Rock Band 2 is the second main title in the Rock Band series and the sequel to Rock Band. The game was first released on September 14, 2008 for Xbox 360 and October 19, 2008 for PlayStation 3 before being released on PlayStation 2 and Wii on December 18, 2008. It features new songs, a new tour mode, and more customization options. Multiplayer has also gotten an overhaul, featuring massive band play online and expanded tour modes.
The Rock Band 2 instruments have some improvements over the originals. The drum set has a softer pad system that reacts to lighter hits and makes slightly less noise. There is also a small plate of metal over the foot pedal, which does not make it unbreakable, but makes it stronger at the least. The guitar is slightly shorter and has a de-lagger built in, so HDTVs will no longer have trouble with it. The strum bar still does not click, but it has been made sturdier and easier to strum. The way compatibility works with this game is ridiculously complex, but this is making it simple.
- Rock Band (for the same console you have RB2 on)
- Guitar Hero 3 (For the same console you have RB2 on)
- Most third parties (Though they have faults and aren't recommended)
- GH: World Tour instruments
- Guitar Hero 2 Gibson X-plorer on Xbox 360 version.
- Guitar Hero 1 & 2 Gibson SG on PS2 version.
What doesn't work:
- Cross-Console instruments (PS3 drum set does not work with Xbox 360 Rock Band, though they both are USB. PS3 drums do work on PS2 and vice-versa since they're the same hardware) However, the microphone does work on any platform since those are not actually controllers, but just USB microphones.
In Rock Band 2 there is no linear setlist for solo play like in its predecessor, it is more like the band play in that you get fans as well as money, and you play setlists as you go. Unlike Rock Band 1, you will get at least some fans if you play on a lower difficulty than usual instead of none at all. One person can play any instrument you want at any time. This can be single player or multiplayer.
As with Rock Band 1, the leaderboards have been added to online play. When you play a song in any mode, be it tour or a challenge, your score is submitted to the Leaderboards, which detail scores by player account, by band totals, or songs by band. Not much has changed from Rock Band 1 besides a slightly easier to navigate menu and a tad faster loading time.
Battle of The Bands
In the game, a new feature that is updated every day is the new Battle of the Bands. When you pick a city with a trophy icon or go to Battle of the Bands from the Practice Space, you will find several battles to play. In order to use these events, you must have online enabled, unfortunately. Some requirements for these battles could be any of the following, including
- Highest star rating
- Highest note streak
- No Overdrive
Once you complete the battle, you will be notified of your place in it on the Leaderboards. You will be listed by band name, not by player name. The Battle of the Bands events do not affect your Tour score or fans.
The New Rock Shop
Now that everything else has been covered, we may move on to the customization. The outfits are now separated into categories like in the previous installment, with one new category. The instruments can also be purchased from here, as well as any accessories you may have come across. You can even change your hairstyle.
The new audition mode allows you to playtest new releases to review them and to see if they are fit for release on the Rock Band Network. This feature requires an account which is a member of the XNA Creators Club and is connected to Xbox Live.
Main Article: Rock Band 2 Setlist
The Endless Setlist 2
The Endless Setlist 2 is the sequel to the Endless Setlist in Rock Band 1. The Endless Setlist 2 contains all 84 songs in the game, and it's played in Shanghai instead of Moscow. After gaining 900 stars, over 468,000 fans, winning a worldwide promoter, and getting into the Rolling Stone Hall of Fame, you will unlock this insane setlist. You cannot play on easy, so if that's what you're used to, maybe it's time you moved up a level. If you fail a song at any time during the setlist, you will not have to start it all over, you will just continue at the song you lost on. The number of fans you lose is not affected by how far along you are, it remains at a constant 71,000 or so. Completing the Endless Setlist 2 without pausing the game or failing a song will earn the player an Xbox 360 achievement or PS3 Trophy called 'The Bladder of Steel.' This is a reference to the player, who must endure over 6 hours of gameplay with very short breaks between songs. If attempting the Bladder of Steel on Guitar, you are given a short break during AC/DC's "Let There Be Rock". You may be able to take a quick bathroom break, but you run the risk of failing the song if you don't return to the game on time. Good luck, Rock Band maniacs. The songs you have downloaded are not played, it's only the on-disc songs.
Importing songs from Rock Band 1
On the back of your Rock Band manual as well as in game, there is a code you are given to put in on the PSN. This will give you a patch to copy all of your Rock Band songs onto a flash drive/memory stick and be put into Rock Band 2. The cost for the patch way only $5. There are only three songs on the setlist that are not transferred over, because the makers of RB2 do not have the copyrights to those songs anymore. All of your downloaded content will be transferred over free of charge.
Rock Band 2 includes twenty playable characters known as "Session Musicians". When playing in Solo Quickplay, the game will randomly select a character for the player when playing guitar, bass, or drums. When singing lead vocals, the game randomly selects a male character from the lineup for any songs with male vocals, and a female character from the lineup for any songs with female vocals. The Session Musicians can also be accessed via Band Quickplay, Tug of War, or Score Duel. Unlike Solo Quickplay, the player(s) can select which character they play as. They can also select any of the characters created in the Character Creator. Ten of the playable characters were originally from the first game while the other ten are new for this game. However, these characters do not appear in the PlayStation 2 version, nor are they playable. Much like the Wii and PlayStation 2 versions of the first Rock Band, the PlayStation 2 version contains highly compressed pre-rendered videos featuring bands of animated characters playing specific songs based on the songs' genres.
- American Phil
- Dora Sullivan
- Earl Stephens. Jr.
- Fritzi Kostopolus
- Grace Williams
- Heather Moonbeam
- Maynard Winter
- Megan Scott
- Mekon Gemini
- Moosejaw Boudreau
- Mothership Q
- Nicky Overdrive
- Ol' Smokey
- Penelope McQueen
- Penny Twilight
- Quentin Lance
- Sir Thomas
- The Duke of Gravity
- This game has a feature where if your band, or band members have unsuitable words in them the band will temporarily not appear online until you change the bad words.
- The message that is associated with this issue will state that your band's name is considered "unclassy", even putting that word in quotes.
- If you have any songs on your console that is not associated with your profile (i.e., DLC converted to work as Rock Band 3 custom) on the quick play screen it will tell you that not all band members own that song.
- Oddly this is ignored if these songs are on a console are a part of a challenge, such as the Boston full album challenge, letting you play the songs like normal. Same thing may apply to these songs in story mode when randomly selected (will probably error out if you manually select the song on any custom setlists on the tour mode).
- Much like the Wii and PlayStation 2 versions of the first Rock Band, Keith Smith and Adam von Buhler from Anarchy Club appear in the PlayStation 2 version of this game for the pre-rendered video of their song Get Clean, featuring Keith on lead vocals and Adam on bass.
- For unknown reasons, this game was never released in Australia.
- A silenced version of the solo from the song Shoulder to Plow can be heard in the game's character selection menu. The audio would later be reused for the character selection menu in Lego Rock Band.
- A silenced instrumental version of the pre-solo section from the song Get Clean can be heard in the song selection and difficulty selection menus.
- The PlayStation 2 version, however, reuses the silenced and shortened segment from the song Can't Let Go from the first Rock Band.
- During any gameplay on the drums, the Wii and PlayStation 2 versions reuse the same crash cymbal sound effect heard in the first Rock Band when the player hits the green drum pad for the glowing green crash cymbal note at the end of a freestyle fill.
- This was the first Rock Band game where any of the pre-made characters have names, but this was only for the 20 playable Session Musicians.