Rob is an awesome Harmonix fan we met at PAX that has been writing pieces on his blog about Rock Band Blitz. He was kind enough to write something just for us! We'll be posting these Power-up Profiles for each Power-up over the next few weeks. For more information about how the Power-ups work, visit our YouTube channel.
The last ingredient in the delicious cake that is Rock Band Blitz is the lineup of Super Instruments. Instead of using Synchrony, you can use one of these passive Power-ups which offer a much more concrete bonus to your score. Available in all the different flavors of lanes on the note highway, picking the one that best suits your style is the optimal way to utilize this bonus. Then when you are in the middle of hitting up the notes on that particular lane during a song, you will get a small bonus per note you hit of that type. Pick Super Guitar and every guitar note you hit will gather just a little more to your score.
There are pros and cons to using Super Instruments that should be considered before choosing which one to use or to use it at all: By picking any of them you are NOT picking Synchrony which means you have no lane change bonuses or ability to knock out a note when you cross the lanes. Super Instruments do not gather points when notes are being hit by means other than you directly. This means power ups like Blast, Bandmate, Bottle Rocket, or Road Rage will not gather anything more than the base value of the notes they hit.
But there are several techniques with each instrument that can help negate some of the problems that come with using the Super Instrument line of Power-ups.
- Super Guitar: Since you’re going to be stuck doing solos, Super Guitar is a great start. Also the guitar lane is usually in the center (at least on five lane songs) and allows for the best peripheral view of the note highway. Watch over the road like a falcon while also getting maximum points in songs like “I Want It All” by Queen or “Two Tickets To Paradise” by Eddie Money, where managing five tracks and a few guitar solos means earning a lot of points hanging out in the guitar lane.
- Super Drums: The backbone of the song, drums can either be a simple rhythm to follow or a stick-fueled apocalypse. That means a lot of points can be had hanging out in this lane with some of the more manageable drum patterns. Something along the lines of “I Miss You” by Blink-182 works well for this. Still you’ll be hanging out on the edge of the note highway and lacking that critical peripheral vision to watch out for other Power-ups and Overdrive.
- Super Bass: Not to be confused with the main hero of the 1960s comic series “SuperBass and WünderHerring,” this buff to your score on the bass track is much like guitar in that it’s useful for it being in the middle of the note highway. Keep things manageable and fun with something like “Maneater” by Hall and Oates.
- Super Vocals: The super-est of vocals can be found in songs with heavy nonstop vocal chatter. While vocal sustains are useful, they require you to stay in a lane longer than you may need with all the combos to maintain. Something along the lines of “Feel Good Inc.” by the Gorillaz or “Tell Me Baby” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers gives the vocal lane a lot of traffic to score points.
- Super Keys: Like drums they require you to hang out on the edge of the highway and risk missing out on other scoring opportunities. So if you’re going to hang out over there, at least do it on songs that are heavy in their use of keys. Try something along the lines of “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” by Meatloaf or “Modern Love” by David Bowie to get the most enjoyment out of this option.
- Compliment Super Instruments with a Power-up that can clear off tracks that aren’t Super; like Bottle Rocket, Road Rage, or Bandmate. That way your combos on other lanes can get cranked up while you stay in the zone on the lane you chose. Throw in a Blast Note and you can replace some of the missing features of Synchrony by using the gap the blast creates as a chance to cleanly jump lanes.
In the end these five Power-ups come down to the slogan, “Super Instruments: light on shenanigans, heavy on the points, and with 99.5% less wolverine meat.”