Note: The "Track Pack" offerings by MTV Games and EA are collections of already-released songs available on the Rock Band store. As such, we're using the same overall review to apply to all like-featured, repurposed Track Pack content.
Call me crazy, but I'm starting to think this newfangled concept of "music games" is going to be successful. Rock Band has been around for a couple years now, and in that time over 40 million songs have been downloaded by users, and the online library is now over 500 tracks deep. That's a whole lot of music. In an attempt to expand that audience though, MTV Games is packaging track packs across PS2, Wii, 360, and PS3 which can be purchased instead of going on and nabbing the music one-by-one or in artists packs. You're getting the same songs you can find online, but you're also getting them at a cheaper price if you buy in bulk.
So does a package like this need a review? I mean, we don't review single songs when they come out, right? Why bother with these? Well my online-travelling gamer buddies, it's all about that value. Is it really worth it to drop $30 of cash on the Rock Band Country track pack? You get 21 songs, and that means you're essentially saving about $10 compared to one-by-one purchases – songs cost $2.00 a piece originally on the service – but you'll also get a few tracks that may not catch your fancy. Since these are also standalone packages as well – meaning you don't need to own any Rock Band games to play them – it's actually a pretty cheap way to see what the series is all about, though as you'll see these packages are far
from a realistic Rock Band experience, and a dangerous piece of software for players that aren't "in the know" about games.
So is the Country Track Pack really worth your cash?
From what I've experienced with the package it is, but that comes with a huge if
statement in there as well. If
you own the game on PS3 or Xbox 360, and if
you dig the music included, and if
you're just picking this game up to rip the tracks and compliment a bigger Rock Band experience then by all means fire away. This package has a nice set of songs, and I'll list them below so you can decide if it's really something you want to drop $30 on. The Tracks:
- Good Time – Alan Jackson
- Mud on the Tires – Brad Paisley
- Willybilly Deluxe – Brooks & Dunn
- Cry Lonely – Cross Canadian Ragweed
- Free and Easy – Dierks Bentley
- Sin Wagon – Dixie Chicks
- 3 Dimes Down – Drive-By-Truckers
- She's Country – Jason Aldean
- I Told You So – Keith Urban
- She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy – Kenny Chesney
- The Gambler – Kenny Rogers
- Can't Let Go – Lucinda Williams
- This One's for the Girls – Martina McBride
- Gunpowder & Lead – Miranda Lambert
- Gone – Siouxsie & Montgomery Gentry
- Me and my Gang – Rascal Flatts
- Suds in the Bucket – Sara Evans
- Any Man of Mine – Shania Twain
- Satellite Radio – Steve Earle
- Swing – Trace Adkins
- On the Road Again – Willie Nelson
On the flipside, major issues hold back the game as a stand-alone offering, and it's multiplied even worse on Wii and PS2 where the ability to download and import the songs into other versions of Rock Band isn't included. That's right PS2/Wii guys; if you wanted to buy this one and add the tracks onto the main versions you won't be able to. It's played on this disc, and only on this disc, and that's just part of the more frustrating elements that come with the "track pack" concept.
The biggest "watch out" aspect to keep in mind when deciding if you pick up Classic Rock is that you aren't getting the full-on Rock Band offering. Gone is World Tour, all band creation (minus a name for file saves), character select, venue select, and any other actual "band" experiences you expect from MTV's game. Instead you've got only quick play with all 21 songs unlocked right away, and then a career mode which is the same 21 songs broken up into stages. Each stage keeps track of your star count and score for each difficulty, but there's no progression outside of playing the songs and then moving to the next stage. This disc is quite literally the 21 songs, a quickplay option, and a way to save scores for those songs if you do in fact only own the Country Track Pack. It is not
a full-on Rock Band experience.
©2009-08-21, IGN Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved