Six things you didn’t know about Rock Band 2

By now you have hopefully read our drag-down, kick out the jams review of the hardware and software of Rock Band 2, and have made your decision about whether or not you want to buy the latest rhythm game entry from Harmonix. We stand firmly by our original recommendation: this game is amazing and belongs in the library of anyone who has even thought of playing a game with plastic instruments. HangZhou Night Net

That being said, if you want to dig in and really make your personal Rock Band set-up personal and special, we have some more tips for you. We also have some cool tricks and codes to bring you up to speed on how to get the most out of your game. Let's get started by giving you all the songs…

Get every song in quick play mode, right now

Unlocking the tracks in quick play mode is not as easy as it was in the original game, and can take more work than you may be willing to put into it if you want to play the entire library of tracks the first day you take the game home and get the band back together. No worries, the unlock-all code is the same as Rock Band, and it allows you to use a selectable modifier to unlock all the songs at any time.

The code is Red, Yellow, Blue, Red, Red, Blue, Blue, Red, Yellow, Blue. Now get to rocking! Keep in mind if you turn on this modifier you can't save your scores, earn achievements, or play on Xbox Live.

Get rid of the groaners, make your parties a happier affair

There are some songs that almost no one likes to play, and when an entire band groans at the sight of one of them, it can really put the brakes on a good night of Rock Band 2. There's not much you can do about the new tracks, and you can, of course, pick what songs you download, so hopefully you like all of those, but you can limit the songs you don't like from Rock Band 1. Here's how.

When you pay your $5 to move the Rock Band 1 songs to your hard drive from the disc, they are basically treated as downloadable content. Just delete the ones you don't want from your Rock Band 1 save file in your hard drive before putting in your Rock Band 2 disc, and you'll never have to deal with "Green Grass and High Tides" again. Bliss.

If you decide you miss the songs, simply re-export from your Rock Band 1 disc to bring it back.

The ultimate drum experience will cost you $385… yes, you can use the Omega pedal on the Drum Rocker

The ION Drum Rocker may be $300, but it's one of the most amazing gaming peripherals ever released. It's worth your money, but some people may find the pedal a little loud and not quite as satisfying as the Omega Pedal we lavished praise on when we hooked it up to our drum set on Rock Band 1.

No worries. That pedal works fine with your Drum Rockers using a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter and plugging the Omega into the "pedal" port. Different people like different things with their pedals, but personally we prefer the Omega by a long shot, and it's great to have the option. Your mileage my vary, but in our testing, the Drum Rocker with an Omega Pedal is the ultimate way to drum with Rock Band 1 and 2.

You can buy the soundtrack in iTunes, but you'll miss out on a few tracks

Someone has gone to the trouble of creating the Rock Band 2 set list on iTunes, and you can buy the entire thing for $76.23. You can find that iMix on iTunes, but there are some tracks that Apple doesn't have available yet, including the new track by Guns n' Roses and "Let There be Rock" by AC/DC.

Other than the six tracks iTunes is mixing, this is a good way to get that Rock Band 2 feeling when you can't turn the actual game on, or to learn songs so you can become a better singer.

You may be able to buy a musical file with your tracks in the future

The music store on Rock Band 2 is already well-stocked, but when will we be able to buy actual music off the service? I posed this question to Dan Teasdale, Rock Band 2's senior designer. Will it ever be possible to get an .mp3 or some other digital file with our song on it when we buy a track for the game? "We've definitely talked about it," he told me, stressing how difficult it would be. "It's a huge pile of stuff we have to go through. We already have to sort out label rights, band rights, master rights, and this is another thing on top of that… but I'd love to see it happen in the future."

Expect a big surprise in the coming weeks

I asked Teasdale what his dream track would be for Rock Band, and a big smile crossed his face. "I can't tell you… because it's coming up soon as downloadable content. Ask me this question in a month, and I'll be able to tell you." I pressed him for details, or a more specific timeline. "Something big is coming, very soon."

So there you go. I hope we've given you some things you didn't know about, some things that will help you get the most out of your game, and some things to look forward to. Rock Band 2 is an amazing game, and we're still discovering tips and tricks the more time we put into it. Also, take one forum member's advice and layer a few stickers on top of a simple orange circle. The result is magic.

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