Rockband Unplugged - Playstation Portable (PSP)
With Rock Band Unplugged, Harmonix' music series comes to a handheld platform for the first time. Based on the same gameplay concept of hitting scrolling notes on screen in time with the music, Unplugged adapts the concept for play via buttons instead of instrument controllers while retaining most playing modes and options present in Rock Band and Rock Band 2.
The main playing mode is Tour mode, in which players create a band and tour through cities, playing setlists to gain fans, money and stars, unlocking new songs and venues in the process. Money can be spent to hire staff and outfit the band members in the in-game store. Unlocked songs can be played in Quick Play mode without the need to create a band.
When playing a song, the player controls all four tracks: bass, drums, vocals and guitar. The four tracks are displayed side-by-side and can be moved between at will. Each consists of four note tracks, mapped to buttons on the left and right of the display. To make playing an entire song possible in this way, the concept of phrases is introduced. A phrase is a short piece on a single track. When all notes in a phrase are hit, the track continues to play on its own for a while. Completing a phrase increases the score multiplier and takes the pressure off the player since not all tracks are in need of playing at the same time. Failing phrases however can cause an instrument track to fail out and the performance to fail altogether in the end. To bring back failed instruments, the other instruments can employ Overdrive, which works the same way as in other games in the series: when a series of bright notes is hit, the Overdrive meter increases until it can be activated at the press of a button, increasing the score multiplier and bringing back bandmates. During solos, the track in question is automatically selected and the solo must be played in full, with phrases or switching not applying for its duration.
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