Rock Band on the Wii… FINALLY!

Well it’s out, and I bought it. Of course. At a heafty $170, this is not a purchase to take lightly for Wii owners. While it is great to finally see support from the Rock Band brand, it may still not be what alot of Wii’ers are looking for. I, however, am a simple person, so my criteria was this: Do you get to play various musical parts on a various selection of song? Check. Does it come with the same cool peripherals that the other Rock Bands come with (essentially the drums)? Check. Is it expandable? Check. And finally, the most important factor on most Wii games, is it fun, and is it fun for a lot of people at once? Very big check.

Honestly, the winning factor for me is the expandability. They didn’t give the option for downloadable content, but they are releasing a kind of expansion called a track pack for the Wii (and PS2) version of the game. This is a CD with a set of the first available downloadable songs for the PS3 and Xbox 360 systems. It is rumored to retail at $29.99. Now it does seem like quite a bit, especially since you purchase the starting setup for $170, and they are releasing the track pack in July, a little less than a month from the initial release. Overall though, it is releasing 20 original downloaded songs, which places them at a $.50 discount versus the original downloads, and at 20 songs, that is $10 off. Plus the pack is called “volume 1” so that does give the impression that more are to come. Since I have a collector’s complex, and I would want a maximum amount of variety for everyone that comes over to play, This will most likely save me a ton of money, even though for most people this will not replace the pick and choose ability of downloadable content.

The next biggest issue many people have with the Wii version, is the lack of online multiplayer gaming and lack of character customization, but if there is anything we have learned about the Wii, it is about bringing people together in person, not through the wires of the world. Is this really an excuse to leave the function out of the game. No, it’s just what I tell myself so I can sleep at night. In all actuality, I think I’ve only played the online games on Guitar Hero 3 twice, and I bought it when it was released. So this really doesn’t affect me. As for character customization. Meh. I really don’t care about making a real looking character, I love my giant heavy metal robot with a Marx mask playing a samuri guitar.

And finally, the  third biggest issues with Rock Band Wii, is October 27th, 2008. The official release date of Guitar Hero: World Tour. At $190 for the full bundle, it will include a three drum set with two “cymbals” and the bass pedal. The general microphone, and the new guitar with a touchpad to provide new functions of gameplay. All wireless, yes, all wireless. You can also purchase a pack with just the game (assuming compatibility with the old guitars on the Wii) or a pack with just the game and a guitar. Plus, rumor is Guitar Hero will be breaking the downloadable content barrier on the Wii.

So now the question begs, should I have just waited on Guitar Hero instead of buying the Rock Band pack on the Wii? Probably. Is Rock Band Wii still extremely fun? Yes. Did my wife and one of my best friends spend 5 hours playing it after we bought it? You bet. Do I regret getting it? Not at all. At the end of the day, all the high fives, head banging, and laughing kinda takes your mind off downloadable songs, online play, or character customizing. No, I didn’t need to spend $170 for fun with my friends, but I did, and it is awesome.

Long story short, if you only have a Wii and no other system, and you want Rock Band, then by all means go get it, it is better than buying a whole new system just for this game. If you have a PS3 or Xbox 360, go ahead and get those versions if you want to (most likely you’ve already bought it long ago). The core game is the same on all systems, and the bottom line is it is fun.

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