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  • Rhythm Games: Favorite Song to Play?

    Posted on March 30th, 2009 Shawn 4 comments

    So, you play some music games right? Rock Band 2, Guitar Hero, Lips, etc. As of right now, what’s your “can’t get enough of” song for each game? If you could only pick one from each of the following categories, what would you pick?

    Rock Band
    Rock Band 2
    Rock Band DLC
    Guitar Hero World Tour
    Guitar Hero World Tour DLC
    Lips DLC

    Here’s my list.

    • Rock Band: Foreplay/Longtime..can’t get enough of the drums on that.
    • Rock Band 2: Panic Attack…I know it brutal, but the challenge keeps me coming back.
    • Rock Band DLC: I Don’t Care…I’ve recently become a fan of these guys, thanks to the game.
    • Guitar Hero World Tour: Beautiful Disaster…I’ve only played about 30 songs in the game, and this is still my favorite.
    • Guitar Hero World Tour DLC: Don’t have any yet.
    • Lips: Haven’t played it yet.
    • Lips DLC: See above

    So, what about you. You can jump over to the Forums to discuss, or just comment below.

  • Guitar Hero: Greatest Hits in June

    Posted on March 5th, 2009 Shawn 1 comment

    So, have you heard that Activision has a ridiculous number of Guitar Hero games slated for the upcoming year?  You probably have.  Guitar Hero: Metallica, Guitar Hero World Tour Mobile, Guitar Hero: Modern Hits, Guitar Hero: Arcade, and the one we are talking about today, Guitar Hero: Greatest Hits.

    To quickly sum it up, think of all the songs from previous Guitar Hero titles, now added with full band support (guitar, bass, drums, and vocals) and repackaged as a new game.  Now, what do you think of that?

    For me, I was never a Guitar Hero junkie.  I got into music games thanks to Rock Band’s drumming and vocals capabilities.  Other than Guitar Hero World Tour, I don’t own any Guitar Hero games.

    Now, enter Guitar Hero: Greatest Hits (GH:GH).  Personally, I’m not a big fan of additional shrink-wrapped games, when downloadable content (DLC) is available on all the big platforms (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PC).  I love how Harmonix has a solid full-band game (Rock Band 2) and just offers new DLC every week.  Some DLC I love, some I hate, and some I get if I have a few bucks to spare.
    Though with Guitar Hero World Tour, there is a good enough list of songs that are not available for Rock Band, which drew me in.  This will likely be the case with Guitar Hero: Greatest Hits.  If (and only if) the set list contains great songs for drumming and singing, I will likely pick it up.  So, it’s all about the set list for me.  Give me songs I want, and I will buy.

    We now have heard pricing for GH: Greatest Hits.  It’s confirmed at $60 for the 360/PS3 release, $40 on Wii and $30 on PS2 and expected in June.

    Eight songs have also been confirmed:

    • “Barracuda” by Heart
    • “I Love Rock N Roll” by Joan Jett and The Blackhearts
    • “I Wanna Rock” by Twisted Sister
    • “Killer Queen” by Queen
    • “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against The Machine
    • “Nothin’ But A Good Time” by Poison
    • “Them Bones” by Alice in Chains
    • “Through the Fire and Flames” by Dragonforce

    So, for the price and the current song list, are you interested?  I have to imagine that most plastic guitarists/bassists, already own most if not all of these.  But drummers and singers might be getting excited.

    For me, I won’t pay $60…period.  I’ll wait for sale prices.  Based on the song list; Barracuda, Killer Queen, and Nothin’ But A Good Time all are must haves…but the list will have to be much larger if I’m going to fork out that cash.  Here’s hoping Rock Band get’s some of this stuff as DLC before June.

  • Rock Band 2, for PlayStation and Wii. Sunday, Oct 19

    Posted on October 16th, 2008 Shawn No comments

    Yup, you can finally join what us Xboxers have been rocking for over a month.  RB2 drops for the PS and Wii flavors this Sunday.  All rejoice.  I’m most interested in how the Wii version will work, now having online play and DLC.

    Rock on!

    NOW available in our store:

  • Must Read Q&A: With Harmonix Rock Band Community Manager

    Posted on October 13th, 2008 Shawn No comments

    Today, I located a new podcast, known as the X3F Fancast Defense Force Podcast where Holly and Patrick had an outstanding interview with Sean Baptiste from Harmonix.  Sean manages the forums along with all other community events and demos.

    Enough about the background, I’m going to blog what I see as highlights from the interview.  I will skip the BS and post the MUST KNOW info from the interview.  There’s a lot of good stuff regarding Rock Band 2, upcoming DLC, what’s next, and a lot more.  Read on… (and thanks iTunes for recommending this X3FFDF podcast).

    Q: On the Rock Band Forums, there is a HUGE thread known as “Rock Band 2, Request a Feature, Suggestion o Bug Fix”.  The loyal fans have found many bugs, small and large.  They have been posting the issues to the thread.  Is there a patch coming.
    A: Cannot speak to a patch coming, though many (emphasis on many) producers, developers, and QA at Harmonix pays daily close attention to that thread.
    Q: Why was Jukebox Mode canceled.
    A: It was a last minute technical issue.  They weren’t able to get it right and had to take it out at the last minute.
    NOTE: It’s very easy to fake Jukebox Mode in Rock Band 2 with Game Modifiers.  Just turn on No Fail Mode and Performance Mode and BAM…you have pseudo-Jukebox mode.

    I have tested that and built a 32 song playlist, as a vocalist.  It worked great, and was able to listen to and watch my favorite Rock Band songs while cleaning my house.

    Q: The new Roick Band 2 drum set has an extra port.  What’s it for?
    A: There are 3 for cymbal expansions that Mad Katz has put out, one for the pedal…and the extra one on there, they will be talking about more in the future but have no details today to share.

    May we guess officially supporting double bass-drum and enhancing songs to allow true double-bass drum experience, instead of the current dumb-down double bass drum seen in all songs.

    Q: With no Solo Tour in Rock Band 2, it’s very difficult to manage single player scores and stars.  Will there be a patch that creates single player mode to RB2?  If not, will there at least be a patch that allows display of stars in the Quickplay list?
    A: There is no plan for a single player mode in RB2.  Harmonix stands string behind the model of a World Tour model to the game.  They are paying close attention to the reports of managing single player stats.

    Q: How do songs get into the game.
    A: Many different ways.  Most commonly, Harmonix goes to record labels with the list of songs wanted for the game.  Becoming more common, bands are approaching Harmonix asking for songs to be put in the game.

    Q: You are sticking with 500 songs by the end of the year.  What’s the plan for next year?
    A: The founder of Harmonix made the “500 song” statement at E3 and Sean from Harmonix heard that statement for the first time at E3.  He said, “Wait, we are doing what?  Uh oh.”  So, he has no idea what’s the schedule for 2009.  It’s not going to slow down any time soon.

    Q: When will the 23 FREE DLC songs be released, and what are they.
    A: Will be announced very soon, within next couple weeks. Lot’s of newer, lesser known bands that are going to be awesome for the game, and people should enjoy.

    Q: Where’s Nevermind?
    A: It’s in Seattle. (Thanks, wise ass.) It was mentioned in an interview last year, but it was never officially announced.  It was never fully scheduled to come out.  Don’t know where it is in the works.  It is a good album though.

    Q: With AC/DC’s Track Pack coming out as a disc, should we anticipate more disc bound track packs?  What was Harmonix’ reasoning for choosing this over DLC?
    A: They worked closely with AC/DC to make both AC/DC and Harmonix comfortable.  Although, it is disc bound, you will be able to have the songs part of Rock Band 2 with a one-time import code that comes with the disc.  They will import just like they were downloadable content, even though they weren’t DLC.  Don’t know if they will see more of it in the future.  They like working with the bands and like bring the stuff to us, so it depends.

    My take on it is, AC/DC management was being somewhat of a bitch to work with and said, “you want our songs? Put ’em on a disc mate. We don’t want to be bloody ripped off on that Internet thing.”

    Q: What was the delay with Rush’ Moving Pictures DLC?
    A: Technical difficulties.  It was not because YYZ did not have a vocal part.  It was a fairly boring day-to-day technical issue.  Nothing exciting.

    Q: Now that songs without vocals, like YYZ, are in the game, will songs lacking other instruments (such as White Stripes without bass) be possible?
    A: The technology is now there, but don’t know of any plans at this point.

  • Guitar Hero World Tour getting DLC at Launch

    Posted on October 9th, 2008 Shawn No comments

    Good news for the deep pocket, music hungry, disc swapping addicts.  Guitar Hero World Tour has announced  Boston, Foreigner, Rick Springfield, Blind Melon, Metallica, Smashing Pumpkins, and R.E.M. to all be releasing downloadable content for World Tour in its first weeks of release. Good on Activision/Red Octane to start things off with a DLC bang…since they have been showing poorly with the Guitar Hero series DLC, compared to Rock Band.

    Of course there is (once again) a duplicate from the Rock Band camp..notably, Rock and Roll Band by Boston.

    This could be devestatingly bad news to the music junky with empty pockets and the people thinking about passing on World Tour since Rock Band has more than enough music and a great game.

    I’m still interested in Guitar Hero World Tour for a few reasons.
    1. 6th input for drums.  More drums = better!
    2. Song selection. Although, there is more than enough with Rock Band 1, 2, and DLC…I may be able to live without a few awesome songs that are exclusive to World Tour.
    3. Differences in game play.

    That all said, I’m enjoying a great Rock Band 2 community, and really not so keen to rebuild it on another game.  But that’s just me…since I’m not a hard core gamer (i.e. I only own Rock Band 1 and Rock Band 2…that’s it).

  • Did Harmonix make a big mistake with AC/DC Rock Band 2 content?

    Posted on October 8th, 2008 Shawn No comments

    Rock Band ACDCHarmonix made Rock Band 2 with some great bands.  One of the bigger names is AC/DC, which has one song on the Rock Band 2 disc, Let There Be Rock.  It is a classic track, though arguably, not their best work.  More interestingly, Rock Band guitarists, bassists, and drummers are complaining that it is not an enjoyable song to play in the game.  Lot’s of fast repetitious segments, that hurt forearms and bores the player.

    That said, Harmonix is about to release a 3rd installment of Rock Band, known as Rock Band AC/DC LIVE.  This is a $30-$40 standalone game of 18 AC/DC songs.  Personally, I’m a big AC/DC fan from way back and am looking forward to more AC/DC content in Rock Band.  Though, I can tell you, most of their music is not very challenging and is repetitive.

    Let There Be Rock is a prime example of a repetitive song.  My concern here is for the casual Rock Band gamer, who is not a hard core AC/DC fan.  I’m thinking primarily of the guy or girl who’s first AC/DC experience is Rock Band 2.  To be fully honest, Let There Be Rock is one of the least fun songs to play in Rock Band 2.

    I think that the casual gamer will play Let There Be Rock and think, “this song sorta sucks, there’s no way I’m paying $40 for more of this crap”.  As a hardcore AC/DC fan myself, I’m already on the fence about not getting this upcoming AC/DC release, because I personally think it’s over priced by $10-20.

    I predict that Rock Band AC/DC LIVE will not be on any best sellers list.  I’ll got out on a limb and say it may even be a complete flop.  First of all, Rock Band players want downloadable content, not more discs.  Second (and most important), they want fun songs to play.  Although they may be fun to listen too, many AC/DC songs are repetitive and boring to play…and I think putting Let There Be Rock on the Rock Band 2 disc was a big mistake.  It was not the right dose of AC/DC to give the casual gamer, and it was not the proper reminder for old school AC/DC fans.

    What say you?

  • Aloha from the Rock Band Community Zine, Issue 2!

    Posted on September 5th, 2008 Shawn No comments

    My good sweet lord, it’s a much heavier news day than I’d have expected.  I just got my hands on Issue 2 of the Rock Band Community Zine.  Check it, one time fo’ yo’ mind.

    That’ll do pig.  Have a good weekend.  See you online.

  • Happy post-Labor Day

    Posted on September 2nd, 2008 Shawn No comments

    Alright, we took a long weekend, with nothing to report.  Now we are back.  Some tidbits for you to start the short week.

    • Metallica offering 11 free tracks from Death Magnetic on Guitar Hero III (as downloadable content), if you pre-order the CD at Best Buy.
      • EDITORIAL:  Incredible deal, especially if you are a Metallica fan, and a GH III fan.  For me, this sort of hurts.  I’m an old school Metallica fan, but I’m a fanboy of drums and vocals (i.e. Rock Band and potentially Guitar Hero World Tour).  I really wish they didn’t release this as GH III content.  I personally think it’s such a waste.  Here’s hoping it comes to RB as DLC.
    • Working towards AN-I-MAL!!! achievement.  I have not got any further on drums expert for Rock Band.  Still have Run to the Hills and Won’t Get Fooled Again.  I practiced Won’t Get Fooled a few times this weekend and am hoping to have one of the two tracks finished by the end of tonight.  I’ve got to get a move on, since I have 11 days to reach my goal.
    • New Rock Band DLC out today.  Straight from the geeks at PAX (that’s a compliment).  Three more cheap (80 MS Points / $1) and relatively unknown acts:
      • “Skullcrusher Mountain” by Jonathan Coulton (80)
      • “Livin’ on the Corner of Dude and Catastrophe” by MC Frontalot (80)
      • “Shhh…” by Darkest of the Hillside Thickets (80)
      • NOTE:  As I’m focused on getting the AN-I-MAL!!! achievement, I don’t plan on downloading anything right now.  So, if someone get’s these tracks or the Locksley tracks, please post a review of them.  I’d like to know how they are.
  • Rock Band 2 Dates Posted at GameStop

    Posted on August 4th, 2008 Shawn No comments

    This in thanks to “caesar84” at “elohelgaming”:

    Nothing is sacred anymore. Everyone wants to know exactly when everything is coming out. And everyone wants open their presents before Christmas. Long story short, The Rock Band dates were leaked by a “retailer”. From my days of workin at Gamestop that sure looks like one of the crap computers they had us working on. Peace to the pirate that couldnt help but make himself famous for 15 mins.

    Xbox 360- September 14th

    PS3- October 19th

    Wii- November 18th

  • New Guitar Controller on it’s way for PS2 and 3

    Posted on August 1st, 2008 Shawn No comments

    The Fender Stratocaster of PS2/PS3 controllers
    From neoseeker:
    Know a Guitar Hero freak, or a Rock Band guru? Or do you yourself dream (or have nightmares) of nailing that solo in Free Bird, on expert? You might be interested in this new faux-guitar controller coming from gaming peripheral company Peak Products.

    The ‘Starpex’ is a fairly big step up from the standard plastic guitars that most of us are familiar with. The Starpex is as large as a regular guitar, and the body, neck and headstock are made out of actual, straight-from-a-tree, sections of wood. The Starpex is compatible with PS2/PS3 versions of Rock Band and Guitar Hero.

    In addition to the look of the thing, there are a couple of new features introduced with the Starpex. There is a “Speed Star Power / Overdrive Button” that allows players to get quickly get their Star Power / Overdrive game on.

    Will the Starpex improve your Guitar Hero scores? Maybe. Will you look and feel much cooler playing Guitar Hero with the Starpex? Probably.

    It’ll be selling for $180 at Circuit City in late August. You can check out some more details over here.

    Props to yet another Boston-based company making cool stuff!!!

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