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Nintendo DS Review: LEGO Rock Band

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Players can discover their inner rhythm on bass, drums, guitar and lyrics in the latest Rock Band game incarnation, which incorporates the building brick toy brand. LEGO Rock Band optimizes the Nintendo DS capabilities and all age appeal though more song choices would have been nice.

The song selection is short and varied/edited from the original versions. Featured musicians include David Bowie, Blur, Iggy Pop, and Queen plus Elton John, Bon Jovi, Foo Fighters, Jackson 5, The Police, Rascal Flatts, Jimi Hendrix, Tom Petty, and Spinal Tap.

The dual-screen format and progressive building elements add unique appeal to the game series while developers keep the visual style intact. The game follows previous installments closely, especially in format. The advancing “roadway bars” remain, but players must switch among the four different bars (using the L or R button) to get multipliers and extra content.

Skill sets are challenging enough for all player levels, which includes super easy for very young players. Purple bricks help players by allowing more space among track switches. Once items on the bar turn transparent, players can switch more easily without missing a beat.

Developers give players several ways to initiate the multiplier doubling “overdrive” function by using the B button on the right side; the down arrow on the left side and blowing into the microphone in the middle, so righties, lefties and “hands busy” players won’t get frustrated.

Players can use the stylus on the touch screen in easy levels, but the buttons are highly recommended for more advanced levels, especially for the required simultaneous button pushes for guitar chords.

The LEGO character role playing elements involve customizations of instruments, wardrobe, entourages and, of course, hair. Players also get some cool vehicles to ride to their gigs. The Rock Power Challenges incorporate some monster battles and big events during performances.

Extensive downloadable content or innovative song additions through the SD card slot on the Nintendo DSi would have made this synergy perfect, but it's still a lot of pocket sized power. Built to last, but not quite the pyramids.

Twenty-five of the 45 songs in the E10+ rated console versions appear in this Nintendo DS version, though players do get all the songs right away so they can spend more time in the LEGO-focused activities instead of unlocking songs. The multiplayer option expands the game in two to four multi card play (each person needs a game copy). Highly recommended for all ages.

LEGO Rock Band is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB for comic mischief and mild lyrics. This game can also be found on PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360.


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About Tall Writer

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  • Jeff F

    Awesome. A mobile Rock Band sounds good to me. Think they had one for the PSP as well. Heard this NDS version is better than the consoles too. :-)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/tall-writer/ Tall Writer

    Yes, the PSP has Rock Band Unplugged, which is was released this past June I believe. :-)