“Rock Band 4” leaves out important features

Mace Mackiewicz , Copy Editor

The time leading up to “Rock Band 4” was really exciting for me. The “Guitar Hero” and “Rock Band” franchise took hours of my life in middle and high school so, a next generation version was exciting for me and my friends who played them all the time.

The good news is the game is still “Rock Band,” a rhythm game based mostly around playing plastic instruments to rock songs.

The bad news is it’s definitely not complete in the state it was released in.

I got the band-in-a-box bundle because all my previous instruments were on the Wii, which aren’t compatible with the PS4 and the PS3 instruments I own are glitchy or, in the case of the keyboard, no longer compatible with the game.

The guitar and mic work are pretty standard and work normally. But I really wish there was a way that the guitar and drums could be wired.

The blue tooth gets out of sync easily on the instruments and can disconnect from the console from too much interference.

The game requires a lot of recalibration; I thought I had a faulty guitar, but as it turns out I just needed to recalibrate.

And on bad days I have to recalibrate the game once every two or three songs or I start missing every note no matter how easy they should be to hit.

The drum set needs a lot of work, which is thankfully being offered through firmware updates, but the drum set should not have been released in the condition it was.

Continuous rolls are constantly dropped; double hits on the bass pedal simply will not register.

At first I thought it could just be because I personally still suck at the drums, but I brought it over to a friends house after updating the firm ware and let the better drummers try it out. They were extremely frustrated with how many notes the game was dropping at a time.

It kind of sucks that Harmonix is asking people to drop $250 on this equipment, but is releasing it in a work-in-progress status.

Assuming the firmware fixes all the problems and it’s not a hardware issue, the game could have definitely spent some more time in development.

The songs that come on disk for “Rock Band 4” are the weakest collection of songs in the series to date.

There are some fun and awesome songs like “Your Love” by the Outfield and “Friday, I’m in Love” by The Cure, but the vast majority of the soundtrack is lacking.

To be fair to Harmonix, a lot of the best songs they could have chosen have been in previous games or are available for downloadable content, but I feel like they could have filled the void with a soundtrack of newer hits while combining leftover classics.

The good news is most of the songs from the “Rock Band” DLC catalog are compatible with “Rock Band 4,” so you can pick and choose what songs you want. As long as you owned the songs on the previous system, PS3 for PS4 and Xbox 360 for Xbox One, all of your previously owned DLC will be available to play in this game as well.

Weekly song updates are also back, so if somehow you don’t find something you like in the thousands of available songs, you might be in luck in the coming weeks and months with something you might like more.

The game also has lots of room for improvement. Harmonix has stated “Rock Band 4” will be the platform for current gen consoles, and they will be adding more features down the road; if you’re into competitive “Rock Band” and online play, even if they’re not in right now, there’s a chance of a later inclusion.

At the moment, the game is in a disappointing state, and it feels like they released it early to beat “Guitar Hero Live” to the punch.

However, the feeling of nostalgia for “Rock Band” is still there and the game still has the potential to reach its previous heights.

I would personally give the game a six and a half out of 10, but this isn’t a bad game or a bad score; it’s just that this game needs a lot of improvement before it can receive a higher score.

Mace Mackiewicz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]