A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this music game is rated "Teen" for some potentially offensive rock lyrics and cartoon-like musicians who can be suggestively dressed.
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What's it about?
Put a band in your pocket with ROCK BAND UNPLUGGED, the first in MTV Games' popular rhythm game series created exclusively for the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP). With a look, feel,and sound of the console games, players can take their virtual act on the road, acquire fans, and rise to the top by rocking out at each unlockable venue.
If you've never played a game of Rock Band or Guitar Hero, the concept is as follows: watch as music notes fly down the fret board and press the correct button(s) at the right time. The PSP version has you pressing the face buttons and the D-pad -- and this time around you get to jam along with all instruments on the same song. That's right, instead of selecting guitar, bass, drums or vocals (as with the popular console games), this PSP version has you hopping around from one instrument to another -- by pressing the left and right shoulder buttons -- to play notes/beats. The better you can do this, the more points you'll amass and the more songs, venues and characters you'll unlock.
Is it any good?
This twist on the tried-and-true game-play might take a bit of getting used to at first, but it feels intuitive after a short while. The 41-track musical selection is quite good, too, offering a handful of exclusive tracks to Unplugged (including Blink 182's "What's My Age Again") and past favorites from the franchise (such as Billy Idol's "White Wedding, Part 1"). Along with the ability to create your own super group, Unplugged also features extra game modes not found in its brethren -- including Band Survival and Warm Up (sorry, no multiplayer options) -- plus players can download new tunes over a DLC (downloadable content) store via Wi-Fi connection.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether this game -- which feels like it was designed for group play in front of the same television -- offers the same appeal while playing solo on a portable device. Should MTV Games keep this franchise on the TV or do you think the PSP offers fun on the go (such as passing time on an airplane)?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.