Ads are gone. We're using Patreon to raise funds so we can grow. Please pledge support today!
Google+   Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | DS | PS3 | PS4 | PSP | VITA | WII | WIIU | X360 | XB1 | All
LEGO Rock Band (Wii) artwork

LEGO Rock Band (Wii) review


"Maybe in any other game, I would feel pretentiously ashamed from having any kind of musical association with Counting Crows and Rascal Flatts, but the adorable Lego overhaul strips the game of the pseudo-seriousness exhibited in other musical titles, be they Rock Band or Guitar Hero. My biggest rival through the tour mode was a disgruntled drum-playing octopus who wasn’t included in the band due to an obscure rule on sea life being allowed in a contracted band, and I had to help demolish a strangely indestructible building by playing Tick Tick Boom at it until it fell over. "



Blur. Song 2. On the drums. Hard setting.

It was quite the blow to my ego when I first played drums on Lego Rock Band only to find that I couldn’t automatically achieve the greatness I deserved without trial or effort. I didn’t start off on the easier setting nor start off with slower, more manageable songs. No; I wanted to play as the little Lego representative of Graham Roundtree, and I wanted to play Song 2. So Lego Blur shuffled onto the screen and I looked forward to two minutes and two seconds of harmonic glory.

If this was to be a better tale, I would tell you my efforts hit an extreme; that I either played the song perfectly or I crashed hard and people laughed. The truth is, I did okay. The crowd turned against me a few times, but I rallied back each time and finished the song to a reasonable level. Overall, it was lauded as an excellent first attempt by those who bullied me into overlooking my long-standing pretentious standpoint that my mastery of a real instrument made the video game equivalents beneath me. But it wasn’t the glory I desired. In the name of perfection, still armed with my aloof attitude and equipped with a difficulty setting more befitting to my beginner status, I carried on playing. I figured I’d play along for a few songs, then make my excuses and find a less demeaning way to spend my time.

Then, suddenly, it was 3am. Somewhere along the line I had designed my own Lego character with a mop of brown hair and a neon green Union Jack top, and we‘d manifested our own band to take on the tour mode. I’d been playing for some five hours. I was very confused at this turn of events.

Desperate though I was not to let anyone realise, I’d found myself having a lot of fun bashing away at my plastic drums to the chorus of mostly harmless pop singles, glam rock and Korn. The vast majority of the songs are already sitting unlocked should you not want to drop into the story mode (something done to alleviate the complaints and threatened lawsuits of lazy gamers discontent with earlier games forcing you to play through stages to unlock tracks) and, it might be fair to say that the library is on the light side. The forty five songs included on the disk is mostly full of modernistic pop aimed at the younger audience it was assumed this game would be marketed towards. Cameo efforts by the likes of Iggy Pop, David Bowie and Spinal Tap(‘s worst effort) do their best to appeal to those who’d rather chew off their own ears than listen to All American Rejects. Even though the game is full of catchy (if not shallow) tunes, most of these are surprisingly fun to play through. I enjoy playing Sum 41’s In Too Deep. I do, it’s fun, and I don’t care what you think. Stop judging me!

I might enjoy singing it too, if the lines of text displayed for any players armed with a microphone weren’t so ludicrously hard to read.

Maybe in any other game, I would feel pretentiously ashamed from having any kind of musical association with Counting Crows and Rascal Flatts, but the adorable Lego overhaul strips the game of the pseudo-seriousness exhibited in other musical titles, be they Rock Band or Guitar Hero. My biggest rival through the tour mode was a disgruntled drum-playing octopus who wasn’t included in the band due to an obscure rule on sea life not being allowed in a contracted band. My first job had me help demolish a strangely indestructible building by playing Tick Tick Boom at it until it fell over. Your little Lego band is prone to all the exaggerated and wholly adorable mannerisms we’ve come to see from their foray into the likes of Star Wars or Indiana Jones.

From nostalgic throwbacks from Steve Harley’s oddly upbeat song about how his old band hate him to Lost Prophets finally selling out, I could complain about the musical choices all day long. No, really, I could. But I won’t, because it’s so hard to take them seriously when they're made bloody adorable by association. Even if your tone-deaf friend is slaughtering Tom Petty’s Free Falling or you’re stuck on the drums with the repetitive baseline that serves Queen’s We Will Rock You, the game still manages to put a smile on your face.

Except with Blur. Song 2. On the drums. Hard setting.

Time and time again, I come back to it, edging ever closer to perfection. Roundtree can go to hell; I will play this song better than the Lego approximation of him and then, when I do, it’s on to expert. Even if the girl who’s playing lead guitar hasn’t graduated from the new super easy mode, I can actually play an instrument, damn it, and I won’t be beaten by this.

Rating: 8/10

EmP's avatar
Staff review by Gary Hartley (June 13, 2010)

Gary Hartley arbitrarily arrives, leaves a review for a game no one has heard of, then retreats to his 17th century castle in rural England to feed whatever lives in the moat and complain about you.

More Reviews by Gary Hartley
Velocibox (PC) artwork
Velocibox (PC)

What Temple Runner might have been had it hated you more.
Metal Gear Solid (PlayStation) artwork
Metal Gear Solid (PlayStation)

Stuck somewhere between awkward social commentary and a one-series war against interactivity.
The Walking Dead: Season 2.5 - No Going Back (PC) artwork
The Walking Dead: Season 2.5 - No Going Back (PC)

The deconstruction of Clementine.

Feedback

If you enjoyed this LEGO Rock Band review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

board icon
Ben posted June 13, 2010:

Great review. I could relate to a lot of the things you mentioned, and I enjoyed reading it from your perspective.

Then, suddenly, it was 3am(add full stop) Somewhere along the line

Even if your tone-death (should be "deaf") friend

you’re stuck on the drums for ("with"?) the repetitive baseline that serves Queen’s We Will Rock You
board icon
EmP posted June 13, 2010:

If you heard her try and sing that song, man, the one thing on your mind would be death, too.

Thanks for the catches. recently, only having three typos in a review is some kind of personal record, so here's hoping that part of my game is back on the mend. Have you played the Lego version, Ben? I tend to remember you as someone pretty handy on the gutiar.
board icon
honestgamer posted June 13, 2010:

Good review. I doubt that it will come as a surprise to you to learn that I actually like the All-American Rejects (their "When the World Comes Down" CD doesn't even really have a song on it that I don't like). Despite that unfortunate snipe, I felt that the review did a nice job of covering your adventures with the sort of game that I expected you to hate... but that you wound up not really hating at all.
board icon
Ben posted June 13, 2010:

Yep, I do have Lego Rock Band. I got it cheap and had a good time with the songs on guitar, which surprised me considering the setlist was definitely more family-friendly. I never got around to finishing the career (I ended up exporting the songs in the end to play on Rock Band 2), but it was fun. Maybe we should play a few songs online if the opportunity arises. I think FIFA takes priority, though.

Oh, and I found another typo!

even though the game is full of catchy tunes, most of these are surprisingly fun to play though ("through").
board icon
bloomer posted June 13, 2010:

This review was well funny.
board icon
EmP posted June 15, 2010:

My disappointment in you, Jason, is tangible.

Thanks for the further catches, Ben. Sadly, I play Rock Band on the Wii. Because I still hang on to enough elitism not to drop money on a plastic drum kit (and, thus, play someone elses copy) when I buy a new cymbal every seven seconds for the real one. They're like brass-flavoured crack to me. I'll still be up for schooling you at FIFA when I'm back online, though.

Thanks, Bloomer! Now, to wait eagerly for Electronic Hero so you can pen a begrudging review on that and complete the circe!

(I'm still half-expecting Lewis to turn up and call me a bunch of names.)
board icon
wolfqueen001 posted June 16, 2010:

Oh, I see. So you never actually owned a copy of this after all. This version of the game might also explain why I couldn't find that song on my friend's version of Rock Band 2 even though he'd imported everything from the first and had quite a few downloaded songs. (Though I guess it's possible I just somehow missed it in the set list... though I swear I combed that thing several times.)

I like to make the guys that tackle the drums play YYZ on expert (or at least hard). It's often hilarious, especially when they fail a lot and the rest of us have to save them. I'm also amused when they complain their wrists hurt because none of them are actually real drummers.

I, of course, just stick with the guitar or bass because that's all I've learned to do with the Rock Band / Guitar Hero series and I'm not even that great. I refuse to try and learn anything else because I can't stand the humiliation. (Plus I know I don't have the hand-eye coordination for drumming, and we're not even going to discuss vocals. ...uggggh... XD)

Anyway, this was a fantastic review. The style made it both personal and humorous (in a good way), and I'm still amused at the fact that you were actually charmed into liking a music-themed game of this particular trend, especially with your revulsion of (almost) all things musical.

This game really does seem different(ish) from the other titles in teh Rock Band franchise. After reading the review completely, I don't recognize any of the bands or songs as being on the Rock Band version I've played at my friend's house. From what you describe of it, though, I think I'd prefer the traditional Rock Band set list since I'm really not into the pop stuff (though I do like Queen - you make me sad.)

But yeah. This is great. I think you have a good chance of winning RotW this week.

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this review.

Info | Help | Privacy Policy | Contact | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2014 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. LEGO Rock Band is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to LEGO Rock Band, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors. Staff and freelance reviews are typically written based on time spent with a retail review copy or review key for the game that is provided by its publisher.