Rock of the Dead advertises itself as a gain skills and show off ("transcend from aspiring musician to global rock god") kind of game. It's actually not about skill, it's about speed.
It's a "rail shooter" style game, which makes speed critical to survival as if you're not fast enough on killing the enemies, you will miss vital health and powerups because the game won't give you time to snag them. On the up side, you can go back and replay any game section you have previously beaten to try to regain missed health or power-ups.
There is little actual rhythm involved against most enemies. Simply tap out the notes as fast as possible and in order. They don't care if you match the beat, just that you hit the notes. There's even a "auto lock-on" once you start hitting a specific enemy's notes. This lock-on can be a pain if it targeted the wrong enemy and must be manually shut off by hitting more buttons... while you're supposed to be speedily hammering notes and are most likely taking damage as the game timer ticks away.
The only exceptions to the rule are the metered sections during which the game suddenly switches from "tap it as fast as possible!" to "guitar hero style" gameplay where missing notes results in loss of health and being forced to repeat the section. There seems to be no limit to the number of times it makes you repeat the same section. It only moves you on once you beat the section or die. These only seems to happen on mini-boss and occasionally boss fights. 90% of the time it's just "tap it quick or die".
The graphics are fine and there is plenty of b-movie flavor to go around. If you like old horror films, there's a good chance you will be smiling! Well, the first time you hear the jokes, anyway. This game gets repetitive between replaying areas just to get those power-ups and more health and the fact that the music is not continuous.
It does not play the whole song at once, it skips back and forth in the same song, especially during metered sections. For example, I heard the first few lines of "Living Dead Girl" no less than ten times during the subway level, often on repeat. This problem is because the songs are usually shorter than the levels they are played during. It messes up the pace of the game and gets grating quickly.
If you play rhythm games for the music or because you enjoy hitting buttons in rhythm, you are going to be disappointed. If you like rail shooters, the pacing and the repetitive play will get annoying. If you like both, prepare to be disappointed and annoyed. It's a shame, I really wanted to like this game, but the execution prevents me from doing so.
No: I don’t recommend this product