Well Rock Band 3 is coming out soon and everyday we find out more and more about the new Pro Mode. What is Pro Mode you ask? Well Pro Mode will allow Keyboard, Drums and Guitar to come as close as possible to performing like real Musical Instruments. There is a catch though. You'll need all new Controllers or at least add-ons for your existing controllers. This will cost. All the peripherals will be sold separately from Mad Catz as well as a Bundle available that includes the Game and Wireless Keyboard controller.
Mad Catz press release has indicated that the Pro Guitar will retail for $149us, the Keyboard for $79us, and the Cymbals for $39us. The Keyboard Bundle is slated at $129us.
Now the controllers themselves do sound interesting. The Drums add on will feature a set of 3 cymbals that act independently from the Drum pads. On the game they are represented by a round cymbal character on the fret board instead of the rectangular symbols to differentiate. There will also be the option to use a Double Kick pedal in game as well. The Guitar has 6 strings and buttons for every position on the physical Fret Board. In the game this is represented by a new "Wave" system that looks like it will take some getting used to. The Keyboard resembles a KeyTar with I believe 10 keys for playing. You can also purchase separately a stand to lay the Keyboard flat.
Adding Cymbals to the Drums was the biggest complaint I heard from real musicians that attempted to play the game as well as many non musicians so adding actual Cymbals to the Drums should make it feel much more realistic. Additionally adding the capability of Dual Kick pedal action will make some of the more difficult songs a bit easier to play without Breaking your pedal.
I'm really not sure about the guitar. While adding 6 strings to pick and a button press for each position on the Fret board sounds interesting in theory, I don't know how realistic it will feel without the feedback you get from physically sliding your fingers across the strings. I'll have to see how much I like it when it comes out.
The Keytar might be fun to play but how realistic it will be compared to playing a real keyboard is questionable. I have to admit while it may be interesting and fun to play, adding keyboards to the Rock Band lineup is not something that really interests me too much. Again if you play piano/keyboard it may be just the thing that was missing from the game for you, for me, I could take it or leave. I'll reserve judgment on it until I've actually played. It could be really fun on Boston's song Foreplay/Longtime though.
The game itself promises the usual lineup of classics and new hits from the history of Rock. If you already own a copy of Rock Band 1 or 2 and aren't interested in Keyboard or Pro-Mode then you can always just pick up a copy of the game itself to use with you're existing controllers. However, I think the real fun here might lie in the Pro-Modes because other than that, if you played Rock Band before then there is nothing new here.
There is one more thing to mention as I dig my way through the Giant Pile of Controllers laying strewn across my living room. How Many Controllers can you actually have and still Live in your house or apartment? Not only are the cost of these devices prohibitive but where oh where can you store them when not in use.
My house now looks like a Recording Studio with all the Fake and Real musical instruments laying around. Anybody need a set a phony Drums or a couple of Fake Guitars? Help!!