Once upon a time, Konami was the King of music rhythm games. Nobody else released them, and they did well.
Along came Harmonix, Red Octane, EA and Activision, and the evolution of the genre accelerated out of control. Gameplay was fine tuned and the overall experience was distilled to high octane fun.
After years of staying out of the fray, Konami throws their hat back into the music game with Rock Revolution.
What did I think? Read the review.
Really, I could write one sentence that would tell you everything you need to know: Rock Revolution should have been named Sh_t Revolution.
While I’d love to just leave it at that, you’re probably wanting an explanation, and I should probably justify my seething rage.
If you’ve played Guitar Hero: World Tour, or any of the Rock Band titles, you already know how it works. Equip a set of plastic instruments, watch musical notes float down the screen towards you, hit the corresponding notes on your plastic instrument at the appropriate time. Hit a lot of notes without missing any, earn a multiplier. Miss a bunch of notes, lose the backing of your audience and fail. The song is over prematurely.
One of the first things you may notice when opening your Rock Revolution box is the guitar… or rather you’ll notice there isn’t one. At first I appreciated this because my house is already filled with numerous plastic axes (twelve of them), and I’m flat- out not looking to add any more to the collection. Later, I appreciated this even more because, based on the included drum kit, I suspect the buttons would have had tiny spikes embedded in them to punish your left hand, and the strum bar would have been made out of a razor blade to punish your right.
Why would the drum set give me this impression? It’s small… very small. After only a few minutes of playing you’ll begin to feel cramped, and a few minutes after that, you’ll experience REAL physical pain. Ergonomics be damned, the angle of the pads and their proximity to each other lead to missed notes, rimshots, smacking the PS3 controls with a stick, and mental anguish.
Did I say mental anguish? I meant it. Brian can’t look at the set without making a crack about ‘Lucky Charms’. The SEVEN pads are tiny, weirdly shaped pastel nubs. One can’t help but think ‘Blue Stars… Yellow Moons… Pink Hearts… and GREEN CLOVERS!’ This is only compounded when you start PLAYING the game.
Instead of a gently sloping musical path, Rock Revolution opts for a strictly 2D note progression. This means that even on Easy, the notes have less real estate and are gone before you notice they have arrived. This gets worse when you realize (playing your first song) that the notes are microscopic circles, there are EIGHT different pads to hit (on drums, including the kick pedal) and the only thing differentiating them from each other are slight variations in color… and they aren’t the colors you’re used to with Rock Band or Guitar Hero. The kick drum isn’t even represented by a solid bar across the path; it’s just another pinkish-red dot… next to an orangish-red dot.
It feels like you’re being assaulted by a random spray of Skittles.
I do like the ‘in kit’ drumstick holder on the kit, and the kick pedal feels like it could take a lot of abuse.
I had to say something nice… something at all.
Music selection is actually quite good, but it’s painfully obvious that EVERYTHING is a cover (no original artists), and I suspect they hired the performing musicians from a lounge act at the local Holiday Inn. I’d be happy with the songs if they had gotten original master tracks.
Oh yeah! Before I wind this up, did I mention that you don’t need a microphone? THAT’S BECAUSE THERE IS NO VOCAL OPTION IN THE GAME. Seriously… it’s a band game without a singer.
Bad peripheral… missing features… awful music… impossible interface (I’m being generous)… this game hates you, and it hates fun. It violently rebels against anything that could be considered a ‘good time’.
I found a set on clearance, and I paid next to nothing for it… and I got ripped off.
If you’re staring at a clearance rack in the near future, and you’re tempted?
Run away… run far away… never look back.
In case you haven’t gotten the point by now: I’ve played a lot of bad games in my time, but this is BY FAR the worst I’ve ever seen, making me angrier than I thought a video game could possibly make me.
As per our ‘we’ll give you the option no matter how we rate a game’ policy, here’s a link to purchase this piece of crap: