The disc-only version of Konami's "Rock Revolution" was released last week, but the drum kit-and-game bundle won't be in stores until next month.
I was told by Konami reps last month that if you can't wait until then, you can buy the game and use MTV Games' "Rock Band" drum kit, in addition to Activision's "Guitar Hero" or "Rock Band" guitars.
In my tiny apartment, I currently have both the "Rock Revolution" drum kit (borrowed courtesy of Konami) and my "Rock Band" drum set (wireless version) for the Xbox 360. So I decided to compare what happens when I played the game, tailored to a six-pad drum kit, with a four pad one. Will "Rock Revolution" scale the difficulty accordingly?
First off, when you start the game, you can jump to the options menu and under the controller tab, you'll be able to choose five or seven lanes, depending on which drum kit you're using. The game offers a separate lane for the kick pedal and denotes it with an orange note. [Note: I've reached out to Konami about how the game will work with the five-padded "Guitar Hero: World Tour" drum kit out next week. We'll update you as soon as we hear back.]
I tried three different difficulties with the two drum sets...
Song: "All the Small Things" by blink-182
"Rock Revolution" Score: The game had me hitting four of the pads (red, silver, yellow and green) in a seven-lane note highway. I made it through okay, with a score of 28,750 and hit 82% of the notes.
"Rock Band" Score: In the adjusted five-lane note highway, I was asked to hit four notes of corresponding colors -- red, yellow, blue and green. My score was 22,910, even though I hit 92% of the notes. However, I hit fewer combos -- 26 versus 59 the first go-round.
Song: "Dirty Little Secret" by The All-American Rejects
"Rock Revolution" Score: The game had me hitting four of the pads (red, silver, yellow and green) and the kick pedal (orange). I got a score of 75,170 and hit 89% of the notes.
"Rock Band" Score: Again, I had to hit four pads and use the kick pedal occasionally. With 96% of the notes hit and 387 "perfect" notes, I got a whopping score of 188,995.
"Rock Revolution" Score: The game had me hitting five of the pads (red, silver, yellow, purple and green) as well as the kick pedal (orange). I failed out with 89% of the song finished, particularly in a section with a lot of purple notes combined with the kick pedal.
"Rock Band" Score: Having to use only four pads and the kick pedal, I passed the song with flying colors. My score was 210,875, with 94% of the notes hit, 455 "perfect" notes and missing 48 beats.
Verdict: On Easy, I didn't feel much of a difference playing on either kit. Meanwhile, on Medium, things were a little easier but not noticeably so while playing; I was surprised at the difference in scores. However with Hard, it was clear that it's much easier playing on the four pads of the "Rock Band" drum kit. The game didn't seem to add any extra notes to make up for playing with two less pads.
I think it was also more difficult for me to play using the "Rock Revolution" drums because I'm so used to only four pads on the "Rock Band" drums; with "Rock Revolution," I kept forgetting where the silver and purple pads were. So being able to beat the song on Hard with the "Rock Band" drums made me feel like a rock star, but in my heart, I know that I sort of cheated by not playing with the six pads.
"Rock Revolution" is now in stores for the Xbox 360 and PS3, but you can test your drumming abilities when the game-and-drum-set bundle is released on November 11.