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We're Getting The Band Back Together!

rock_band_leleuzis.jpg
leleuzis / Flickr / Creative Commons
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This story originally aired on March 12, 2015.    

Normally, when I have friends over to play games, I break out board games or card games, but there are also a bunch of video games that are great for parties - Fibbage, Just Dance, Wii Sports, and of course the Mario Party series. My favorite party game ever, though, is Rock Band.

The original game with plastic instruments was Guitar Hero, which had you playing along with classic rock songs on a plastic guitar with five buttons and a strum bar. While this was a lot of fun, it was a relatively solo affair. Rock Band added to that formula by adding bass guitar, drums, vocals and eventually even a keyboard. Each game came with a number of songs that you could play with your band, made from the master recordings of the original bands that recorded the song, with new songs available regularly for download. All told, there were more than 2,000 songs.

When all the players really get into it, sometimes it’s hard to remember that you aren’t actually in a real rock band. Rock Band is a great simulation, and is sometimes more immersive than the best virtual reality games. Jamming on a plastic guitar, with someone banging on a plastic drum kit to my left, and another person belting out “Wonderwall” on my right, with the virtual crowd cheering, is enough to make anyone feel like a real rock star.