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  • Rock Band Stage Kit $20, Works on Lego Rock Band

    Posted on April 16th, 2010 Shawn 2 comments
    Rock Band Stage Kit

    Yes, it works with Lego Rock Band!

    A couple co-workers dragged me kicking and screaming to Newbury Comics and Gamestop today at lunch.  One of them showed me the Rock Band Stage Kit for Xbox 360 with a sticker price of just $19.99. It’s original price was $99.99, which is still priced at Walmart. Amazon currently has it for $79.99.  So, I needed to inquire with a Gamestop employee.

    They said the price was slashed because it hadn’t sold well.  The clerk checked and this was the last one this store had in stock.  They also looked it up and found the Stage Kit had been discontinued company wide.  So, if you have any thoughts on picking up the Rock Band Stage Kit, and haven’t done so yet….hurry before they are all gone.  It’s dirt cheap. There are none left on Gamestop.com, so you will need to get off your butt and head to the store. (Call first, to see if they have any left).

    On a similar side note, I know the kit is compatible with Rock Band and Rock Band 2 (as stated on the box).  Though, I know there was sadness when people learned the Stage Kit was not compatible with Beatles: Rock Band.  For me, my current game of choice is Lego: Rock Band, so I’m most interested in the Stage Kit working with that.

    According to this thread by Juniorpop on the Rock Band Forums, yes it is compatible with Lego: Rock Band!

    Just got popped in L:RB and happy to see that the stage kit works!
    Now just make it work for Beatles. ( Fat Chance)
    Out of (my) 340 DLC, 166 work in Lego.
    Also pretty nice surprise, 22 of the RB1 tracks transferred as well.

    I will be trying this kit out over the weekend and reporting back my thoughts.

  • My Top Obsessions of 2009

    Posted on January 6th, 2010 Shawn No comments

    Wow, we are already a week into 2010 and I have yet to post My Top Obsessions of 2009. Shame on me, and sorry for the delay. You may remember what my top 7 obsessions from 2008 were.

    As we wind up 2010, let me recap on the obsessions that have kept me coming back to the blog. In looking over the past 12 months, I’ll highlight the top ten obsessions that have swallowed up all my free time this past year. I’ll also take a look at what obsessions might be cropping up for 2010.

    Here are the obsessions in order of importance to me.

    Picture the ball dropping, and countdown on…
    10. Rock Band Network.
    You may be wondering, why is this at #10 and not higher on the list.  For me, I looked at RBN as a way to get my old bands music (and possible new bands music) into Rock Band. It’s kind of a dream of mine. Then when I got into the RBN beta, I realized (1) I don’t have the free time to do this, (2) I don’t want to free up time to do this. So, RBN, as exciting as it seems to me…has been a pipe dream to me, and my exploration of the tools has been short lived. In 2010, I do expect to take advantage of the grabbing songs from the RBN store, and possibly getting back in the development ring…but, neither is happening yet.

    9. New Site Name.
    This isn’t exactly a highlight, but it is something that took up part of early 2009.I moved my web site to a new host, and changed the URL. It once was at http://blog.javadevelop.com, which was just a spinoff blog of another site. As this site was growing in popularity, I decided to rename it to http://www.MyGGGo.com, short for My Gadget, Game & Gizmo Obsession. It looks to have been a poor decision, since the site statistics showed my daily visitors went form about 300 to about 30. Ouch, that hurt!  Well, you live and you learn.  I’ve decided to stick with the new name and rebuild. Some of you have stuck around, and I greatly appreciate it. I hope to get the site (now going on its 4th year) back up in readership and commenters throughout 2010.

    8. BlackBerry Bold.
    It’s funny to see that last year, the BlackBerry Storm made it to my #3 spot, and truly should continue into 2009. Though, in the wee months of 2009 (Fabruary to be exact) the Storm was replaced by the BlackBerry Bold 9000. It wasn’t replaced because I didn’t like it. It was due to the fact that my company was willing to supply me with a BlackBerry and the Storm wasn’t on the “accepted devices” list. With that, I jumped from the Verizon ship onto AT&T and picked up the Bold. It’s really a great phone, though I wish it had a larger touchscreen. It’s got high-resolution, good call quality, and decent email (funny that BlackBerry does not have the best email client of all). It’s even a good media device, which has allowed me to continue my life of mobile convergence (cell phone, calendar, email, music player, GPS, and web all-in-one). The Bold remains my current device, and I am eyeing an upgrade to the Bold 9700 in the coming months. Although, this blog was founded on gadget obsessions,  formerly known as “My Treo Obsession”, I didn’t spend as much time on BlackBerry posts throughout the year.  An interesting statistic, my readership has suffered for that too.  Looks like I need to get back to my gadget roots here.

    7. New Music Games
    Why do I keep this so general? Well, there were a few music games I picked up this year, and each had something I loved. First, I have to say, I’m disappointed that no Rock Band 3 came out in 2009, but I’m sure it will be stellar when it does. Guitar Hero 5: This is possibly the best party music game of the year. With drop in/drop out play, it’s great for parties. Also, the ability to have 4 players on any instrument is great. Especially at my house right now, where if one person sings, everyone wants to sing; or if one person plays guitar, everyone wants to play guitar. Though the soundtrack didn’t grab me, and all my DLC is on Rock Band, so the game didn’t get much rotation. The Beatles Rock Band: This showed us what Rock Band 3 might be like, with 3 part harmonies. This game is beautiful, we all know enough about it. Guitar Hero Van Halen: This is my favorite music game to play this year. You say. “WHAT?!?!” I love classic Van Halen. Activision, screwed the pooch in it’s implementation of the story and the band, but the songs and charting are fantastic. What’s missing? The same thing as all GH games, DLC. Finally, Lego Rock Band: It’s so much fun to watch the cut scenes, and play Super Easy mode with the little kids. Plus, the import/export of your existing Rock Band library makes this a fun game.  Though, I would have rather seen Rock Band 3 over all of these, it was a decent year of flooded music games.

    6. Slacker Radio.
    The streaming music service available via web browser, stand alone desktop client, iPhone, BlackBerry, and some select Sony TV’s, has been a staple of mine since I learned of the service in late 2007. With the Slacker Radio application for BlackBerry release on February 2009, it truly became my de facto music source for the entire year.  I use it via my web browser at work. I use it in the car via my BlackBerry plugged into my stereo AUX jack, I use it at home via Berry or computer, and when I travel. I’ve made several custom stations including a Rock Band station that I update regularly with all the songs available for the game. 2010 definitely looks to be a year where Slacker continues to be part of my daily obsessions.

    5. Rock Band DLC.
    Rock Band 2 came in at #2 on my 2008 list, and I had anticipated that Rock Band 3 would have come out in 2009.  Well it didn’t but guess what did? Over 370 songs available for download into Rock Band. I didn’t play as much as I would have wanted (due to moving and life), but the abundance of weekly DLC from Harmonix has kept this game (Rock Band 2), although now getting a little long in the tooth, from passing away.

    4. Drumming Stuff.
    This is a continuation from 2008, where drumming made my top list.  This year I successfully built (though not yet completed) a custom electronic drum kit. It’s custom because, I purchased it piece mail via auctions on eBay. A stand here, a pad there, etc. I’ve also used an old “brain” or module (the Yamaha TMX) to connect the kit via MIDI to the Guitar Hero World Tour drum kit.  Now, all my video game drumming takes place on a professional electronic drum kit, instead of the cheap’ish plastic kits that are available for the game.  Due to moving for much of the year, I haven’t used the kit since May, but am in the processes of setting it back up in the new place.  In 2010, I plan to buy some more components to round out the complete pro kit, and write some posts (with photos) on how to build the DIY pro kit.

    3. New Music.
    Last year, GNR with the release of Chinese Democracy made my top list.  This year, I could put in a single album in the list, though I will span this to cover the few albums that got me a bit obsessed this year. At the top, is Green Day’s 21st Century Breakdown. Sure, it got trashed by the GD purists, but I love it. It’s a great listen, easily digestible, well told story, and similar to their American Idiot album. Next is Dream Theater’s Black Clouds & Silver Linings album. I was hooked pre-release due to my resurgence of interest in the band, thanks to Panic Attack and Constant Motion in Rock Band. The new album is 6 songs, but more than 70 minutes. The songs are extremely long, you do the math.  I mostly appreciate the fact that the album was released with a 3-disc set, containing instrumentals and a bonus disc of covers. We also got 311’s Uplifter this year. It was more of a downer than an uplifting experience, as it was just bland.  But, I did obsess over it, so it makes the list.  Finally, Dave Matthews Band release of The GrooGrux King.  Good old DMB. Nothing exciting, just a good listen. The album came out shortly after the death of saxophonist LeRoi Moore.

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    2. Prototype.
    This game (for PS3 and Xbox 360) got trashed by just about everyone. Worse, it’s near clone, inFamous (for PS3) made it into many pro game journalists top 10 of the year. For me, Prototype was the most played game (excluding rhythm games) for me in 2009. I bought it in July when Amazon had a one-day sale, for $40. It was during a time where I was “without home” and no place to setup my Rock Band lair, so needed something else to pass the gaming time. This game is a sandbox (New York City), much like GTA IV, where you are basically evil and trash anything and everything in your way.  There’s a ridiculous amount of multi button combos, which does take some getting used to. But for me, this 3rd person game has taken more than 40 hours of my year, and I still haven’t finished it or reached 50% of the achievements. It’s not without its issues. (1) There is no Xbox Live component. Which is ok for me, but now that I have played much of the story and some of my friends have picked up the game, we’d really like to play online together. (2) You can’t leave NYC. If you try to cross a bridge or swim away from the island, God sends in an immediate missile strike and you are killed. Towards the end of the game, there is a hint that you get get to a ship, but I haven’t made it yet. (2) There is no DLC. This is a real drag, since the game could really leverage a new downloadable map, possibly some new combos, or something. I would likely pick up DLC if it were ever released. I stand by my words that this is a fun game to play. Find it in the bargain bins and enjoy.

    1. You, the readers, and authors.
    Thanks for those readers who have stuck around during some transitions of 2009.  Thanks to some of my part-time (and near full-time) authors that write posts.  It’s been another fun year of obsessions, and more to come in 2010. I hope to grow the site in different ways this year. Not yet sure how, since It’s a kinda “fly by the seat of my pants” blog.  I’m happy to see some people taking advantage of the Store offerings we add to various posts (sponsored by Amazon and Google), and just glad to see that people enjoy reading and discussing the same things that I obsess about. Thank you!

    With that, we’ve come to the end…

    Happy New Year!

    Please share your top obsessions in comments below.

  • Think of the Children: Rock Band introduces Song Ratings System

    Posted on November 5th, 2009 Simon 5 comments

    Rock-Band-2-DLC-LegoESRBEarlier in September, Harmonix confirmed the facts that the song list from Lego:RB would be 100% exportable and further that not all songs in the RB catalogue would be playable through Lego:RB.  This was due to the adult nature of some of the lyrics, the overt sexual themes that are apparent in some tracks, and don’t forget all that death metal.  With the release of Lego: Rock Band in stores on this past Tuesday, Harmonix has provided full disclosure on how their system works, which songs made the ‘family friendly’ cut, and which songs will definitely require “supervision”.

    Songs with the “FF” logo will appear in the L:RB set list as playable tracks.  Songs with a “SR” logo are considered too risque or dangerous for young ears.   You can see the entire catalog listed here beside each song’s rating.  From the list it appears that about half the catalogue is assigned in each category.

    I am not a parent, but I stongly believe that you should always use your own judgement as a parent, not neccessarily rely on what an arbitrary ratings system decides is appropriate or inappropriate.    These can be great guides to understanding what kind of content is included, but I question whether or not the people making the call are qualified to do so.  In this case, Harmonix appears to have drawn a very broad line around acceptable and unacceptable content.
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    Now there is no question that many of the songs included in the RB catalogue are best left for mature audiences.  No seven year olds should be regailing their parents with cute renditions of Electric Six’s “Gay Bar” or Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Date with the Night”.  But by taking away the choice from parents, they are essentially telling you what is and is not good parenting.  In order to sell this product to parents, Harmonix has to give assurances that the game is not harmful in any conceivable way.  The Lego brand has a great deal of public trust and I’ve never met anyone who thought anything wrong of the Lego company or their toys.

    I would have rather have seen a content filter that can be bypassed, even if that filter was set to ‘on’ by default but one that you could disable.   Would this have made the game better? Probably not, but it certainly would get more playtime out of the hardcore RB crowd.   As it stands right now (speaking as a hardcore RB crowdie) once I have exported the music from the game, I’m not going to be spending a lot of time with the game itself.    Music is an intensely passionate art form, music gaming can be a very passionate a hobby, and this has lowered my excitement going into this game because I know that some of the best music is censored and hidden from view.

    Overall I think this was an inevitable progression for the platform, and comparing with the content that was shown in Band Hero, I think Harmonix is probably a better judge of acceptable music for five year olds.

  • 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.

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  • Rumor: Lego: Rock Band tracks will be Exportable

    Posted on September 5th, 2009 Simon 3 comments
    Lego: Rock Band

    Wired has a report that the songs included on the RB:Lego disc will be accessible to RB:2, via export.  No further details as to whether it will be a download (like RB:AC/DC) or a feature included on the disc, nor is there any mention of a fee.

    Here are the new songs rumored to be included with Lego: Rock Band.

    • David Bowie – Let’s Dance
    • Elton John – Crocodile Rock
    • Iggy Pop – The Passenger
    • The Police – Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
    • Queen – We Are the Champions
    • Queen – We Will Rock You
    • T. Rex – Ride a White Swan

    Add those to the already announced tracks:

    • Blur – Song 2
    • Carl Douglas – Kung Fu Fighting
    • Europe – The Final Countdown
    • Jackson 5 – I Want You Back
    • Good Charlotte – Boys and Girls
    • Pink – So What
    • Foo Fighters – Breakout
    • Vampire Weekend – A-Punk
    • Bon Jovi – You Give Love a Bad Name
    • Sum 41 – In Too Deep
    • The Counting Crows – Accidentally in Love
    • Blink 182 – Aliens Exist
    • The Hives – Tick Tick Boom

    Lego: Rock Band has a street date of Sunday, November 8, 2009.

    In that same article, they also mention new track packs from Queen, The Raconteurs, and the White Stripes.

    • Queen – Under Pressure (+9 more in October)
    • The Raconteurs – Steady as She Goes (+2 more in October)
    • The White Stripes – Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground
    • The White Stripes – Icky Thump
    • The White Stripes – Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine
    Since the source is Wired I’m willing to bet this is genuine.
    For those keeping count that is 12 Queen tracks this fall.  There will be a lot of Jack White as well, 9 songs if you include the Dead Weather’s 3 tracks, which will make his fans quite happy.  “Dead Leaves” was the first White Stripes song I ever heard, one of their greatest hard rock songs.  I’m most excited about playing  Iggy Pop’s “The Passenger”, as this song has many fond memories for me – 1977’s Lust for Life would make a great full album DLC.
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