Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rock Band Unplugged Announced For PSP

Sony is on their way in revitalizing the slumping handheld, and one of the brand new games announced for the PSP is a portable version of the successful Harmonix/EA franchise, entitled Rock Band Unplugged. The game is set to utilize the PSP's Wi-Fi capabilities via a full in-game store for downloadable content in both North America and Europe, though other markets were not mentioned. Primotech has an exclusive on the title with a bevy of new details. Gameplay will be similar to the portable's DJ Max series as well as Harmonix's Frequency/Amplitude games on the PS2, using the Left, Up, Triangle, and Circle buttons for input rather than a peripheral like the Guitar Hero DS games. Like in Amplitude, gameplay will be broken up into phrases, and you will be able to switch between all four instruments via the L and R buttons. However, vocals will utilize button presses rather than physical singing. Perfect phrases will build up a multiplier and Overdrive will be included as well.

The visual style of Rock Band will be maintained, although there will be no multiplayer mode. Artists set to be in the game include Blink 182, Boston, AFI, Kansas, Lit, and The Police. With Backbone Entertainment (Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix) developing the title in conjunction with EA and Harmonix, I have complete faith that the Rock Band experience will be maintained without the plastic instruments. Frequency and Amplitude laid down the original groundwork for the Guitar Hero franchise, and it showed how successful and fun a music/rhythm game can be using a standard controller. I was not very impressed with the DS versions of Guitar Hero, but this looks to have amazing potential.

This game can possibly tap into the huge possibilities of the genre, and I'm glad to see Harmonix return to their roots here. No release date has been confirmed, but it's speculated to hit stores before the end of the year.

Sources: PR Newswire and Primotech

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