Now you can rock and roll while riding the bus. Rock Band has arrived for the Playstation Portable handheld console with the subtitle Unplugged. Hang out with some of the best artists within the Rock music genre such as Sting, Dire Straits and many many others.
You pick a starting town, and once you have played the 4 songs you get a chance to play a gig. That will reward you with a rusty van, which makes you able to get to the next town. A couple more songs will make you able to hire an employee and later on you can upgrade your vehicle.
Rock Band on the GO
The gameplay UI follows what we already know from the string based instrument games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band – the nodes is rolling from top of the screen towards you, giving a good clue as to time the button presses. The additional gameplay element to this game is that since you can’t be more than one player at a time or plug in different instruments is that while playing you need to change between instruments with a button press.
The nodes is divided into passages, so between these passages, you have time to switch instrument and the concept is rather easy to grasp. So easy that anyone, even someone who is not used to play games, could play. I let my PSP with RB: Unplugged into the hands of a young teenage girl, and she completed a song on easy difficulty after a minute of guidance on which buttons to press, and how to change between instruments. She had seen Guitar Hero in action, so she knew the concept and when to hit the buttons.
Blasting on small screen
The graphics is quite decent when taking into consideration of the hardware involved, both on the UMD format disc and the PSP’s specs. The game runs fluidly without any drop of frames while the loading times is lacking but that might be inpatience. The music is vel chosen and perfect to rock out to; it includes artists such as Dire Straits, Jon Bon Jovi, Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Idol and The Police in the tracklist. The sound effects is appropiate but not groundbreaking.
It’s easy to get back into Rock Band: Unplugged, especially in small bursts whenever you need to kill short amounts of time. Billy, Sting and all the others are marvelous musicians to hang out with, and that goes even if you already have beaten all the songs with 5 stars on expert difficulty.
The one thing I really miss, is hardware that can function as an instrument, like the DS edition have enclosed. Using the PSP’s own buttons made the development and thus purchase of the game cheaper, making more sales in the process. The negative part of using the PSP own buttons is that it can be confusing with placement of the buttons as well as my hands are prone to cramp after playing a while on the handheld, due to its ergonomic features.
If you fancy Rock Band or Guitar Hero, and have a PSP at hand, I can highly recommend this game. Even if you just are considering getting one, game is a great first game for it. It’s a fine beginners game for the handheld, so even if you havent played videogames and want to try, then Rock Band: Unplugged is a fine training exercise to get used to buttonpresses and placements.