After the long wait, Rock Band 2 has finally arrived. It is very similar to the original Rock Band in many ways, but has a myriad of improvements that make it well worth the purchase. I got to play it last night for the first time and was blown away by the improvements.
New Songs: Of course, they loaded Rock Band 2 with a whole roster of new songs. I used to enjoy the old Rock Band songs, but only really liked about half the songs. So far I have only found a couple songs I didn't absolutely love. There are a total of over 100 new songs on the roster. By the end of the holiday season, there will be an estimated 400 additional songs available for download from the music store.
Old Songs: All your old songs from Rock Band can be uploaded and played on Rock Band 2. You can also play all your downloaded music from the previous version on the new game.
Custom Playlist: Don't you hate when you do a random setlist and you get a song that's just plain impossible to play, or one comes on that you just DESPISE its very existence? Now you can customize the songs that will play and set it so it plays your favorites and not the ones you hate.
Online Band Play: You don't have to have friends in your living room to be part of a band with real people now. You can just jump into an online band and join the fun.
Improved Instruments: New versions of the guitar, drums, and microphone are now available. I will go into more detail about them in a later post. You can play Rock Band 2 just as well with your old instruments, but the new ones give some very nice added features.
Battle of the Bands: Now your entire band can enter into a competition with other bands around the world to see who is the best.
Improved World Tour: Single player mode used to be just a solo performance to go through the roster of songs one by one. You can now tour the world as a band without anyone else around. It just drops in computer players to fill any empty spots. You can also now fluidly jump real people in and out of your band at will. You can also now hire staff like a merchandiser to get you extra cash at your shows, or a promoter to open up new venues.
More Character Customization: There are now about twice as many available options to customize your character, new clothes and accessories, and a whole new line of "Thrift Store" clothing.
Challenge Mode: The new challenge mode is much like the old bonus tour where you had to clear a song to progress to the next. In Challenge mode, you have to clear a certain number of songs to move on, but you can choose which path to take to unlocking them. To clear all the challenges, you will have to master all 4 instruments, and bring the rest of your band along.
No Fail Mode: This is a VERY nice new feature. You can now set it so no matter how badly you do in a performance, you won't fail out and stop the music. This mode is great for beginners who don't like getting booed off the stage, or for getting through those songs that have a single impossible solo that always causes you to fail, after playing a song for 10 minutes straight.