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  • 11/5 RB: DLC – Early Nirvana, Foo Fighters and Joan Jett

    Posted on October 30th, 2009 Simon 2 comments

    Rock-Band-2-DLC-NirvanaSeems I’m now zero for four on DLC predictions, but I am sure that my random guesses are as good as anyone else’s.  This coming week is not going to be Weezer’s Raditude (that is a bit of good news and bad news), but instead its a return of two Rock Band favorites, Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, and a single track from Joan Jett.

    Both Nirvana and the Foo Fighters are no strangers to Rock Band DLC enthusiasts.  Both acts are featured on the RB1 and RB2 discs, and each have had their very own DLC packs of additional music.  This is actually the third Foo Fighters pack, and don’t forget that you can also get their entire CD “The Color and the Shape” from the RB Marketplace.  Nirvana’s tracks bring their total to 12 songs on the platform, and the Foo Fighters to 24 songs.  Two of the Foo Fighter songs, “Word Forward” and “Wheels” are brand new songs, the others are two of the most requested songs in the Foo Fighter catalogue.  I have to think that we are near the end of that particular catalogue.

    Joan Jett also gets a nod with her track “Fake Friends“, the first track to her follow up 1983 album entitled “Album”.   Not familiar with the track?  This was the second song I’ve previewed for RB:DLC that I had to press the STOP button before the end (that honor goes to Just Kait’s U Suck).   For starters, the main guitar riff is the same riff they teach you at day one of Guitar lessons.  It contains the lyric “You don’t lose when you lose fake friends.”  It doesn’t help that the special effects they used in the video consist of a black and white photo simply falling over in its own frame, possibly due to boredom or embarrassment.   I think a better choice for Ms. Jett would have been “I Love Rock’n’Roll” or simply to not release any more Joan Jett after the fiasco that is “Bad Reputation”.

    The tracks will be available on Tuesday, November 5.  Point costs for each pack are 560 for the Foo Fighters, 440 for Nirvana, 160 for Joan Jett or a-la-carte tracks.  Personally I cannot pass up the Nirvana tracks, I used to put on their “Bleach” album and listen to it from start to finish.  If I was making you a mixtape, “Blew” would be on it, and you would love it.

  • My November DLC Predictions

    Posted on October 28th, 2009 Simon 1 comment

    Rock Band DLC Update

    I was looking at bands that are releasing new albums in November, various rumor threads, and what has already been confirmed.  Here are my November 2009 Rock Band DLC predictions:

    November 3:  Weezer, The White Stripes

    November 10:  Bon Jovi, Flyleaf, Dashboard Confessional

    November 17:  Fallout Boy, John Mayer

    November 24:  KoRn, Queens of the Stone Age

    See anything you like?  I also predict we will also see the extra tracks from the Country Music Track Pack start to trickle in on 11/17 to fill out the sadness that is John Mayer.

  • Xbox 360 E74 System Error…Hits Home

    Posted on October 27th, 2009 Shawn 1 comment

    e74-21[1]It was a beautiful Saturday Fall afternoon in New England. Spent the morning mowing the lawn and cleaning up leaves, while enjoying the great weather. Took a break to play some Guitar Hero: Van Halen on my Xbox 360, and things suddenly went wrong…

    …first, I realized that someone had been spinning around the cymbals on my Guitar Hero drum set, which caused the wire on the yellow cymbal to sever. Oh well, no drums today, I’ll just play guitar and fix the drums another time. No worries, right? Wrong.

    I fire up the game, and all started fine. After taking minute to adjust the guitar strap and power the guitar on, I look up to a screen with pixelated lines running through it. Hmm, did my LCD just start to die? I sure hope not. Then I noticed that some Xbox Live friends were signing in (thanks to the notifications at the bottom of my screen). The odd thing, the notifications were not pixilated, just the game screen. I thought, ok the TV is fine. Is my game disc scratched?

    So, playing the Help Desk guy, I powered off the box and back on. Same thing. Well, it’s ugly, but playable. I played some Panama and Eruption. Then, decided to troubleshoot again. Turned off the Xbox and back on.

    03reviewe741[1]What did I see, 1 Red Ring on the Xbox and “System Error” “E74” on my TV screen. You know, the newish version of the Red Ring Of Death.

    I’ll be honest, I actually expected to get through the entire Xbox 360 console life cycle without ever seeing this error message. I am a late adopter to the system, having purchased my system in May 2008. My actual system was manufactured in March 2008. It just seemed obvious to me, that three years after the initial release of the Xbox 360, Microsoft had figured out their hardware woe’s. Well, I overestimated Microsoft.

    Fortunately, the warranty (although officially expired at the end of May 2009) is automatically extended for E74 errors. Within 30 minutes, I was on the Xbox support website, printing a pre-paid shipping label, and packing up my Xbox for shipment to the repair facility in Texas.

    I’m expecting within the next 14 days to have my Xbox back, and I’ll be ready to fire up some Lego: Rock Band by then.

    Microsoft, great software developers, horrible at hardware implementations.[ad#post-banner-ad]

  • New Lego: Rock Band Trailer Highlights Gameplay

    Posted on October 27th, 2009 Simon 3 comments

    There is a lot to see in the new trailer for Lego: Rock Band.  Watch for the few seconds of “Final Countdown” gameplay.  I have to admit I’m looking forward to see how they can pull off the action in this game, the look and feel of the sets are very well done.


  • GH5 Loses September, Van Halen in Jeopardy

    Posted on October 26th, 2009 Simon 2 comments

    guitar-hero-van-halen[1] September’s launch of Guitar Hero 5 was bungled, and sales figures have recently shown that overwhelmingly, music game fans chose The Beatles: Rock Band in September.  Has Activision also ruined any chance of success for their upcoming Guitar Hero: Van Halen game?

    Activision is a company that is well known for their public relations antics, and their CEO is one of the more controversial personalities in the game industry.  Shortly after Guitar Hero 5’s launch in September, the public relations arm of the company quite firmly proclaimed their product launch was the top, and even exclaimed that they had outsold their competitor by a 4 to 1 margin.  Unfortunately the final number from the month do not support any of those claims, and worse yet, are exactly the opposite.

    Even some of the highlights of the game, the ‘celebrity’ renderings, were not without fault.  Immediately after launch reports surfaced that one of the celebrity avatars could be fully unlocked from their own music tracks, and made to sing any song in the catalog.  The Kurt Cobain debacle, to which Activision was equally quick to assert their innocence, that they in fact had signed contracts that stated his likeness was to be a ‘fully playable character’.   The surviving members of Nirvana are currently pleading with the publisher to lock the feature in a future update, but Activision has made no indication that they are going to make that happen.   Admittedly, I was entertained by the “Bon Jovi” stylings of Kurt Cobain’s avatar, but ultimately disgusted that they would take a beloved rock icon like Cobain and completely trash him like that.

    The disappointing (or predictable, if you’re Harmonix) sales performance and cold reception of Guitar Hero 5  have put further doubt on the commercial success of their next title, Guitar Hero: Van Halen.  The title so far has only been available for free, for those customers in the USA who purchased GH5 and the title has already been delivered to them.  For anyone who did not purchase Guitar Hero 5, the game is promised to be in stores in December at full price.

    Well Activision, here is the elephant in the room:  nobody is going to buy Guitar Hero: Van Halen.  Here’s why.  The band Van Halen, although certainly very famous worldwide, has almost all of their game-playing fan base in the USA (in my opinion).  Activision must have realized early on that people in Asia are not going to get excited about playing the music of Eddie Van Halen and company.   One could also argue that anyone who purchased GH5 would probably also purchase GH: VH, and also that if you didn’t buy GH5, you probably aren’t going to be excited about GH: VH.   Simply put, Guitar-Hero-Van-Halen fans all got in at the right time, and got the free copy when they bought GH5.

    With the December retail launch of Van Halen coming up, its not clear who they expect to buy this game.   Given Shawn’s first impressions, as an international customer who did not get it for free, I will not be buying it.  I am sure that if you listen to the PR team at Activision, it will probably outsell every game ever created to date.

  • RB-DLC: Wolfmother 5-Pack, Hallowe’en & Teen Packs on 10/27/09

    Posted on October 23rd, 2009 Simon 3 comments


    Wolfmother‘s long awaited second cd, Cosmic Egg, is officially in stores today, and to celebrate the release Harmonix has created the Wolfmother 5-Pack featuring three tracks from it.  The remaining two tracks are from their previous platinum-selling self-titled album.  Wolfmother is Australia’s premiere hard rock band, having recently gone through an almost complete band roster change (hence the delay for the new record), and almost changed their name to “White Feather” earlier in the year.   Here is the 5-pack contents:

    I’m honestly more excited about this than the QUEEN pack if you can believe that.  I have played their other Rock Band Song to death, its one of my all time favorites in the game.   They picked some great tracks for this pack, although some of these were already available on the Guitar Hero 5 platform.  Give the new songs a listen on YouTube and pick up their new CD today!  These songs are a real treat for drummers like myself.

    With the holiday approaching, we are reminded that Harmonix loves Hallowe’en too.  Its pretty obvious that last year’s Alice Cooper pack has been outdone and shredded Rob Zombie pack.  “Burn” is a new track from his upcoming CD, and Zombie fans will definitely recognize the other two songs.  Still no “Thunder Kiss” or “Living Dead Girl” but you can’t deny that “Dragula” was one of his better tracks.   We were previously treated to some Zombie in January and February, this brings his total to 6 tracks in the game.

    • Rob Zombie – Burn
    • Rob Zombie – Dragula
    • Rob Zombie – Superbeast

    Still frantically racing towards 1000 songs, Tuesday will mark the release of what I’m arbitrarily calling the “Teen Pack” which contains a track from Liz Phair and two tracks from the band Morningwood.

    • Liz Phair – Rock Me
    • Morningwood – Best of Me
    • Morningwood – Sugarbaby

    The only Liz Phair song I had ever heard before today was “Supernova” (which I think would make a great RB song).   I’m a bit speechless after hearing “Rock Me” because it sure doesn’t sound like the Liz Phair I remember, and in my opinion sounds more like Avril / Britney.   As for Morningwood, aside from the questionable innuendo in their band’s name, I didn’t hear anything interesting from their tracks.  Their song “Best of Me” is the theme song to a failed reality dating show on VH1.  All in all these three are fairly forgettable tracks.

    The songs are all available on the XBox Marketplace on Tuesday, 10/27/09, 160pts per track, 440 for the Zombie pack, and presumably 720 for the Wolfmother pack.  Enjoy the new music, and on behalf of Shawn and the myGGGO blogging team, have a safe and happy hallowe’en!

  • Slacker Radio New Features

    Posted on October 23rd, 2009 Shawn No comments

    The browser based version of Slacker Radio has been updated, with some great features. I haven’t seen the release notes, but have noticed my own list of improvements:

    • Improved Searching. More of just a UI update, that breaks out searching into bands and songs.
    • Twitter integration. Allowing auto-tweets when you start a station, add a song as a favorite, ban a song, or ban an artist.
      • This is a very cool feature for me, the Twitter and Slacker nerd that I am.
    • Sharing feature has updates (including the above mentioned Twitter integration). URL shortener for Tweeting or Facebooking, 2-click emailing stations, and a new Embed feature (see the embedded Rock Band station below).
      • Embed is pretty awesome, as this now allows you to embed a fully functional station within a web page, as I will regularly do now here at

    Small Embedded Slacker Player – with my custom Rock Band station.

    Wicked Big Embedded Slacker Player – with my custom Rock Band station.

  • Wii Games On My Short List

    Posted on October 21st, 2009 Shawn No comments

    You should know by now, that I love my Xbox 360 (better known as “my” game system) and any rhythm game available on the system. But, I do own a Wii (better known as “the family’s” game system). We only have a couple games for the Wii, and they get regular use. The owed games: Wii Sports (the original) and Wii Fit.

    Now, as of this week, I picked up Wii Play, which comes with a Wii Remote. Now, I finally have 2 Wii Remotes to get some co-op play going. With that, it’s time to get some new games for the Wii.

    My shopping focus on Wii games is always on games that kids can play (and enjoy), non-gaming wives can play (and enjoy), and something that won’t bore me to tears. Oh, and any cross-platform games, I ALWAYS buy for the 360.

    So, here’s my Wii game short list for this holiday season.

    New Super Mario Bros.Wii

    This game follows the classic NES 2D platform side-scroller. It’s the style of game I grew up with on the original NES. Now, it’s updated with very nice graphics, and up-to 4 player co-op. This looks like it will be a great play for nostalgic gaming (for my wife and I) and a new generation of players (the kids). Early reviews state the the game has a tutorial mode for newer players, and has a high level of difficultly for the long-time gamers. I’m really looking forward to this game.

    Wii Sports Resort with 2 Wii MotionPlus

    The original Wii Sports is still a big hit in my house. We all love it. It’s so easy to learn, fun to play, and a great party game. So, the 2nd edition of the game (now with updated Wii MotionPlus support) is likely to be a big hit in my household. Plus, for less than $60, you get the game and 2 Wii MotionPlus adapters. The adapters are currently selling for $20 a piece.

    Wii Fit Plus

    We have the original Wii Fit with the Balance Board. In fact, Wii Fit was the initial reason for us purchasing Wii in the first place. Wii Fit has been a hit in our house, and the 2nd edition of this game should add on to the fun. Plus, at less than $20, it’s cheap money for this game.

  • Slacker Rock Band Station: Gets Lego, Queen, AiC & more

    Posted on October 15th, 2009 Shawn 1 comment


    Rock Band DLC
    Station Image
    Rock Band DLC
    * All DLC through October 20
    * Lego Rock Band (soundtrack)
    * Queen 10 pack
    * Alice in Chains 01 pack
    * Breaking Benjamin 01 pack
    * The Raconteurs 01 pack
    * Electric Six 01 pack
    * Brütal Legend 01 pack
    * Plus 13 singles
    This station contains artists from the ever growing collection of Rock Band content across all versions, consoles and regions. As of 10/15/2009 every available song on Slacker is “hearted” in the station. I have banned all unrelated artists and songs. You will find very few non Rock Band tracks in this station. As of today, more than 874 songs from the collection have been hearted.
    Enjoy, Rock On!


  • CyberBike for Wii…Coming to my living room in 2010

    Posted on October 15th, 2009 Shawn No comments

    Bad news for me. I just told my wife about this ridiculous new stationary exercise bicycle game coming out soon for Wii. Her immediate response, “That’s awesome.” Ugh, once again the genius’ at Nintendo figures out how to stump the gamers of the world and sell to the non-gamers.
    Good for you Nintendo, bad for me and my living room next year.

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