Rejoice Ye Fans Of Fake Instruments

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Headlining this week’s lineup of video game releases is the mother of all rhythmic cash cows, Rock Band 2. From the “don’t knock it ‘till you’ve tried it department,” there’s simply no better way to take a failed evening plan and turn into a rollicking good time. Every man should keep a closet full of sturdy plastic instruments and a stash of adult refreshments handy, if only to save your buddies from the curse of unforeseen boredom.

Rock Band’s sophomore effort keeps with what worked the first time out (primarily a massive and varied library of wail-worthy master recordings) and responds to popular demand by making improvements to the instruments and to the in-game experience. The drum kit boasts some of the most remarkable upgrades including quieter, velocity sensitive drum heads, wireless connectivity, an add-on port for the forthcoming cymbal kit, and a training mode that offers to coach you in the ways of ACTUAL drumming.

Devotees to the original game who accounted for around 10 million track downloads needn’t hesitate to re-up, as Rock Band 2 is fully compatible with nearly all the included and downloadable songs available for its predecessor. The game and standalone instruments are shipping for Xbox 360. The special edition bundles featuring all the instruments are on tap for an October release. Playstation 3 and Wii owners will get in on the action at that point. No more excuses. Get to work on naming your band immediately.

Cost: Xbox 360 ($60) | Xbox 360 Special Edition $190 | PS3 ($60) | PS3 Special Edition ($190) | Wii ($50) | Wii Special Edition ($190)

Also See: Rock Band Drum Silencers ($17) - Because honestly, the thwack-thwack of those plastic drums really does get on people’s nerves.