AC/DC Live : Rock Band

Xbox 360 Review
Band-specific music games actually aren’t a novelty – in Japan you had DDR titles based off acts such as True Kiss Destination and U.S. gamers even had titles such as Brittney’s Dance Beat and Spice World.  Nonetheless, band-specific music games are once again becoming the ticket of the moment and Harmonix and MTV have their hat into the ring with the recent entry of AC/DC Live: Rock Band.  While it’s no-brainer if you dig Rock Band 2 or AC/DC, you’ll enjoy a number of jams with the band, but as an expansion, many people are asking the question, is it worth another $40?

From the gate, players will have to realize, AC/DC is not a “full game” on its own.  While players can go solo through the song list or team up with bandmates to tackle the game’s 18 songs, there is no career mode and player customization is absent when playing on the AC/DC disc.  Thankfully, though, there is a little more under the game’s hood as opposed to Harmonix and MTV pitching out 18 songs for a couple of Hamiltons.

When you break it down, considering the average Rock Band DLC song is $2, at 18 songs, you’re getting around an hour and 40 minutes of game play on guitar, drums and vocals for $36, already putting it close to the $40 price tag.  When you consider the extra $4 goes toward providing a case with an AC/DC cover, 250 additional achievement points and a code to import every song over to Rock Band (1 or 2), the deal gets a little bit sweeter.  Even so, unless you’re a Rock Band or AC/DC diehard, most people might be content pawning off the game as soon as the achievements are overtaken and the import code is punched in.

A big pitfall for band-specific games, though, is, obviously, the fact not everyone is going to like AC/DC.  While this has no bearing on game play flaws, per sey, many music games have the benefit of featuring a wide range of artists so if you don’t like “artist x,” there’s always going to be an “artist y” you will enjoy.  In that regard, it was very wise to approach AC/DC as an expansion pack from the start as players who don’t want to bare witness to 100 minutes of the band can skip out without missing a huge load of content.

Ultimately, the decision lies in whether or not the player is enamored with AC/DC and if they don’t mind the package is not a full game.  While the musical content gets spun in a different light, the rock-solid rocking of Rock Band 2 is still there.  There isn’t much meat to the disc itself, however, you’ll find your group going through it at least once (if you are all about achievements, you’ll be tackling all of the different instruments as well) and you know you’ll use that import code to jam an AC/DC tune on Rock Band or Rock Band 2 in the future.  You can take it or leave it based on its content, but as a game, the Rock Band glory hasn’t been lost in this pack.

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