LEGO Rock Band

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Key events

26th November 2009

LEGO Rock Band DLC trailer

25th November 2009

LEGO Rock Band

MTV wants Rock Band bonuses back

Seeking refund on $150m paid to Harmonix.

MTV owner Viacom is going is asking Harmonix for a refund on some of the $150 million it has paid the Rock Band developer in bonuses, reports Gamasutra.

UK charts: MW2 untouchable on top

LEGO Rock Band off to a blocky start.

Activision's Modern Warfare 2 has topped the UK All-Formats chart for a third week and, as December threatens to freeze releases, marches hopefully towards a possible Christmas number one.

LEGO Rock Band

LEGO Rock Band

Block party.

This isn't the first family-friendly reskin of a popular rhythm-action game we've seen this month. Band Hero gave Guitar Hero 5 a glittery pink-and-purple makeover and a soundtrack of cheerily meaningless pop in a rather-too-calculated approach to broadening the plastic-instrument market to women and families. The new look was cynical, yes, but what really let it down was a tracklist that was in no way suited to Guitar Hero's gameplay or instruments. Nobody wants to play along to the keyboard in a Spice Girls track on a plastic guitar.

LEGO Rock Band doesn't make the same mistakes. It's just as derivative as Band Hero, but many times as likeable, and the music and gameplay are still perfectly compatible. The style, as with all the LEGO games thus far, is adorable - so adorable that it makes you wish you could import all your Rock Band 2 tracks and adopt it as the default option. Who wants grainy camera effects and earnest-looking frontmen with pink-and-black emovers when you can have LEGO Bryan May?

Importantly, though, it isn't just a reskin. Besides the presentation, things have been tweaked a little to make classic Rock Band gameplay friendlier to under-socialised narcissists with non-existent attention spans (i.e. children). It's impossible to fail a song - you just get fewer LEGO studs as a reward for completing it. Even if you do fail out and lose studs, you can play a 'recovery phrase' and get them all back again. Rock Band has had a no-fail option for a while, of course, but now you don't need to bother nipping into a menu to activate it.

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May made LEGO: RB hair demands

Queen guitarist happy now, though.

Queen guitarist Brian May required his famous perm be replicated perfectly before he signed away his likeness for LEGO Rock Band.

Warner confirms LEGO Rock Band

Warner confirms LEGO Rock Band

For PS3, 360, Wii, DS this year.

Warner Bros. has confirmed LEGO Rock Band for release on PS3, Xbox 360, Wii and DS this year.

The musical game will be a collaboration between five companies: TT Games, The LEGO Group, MTV Games, Harmonix and Warner Bros.

Players will be able to customise not only the little block-rockers in their band, but also their roadies, managers and crew. And we're promised plenty of trademark LEGO humour as bands travel through fantasy locations on their pursuit of stardom.

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