Date: 08-11-2009 21:06
Reviewer: Zahir

Type: PSP
Genre: Rhythm
Developer: Harmonix

November 20, 2001. A newly founded game company named Harmonix Music Systems releases its first game, "FreQuency", on the PlayStation 2. This game went on to spawn a sequel two years later named "Amplitude". These two games changed music games forever. They allowed you to play all the instruments involved in the song. There were 8 tracks to swap between and 3 note paths. Fast forward to 2009. Harmonix went on to create the popular games Guitar Hero 1 and 2, and from that, Rock Band 1 and 2. These games built on Amplitude and FreQuency's basic formula, but took instrument swapping out of the equation, and introduced instrument peripherals. Now we get Rock Band: Unplugged, exclusive to the PSP, and a spiritual successor to the Amplitude and FreQuency games.

Graphics: The graphics are great on PSP. It is about on par with Resistance Retribution. There are moments while you are playing where certain contrast effects will kick in, or blur when you get a Band Groove. All of these give this portable version the stylized look the console versions have. The art is very intricate as well. All sorts of things are happening while you are playing on stage. Pyro, spotlights, it all looks great. The crowd is VERY bland, but the camera doesn't focus on them much.

Sound/Music:This is where Rock Band shines, seeing as it's a music game series. The setlist of 41 songs pulls from all different areas of the Rock Band and Rock Band 2 catalog, as well as some temporary exclusives to Unplugged. The sound quality of the songs are great, and when you are playing a certain track, that track will be slightly louder than the others so you can hear what you are playing. If you neglect to play a track, it will get quieter and quieter until you can barely hear it, until you start to play it again.

Gameplay/Features: Unlike the console versions, there are NO peripherals included with Unplugged.You use the R and L buttons to swap tracks, and the left, right, , and to play the notes, and down or to activate Overdrive. If you don't like the default set up, you can change it completely till it feels comfortable. Unplugged has a few modes. In Quick Play, you just jump in and play one of the songs you unlocked. In Career Mode, you tour around the world playing and unlocking songs, gaining new perks (interns,publicists,etc.), fans, stars, and cash. In Band Survival Mode, all four track are going at once and will not turn off like in Career and Quickplay Mode. You need to keep all tracks from failing, which gets a bit crazy on the harder difficulties. For people who just want to play one instrument throughout the entire song, there's Warmup Mode. In Warmup Mode, you can switch tracks, but you don't HAVE to. There is plenty of replay potential here, especially with all the different modes and in the first in-game DLC store for PSP.

Presentation: 10
Graphics: 9.5
Sound: 10
Gameplay: 9.5
Lifespan: 10
Overall: 9.5
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