Rock Band 3 emerged with two major changes to the franchise. A new peripheral in the form of a two-octave keyboard and a new “Pro” mode. I think there has been sufficient time to digest each of these:
First, the new keyboard was more than I expected. Considering what the first guitars were like for this franchise, the first attempt at a keyboard is commendable. However, the action of the keys is a little slow and can be a hinderance during sections with a multitude of notes that need to be played in a small amount of time. There is also the keytar issue. The keyboard does not come with a stand. It must be purchased separately. But, it does come with a neck strap. So, for most of us that will not be learning every song on “Pro Keys – Expert”, the keytar option works very well. For those that would like to venture into the Pro Key realm – be ready to purchase a peripheral for your peripheral.
The Pro mode is something else entirely. This past weekend, I had a chance to go through the training sessions for the keyboard. I was surprised at the level of detail the training went in to. It started with learning the difference between whole/half steps, introduced the concept of scales, and even went into more advanced concepts. I don’t think that the Pro mode was ever meant to teach someone how to read music. However, it is a great way to introduce someone to the broad concepts that music is built from in an easy to understand framework.
Both of these welcome additions to the Rock Band franchise still don’t change the fact that it is a game of reading lights that scroll down the screen. People who already read music will not have an advantage when it comes to Pro mode. People that already read music might be at a disadvantage when it comes to Pro mode because they will have to learn a whole new symbol system. As the newest addition to the Rock Band franchise, RB3 does not disappoint. It is as much fun as any of its predecessors and has the advantage of an enormous library to supplement its preinstalled songs. As an educational device, RB3 should get high marks for offering to teach the basics of music to those who are willing to take the extra time. All in all, RB3 is a great party game and should provide good times this holiday season.
What has your experience been with Rock Band 3? Let us know by clicking on Comment/s.