Crispy Gamer

The Five: Rock Band 2

The 10-Cent Tour: Rock Band gets a quickie follow-up. But like all quickies, will it leave you feeling slightly disappointed and wanting more? Read on?

1. Rock Band 2 is undoubtedly good news for fans. But before you allow your head to burst into flames and fly around like a burning skull in a heavy metal music video, know this: This is more of a tweaking, or rather an expansion of the original game, rather than a next-level, bona fide sequel. What did you expect? It's only been around 10 months since the original shipped. Also: Take heed PlayStation 3 and Wii owners: The game will launch exclusively for the Xbox 360, but will eventually migrate to your platforms at a later date.



2. The set list is jaw-droppingly huge, boasting 80-plus songs. Some highlights: Elvis Costello, Talking Heads, AC/DC and Bob Dylan. And get this: Not a single one of them features the words "as made famous by." In other words, these are 100 percent master tracks.


3. A new, sturdier (and, thankfully, much quieter) drum kit will be sold separately, as will a souped-up version of the Fender Stratocaster gitter that's -- brace yourselves -- wireless. No more getting tangled in pesky cords each time you do your Eddie Van Halen stage slides. Woot.

4. Good news for the lonely and the damned: Band World Tour has been reinvented, ditching the old-school play-through-these-songs-to-get-to-those-songs tier system for a more organic, play-whatever-you-want experience. And yes, your band can consist of you, you, you and you, on those nights when your drummer Larry has to drive his mother to her reducing class at the Y.

5. And get this: Details are still sketchy at this point, but Harmonix is reportedly looking into merchandising options that allow you to have t-shirts and posters with your band's name them. Touch?, cosplayers!

The Crispy Forecast: Sunshine -- this is Harmonix we're dealing with here, after all -- with some clouds of the not-enough-to-merit-a-sequel-just-yet variety.

This preview was based on a publisher-driven demo. The game is scheduled to be released in September 2008.