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Lego Rock Band

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Game Reviewed: Lego Rock Band
Publisher: MTV Games, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
Developer: Harmonix, Traveller's Tales, (Wii, PS3, Xbox 360) Backbone Entertainment (DS)
Reviewer: Matt Lewis
Platform: Wii (also on PS3, Xbox 360 and DS)
Category: Rhythm game
ESRB Rating: E10+
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Game Description:

Sling the guitar over your shoulder, steady the drumsticks, and take a deep breath. You are getting ready to rock the crowd in a way no Lego person has ever done before. Perform the song list and take a bow. Congratulations, you are the newest, and best, Lego Rock Band on the scene.

Lego Rock Band is yet another installment in a genre that is risking becoming tired old news. Even so, it is a surprising breath of fresh air for the series. It is basically Rock Band 2 with Legos. From the opening screen, to choosing your character, to the playlist, it does not look much different. But it now has a plastic shine that will bring back memories of lazy Saturday afternoons and more plastic creations than could be counted. Everything from the characters, the guitars, and even the venues has been given new life with the joy that only Lego can produce.

As in the previous games, there are different modes of play such as free play or tour. This installment also gives new meaning to “building a band.” You start from scratch, building your character with the parts given: hair, torso, pants, and accessories. From there, you can unlock extra pieces for your characters, new band equipment and instruments, and even materials to decorate the “rock den.” The rock den is where you can practice, hire a manager, or check out your accomplishments.

What Parents Need To Know

Violence

There is occasional slight slapstick type violence with Lego characters, but that is as far as it goes. There is a challenge in which you defeat a large octopus using the power of rock. It is very slapstick.

Language

Lego Rock Band tries hard to be kid friendly, so the included tracks are mostly clean. There was, however, an instance of the word “hell” in one song.

Sexual Content

Elton John's Crocodile Rock includes the line “....those Friday nights, when Suzie wore her dresses tight.” The Police song “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” says “everything she does turns me on.” The song “Girls and Boys” includes the line “the girls with the bodies like boys with Ferraris.” A few cases of such innuendo continue throughout the songs. A few of the songs are love songs, but they are not sexualized.

True to Rock Band 2, the playable characters in that game have been transformed into Lego figures for this one. While it is debatable as to whether or not a Lego figure can be provocatively dressed, a few of the female Legos reveal their midriff, or wear a bikini top. It is not particularly sexualized, but it is there. On that note, the album cover for Pink's single song showed her in a slightly revealing outfit, and is a bit more provocative than the aforementioned Lego figures.

Spiritual Content

As the tour progresses, you unlock extra characters. You can hire them as managers, roadies, etc. Basically, this just gives you extra fans, credits, etc. A few of the characters include a vampire and a wizard.

“Free Fallin'” by Tom Petty says “(she) loves Jesus...”

One of the venues in the game is Brickton Manor, which is said to be haunted. It is indeed haunted: by Lego ghosts. They are not scary though, and just look like translucent Lego figures. In one challenge, you play a song to run the ghosts out of the mansion. Incidentally, the song is “Ghosbusters.”

The song “Girls and Boys” says “losing their soul in a material world.” “Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)” mentions belief in Mother Earth and “faith in everything.” In the song “Ride A White Swan” it mentions “take a black cat and sit it on your shoulder.”

Bon Jovi's “You Give Love A Bad Name” says “you promise me heaven then put me through hell.”

Misc.

The song “Monster” seems to contain a veiled drug reference. It says “without these pills you're let loose.”

Pink's “So What” says “I'm gonna drink my money.”

As with other Rock Band games, it is possible to download new content. The songs must still meet a standard of kid friendliness, but there is still a possibility they would contain material not covered in this review.

Reviewer's Thoughts

Rhythm games certainly seem to have a monopoly on the video game market this year. Quite a few have been released, but there has not been an incredible amount of variation. What Lego Rock Band offers is not a brand new experience concerning rhythm games. It is just marketed to a brand new audience: families. The game works well and has created a game that can be played much more comfortably than many of the other games in the same field. With very few instances of lyric blurbs and other objectionable material, Lego Rock Band is a fun game for the whole family. Before you know it, you will be singing “Kung Fu Fighting” with everyone, smiles all around. I had a really fun time playing this game, and all of my family joined in at some point.

It might be worthy to note, however, that Lego Rock Band does not come in a bundled pack. You must already own the Rock Band peripherals (guitar, drum set, and mic) if you want to play the game. But if you like this sort of video game, and are looking for a fun new way to spend some time with the family, I would recommend Lego Rock Band.



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