For one reason or another, I never spent as much time playing drums in Rock Band as I would have liked. Mainly, the addition of the fourth member to the Brett household. But also from a technical standpoint, the Rock Band kit isn’t exactly a work of art. Sure, it does the job. But it’s too light and very loud out of the box. As I await the arrival of my dual neoprene pads, I started wondering if I should have just held off and waited for Rock Band 2. Then E3 rolled around and my attention was drawn off in a different direction. I knew “Guitar Hero 4” had been rumored to be a full band game, like Rock Band. But with the direction that franchise has been heading (namely, down and/or towards a shark with the urge to jump), I was skeptical to say the least. But I must admit, Guitar Hero World Tour is shaping up pretty nicely and I’m definitely not ruling it out just yet.
Guitar Drum Hero
Alright, perhaps Stewart Copeland and Travis Barker had a little something to do with me not writing this game off entirely. What a way to gain instant creditibility for the new hardware. There’s one thing the dev mentioned in that video that made me smile from ear-to-ear – “velocity sensitive.” In another developer interview on GameTrailers, the same dev goes into a bit more detail and explains that there will be accent notes which appear as being armor plated – hitting them a bit harder will land you extra points. The Rock Band folks have confirmed that the RB2 kit will also have velocity sensitive heads. This is great news as it will really bring a sense of finesse to the games that wasn’t there in the original RB.
Out of the box, the GHWT kit features three drum heads, the kick pedal, and two cymbals – hi-hat and crash/ride. The standard RB2 kit is the same layout as its predecessor (four pads and a kick pedal), but there will be cymbal add-ons available after-market. No word on what those will cost, though.
The one thing that’s got me leaning more in the direction of GHWT, is that the kit looks much more durable and sturdy. Not to mention, it looks more like a real electronic drumkit, as opposed to four pads on a shaky base. There’s a limited edition after-market kit for RB2 made by Ion that looks incredible, but will be selling for $299. While that’s not totally unreasonable, seeing how I live in Canada, I’d say there’s a very slim chance I could get my hands on one of those at a decent price.
With RB2 set to releease in September and GHWT following in October, I would like to pick up a copy of the RB2 game disc only and wait for reviews on the GHWT package before making a decision. Problem being, we all know how hard the GH games are to get a hold of around the holiday season. So really, I’m not sure what is going to happen. I’m just hella stoked that there’s a couple solid options for a fairly realistic drumming experience in video game form. Either way, I’ll likely be picking up both games. The real decision lays with the hardware.
What are you Rock Band owners out there planning to do when these new games are released? Stick with your old hardware, or “upgrade” to one of the new models?