byKevin Kelly||June 10th 2009 at 2:30pmJune 10th 2009 2:30 pm
It's tempting to just take a review of Rock Band 2 and stick it under here and label it Lego Rock Band, because that's pretty much what it is, albeit with a few family-friendly tweaks. They're mostly aesthetic, and Harmonix is working with Lego, who has approval over all of the songs in the game, to make sure it's an experience that little kids can enjoy with adults. It might be a bit jarring to see Suzie, age 6, gyrating along to "Sex Bomb," for instance.
The biggest difference is that instead of just hitting notes, you're also collecting Lego studs each time you play correctly. Just like in all the other Lego games, the studs have a purpose, and in Lego Rock Band you can use them to upgrade your avatars by purchasing outfits and other accessories for them. They've even changed the in-game notes to look like the flat, round, single Lego studs. Besides that, the game is Rock Band as you've all come to know and love it. Mostly. What more could there be? Read on to find out. %Gallery-50718%
You can play on imaginative Lego music stages like a volcano, underwater, and even the Moon.
First of all, many of you (and us) have asked: why are they making this game in the first place? Alan Moore from Harmonix told us that the company feels that it has created the "ultimate party game" in Rock Band, but they wanted to make it a more family friendly experience. In addition to "clean" songs, this game features the same sanitized Lego humor that's been a staple of games like Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones, and you can play on imaginative Lego music stages like a volcano, underwater, and even the Moon.
The brief demo we were treated to at E3 took place on a stage built out of ginormous Lego blocks, and when we headed over there was a band led by an eight year-old kid on guitar. It was seriously adorable, and should have been the packshot for this game. We watched the cute kid wail on his guitar for few moments, then booted him off so we could play. We don't have all day, after all.
We played through one of the game's "Rock Power Challenges," which are sprinkled throughout the game. They involve your band using their music to make something happen, and in our case it was helping out a local demolition team to bring a building down while we played along to the Foo Fighters' "Breakout." You know, as musicians do from time to time. As you kept playing, windows would blow out, the elevator would plummet, and eventually the whole thing comes crashing down triumphantly at the end of the song.
Harmonix wasn't talking about DLC just yet, and they also weren't telling us if the Lego Rock Band songs work in Rock Band 2 or vice versa.
They're releasing the game with "Lego songs," and we're not sure what those are. Harmonix wasn't talking about DLC just yet, and they also weren't telling us if the Lego Rock Band songs work in Rock Band 2 or vice versa, although we're guessing if they're limiting the setlist to family friendly songs, you won't be able to import RB1 or 2 songs into Lego. The demo included "The Final Countdown," "Kung Fu Fighting," and the aforementioned "Breakout," but what makes a song Lego in the first place? We'd like to submit the following ideas, gratis:
"We Built This City" -- Jefferson Starship
"Another Brick In The Wall" -- Pink Floyd
"Brick House" -- The Commodores
"Build Me Up Buttercup" -- The Foundations
"Lego" -- Frou Frou
"Blockhead" -- Devo
"Brick" -- Ben Folds Five
The game will be out during the holiday season for the Xbox 360, PS3, the Wii, and the Nintendo DS. Harmonix wasn't sure if Lego would be releasing playsets based on the game, and there are currently no plans for a Lego Rock Band bundle, or even for Lego-shaped peripherals, which sucks. We'd totally buy a Lego guitar.