Kudos: Rock Legend (PC) review
"If you can find satisfaction in high percentages, Rock Legend just might be your game, as It's basically clicking through menus until as many bars as possible say 100%, but with a theme. Because without the theme, it'd hardly even be a game. Almost nothing it impresses except ideas, but those are ruined. It isn't horrible execution that ruins them, however, but an utter lack of execution."
Imagine that you are going to a concert. One of our favorite bands is playing a nearby stage. The day of the concert, when you arrive instead of a cavernous theater with hundreds of screaming fans, you walk into an elevator. And instead of the kind of loud music that you can feel in your chest, you get subdued elevator music for several hours.
Rock Legend is a lot like that, right down to the blandly repetitive muzak. That might seem out of place in a game with "rock legend" in the title. And it is. It might be more accurate to say that the phrase "rock legend" is out of place in this game's title.
It's band management sim, but without any payoff. Everything is simple to a fault, with a design philosophy disturbingly similar to that of Flash game.
So you start by picking your character. It's not character creation, because there are only about five unique character portraits, and then a number of slightly altered portraits for each one. Now you're ready to start on that rocky road to success. The first thing you'll do is audition some people. Except there's no audition, you just pick a person out of a list of three candidates. Several times.
Incidentally, everyone who joins your band is pulled from the same pool of mugshots as those you selected your character from. With said pool being as small as it is, it's entirely possible to end up with a couple identical people on your band. The interface is bland. Very very bland.
But whatever, the fun comes in writing songs and putting on shows. That whole getting fame thing, right?
Well....no. The song writing interface consists of putting post it notes in order, matching certain colors on the musical notes on each one. Matching colors mean your song is 'better'. You don't actually do anything similar to writing a song. You never even get to hear the song you put together played. But hey, it's 85% quality according to the rating system, so you should feel good about it anyway.
Live shows? Those don't even happen. After booking one, publicizing and rehearsing, the game simply skips to the end of the show, with a small block of statistics telling you how good it was. It's hard to relate to, because you never went to the show. There was no show.
The only time the game allows you any meaningful amount of participation whatsoever is during practice. Practice is a minigame! And even though it's just a boring Simon says sort of thing, where you punch in patterns of notes from memory after the game gives them to you, it's riveting compared to most of the remainder of the content.
If you can find satisfaction in high percentages, Rock Legend just might be your game, as It's basically clicking through menus until as many bars as possible say 100%, but with a theme. Because without the theme, it'd hardly even be a game. Almost nothing it impresses except ideas, but those are ruined. It isn't horrible execution that ruins them, however, but an utter lack of execution.
Freelance review by Josh Higley (August 20, 2007)
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