Rock Band 2

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Rock Band 2 Game Poster Image
A great sequel, but you might want the game only.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 21 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Men and women of all shapes and sizes rock out in this game. This is a great game to play with friends because you become part of a rock band. If one player is struggling in a song, the other players can bail him out.

Violence
Sex

Some sexual lyrics and scantilly-dressed female performers. Examples of lyrics include: Examples include Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know": "Is she perverted like me/Would she go down on you in a theatre?," Bikini Kill's "Rebel Girl": "They say shes a slut, but I know she is my bestfriend," Jethro Tull's "Aqualung" :Sitting on the park bench -- eyeing little girls with bad intent" and Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Give It Away": "What I've got you've got to give it to your daughter/What I've got you've got to get it put it in you."

Language

Some potentially offensive words include "sh-t," "damn" and "hell," and "slut."

Consumerism

Branding from guitar and drum manufacturers. All songs have been commercially released, too.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some minor lyrics refer to being "high."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this game is very similar to its predecessors, but adds new songs, modes, characters, and instruments. As with the first game, this game is rated "T" by the ESRB because some of the songs have suggestive lyrics about sexual situations. The game also shows some male and female performers wearing skimpy clothes. If you already own the original Rock Band, you don't have to buy the bundle with the new instruments, but rather, can just pick up the new game. Your old instruments will work just fine. The PS3 and X360 versions offer online playing, a feature Common Sense Media doesn't recommend for kids under age 12.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 2 and 11 year old Written byZephyrzInferno March 19, 2011

We love this game.

This is the best family game we've ever owned. With only a small amount of parental screening, the whole family can relax and enjoy this game. In addition,... Continue reading
Adult Written byMi3 February 8, 2011
Kid, 12 years old July 23, 2011

Cool game, but my mom doesn't like some of the songs.

Love it. This can teach you how to play drums. This game can be a bit challenging. The drums register and there's more songs than Lego Rock Band (if you no... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old September 25, 2009
good. but not the best

What's it about?

How do you follow up on one of the biggest video games in recent memory? If you're Harmonix, the makers of ROCK BAND 2, you make it bigger, better and louder. This sequel to last year's hot music game features more than 80 new rock songs including tracks from ACDC, Soundgarden, Bon Jovi, and even Guns N' Roses' new "Shackler's Revenge," from the highly-anticipated album "Chinese Democracy."

If you haven't played the original Rock Band, gamers play along to hit rock songs on a plastic guitar or drum kit peripheral, or by singing in a microphone, and must hit the right note/drum at the correct time in order to rack up points. Perform well and the virtual crowd cheers you on, but make too many flubs and you might even be booed offstage. The real fun in the game, however, is playing different instruments with friends in front of the same TV or over the Internet, hence the name of the game.

Is it any good?

This sequel doesn't veer away much from what made its predecessor the hottest thing since, well, Guitar Hero, but along with all new songs, Rock Band 2 features newly-designed instruments (including a wireless and quieter drum kit); new solo and multiplayer game modes (such as a "Battle of the Bands" online competition); unlockable characters, instruments and venues; and the ability to import the original Rock Band tracks and paid downloads. Speaking of which, gamers can once again download additional tracks from the Internet, by song or complete albums.

Let's cut right to the chase: is Rock Band 2 worth the money? The answer is yes, but with a condition. If you loved the first game and are happy with the plastic instruments you already own, then just pick up the disc with all the new songs and modes on it, as the new instruments – while wireless and quieter – might not be worth the cost for the entire kit ($190). But if you're new to the game series or prefer the new peripherals, then the entire kit is for you. And let's face it -- because the original game is only nine months old, Rock Band 2 isn't too radically different than Rock Band -- so consider this game "Rock Band 1.5" rather than a true sequel. That said, gamers looking for a rocking thrill won't be disappointed with this purchase.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about if this sequel is worth the purchase if you already own the instruments from the first game? Is it fair that a game company releases a "sequel" -- one that costs up to $189.99 with all the instruments -- only nine months after the original game? Another interesting chat: are Nintendo Wii owners justifiably upset at the lack of multiplayer and downloadable component? What does this game teach you about being in a rock band?

Game details

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