Rock Band 3 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | Wii
Rock Band 3 box art
System: X360, PS3, Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: Harmonix 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: MTV Games 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 26 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-7 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The next component on the journey to turning pro is the song practice mode, where the game maps out the notes to each section of a song so you can practice each part by itself before stringing it all together to play the song. This is a surprisingly realistic mode, as learning a song on a real instrument often means memorizing and practicing chunks of a song at a time. In my personal journey to pro keys I was able to practice different segments of "Walking on the Sun" by Smash Mouth (an admittedly easy pro song) several times before starting it up in quick play mode, and then subsequently getting 100% accuracy.

Rock Band 3 screenshot

The process of learning a song, memorizing the notes, and then successfully executing it is a feeling unlike any other I have experienced in a video game, and definitely gives this game some staying power. Even if you don't spring for the other Pro-compatible instruments, simply playing the Pro keys is such a rewarding experience that you really owe it to yourself to check it out. And it comes with the added bonus of actually teaching you to play these songs (albeit on only two octaves) which is a great way to introduce anyone to the world of music.

The setlist in Rock Band 3 is as good as any on-disc setlist we've seen from Harmonix, and features plenty of hits from various time periods and genres. Standards like Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," Foreigner's "Cold as Ice," and Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again" are present, but the game does a great job of also incorporating some unknown songs like Ida Maria's "Oh My God" and "Don't Bury Me...I'm Still Not Dead" by the Riverboat Gamblers. There really is something here for everyone, and even if you feel like the game's 80+ tracklist is a little bit lacking in your favorite genre/era, Rock Band 3 will launch with 2000 songs available for download on the Rock Band store (though it is important to note that many of these songs are not compatible with the game's pro mode).

The real strength of Rock Band 3 lies in its potential for endless replay ability. The goals-focused career mode offers plenty of goals that players can aspire to, and with different goals for individuals, bands, instruments, and difficulty settings, there are plenty of opportunities both for success and for challenges for those who want simple game-based challenges from the game. Similarly, the Road Challenge mode allows those with a penchant for social gaming to experience the game in a whole new way.

Honestly, just these two features by themselves extend the play value of Rock Band 3 by hundreds of hours, but the introduction of pro mode really pushes the value of this title into the stratosphere. Even if you never purchase one piece of downloadable content, it’s easy to lose yourself in the sheer amount of content in Rock Band 3, and this is one title that begs your attention and won't let it go for a very long time. Though the price of entry for Pro mode is a little more than many may want to invest, the return on investment here is well worth the cost of entry, even if you just pick one instrument to go pro with.

Rock Band 3 is simply the best there is in the music genre. I have certainly had my moments were I have been skeptical of the music genre (especially when band-centric games like Rock Band: Green Day and Guitar Hero: Metallica offer little innovation), but Rock Band 3 has certainly changed my mind. This game has done the unthinkable and reinvented the wheel to make music games obsession-worthy again. So clear your schedule, turn up the volume, and grab your favorite energy potion, because Rock Band 3 is a game that will suck you in and won't let go anytime soon!

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC News Director

Graphics are sharp, and the mood effects for each track range from beautiful to downright trippy.
Familiar controls work perfectly, and the new keys instrument is intuitive and easy to use. Pro mode is nicely handled from a control standpoint.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Setlist features a mix of decades, from current hits to oldies from the 60's, and all sound great.
Play Value
The persistent career, training, online, and pro modes give players plenty of reasons to come back to this one.
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • The Most Music. Period. The RB3 disc soundtrack contains over eighty of the best bands from around the world, including bands that have never appeared in a music game, and support for existing Rock Band tracks (previous Rock Band discs, downloaded songs and track/artist packs). Plus, RB3 will give you immediate access to a library of over 2000 songs, with new content added weekly. Rock Band’s gigantic music library dwarfs that of Guitar Hero or any other music game.
  • Redesigned Music Library. Create and save set lists, and share them with your friends online. Improved song sorting makes it easier to find the songs you like–and hide the songs you don’t. Song recommendation system will recommend new songs for you based upon those you already like to play.
  • Expand the Band: Keyboard and Harmony Vocals. In addition to guitar, bass, drums, and solo voice, RB3 introduces 3-part vocal harmonies, and—for the first time ever—keyboard! Up to seven players can play together for the ultimate social gaming experience.
  • Go Pro. Take your passion for music to the next level: “Rock Band Pro” lets you develop real musical instrument skills through gameplay! Pro Drums supports three expansion cymbals for more accurate drum set simulation. Pro Keys features pitch-accurate keyboard performance. Pro Guitar—the flagship of the RB Pro initiative—features realistic guitar and bass performance, utilizing the new “Mustang Pro” simulated guitar controller. Additionally, Harmonix is working with professionals in the music industry to deliver to players a real electric guitar controller.
  • Play Just For Fun … or Get Serious? RB3 has great new party modes for quick rocking sessions with friends. Serious player? A whole new universe of challenges awaits. The revamped Career Mode sets your band on a path to conquer the world, chasing 700+ goals and rewards. Pro Modes take instrumental gameplay to the next level of sophistication. And seamless leaderboard integration keeps you always aware of how you’re stacking up against your friends.

  • Screenshots / Images
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