Yesterday Donald and his friend came home from a trip to Best Buy with full arms. Donald bought himself a X-Box 360 system, and his friend bought a Rock Band game (that he plans to store and use at our house). Last night I watched them in action for a short while, and it didn't look too hard, so today I played Rock Band.
The game allows up to four players at a time to perform in bands. The package includes peripherals modeled after music instruments (a guitar peripheral for lead and bass guitar, a drum peripheral, and a microphone). Players use the peripherals to simulate the performance of music, and must play these instruments in time with musical "notes" as they scroll by on the screen.
I really don't have a whole lot of hand-eye coordination, so I'm TERRIBLE at video games. I gave up playing regularly when 3-year-old Donald beat me in a game oh so many years ago. However, I thought Rock Band was different enough that I might do better. In the end I did, but not by much.
The pieces of the game were still set up from last night's session; otherwise I think it would be a big deal to set everything up. The game system senses how many of the peripherals are plugged in. It doesn't take much to get the game started after that. (If you want, you can change the look of your performer on the screen, but I didn't bother.) There's a pretty good selection of songs from just about every decade of rock. Donald and I took turns picking the songs to play...he concentrated on the newer ones, and I went for "classic rock", with a little Ramones mixed in.
I started out playing the drums at the Easy level, and Donald was on the guitar. I don't think I made it a quarter of the way through each of the songs we tried before I failed. It was really hard to remember to use the foot pedal in addition to the drumsticks, and do both of them at the right time. On one of the songs, Donald was able to save me when I failed because he had enough points, but after 3 or 4 songs I was ready to give up. He suggested I try the guitar. That was a little easier; by the end of the second song I was getting the hang of it.
I jokingly told Donald that I'd be practicing when he wasn't around, and he showed me how to get into Solo mode. He left to go outside, and I actually got through a whole song! My accuracy was only about 75%, but the virtual crowd at the concert was cheering, and I didn't get booed off the stage.