Rock Band is almost perfect

Yesterday afternoon, after waiting for what I hoped was a long enough time for the Black Friday morning crowds to abate, I headed out in search of Rock Band. The huge new Best Buy down the road was sold out, but the huge new Target next door had two left, crammed into a tiny space on the bottom shelf near the Xbox 360 accessories. The box this thing comes in is pretty huge, so I can see why stores are having trouble keeping it in stock. There's just not enough room.

Anyway, I got it home, set everything up, and Loren and Felicity and I rocked out until the wee hours of the morning. For the most part, the game is absolutely awesome, and even after hours of continuous rockage we didn't experience any of the hardware problems some people have been reporting. However, there are three things about Rock Band that really, really suck:

  1. When you start a band, one player must be designated the leader. This player is now the band leader for all eternity, and the band can't play without him or her. Period. The game won't let you change who the leader is, it won't let you swap the leader to a different instrument, and it won't let your band play without the leader. This sucks epic amounts of ass.
  2. I was totally digging the drums until about halfway through the medium progression, when I just couldn't deal with the damn foot pedal anymore. It's uncomfortable to use, impossible to position well (for me anyway), and I seem to have a complete inability to control both my feet and my hands at the same time. While Felicity and Loren were rocking out without any problems on the medium vocals and bass, I was being thwarted by that damn foot pedal. If I ignored the foot pedal, then I had no trouble being awesome on the drums, but our score suffered horribly due to all the missed kick drum notes. I'm sure there are plenty of people who have no problem with it, but it was a dealbreaker for me. I want a "no foot pedal" option.
  3. For some reason, the first three or four songs end up getting repeated over and over and over and over again, both in new venues and in random setlists. By the end of the night, we were so sick of Weezer (and even Nirvana) that it sucked all the fun out of the game every time we had to slog through those songs yet again in order to progress. There are plenty of great songs, but for some reason it's the mildly annoying ones that get repeated endlessly until you want to stab yourself in the eardrums with your drumsticks. Lame.

Aside from these gripes, the game is huge amounts of fun. I just wish Harmonix had gone a few steps further and made it perfect. Nothing ruins a nearly-perfect game like a few dumb flaws.