Gaming & Technology

Capsule reviews

AC/DC Live: Rock Band Track Pack

Xbox 360, PS3, PS2 and Wii. Availability only at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club.

Herald-Leader rating: 90/100.

Metacritic rating: 65/100.

The major rhythm games seem to be locking up any band with more than five hits for exclusive games.

AC/DC was Rock Band's first, while Guitar Hero has picked up Aerosmith and Metallica. Harmonix, the maker of Rock Band, is working on a Beatles game.

So how does the company's trial run with AC/DC shape up? Quite well. It's a track pack with 18 songs, all recorded at a live concert in 1991. It plays just like Rock Band in every other way.

You've no doubt noticed a vast disparity between the Herald-Leader and Metacritic ratings, so let's go ahead and dispose of that. Every bad review focused on the fact that exclusive distributor Wal-Mart charges $40 for the game. Is is worth that? Probably only to the hard-core AC/DC fan. But the price shouldn't necessarily be a measure of quality.

What is a measure of quality is a top-notch song lineup that includes many of the band's major hits like Highway to Hell, T.N.T., You Shook Me All Night Long and Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. The excellent Rock Band interface is great as always, plus the game, while bought individually in stores, can be uploaded to your existing Rock Band library so you can play those songs alongside others in set lists.

Here's the qualm, though. It's a live album. That means nothing to the Rock Band guitarists or drummers, but to a vocalist (and an expert one at that), it can be distracting when the songs don't match what you've heard on the radio your entire life. And you know you've heard the songs on the radio. Lexington radio has a fascination with AC/DC that borders on being unhealthy. I once heard the same AC/DC song on both Double Q and Z-103 at the same time. Creepy ... and also the last straw that compelled my decision to buy a car CD player.

So the hard-core AC/DC fans in town can find this at any area Wal-Mart or Sam's Club, and, good news, the price is already down to $30.

Here's the full track list: Back in Black, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Fire Your Guns, For Those About to Rock (We Salute You), Heatseeker, Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be, Hells Bells, High Voltage, Highway to Hell, Jailbreak, Let There Be Rock, Moneytalks, Shoot to Thrill, T.N.T. , The Jack, Thunderstruck, Whole Lotta Rosie and You Shook Me All Night Long.

'SingStar Legends'

PS2.

Herald-Leader rating: 85/100.

Metacritic rating: 76/100.

The karaoke series continues with another stellar lineup of artists including Elvis Presley, John Lennon and Nirvana. Sounds like an odd combination, doesn't it? That's the single qualm with the game. It makes you better appreciate the SingStar music genre games like SingStar Rocks or SingStar R&B.

SingStar Legends has more than 30 tracks but only about 10 that I like to play. Of course, it's great, though, for a party game when you don't know what your guests will like.

And, as always, the game succeeds on some levels where rivals Rock Band and Guitar Hero don't. It shows the original music videos for the songs rather than the animated band setup seen in the other games. It also offers multiplayer through duets and competitions.

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