Though I can’t approve of the price-point (£150 for a videogame? Sure, you could just buy it without the instruments but by the same token you could also buy a Wii and throw away the remote), I have to say that Rock Band does get some points for using Suffragette City on its adverts. In your face, Guitar Hero III! Velvet Revolver? I mean, honestly, who gives a shit?
Still. The whole thing is getting out of hand. Rhythm action games – does anyone still call them Bemani? I think they probably don’t – are, at best, a charming novelty. Donkey Konga was great fun for a few days and now we have a pair of plastic bongos gathering dust. They’re quantatively better when you’re not very good at them, because, you know, what’s funnier than someone flailing madly at a pair of comedy bongos in vague time to a cover of Don’t Stop Me Now? Not much. A nun falling over, maybe. Alistair Darling being appointed Chancellor. An elephant in flip-flops.
So, yeah, the idea of buying a game for £50+ and then honing your fake guitar skillz until you’re standing in front of your TV, your plastic axe strapped round your neck, brow furrowed, playing along, note-perfect, to Velvet Revolver… Is it any worse than flailing about with the Wii remote, pretending to play tennis? Well, I think it might be a bit. At least you’re not thinking "Yes. I am bringing the rock" while you’re playing Wii Sports. Adding in friends on drums and vocals? You’re multiplying the uncool, but at least you’re probably going to have some fun. Still, that’s another £100, just for a videogame! The madness must end, before we’re buying specialist peripherals for every two-bit music game that comes along. Mind you, I’d be prepared to fork out as much as they dared charge for Glockenspiel Hero.