The music/rhythm genre is dead, or is it? For a while people like myself enjoyed being fake rock stars jamming out on plastic instruments and singing karaoke to our favorite songs. Now those plastic instruments we loved for a time just waste space in the basements and garages of our homes, at the local dump, or lining the walls of the local GameStop as employees desperately hope that some poor schmuck buys them. Me, I moved on to a real guitar, and I’m learning to play using Rocksmith. So what do I do now with all those Rock Band tracks cluttering my Xbox 360 hard drive that I haven’t played in a couple of years. Well Harmonix has the answer. Rock Band Blitz!

With the plastic instrument fad finally over due to the countless versions of Guitar Hero and a game called Rock Revolution, Harmonix found a way to breathe new life into a dead genre. Inspired from previous Harmonix titles including Amplitude and Frequency I now just use my Xbox 360 controller to rock out the beat and it’s a lot of fun. Nothing’s better than playing some of my favorite tracks from Metallica, Nirvana, AC/DC, Foo Fighters, Rob Zombie, Shinedown, and so much more. I can seriously play this game for hours. I’m that addicted.

With my controller in hand I dived right in to the game and from the first moment I was impressed. I jammed out to “These Days” from Foo Fighters. It took just a few minutes to get used to the controls (maybe I should have tried the tutorial first), but once I got into a groove I was having fun with a Rock Band game once again. After playing the song I then went to the tutorial, learned more on how to play the game and got an achievement. Then I went back to playing more songs having a fun time in the process.

So the basic idea with Rock Band Blitz is to do the same thing I’ve been doing with Rock Band games for years. Matching up the notes with the beat and achieving the highest score possible. The big difference, other than using a controller, is that I now control all aspects of the band. Moving from lead vocals, guitars, drums, and even the keyboard on certain songs was easy with the left and right bumpers and hitting the notes by flicking the analog sticks matched up with the beats of the song. Multipliers start to rack up when hitting notes and checkpoints will increase available multipliers for me to continue jamming through. Hit enough notes in a row and I went into “Blitz” mode with a faster pace and higher scores.

Playing all these songs earned me both coins and cred that allowed me to use various upgrades and power ups so that I can score five stars. Just like star power was in the past Rock Band Blitz has those familiar white notes for me to tap on and use for some huge bonuses. Bombs, pinballs, and points bonuses. There cool to use and the bonuses are immense, but they come at the cost of some of your hard earned coins. Risk and reward is the name of the game and I’ve done well in quite a few songs giving me more coins and cred even if the price is a little steep.

Rock Band is fun for me once again. Blitz ditches the plastic toys and changes how I look at the genre as a whole. The new game is fun and addictive even though I feel that the included songs available are more hit and miss. At least I have all my downloaded songs to jam with, but it looks like I’ll have more songs to download in the near future. I highly recommend downloading this arcade gem today.

Developer: Harmonix
Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Players: 1
Price: 1200 Microsoft Points ($15.00)

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