “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”.

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LEGO: Rock Band plays like the other entries in the Rock Band family, with a drum set, two guitars (actually a guitar and a bass), and a vocalist.  

Here are my top three reasons that every family that would like to play music together should look at this game  

1) Super Easy Mode

My youngest aspiring gamer is 5.  She wants to play alongside the rest of the family but does not yet have the skills. 

LEGO : Rock BandNew to L:RB is a Super Easy Mode for younger players, where they don’t have to pick the colors of the notes, just drum or strum. 

- As a guitarist/bassist, she just has to strum at the proper time (without picking the notes). 

- As a drummer, she can hit any drum pad, as long as it on the beat.  This lets her build her skills and play along with her older siblings. 

The Lego games have always done a great job and making games that were fun for a wide age group, but this feature is an absolute Home Run!

2) Building Stuff in LEGOs

All of the typical Rock Band ideas of customizing your character, buying new clothes and equipment, and even new vehicles have been beautifully rendered in Lego bricks.  But now, we get a club house that is also customizable.  For kids that love LEGO toys in general, this is an added bonus that keeps the fun factor for younger players.

3) And my biggest Hoo Rah – A family-friendly Music Selection

lego-rock-band BANDThe entire library of songs that are purchasable and playable in Rock Band has already been filtered within LEGO: Rock Band.   So, if you purchase music in RB/RB2, then those songs are playable in L:RB, if they are family friendly. 

Interestingly, I bought a Cars album (late 70’s band, not the Disney game) in Rock Band and it turns out that 1 of the 10 tracks isn’t family friendly by L:RB’s standards.  But the other 9 show up in L:RB as playable with my kids.  Different parents will have lower or higher standards, but I really have to commend Harmonix, MTV Games, LEGO, Warner Brothers or whomever was part of this feature.  This feature alone shows the effort that they made in meeting the family-friendly audiences’ needs.  Interestingly, their purchasable song list even has kid-specific tracks that are discounted, such as 6 songs from SpongeBob.

At the risk of sounding like a fan-boy, there is one complaint that I want to make.  LEGO: Rock Band only supports 4 players, instead of 6 players like the recently released Rock Band : Beatles.  As a father of 3 kids (i.e. 5 players total), adding the 5th and 6th players for vocals would have made the game totally perfect for my family, and hopefully yours.

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January 4, 2010 · Jason · 2 Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Game Reviews, Games for Kids

2 Responses

  1. Jeff Grubb - January 5, 2010

    Awesome review, Jason!! Thanks for sharing. We too had Rock Band and were not very happy with the lyrics, nor some of the risque graphics. I am thrilled to hear about LG:RB and will probably see if I can pick it up for the Wii. Yeah, yeah, I know you are partial to xBox, and we do have one of those too, but most of our video game investments as of late have been on the Wii.

    Thanks again for an awesome review!!

  2. Toni - January 27, 2010

    Can you still play more difficult modes on this game? I, too, have been searching for a Christian version of Rockband (like that’ll happen anytime soon!) – and saw that this has some better songs on it. But my girls have been playing Beatles RB and the Country Tracks (not much better than original RB, to be honest), so they’ve started getting fairly good. Anyway – just wanted to check and see if there is a more difficult mode! Thanks!

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