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Rock Hero Mobile Game Review and Tips
Rock Hero: The Basics
Let me first start off by saying how much I dislike apps or games that have an advertisement as a start screen. That's like me starting my hub with a banner leading back to the other articles I've written. Anyhow, when reviewing a new app or game, you have to start from the very top, and let's just say the start sucks.
Rock Hero is an Android game based on the familiar recipe of prior rhythm games like Rock Band or Guitar Hero shrunken down to the touch-based control scheme of a smartphone. You're probably familiar with the idea:
- Pick a music track you want to listen to for a couple of minutes
- Pick a difficulty level based on how good you are at the game
- Tap along in rhythm with the game to get points
- Successfully complete a level so you can go on to the next one
On the Android Play Store, Rock Hero touts the following features:
• 3 different music styles.
• 9 incredible songs.
• 3 difficult levels
• Global scores!
• Cool graphics and effects!
• Better controls and gameplay!
How does it compare?
Strike One - Rock Hero has 3 different music styles. Maybe in the 70s you could classify popular music in 3 categories: Pop, Rock, and Classical or something along those lines. But now, we're looking at everything from Dub Step, to Heavy Metal, to Techno, to Rave, to K-Pop, and beyond. How is it that a brand new mobile game only focuses on 3 music styles?
Strike Two - Rock Hero has a total of 9 songs. That means for each of these 3 awesome styles, you have 3 whole jams to play along with for each style. To give you a point of comparison, the best games in the genre have somewhere between 15-20 tracks to start you off with. Then there's downloadable content so you can often end up with over 30 tracks. Given the variety of 30 tracks, you'll probably find something you like playing more than once and so you end up keeping the app. But in this case, you need to fall in love with 1 of only 9 choices for this app to stand a chance. It's not looking good so far.
Three Difficulty Settings - This is par for the course, and honestly, it doesn't matter since you have such a limited tracklist. Hard difficulty settings only matter when you've got a song you want to challenge yourself at.
Strike Three - Everything else. Rock Hero touts global scores. So what? Rock Hero promises cool graphics and effects. You won't see anything that you didn't see 8-9 years ago in the genre. If you've played anything in the last year on your phone or tablet, then you will laugh out loud at the graphic effects that you are subjected to in this title. Rock Hero finally promises better controls and gameplay. I can't say that there is anything improved or exciting about the controls and gameplay. It is simply what you'd expect, and when you pile that on top of the existing flaws, it's not an exciting final product.
How long will you play it?
This is where things get very interesting. As you can tell from what I've written thus far, there are not many kind words to spoken for the core gameplay of Rock Hero. Let's say you have absolutely nothing better to do once you've downloaded the game and you play all 9 tracks. That means you've invested about 20 minutes into the game.
It's more likely that you'll start by picking one of the three styles, and try out the three tracks for that style. So, to be fair, you'll spend about 6 minutes test driving this game. The tracks themselves are uninspired, so I didn't find myself wanting to play them again or change the difficulty setting. So that means you'll spend all of 6 minutes.
Ah, but then there's the gleaming light at the end of the tunnel. The raison d'etre for Rock Hero is that you can play it on top of your existing music on your phone. That means if you've got downloaded music that you can conceptually play for hours and hours on your favorite tracks. Notice I said "conceptually".
The good news is that I had no problem playing specific tracks I had on my phone. Whether it was a track from Eminem or the Frozen soundtrack, songs booted quickly and I was able to dive right into the gameplay. Unfortunately, the game engine is not designed to create an intelligent rhythm game plan for you, so you have to fight your personal sense of rhythm to survive the level you're playing. In other words, you're better off not playing with your own music because you will end up frustrated.
Rock Hero Gameplay
Should you download it?
I rarely go out of my way to endorse something one way or another. I've written reviews for dozens of products including gadgets, gizmos, apps, movies, books, financial products, etc.
But I must implore you to stay far away from Rock Hero. If you are in the market for a rhythm game, you are better off downloading almost anything else and taking it for the obligatory 5 minute spin. You may be tempted to play with your own music, but I have warned you, it is not worth your time or hassle.
Rock Hero, unfortunately, ends the way it begins. The advertisement you see when you boot up the app is about as good as the whole experience gets. It's only downward from there.
Makes You Want to Play Guitar Hero
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