Rock Band Reloaded HD iPad Review - -

Gameplay 9.2
Graphics 9.2
Sound 9.2
Value 9.2
Distributor: iTunes
Review Date:
January 2011
James Wright


Rock Band Reloaded HD

We've played Rock Band on the iPhone which was spectacular and now it's time for iPad users to enjoy one of the best music rhythm franchise to date, Rock Band. At its heart, Rock allowed you to play lead or bass guitar and by matching the colours on screen with the touch screen, it created a note. The more notes you got correct, the higher your score became. With Rock Band Reloaded, it expands on this premise by allowing you to sing into the iPad microphone that almost bridges the gap with the console version. It's a nifty little feature but you still cannot beat playing lead or bass. Add in the ability of playing drums and even a two player mode on one iPad and this is the perfect game.

The menu system is almost identical to Rock Band on the consoles and supports a wide range of gameplay options such as World Tour, Quick Play and even local multiplayer. The only issue with Rock Band Reloaded on the Apple iPad is that you need to constantly turn your iPad. For example, interacting with the menu system requires you to use the iPad in landscape mode but when you play the game, you need to swing it to portrait. Nothing major but slightly annoying. Then you have the weight of the iPad which limits how you play the game and we've found that it best works while your iPad is on your lap.

As to the music interface, it displays a guitar with coloured notes that come towards the player. In order to "play" music, you need to push the "buttons" on the bottom of the iPad touch screen which in turn creates the notes. This works well for the majority of time but as you increase the difficulty of the game, things become considerable challenging. It even supports the whammy option that is kind of cool. To engage in the whammy, you need to hold down the virtual buttons and move your finger around for some great special effects.

Star Power is also here as well. To use Star Power, you need to shake your iPad and presto, let's see those scores skyrocket. You even have different venues and singers in the background but for the majority of time, you're too busy looking at the notes that you are required to match with the coloured buttons. In World Tour, there are 36 events to unlock and you are judged on a star rating, the better you perform, the more stars you earn. Drumming is similar to lead and base but the "imaginary" drum buttons are a little spread out more. You still need to match the colours up with the coloured drums to successfully hit those beats.

In terms of singing, this is when things became a little embarrassing. You really need to use this option while you're alone or else you might get a few strange looks from people. As the words are displayed on the screen, you need to sing into the iPad microphone which in turn scores your pitch with the original song. Thankfully the iPad version is not as accurate as the console version because I know for a fact that I'm a horrible singer but even so, it worked rather well.

In terms of multiplayer, the game does offer local multiplayer via Bluetooth which allows you to play as a "band" with other people. It's a cool feature that I tried with my brother as he played bass and I played lead. Hopefully in the future, EA will someone have the ability for online play. Here's hoping. There is however an option to post your high score to your Facebook wall if you're into that thing and unfortunately there are no leader boards. Let's call it a work in process.

The game contains a diverse track listing that requires the player to successfully complete a set number of songs or additional songs can be purchased from iTunes... some even free. Here is the full track listing of Rock Band Reloaded HD;

  • 3 Doors Down “Kryptonite”

  • Alice in Chains “Your Decision”

  • Beastie Boys “So What’Cha Want”

  • Billy Idol “White Wedding”

  • Drowning Pool “Bodies”

  • Duran Duran “Hungry Like the Wolf”

  • Evenescence “Call Me When You’re Sober”

  • Megadeth “Peace Sells”

  • NIN “The Perfect Drug”

  • Nirvana “In Bloom”

  • No Doubt “Hella Good”

  • Pat Benatar “Heartbreaker”

  • Seether “Remedy”

  • Steve Miller Band “Rockn’ Me”

  • Vampire Weekend “A-Punk”

Not bad if you ask me! I'm really surprised that the game contains a few indie bands such as Vampire Weekend. Touché indeed! In terms of sound quality, the iPad speakers are pretty damn impressive so it's all crystal clear songs. Add in the those Rock Band "miss" sound effects and the crowd and this game contains together quite well in this department.

Graphically, the game looks amazing on the iPad thanks to the Retina display. Everything looks clear, sharp and colourful. The animation is quite decent and there are a variety of special effects to enhance this virtual rock band experience. If this is the future of iPad gaming, than count me as a convert. This is probably my favourite looking game on the iPad at the moment.

Final Thoughts?

Rock Band Reloaded is a true work of art that works on all levels. Whether you're singing or playing the bass, the developers have successfully bridged the gap from console to iTunes and more specifically the iPad. It's definitely a reference game for this system that we recommend. The only issue is that the iPad does become a little heavy at times which will effect your gameplay if you move around because the pause button is located at the top of the screen. There are a few teething issues but it's still a very impressive gaming title for the iPad! Definitely check it out!



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