If we’re honest, most of us have yearned to be rock stars at some point in our lives. The fame, the money, the adulation, the not having to get up till three o’clock in the afternoon, stadium extravaganzas and enough money to fuel a bonfire for a year. Well, if like most of us your dreams of superstardom disappeared years ago, fear not, because thanks to Kudos: Rock Legend you can now live out some of your starry-eyed fantasies without ever having to step into a rusting tour van that smells of feet.
While comparisons to the international console hit Guitar Hero are inevitable, the similarities are negligible. Rock Legend is predominantly a single-player strategy game in which you must lead a band to international fame by making tactical decisions rather than hammering out killer riffs on a plastic guitar-shaped controller.
First off, you need to form a group by choosing the best candidates from a collection of wannabes, each of which possesses their own unique skills. Once you’ve settled on your lineup, it’s time to start composing, which is done by piecing together bars of different colored notes. The more colors you match at the start and end of each bar, the better your song will become. You can also gain inspiration and unlock new motifs by going to watch other bands perform. Ultimately though, the composing process is more a puzzle solving exercise than a creative one.
As well as songwriting, there are a host of other tasks that you can undertake to improve your band’s chances of success. You can hire practice rooms (ranging from decrepit garages to luscious lounges), purchase new instruments to improve your sound, buy lights to pump up your stage shows and book bars, clubs and arenas for forthcoming gigs. Once you’ve secured a venue, you must choose to either spend your time rehearsing or handing out flyers to bolster publicity. If you eventually manage to earn enough money, you can even start recording and releasing your very own albums.
While it may be packed with options, Rock Legend fundamentally comes down to clicking on option menus and reading your band mates’ thoughts and opinions, then responding accordingly. Your drummer may start to complain that he needs better equipment, while your guitarist might express concerns at the lack of publicity for your next performance.
However, the uniformity of menu clicking is nicely broken up by the option to manually improve your band’s musical prowess. By correctly playing back a sequence of notes using your keypad, you can help improve your band’s aptitude. While the tunes are kept simple (they’ll certainly never challenge you like Guitar Hero), this hands-on approach still proves entertaining and it’s incredibly satisfying to be able to personally influence how your band develops.
Slickly presented and packed with features, Rock Legend will no doubt prove a fun pastime for any of you with a love of music and the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. Challenging without ever becoming overwhelming, the game’s only major shortfalls are its bland presentation and over reliance on menu clicking. While it may not quite live up to the superstar, hell-raising dreams of your youth, it’ll certainly keep you entertained for a fair few fun-filled hours. Rock on…