RockFREE Review: Get Ready to Rock Your World
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
It’s quite obvious how Guitar Hero and Rock Band have swept the gaming world off their feet and onto the stage! I for one would see tons of Rock Band cafes just by walking down the street. It’s really hard to resist the urge to rock that guitar while playing your favorite tracks. Since Rock band and Guitar Hero cost a lot of money, not everyone can enjoy the AWESOME kickass benefit of having to play that electric (virtually electric that is) guitar.
As I browsed around the net, I came across a browser game that’s mostly similar to the phenomenal Rock game. RockFree as they call it is a FREE browser game that lets you enjoy the JUSTICE of Rock Band in the comforts of your own PC rig. The game has tons of songs and even a customizable avatar. The game is still in Open Beta and is already getting a lot of players so far. If there’s a benchmark for web browser games, then this one pretty much surpasses that.
Starting up- I can’t wait to rock n’ roll!
Upon creating your account, you’ll have to start making your first (and ONLY) character. The game doesn’t give you that much options to choose from. A limited set of hairstyles, shirts, and pants (probably four to five of each) will be the only things at your disposal. The characters are entirely flash-based and look pretty similar to the 6-teen cartoon characters. For a game that runs in flash, I’d say that RockFREE is probably the best looking flash game out there.
Since RockFree is currently in Open Beta, it’s too early to make any assumptions about how many features they’ll be adding soon. One thing about this game though, is that it looks promising, considering the fact that most people are suckers for rhythm games. Once you’ve been told the basics of the game, it’s time to try your first song. Since I’m a big fan of the band, I chose Cowboys from Hell by Pantera.
Setting up the stage
Once you’re all done with creating your character, it’s time to start rocking live. You can either join a room in progress (Clubs as they call them) or just go and create your own. You’ll simply walk around by using the arrow keys (along with people who look similar to you) while waiting for the song to load. You’ll start off with only three songs and must purchase or upload tracks to boost your library (will be discussed soon).
Interface and controls
The game looks entirely like a flat Guitar Hero rip off once the stage is set. You basically have five buttons to use in order to catch the notes. For those who aren’t familiar with Guitar Hero, you basically have to press the button that corresponds to the descending note (namely: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) while strumming with the left and right arrow keys to register the hit. If ever you miss a note or didn’t strum properly, the tone is affected and cuts the song on the part where you missed (kind of like playing in real life). At first I was thinking that I may have encountered a bug due to the auto-strumming function which lets you register notes just by pressing the number keys. You can simply adjust the settings on the upper part of your screen. The down key is used for the whammy bar that lets you yank off unique and interesting additions to the song (nothing like your personal touch to make the experience better). There’s also the Adrenaline Rush mode (done by pressing up or enter via default configuration) that’s mostly similar to Guitar Hero’s Star Power. This feature is supposed to double your points whenever you strum the notes. Technical? Hell yeah!
Note: Get a higher streak to see your rocker ON FIRE!
Custom Tracks? Sweet!
For me, the most awesome part of this game would have to be the track option. You can simply flood your tracklist by buying songs online through Acclaim coins. If I have to make this even clearer, it involves real money. This feature is okay in my opinion, but the songs are already featured on Frets of Fire (Guitar Hero rip off Application for Windows)! By the way, you can upload Frets of Fire sim files to enhance your song library as well. Why buy from the store when you can just get Frets of Fire sim files anyway? Having the privilege of customizing your track list has never been this good. Since Frets of Fire doesn’t only cater English songs, you can just upload your favorite songs (whatever language they may be) and enjoy the tour. Each track also has 4 modes of difficulty. I’m not sure about the Frets of Fire songs, but if they manage to retain their difficulty settings then that would DEFINITELY rock.
And yet another MMO aspect embedded on a browser game. Yes! You can level up in this game, but it only gives you more fans and doesn’t really unlock anything other than the number of your level. Well, at least you can show them why you are to be feared.
During my playtime I’ve encountered a bunch of problems that probably need attending to. Whenever you check the guide or any other info at the top part of the screen, you’ll have to login again to continue playing. It’s not that much of a problem but can really get on your nerves when you’re in a rush to play, though. The game also tends to lose focus and disconnect once in a while, so I guess that needs tending to as well.
Since the game is in Open Beta it would be unfair to bash it with harsh comments since it still has the capability to improve. The game is basically one of the best MMMO (Massively MUSICAL Multiplayer Online) Browser games in my opinion. They could add a couple of more features, starting with the wardrobe selection (they definitely need more of those there). The difficulty setting is really awesome but isn’t too technical since the buttons aren’t too sensitive. You can just mash and get a good streak while strumming randomly. Since you can’t die in the game, you could say that it lacks the challenge of actually being able to finish the song. I was able to finish certain songs in this game on the hardest difficulty just by mashing the controls. The auto strum function is useful as well since some people are just aiming to have fun while pressing random buttons. Open Beta? It’s pretty good. I can’t wait for the finished product.
Note: For a better experience, lift your keyboard in the form of a guitar and start playing XD!
– It’s Rockband/Guitar Hero online man!
– Impressive visuals
– Frets of fire compatibility
– Item mall or Song mall.
– Relogging issues
– Disconnecting issues
– Still lacks features or content
– Pay for tracks? (Why not make it unlockable?)