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Rock Band Sim


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Rating: 3.9/5 (103 votes)
| Comments (24) | Views (244)

RockbandsimDoraIf I were a rockstar, I'll tell you what I'd do. I'd buy all my jeans pre-grunged so I had more time to stick it to "da man" while I shredded on my axe guitar atop a semi barreling down a dramatically lonely highway. I'd party with Gene Simmons and that one guy from Poison, and I'd get fat checks for drinking soda and looking bored at clubs. Yeah, baby, I'd live it! Unfortunately, I grew up during the '90s, so I missed out on my chance for big stardom and bigger hair during the rockin' '80s. Fortunately, Mousebreaker is here with the aptly titled Rock Band Sim to fulfill all my raddest fantasies, letting me manage the career of a up-and-coming band of my own creation. Will they rocket to the top of the charts, or will they wind up doing mediocre covers of Ramones songs for free beers? Knowing my managerial skills, probably the latter.

When you first fire up the game, you'll be prompted to create your very own band of fashionably disinterested malcontents, I mean, rockstars. You can name your band yourself, or have the game generate an appropriately nonsensical one for you. You pick four bandmembers from a list of pre-generated musicians — singers, drummers, guitar players, and bassists, all with varying skills, and all who look like they just got thrown out of a Gwar concert. All the skills — charisma, drive, musicianship and flair — are fairly important to a successful band, but don't worry if yours seem a little lacking at first; there are multiple ways to build them up.

Once you've got your band, it's time to hit the big time. And by "hit the big time", I mean, "micro-manage your time and finances while you try to increase your skills and buy better instruments". What, did you think you'd be discovered in somebody's backyard and whisked away to open for the Rolling Stones on your first night? It's going to be a long time before anywhere really cool lets your mohawk in the door, so get ready to play a lot of dives and scrounge a lot of change. The main screen is a map with several locations on it, each with a specific purpose. Your house lets your band attempt to write their own songs, the shop sells things to increase your skills, and the Rock Pit is where you play all your gigs. Playing a gig not only earns you cash, it generates hype, which dictates the quality of shows you can put on, and helps your band level up.

Most of the game is played with the mouse, simply pointing and clicking your way through menus. Whenever you decide to play a gig, however, you'll use the arrow keys to match the beat and play a short tune. It's a lot like old favourite Super Crazy Guitar Maniac, only the notes scroll left-to-right instead of vice-versa. Make sure you don't miss too many of them or you'll bomb and lose the cash deposit for the gig. The better your band is, the more cash you'll rake in, so make sure you put some thought into not only your equipment but your skills as well. After all, the flashiest musician around is no good if he doesn't have the skills to back it up.

RockbandsimAnalysis: Unfortunately, Rock Band Sim tries to incorporate so many different tricks and gameplay elements that it winds up spreading itself too thin, so that some of the various activities don't seem as fleshed out as they could be. The addition of status ailments, which can crop up after events if you do poorly, seems clever, but they don't show up often enough to really impact the game. I'm also a huge fan of playing Guitar Hero when nobody is around to see how terrible I am, so the fact that each "song" you play is only ever rarely more than a handful of notes was disappointing. It feels a little gimmicky and out of place when the rest of the game plays more like an old flash date sim in terms of mechanics. If I can't play the entire song instead of just a few random clips, why bother? Way to kill my buzz, brah.

A lot of the results and events are randomised, and I have yet to ever meet a random chance generator that I liked. After every gig, there's a chance that you'll be presented with a decision that can potentially result in a big bonus for your band. On the first playthrough, I ran into them almost every other show. The second time I never saw a single one, which is a shame, since they break up the monotony that can set in when you're grinding away to raise cash or skills. I was also happier than I've ever been to see an option in the menu to turn off the background music loop.

For all that, however, Rock Band Sim is quirky and put together well enough to make it stand out from other sims. I can honestly say that if I had a band in real life, I would hire a guitarist named Harriet Crazytrain and a drummer named Toby Jellyfish. The random names for the songs your band writes are often hysterical — I'm still not sure if the fact that "You Download Your Nipples" sounds like an actual song is horrifying or wonderful. While it doesn't break any molds, Rock Band Sim should appeal to management fans and anyone with a sense of humour. The spirit is behind it, and its ability to glorify in it's own silliness is a winning trait. I grew pretty attached to my questionably talented little ne'er-do-wells, and I played the game more than once. You might never be a rockstar, but now at least you have a chance to live the dream without all the sordid tabloids and career burnout.

Play Rock Band Sim

24 Comments

Anonymous May 8, 2009 3:28 PM

This was pretty good until gigs stopped accepting my keyboard input.

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Anonymous May 8, 2009 5:34 PM

the main problem with this that it tried to do too much with too little. It tried, but it didn't work out at the end.

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I really like it! I think the gigs are the right length - if they were longer the game would become tedious to progress in. The song names and level of humour are great too.

Problem is, it seems to require a LOT of processing power. I'm running it in Firefox using an add-on that forces it to play in Low Quality (it was unplayable at the default setting. Why is there no option to change quality? Seems like sloppy presentation to me). After playing about 8 gigs, the gigs start to skip frames. Reloading the game at this point solves the problem temporarily.

There doesn't seem to be any win condition either.

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Another problem I forgot to mention is

The gigs don't penalise you for playing notes when you aren't supposed to. This means you can just repeatedly press the arrow keys ("button bash") to pass gigs with zero Misses and a fair number of Perfects, sometimes more than you would get by playing properly.

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vole-in-hand Author Profile Page May 8, 2009 7:07 PM

Your album hitting the top of the charts is pretty gratifying, especially if you've thought up some really pretentious title for it. Not much replay value tho.

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Disinterested: lacking bias (e.g. judges)
Uninterested: apathetic (e.g. hipsters)

Sorry, I'm a high school English teacher ;-P

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This game is addicting, plus those song names are just... weird. Ghostly Apples? I Halt His Cockroach?

"I went into the mansion,
The one on Hulsberry Hill.
And you will not believe
what I saw there, Jill.

I saw a ghost!
a ghost of apples!
Ghostly apples!
Out of most,
they are- bapple!
Ghostly Apples!"

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I have to say another thing. Too many spelling mistakes! example: Hype in Hype description is wrong. (Spelled Hyep.)

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SeeMax Author Profile Page May 8, 2009 9:47 PM

I was enjoying this until the bugs became too annoying. Inventory items started changing randomly. e.g. Bought an expensive drum set, assigned it to the drummer, next time i went to buy the upgrade it had changed into a cheaper one in the inventory.

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Enjoyed it until it basically crashed my Firefox, and I lost all my data. D: The music game had lagged so bad that it was almost unplayable, and leveling up stats were gone after the third level or so, which I found kind of weird, because the only way you could now increase your band members stats were through items. I kept getting this constant hype decrease, too. It wasn't hindering, just annoying that the amount of hype decrease kept increasing, and I didn't understand why.

It was a pretty good game, but was irritating as to how laggy it got as you got further into it.

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Anestoh Author Profile Page May 9, 2009 12:44 PM

Er, Seemax, I think I see where your problem is..

When you equip an item on a person, it should leave your inventory. If there is already an item in that "slot" it should replace that item. Say, if you give them an instrument, they'll already have an instrument on them, so that instrument will be placed back in your inventory and the one you equipped should be on the person.

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Anonymous May 9, 2009 5:22 PM

To the high school English teacher, from dictionary.com:

Many object to the use of disinterested to mean "not interested, indifferent." They insist that disinterested can mean only "impartial": A disinterested observer is the best judge of behavior. However, both senses are well established in all varieties of English, and the sense intended is almost always clear from the context.

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Anonymous May 9, 2009 6:21 PM

this game gets quite tedious after a little while

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Very repetitive. The only thing kept me going was my wanting to have something reach #1 on the charts. I eventually had a single reach 1 and my best album reached 2. Also bought all the most expensive items, level to rep 20, 292.6 hype (300 is the highest and you can't get it with the loss of hype after each turn), and just under 600k of money. I don't believe I ever topped 600k, though.

You're aces, Buy More-ia. Aces.

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Memory leaks! Beware!

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Aye, the memory leak basically ruins it. You cannot go that long before it starts to slow down, then it becomes unplayable. Sad, it was a nice distracting game before that point.

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"I Birth Goths"

Beats all other weird names, ever.

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Why is my hype decaying?

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Yeah! My hype keeps decaying even though i do really well in the gigs. (it may have something to do with making singles and albums) Does anyone know and cheat codes you can use to raise your hype, rep etc. ?

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This game is *mostly* well-done, and took two complete game-playing evenings to figure out the following:

In the end, the secret is: raise your hype to the max (300) before releasing an album or single. If the single is of quality, it will debut at #1. Keep your hype at the max for 13 weeks, and it will stay #1 for 13 or 14 weeks.

My main problem with this is .. you can't get past it .. it's the very best you can do. 13-14 weeks, my friends, is all a single is allowed; even if it's #1 until the end, it vanishes after that. That limitation is just wrong, and I was very disappointed that the game 'ended' this way. Brilliant idea, especially for a free game .. but disappointing in the end.

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Anonymous April 17, 2010 4:20 PM

Good game it freezes after a while but fun up till then. Ive got to reputation 39 and it seems that's as far as u can go. It's anoyying that after about 14 weeks the single just vanishes even if it's number 1.

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This is like an internet version of Kudos: Rock Legend. Only much, much worse.

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The game is good.
Never crashes on Chrome (as for my experience).
Close other tabs coz that may be the reason the game crashes.
It is quite REPETITIVE, LIMITED AND PREDICTABLE.
The game is easy, although my band started from the bottom with an album peaking at #29 and a single peaking at #16 ending with 4 #1 albums with 27 #1 singles.One missing in the game is the fans and not to mention a lot of things missed.
The game also lacks the stairs of a game. I mean, the player and the band just stay in one place doing the same routine the whole time.
More work in all aspects of the game.
But for a free game, It's very cool and rare.
:)

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

The game is good.
Never crashes on Chrome (as for my experience).
Close other tabs coz that may be the reason the game crashes.
It is quite REPETITIVE, LIMITED AND PREDICTABLE.
The game is easy, although my band started from the bottom with an album peaking at #29 and a single peaking at #16 ending with 4 #1 albums with 27 #1 singles.One missing in the game is the fans and not to mention a lot of things missed.
The game also lacks the stairs of a game. I mean, the player and the band just stay in one place doing the same routine the whole time.
More work in all aspects of the game.
But for a free game, It's very cool and rare.
:)

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