Rock Band™ Blitz was released for the PlayStation®Network on August 28th for $14.99 (EURO: 10.99 € POUNDS: £7.49) and to Xbox LIVE® Arcade on August 29th for 1200 Microsoft Points™. – July 18 press release
Because this post was created and updated prior to the release, the information below may be outdated.
The gameplay is similar to Rock Band: Unplugged.
"Blitz is a downloadable music game along the lines of Amplitude or Frequency that aims to take the rhythms and melodies from your favorite music and transform them into gaming elements in a flat-out action arcade game. It’s part-beat matching, part pinball, and judging from my playtime, all fast-paced, arcadey fun, especially if you’re a music fan." - G4tv Hands on
"The game lays out all of a song’s instrument parts in paths, and you use your controller to “play” notes as they slide toward you. Like Frequency or Amplitude, you switch from track to track, playing drums, bass, keyboard, guitar and vocals, in any combination you’d like." - G4tv Hands on
“…within each lane, you have two sub-lanes that let you play different notes on that instrument. Several control schemes are available, but in the one we used for our hands-on demo, LT and RT move you between the five lanes, while the D-pad and the A button shift you between an instrument’s two sub-lanes.” – OXMonline
"There were two reasons we settled on two [lanes for each instrument]: one was that the modern controller is better suited to two [lanes] instead of three [like the gameplay of] Frequency and Amplitude. But I think a more fundamental reason is that the choice was to let you focus a measure or two down the track as you play through and let you strategize about what you’re doing to do. And we found that if we took a little mental load off the beat matching and made it just a little bit easier to comprehend; you had the mental space to think about the strategy of what you're going to do to maximize your score." – The Verge
"It’s a simple concept that takes minutes to pick up, but Blitz is addictive, and provides such a variety of multipliers, power-ups and ways to rack up points, arcade game fans will spend a lot of time getting better at it. While you’re mastering hitting the multiplayer rhythm gems, and building your multiplier, you also have the option of firing off bottle rockets to explode notes farther up the timeline, or you could choose to chase down a blast note to increase your score. - G4tv Hands on
The game has a single difficulty level – “game’s lone difficulty level” - OXMonline
You can't fail out of songs – Joystiq – Apr 8
Missing notes doesn't kill your score multiplier. Your score multiplier is basically additive only; every time you successfully complete a measure in an instrument, that particular instrument's multiplier goes up. Checkpoints in each song reset everything's multiplier. This "leveling" system motivates you to jump from instrument to instrument. – Joystiq – Apr 8
The "locking" mechanic from Frequency, Amplitude, and Rock Band Unplugged is also gone. In those games, a successful chain of notes caused that lane to "lock" for a while, with that instrument playing itself so you can jump to the next one. In Blitz, you can play the same instrument for the whole song if you want, and it's totally up to you when you want to jump over. – Joystiq – Apr 8
The game is still about scores… but at the same time the scoring mechanic doesn't dictate the way the whole game works. It's a more freeform experience… It's casual without being "casual." And as much as I don't want to admit it, that's actually more interesting than a return to Frequency. – Joystiq – Apr 8
Coins and Power-ups
Power-ups are purchased using in-game coins. Coins are earned by playing songs and completing goals that are posted on the Facebook App “Rock Band World”.
The coin economy system can be tweaked by Harmonix at any time. For more information you can look at this thread
There are over 15 power-ups in the game across three categories, samples include:
Overdrive Power-ups: Play glowing notes to earn Energy, then deploy insane Overdrive Power-ups (Partial List):
• Shockwave: Sends a sonic wave that earns you bonus points for every note it touches! The more Energy you’ve stored, the larger the Shockwave!
• Point Doubler: Earns two times the points for every note played!
• Jackpot: Launch Jackpot to start a run that will earn you three times the points if you can play a section of notes perfectly. Be careful – miss a note and you lose it all!
Equip Note Power-ups to randomly scatter glowing purple notes throughout a song. Hit those notes for some wild, point-boosting effects, like…
• Flame note: Hit this note to start a fire. Follow the spreading blaze to earn bonus points!
• Runaway Note: Trigger this type of note to send a spark down the track. Chase that runaway note down and get the big points.
• Synchrony: For the rhythm junkie, Synchrony allows you to switch tracks on the downbeat for bonus points. Switching at the measure markers also plays notes on both tracks!
Click here for Achievement List Note: Game has 500 points, so 100 of them are DLC related. For example, “Loyal Fan – Play at least 10 unique songs by same artist”
The game will not be initially available for the Wii. When Harmonix was asked if the songs will ever be available on the Wii they replied, “We don’t really know. This may depend on if we decide to release Rock Band Blitz onto the Wii or Wii U in some form, and if we don’t do that we will look into getting these songs into Rock Band 3 as DLC. Only time can tell.” HMX Livestream as reported by Colin Kitler
Blitz, the game, will come as a single Arcade/PSN download with a few trial songs included, and the entire trial/full infrastructure in place.
Single Player Social Gaming
Single player game is played via standard controllers ONLY (no peripheral usage) - "no co-op or competitive gaming, so the whole “Band” part of Rock Band doesn’t really apply, except in the game’s extensive leader boards and competitions. Playing against your friends’ scores seems like it will be a game in itself." - G4tv Preview
The game ties in with a facebook app called "Rock Band World" where you can collaborate, compete, and compare with your FB friends. This app also provides goals which can be completed for additional coins to be used for powerups. The app also has the following:
----Score Wars: This is a player-vs-player challenge that is suggested to you by our recommendation engine. So, for example, let's say log in to the game, and I see in my Recommendations Feed that [the engine] has suggested I challenge HMXMister_Game (Nord) to beat me at "I'm Still Standing". I decide this sounds like a good thing to do, so I accept, and that will send a challenge message over to Nord in his game's Messages screen. We each have X number of days to get the highest possible score on this song. The message in your inbox will remain and track the number off attempts Nord and I make on the song, and show who is currently winning. If you don't have XBL or PSN friends with Rock Band Blitz, the game will suggest Score Wars with other random players.
----Leader Board: Recommendations Feed will scan your library and say something to the effect of "Hey you should play this song because Pope currently has a higher score than you on it." So then you could pop into that and compete with my score on your friend’s leaderboards, without actually being in a Score War.
--- Recommendations could also say "Hey you haven't played this song yet!" which I find to be IMMENSELY helpful when you either have a really big library, or you buy DLC often. It's easy to forget you have certain songs, so the game will helpfully remind you of that.
--- The Feed will also keep you up to date on new DLC releases that might appeal to your tastes, and if you so decide that, yes, you would be interested in buying that new track, one button press will take you directly to that song's page in the Music Store. Thread
All the tracks play at regular volume. If you play well, the track you are playing is louder than the others. If you miss notes the volume of that track drops way down, and we play miss noises. – Forum Post
The game will feature (25) new songs that fully transferable Rock Band 3 - G4tv X-Play – Apr 3 [25 songs mentioned by Matthew Nordhaus in the X-Play interview]
There will be no charge to “export” the songs into Rock Band 3 - Harmonix Apr 4 press release
@mystictyphoon No Pro upgrades included in Blitz, but a strong possibility of getting upgraded later. Keep posted for more announcements! - Twitter Post
Will play DLC and Rock Band Network songs, even the ones you have already bought for Rock Band - "and is compatible with most of the current Rock Band library of over 3,500 songs..., making it one of the most robust rhythm action games to date." Including all content from the Rock Band Music Store, as well as tracks exported into Rock Band 3 from Rock Band, Rock Band 2, LEGO, and Green Day. OXMonline
However, you will not be able play the disc-based Rock Band 3 tracks in Rock Band Blitz, due to licensing at this time. This is because Blitz looks at songs saved to the hard-drive and until RB3 is exported, the songs aren’t housed there. Asked whether Harmonix was working on an update to allow import of disc tracks as an option, a representative told us, "We don't have plans at this time." – From JoyStiq – Apr 4
In order to make all [playable Rock Band] songs compatible with the completely different gameplay of Blitz, the engineers at Harmonix created an algorithm they came to know as "Blitz-ificiation." That systemic process happens on song loads, remapping the original five-note gameplay to Blitz's two notes. When asked if that approach created any complications, like tracks that weren't fun or too difficult, Nordhaus said, "Fortunately so far we've been able to fix all of those by just tweaking the algorithm. So we don't expect that there will be any manual changes to any of the songs when we ship the game." – The Verge
Fair warning now: the first Blitz load for people with lots of DLC will take a while. When Blitz first recognizes your DLC library and "Blitzifes" the songs it will take a few minutes if you're rocking a solid amount of content. Future load ups will be much quicker, but that first one may seem unusually long.
All the Blitz songs will be delivered as a separate package which can be downloaded only after the full game is purchased. After you start up the game, it will check for your downloaded content. When it's done with that, it will ask you to download the game soundtrack. Download/install this and the songs should show up. After this package is downloaded they will appear as standard RB3 format DLC on the console. – HMXMister_Game
See this thread for more song related issues with Blitz: http://www.rockband.com/forums/showthread.php?t=231400
Songs included in the Blitz song download:
Avenged Sevenfold – “So Far Away”
Barenaked Ladies – “One Week”
Blink 182 – Always
Collective Soul – “Shine”
Elton John – “I’m Still Standing”
Fall Out Boy – “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More ‘Touch Me’”
Foo Fighters – “These Days”
Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks
Fun. ft. Janelle Monįe – “We Are Young”
Great White – “Once Bitten Twice Shy”
Iron Maiden – “The Wicker Man”
Kelly Clarkson – “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”
Kool & The Gang – “Jungle Boogie”
Living Colour – “Cult of Personality”
Maroon 5 – “Moves Like Jagger”
My Chemical Romance – “Sing”
P!nk – “Raise Your Glass”
Queen – “Death on Two Legs”
Quiet Riot – Metal Health (Bang Your Head)
Rick Springfield – Jessie’s Girl
Shinedown – “Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)”
Tears for Fears – “Shout”
The All-American Rejects – “Kids in the Street”
Also, re-release of
Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Give It Away”
Soundgarden – “Spoonman
HMXHenry says, in regards to the last two songs, “Just wanted to post a quick follow up about "Spoonman" and "Give It Away… our diligent Music Ops Team went to work. They were able to regain "Dani California" and "Black Hole Sun", 2 tracks which were also excluded from past export, and we unlocked those as part of the last RB title update. But with that option out of the picture due to the way RB2's disc data is managed, inspiration struck and these songs became part of the RB Blitz soundtrack. They always went over like gangbusters in RB2, they play incredibly well in Blitz and it's a perfect opportunity to get these songs back into the RB3 library.”
In response to rumors crediting Harmonix with saying Rock Band Blitz marks the end of the Rock Band Series a represenitive from HMX said “No, we've never said that RB Blitz will be the last RB game. [The person who said this] sounds like a Grade A chucklehead and you can tell him I said so.” – Forum Post