Picked up Rock Band 2 last weekend with high expectations. The original Rock Band was my favorite rhythm game to date, and I couldn’t wait to see how they improved upon the original. It turns out that the biggest improvements are quite minimal on paper. The single player campaigns have been axed in favor of using Tour mode for everything and a few “challenges” that consist of playing various sets of songs with certain instruments. The online modes have been left mostly the same, but tour mode is now online as “Battle of the Bands,” so the old modes are somewhat irrelevant to me. Combining the songs I’ve downloaded with the songs imported from the original Rock Band, I have over two hundred songs available to play in Rock Band 2. Choosing a song to play is like looking at someone’s iTunes library. It’s better than the original in every facet of gameplay and presentation, but of course, the game’s own song selection is what really matters, and it somehow manages to best its predecessor. It’s got Bon Jovi, Journey, Modest Mouse, Blondie, Beck, and more. Many of the songs aren’t obvious, and that’s what makes it so great.
So basically, it’s still Rock Band. And I couldn’t recommend it more for rhythm game fans.