Over the past week, we've had a chance to check out ION's premium Rock Band 2 drum set, the Drum Rocker (We've played it once before at E3 2008). We're waiting for a copy of RB2 for our final impressions; in the meantime, here are our initial thoughts of the set with the original Rock Band.
- Our order arrived in two boxes weighing in at 33 lbs. and 6 lbs., respectively. The lighter box contained the third cymbal and colored discs to put on all three cymbals for differentiation.
- Total time to unbox: 20 minutes (although, to be fair, we were taking a lot of pictures). That said, total time for setup (no camera usage) was close to an hour, with a large amount of time spent trying to screw in the cymbal clamps. Just another 2 or 3 mm on the screw length and we would've had a much easier time here.
- Protip: Make sure you screw everything in very tight, or you'll be having to either pause the game to make fixes mid-song or learn to adjust to the added difficult of a drooping tom or cymbal. Even then, adjustments will have to be made to get the toms placed just right.
- The pads are very well constructed, quiet and very responsive, although we found them susceptible to catching dust. Buy yourself a lint roller!
- The kick pedal, too, feels sturdier and and better constructed for quicker notes. That said, it's also a bit noisier.
- At least with Rock Band 1, the cymbals proved quite unresponsive, and no matter how hard we hit them, it only seemed to register about 65% of the time. It was especially noticeable going through "Tom Sawyer" on expert.
- Like we did at E3, we still have our reservations about the novelty of the cymbals.
- This is a minor quip, but one thing we liked about the RB set is that each tom gave off a slightly different noise when hit. That's not the case here, where every pad makes the same thud.