- Publisher: Harmonix
- Developer: Harmonix
- ESRB Rating: “T" for Teen
- Genre: Music / Rhythm
- Pros: Fun and addictive gameplay; uses all of your Rock Band DLC
- Cons: Included songs are pretty weak; not worth it if you don't have a lot of DLC songs already
The most important and significant thing about Rock Band Blitz is that it will work with all of the Rock Band DLC tracks you already have on your hard drive, including disc exports from RB1, RB2, LEGO Rock Band, and Green Day Rock Band (sadly, you can't export Beatles Rock Band or Rock Band 3 tracks (yet?)), as well as any of the expansion discs like AC/DC or the country packs, so you could potentially already have hundreds of songs to play in Rock Band Blitz. Blitz comes with 25 songs and when you first start up the game it will ask you if you want to export those songs (via a separate download) to use in Rock Band 3. So, for 1200 MSP ($15), it is basically a cheap way to add 25 songs to RB3 even if the game itself isn't any good. But it is good. Very good. With that said, though, if you don't already have an extensive collection of DLC tracks Rock Band Blitz isn't really recommended because the included tracks aren't particularly great or anything.
See, you aren't really trying to play the song as you are just trying to get as high of a score as possible. Each song is split into several sections and the idea is that you level up the tracks in each section (by hitting specific note gems) in order to raise the multiplier cap for the whole song, thus allowing you to score even more points. If you don't level up all of the tracks in a section, however, the multiplier cap doesn't go up so your total score potential is severely diminished.
Also, by hitting multiple notes in a row, you enter Blitz mode (basically this game's version of overdrive or star power) that gives you even more points. The neat thing about Rock Band Blitz is that you can't fail the songs and there aren't even different difficulty levels. If you miss a ton of notes all it affects is your score and you still finish the song. The secret to high scores isn't just hitting all the notes, however, it is actually finding the right path through a song so you switch tracks at the right time in order to keep yourself in Blitz mode for as long as possible and also finding the most efficient way to level up each track to keep your multiplier climbing.
Add on top of all of that a series of powerups that you can apply to each song such as a 2x multiplier, rockets that blow up all of the notes ahead of you (giving you all of the points, of course), or getting extra points for individual tracks (among many other powerups), and you have a pretty crazy high score game that will offer a different experience depending on how you play it. There are lots of different ways to earn high scores on each song, which makes it very fun and very addictive to keep playing.
Chasing those high scores is literally the only thing to do in Rock Band Blitz. There is no career mode or anything like that. You do have to unlock the powerups, but after that initial grind for a few hours all that is left is high scores. It sounds like that might be a bad thing, but it isn't really any different from Guitar Hero or Rock Band where the career modes weren't anything special anyway. For players that need more motivation, this might be a problem, but we weren't bothered by it. Honestly, for us, a lot of our motivation to play any of these rhythm games is simply because we like to listen to music and don't have anything better to do, and Rock Band Blitz lets you do that a lot easier than having to drag a plastic guitar out of the closet, so it gets props for that. There is social networking integration so you can annoy your friends on Facebook every time you get a high score, but ... meh.
The presentation is simple and straightforward but more than gets the job done. There aren't any characters on stage or fancy sets or anything flashy. Just the brightly colored note highways scrolling through a city. Why are you going through a city? We have no idea! Everything is clean and easy to see. The note highways curve and move up and down, similar to Amplitude, which can create some moments where you crest the top of a hill and it is hard to see the next note, but you get used to it. The sound is perfectly fine and all of the songs sound just like they should.
Ultimately, Rock Band Blitz is an easy game to recommend. If you loved Amplitude and Frequency on the PS2 and still love Rock Band today, there is no reason not to buy it. It captures that lovely oldschool high score addictiveness and actually feels and plays significantly different from regular old Guitar Hero or Rock Band. It makes rhythm games interesting again. It isn't nearly as appealing if you don't already have a large collection of DLC songs to play (and spending $2 per DLC song just to play it in Blitz is kind of a rip off), so we don't recommend it if this is going to be your first taste of the music genre. If you're already a Rock Band fan, though, Rock Band Blitz is definitely worth the 1200 MSP download.