gorgeousnerd: A cartoon Batman from "Batman and Sons" holding his baby Terry, smiling and whistling. (Batman.)
[personal profile] gorgeousnerd posting in [community profile] a_gamer_is_me
I've played a bunch of games in my time, in various genres. First-person shooters are probably my favorites; I grew up on the Doom and Quake series, and I'll still do rounds of co-op Doom 2 with my sisters whenever I get the chance. Still, I don't think any gaming experience has been quite as rewarding as the experience I've had playing the Rock Band games.

They're social. It's no accident I've played one Rock Band game or another at my last three or four birthday parties. It's fun to get a group together and work through songs.

They're accessible. The system's pretty simple to pick up - slightly easier than Guitar Hero's multiple-instrument games, in my opinion, if only because Rock Band came first in that department - so non-game players can jump in. Also, there's a choice between different instruments, which is nice for anyone with particular talents or interests. I like the inclusion of singing, which is great for anyone with hand or feet problems. (I speak from experience; I have some hand/arm pains that keep me from playing sometimes, particularly guitar.)

They're instructive. I have a real set of drums, which I received not too long before my Rock band drums. Rock Band showed me a lot of common drum patterns (at tempo, and at slower speeds in practice), taught me how to use the bass/hi-hat pedal on both feet (I play on lefty mode to keep my left side practiced), and helped me develop a stick technique. But there's lessons to learn even off drums: tempo in general, using two hands at once, and harmony (on Beatles: Rock Band, there's multi-part vocals).

It's quick. When I play a game like Kingdom Hearts 2, I spend stretches of hours and hours at a time on the couch, trying to get all the synthesis items and unlock all the tournaments and such. With Rock Band games, I can play one song, feel satisfied, and move on for a couple days. And if I play a set of songs on drums, it'll usually never be longer than an hour.

It's long. At the same time, there's a lot of replay value. I can - and have - played one song a bunch of times in order to play each instrument by myself, play more than one instrument at once, and/or play with more than one person or with a full band.

It's fun! It's organized air guitar/drums, and home karaoke! I can pretend I'm a rock star and howl around in the comfort of my living room! I have a good excuse to listen to my favorite songs, and discover some new ones! (That's also a plus over Guitar Hero for me: after GH2, I like the songs on Rock Band better.) It doesn't get better than that.

(For the record: While I've played Rock Band on XBox 360, I own Rock Band for PS2, so a lot of the next-gen features like playing online or DLC are out of reach for me and/or I've never tried. But I'm sure they're awesome too!)
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