From a Standpoint of an Actual Competitive RB Player
First of all, if you're going to get a rock band game, Rock Band 1 was god awful. If you are going to get Rock Band 1, only get it for the playlists to transfer them over onto your console. Secondly, Rock Band prefers Xbox. What I mean by this is that Harmonix releases new songs every Tuesday and Thursday through two sources: Rock Band Marketplace and Rock Band Network (RBM releases songs on Tuesdays, RBN releases songs on Thursdays). The Rock Band Marketplace is where the actual people from Harmonix chart songs that are more popular and/or well-known to the community; or typically will release an entire album of an old 80's band or something. Rock Band Network is charted by volunteers of the community so it has its ability to be charted wrong and have some mistakes during the song. It does not happen often due to the fact that each song released goes through a crapload of playtesting before it is released, but it still happens. Rock Band Network, IMO, is the greatest aspect of Rock Band: and you can only get to it through Rock Band 2 and Rock Band 3. Rock Band 1 doesn't support it. Also, every new song is released through Xbox with the approval of Microsoft FIRST. So for example, let's say some awesome metal songs come out on Thursday through the RBN. They are released on XBOX ONLY. What happens is, if enough people buy these songs or only a few of these songs, it is banked into a popularity deal. The most popular songs are then sent weeks, sometimes months, later to Ps3. So Playstation kinda gets shafted. But thats not even half as bad as the Wii. They don't even get the songs usually. So that is what I mean by it is Xbox friendly.
Rock Band Network (RBN) comes out with new songs every Thursday. These are mostly underground bands, new post-hardcore bands, etc... Usually not mainstream (although there are some exceptions). Rock Band Marketplace (RBM) is for the mainstream and usually well-known bands and songs. The only problem is just recently Microsoft has decided they are canceling RBM. So that's a bummer, but so far RBN is still around because it is reviewed and released in a different manner. But honestly, RBM has been around forever and there are about 2,000+ songs that were released on both channels. And you can still purchase the songs that were previously put on RBM. They are just no longer releasing new songs for it. Also keep in mind that RBN was released during RB2's prime and made it's way into RB3. But they are only releasing new releases through Rock Band 3's Rock Band Network. So if you have RB2, you can only buy all the songs released before rb3 was released. So my advice is just to get rb3 so you have all the old songs and the upcoming new ones in the store to buy whenever you want (FYI: most songs on RBM are 160 MSP, or 2 bucks. on RBN they range from 80-240 MSP. But there are only 3 songs I can think of that cost 240 and they suck anyway. So most are 80 and 160).
As for the community: most are idiots. I used to be a competitive Rock Band drummer. If you would like to look at my channel it is: www.youtube.com/user/freakinsweet830 -I still play a lot, but just be aware if you are going to play on the multiplayer, there are many people who are "professionals" and go on just to troll new-comers; or AKA "Randoms" as the community calls them. So they do go on multiplayer to see if there are some randoms that are actually good but my advice is to learn how to play Expert before going onto multiplayer. Otherwise, you will be kicked. Also, get DLC! Even if you are good, if you only have the default songs on either rock band, no one is gonna want to play.
-Lastly, when you get RB2 or RB3, remember to calibrate your system in the settings. This is important. If you don't, you will miss stupid notes for no apparent reason. RB1 is absolutely terrifyingly bad with calibration and the engine is terrible. It is why if you have rock band 1, I wouldn't gain my opinion of the game through just the first; cuz it's not good at all. There are songs that are close to impossible to 100% (or FC AKA Full Combo) on vocals and drums because of the engine. So if you are going to get RB1, do it for the songs. Go into the menu and and use the code in your case or pay Microsoft Points to transfer the setlist to your system. That way, when you play rock band 2 or rock band 3, you can play the RB1 setlist with the other games.
That is all I really have to say. It is a family game more than guitar hero is; but it is just as competitive, if not more so. Some people prefer rock band 2 over rock band 3 but I personally feel like I can read the notes better on rock band 3 because of the note size and the colors but obviously I feel like either game is great. I have spent a lot of time and money on this game and I wouldn't have done that it is wasn't good. The community is what sucks! :) 10/10 (for rb2 and especially rb3) 5/10 (for rb1)
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