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Rock Band 3 Xbox 360/PlayStation 3/Wii

(Harmonix/MTV Games)

Jan 07, 2011 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

’Tis the season for new installments of everyone’s favorite plastic-instrument-utilizing music games. The new Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock skewed towards harder rock fans and even included Soundgarden’s new album Telephantasm as a pack-in, and DJ Hero 2 appeals to an electro-loving niche. But what of the rhythm-based music game for the masses? The Rock Band franchise returns with its first big sequel after last year’s awesome The Beatles: Rock Band and this past summer’s solid Green Day: Rock Band. Rock Band 3 includes 83 additional songs (the Rock Band library now includes over 2,000 songs) as varied as The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven,” Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab,” Yes’ “Roundabout,” David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” Rammstein’s “Du Hast,” and Queens of the Stone Age’s “No One Knows.” The eclectic tracklist is a draw, but the big news is the addition of a new keyboard instrument.

The keyboard features 25 keys and is MIDI-compatible, allowing the instrument to be used in other environments, such as GarageBand on your Mac. Now, you can rock out to Queen’s classic “Bohemian Rhapsody” or Whitesnake’s silly “Here I Go Again.” The other notable inclusion is Pro Mode, which allows the player to play more realistically, and in the case of a new six-string guitar controller (sold separately) and keyboard, to hit notes with 1-to-1 accuracy. This inclusion is cool, but hopefully players will realize that if they’ve gotten that good, they should think about starting to play the real thing. Still wish they’d include some Prince or Pavement. Maybe next time? (

Author rating: 8/10

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