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  • Gamerscore at 10k, Blame Rock Band?

    Posted on January 18th, 2013 Shawn No comments

    Today, less than five years after creating my Xbox Live account, I surpassed the 10000 gamerscore mark. What game was I playing at the time? Well, I will have you know it was Rock Band Blitz. How fitting for a guy (and his blog) that had a major transition 4+ years ago when getting deeply addicted to Rock Band. (The blog had the major transition, not the guy).

    In today’s post, I look at rhythm games in general, Rock Band and Harmonix specifically, and my gamerscore. Let’s find out if Rock Band had a major contribution to my gamerscore 10k mark, or if something else got me here.

    Gamerscore as of January 18, 2013: 10010

    The first game I played with my gamertag, AppleTrak, was Rock Band on April 21, 2008.

    Rock Band – Gamerscore: 455
    Rock Band

    The game was released on November 20, 2007. Friends mentioned to me a game that players can play drums with and it got me interested. As a long-time drummer, and a former obsessive gamer, I decided to jump back into gaming. After five months of hearing about this game and playing it at Best Buy occasionally, I picked up an Xbox 360 and the Rock Band bundle.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • A PAX East Low-Def Photo History

    Posted on April 5th, 2012 Shawn No comments

    2010

    Gamers Gaming - Expo Floor

    Gamers Gaming - Expo Floor

    Mr. Pope - Rock Band Lounge

    Mr. Pope - Rock Band Lounge

    Rock Band Lounge

    Rock Band Lounge

    Open Chord Rhythm Game Prototype - Expo Floor

    Open Chord Rhythm Game Prototype - Expo Floor

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Do Not Become a Zombie at PAX East

    Posted on April 5th, 2012 Shawn 1 comment

    PAX EastThis weekend marks the 3rd annual Penny Arcade Exposition East (better known as PAX East) at the Boston Exhibition and Conference Center (BCEC) on the Boston, MA waterfront. There are some basic guideline’s to think about before traveling to such an event.  First off, tickets are sold out. Don’t expect to buy a ticket at the door. 70,000 (or so) tickets are sold for this event on an annual basis.

    For those going to PAX East this weekend, I’d like to give a few tips to help you stay safe, comfortable, and avoid the highly toxic PAX flu (which generally invades your body 2-4 days after closing day of PAX).

    PAX ZombiesRandom tips for those attending PAX:

    1. Wear comfortable shoes. The BCEC is huge, and you will walk several miles throughout the weekend just traveling around the convention center.
    2. Have cash on hand. Not for the muggers, but for cabs (if you want to explore the real side of Boston, which is about a 2 mile walk), and food. Credit cards are welcome just about everywhere, but cash will be handy for those times when it’s the only accepted option.
    3. Dress in layers. It will get warm indoors, but outside will likely be windy and cool as the BCEC is right on the waterfront.
    4. Bring a backpack. To carry your layers, and all the swag you will pick up each day. Trust me, you will get a ton of swag, like it or not.
      Read the rest of this entry »
  • app-a-day: Rock Band Reloaded for BlackBerry

    Posted on February 2nd, 2012 Shawn No comments

    MyGGGo presents App-A-Day

    Today we dive into one of my favorite games of all time, on one of the mobile devices I use daily. How do you think Rock Band will hold up on BlackBerry? Will it rock or not? Read on… 

     

    Rock Band Mobile ReloadedNAME: Rock Band Reloaded

    PUBLISHER: Electronic Arts

    PLATFORM: BlackBerry

    GENRE: Rhythm Game

    PRICE: $6.99

    TRY IT: N/A

    BUY IT: http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/22193?lang=en

    WHAT IT DOES: Are you aware of that console game with plastic guitars, plastic drums, and karaoke style vocals? If you are on this site, I’m sure you are aware of Rock Band. Well, this is a BlackBerry mobile version of that game. It’s actually, the second version of Rock Band for BlackBerry, the first being titled Rock Band Mobile. Rock Band Reloaded does not actually use any plastic instruments or karaoke vocals. In their place, are dots scrolling across or down the screen that you need to tap in syncronization with the music. For touchscreen BlackBerry’s, all the commands work well on-screen.  For non-touchscreen BlackBerry’s the keyboard has commands to simulate screen touches.

    As for the music, you do not actually the real songs, or the full songs. What you do get is 16-bit renditions of the songs without vocals. Think of the sounds from Sega Genesis games. As for song lengths, after about 2 minutes, the in-game songs fade out and end.

    Graphically, the game is fine. The background looks like what is on Rock Band 1 on consoles. The notes coming at you look nearly identical to what you get on consoles too.  Instead of having your band rocking out on stage in the background, you just get a static image of a band or a player.

    Now, let’s talk gameplay. With easy, medium, and hard modes available, you get the ability to tap a few or a lot of bars coming at you. I found it ok in tapping the screen for guitar, bass, and drums. It’s not overly responsive, but not frustratingly poor either.  For the simulated vocals, you tap notes on-screen due to the lack of real vocals. I found the side-scrolling of vocals impossible to get the full 4-stars (and difficult to get 3-stars).

    There are single song playlists and a World Tour mode like in Rock Band 1 for consoles. With World Tour mode there are achievements encouraging you play the songs multiple times to achieve the necessary score or goal to gain the achievement and unlock other songs.

    You won’t find any DLC available for Rock Band Reloaded. You get 20 songs.

    DO I WANT IT: As an extremely hardcore Rock Band player on Xbox 360, I have played Rock Band Reloaded many times. I have also played the iPhone and Android versions as well (those have full-length real versions of the songs, high resolution graphics, and DLC). This BlackBerry version is no comparison to its Xbox, Android, or iPhone brethren. This game is better to play with the audio turned off, since the lo-fi audio is terrible and does not always sync to the notes on-screen.

    I almost wish Harmonix did not put their name on this version of Rock Band, as it is by far the worst implementation of a Rock Band game on any platform. Unfortunately, there is not a free version to try first, so I did buy the app at the steep $7 price point.

    In summary, stay away from this abomination. BlackBerry has never been known as a good gaming platform, and this game proves why.

    Others agree:

    Worst game you could ever buy for your phone

    It doesn’t hav full songs and no singing

    “I’m a Rock Band fanboy…And this version of the game is an embarrassment.  The music is all MIDI renditions of the original (think 8-bit Super Mario Bros theme song). Songs fade out about 3/4 through the song. There are no vocals, they are all replaced with synth MIDI sounds. Graphics are decent, achievements are nice, menus are good…looks like the iPhone version. The music issues heavily outweigh the decent look of the game.” <– Actually I left that review in BlackBerry App World

     

  • Rock Band Slacker Radio: January DLC

    Posted on April 8th, 2011 Shawn No comments

    Rock Band Slacker RadioThis is the second update this week. This time 17 more Rock Band 3 DLC songs are added.

    Get ready for some Johnny Cash, Linkin Park, and Stone Sour added to the Rock Band station. With this update, all available (Rock Band proper) DLC through January 25, 2011 is on the station.  Enjoy!

    INCLUDES ALL SONGS THRU 1/25/2011.

    NEW:

    Johnny Cash – Johnny Cash 01 pack

    Linkin Park – Linkin Park 01 pack

    Stone Sour – Stone Sour 01 pack

    Direct link to Rock Band Station on Slacker.com

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  • Rock Band Slacker Radio: All DLC through 2010

    Posted on April 4th, 2011 Shawn No comments

    Rock Band Slacker RadioI will keep this simple. After four months, I got off my butt and added a bunch of Rock Band 3 DLC songs to the Slacker Radio Rock Band station.  More than 40 songs were added in this update. With this update, all available (Rock Band proper) DLC through January 1, 2011 is on the station.  Enjoy!

    INCLUDES ALL SONGS THRU 12/28/2010.

    NEW:

    John Lennon – Imagine album
    38 SpecialHold On Loosely
    Bad CompanyCan’t Get Enough
    Lynyrd Skynyrd – Lynyrd Skynyrd 01 pack
    Queen – Queen Extravaganza Pack 01
    Billy Joel – Billy Joel: The Hits: Rock Band Edition pack
    John & Yoko, The Plastic Ono BandHappy Xmas (War Is Over)
    Anaïs Croze“Peut-Être une Angine”
    BB Brunes“Dis-Moi”
    BAP“Verdamp Lang Her”
    Wir sind Helden“Nur ein Wort”
    Linea 77“Fantasma”
    Litfiba“Proibito”
    Skizoo“Dame Aire”
    CaesarsJerk It Out
    Paul McCartney – Celebrating Band on the Run pack
    Inhabited“Open My Eyes”
    Siouxsie and The BansheesCities in Dust

    Direct link to Rock Band Station on Slacker.com
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  • RUMOR: Harmonix to Outsource some Future Rock Band DLC?

    Posted on March 15th, 2011 Shawn 1 comment

    This past weekend at PAX East in Boston, MA, we had the opportunity to connect with several of our industry friends from Harmonix, independent Rock Band Network (RBN) authors, popular blogs authors, and the likes.  From discussions we had over the weekend, we pieced together an interesting picture of the future of the Rock Band DLC franchise.  In the wake of recent layoffs at Harmonix and the Activision announcement to shelve Guitar Hero, our source tells us, “The times, they are a changing.”

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Pearl Jam: Rock Band Canceled? Vocal Harmonies Tell Tale

    Posted on January 21st, 2011 Shawn 2 comments

    While doing a regular search of the Rock Band downloadable content page on Wikipedia, I noticed a new column titled “Add’l Rock Band 3 Features”. Upon sorting, I stumbled on a shocking bit of news. Most of the Pearl Jam DLC released between March and September 2009 has “Backing vocals”.

    As a test, I fired up Rock Band 3 on Xbox 360 and confirmed, most Pearl Jam songs have 2-part harmonies. This is interesting news. Long before the release of Rock Band 3, Green Day: Rock Band, and The Beatles: Rock Band; the content authors at Harmonix were charting vocal harmonies for Pearl Jam’s Ten album (followed up by Backspacer).

    This is a nice surprise for Rock Band vocalists, but what does it mean for conspiracy theorists? Since the charting was done relatively early in the Rock Band 2 life-cycle, which never had vocal harmony capabilities, there had to be a purpose for these harmonies.

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  • Xbox 360 Rock Band 3 MIDI Adapters Shipping January 20

    Posted on January 17th, 2011 Shawn 3 comments

    The latest news in the saga of Rock Band 3 hardware availability is now here.

    Mad Catz, the company producing the official peripherals, has announced GameShark is now accepting pre-orders for the XBOX 360 MIDI PRO adapter, which is scheduled to ship January 20.

    Xbox 360 MIDI PRO-Adapter Pre-Orders now OPEN – GameShark Store US

    Exciting news! The US GameShark Store is now taking pre-orders on the Rock Band 3 MIDI Adapter for the Xbox 360:

    http://store.gameshark.com/viewItem.asp?idProduct=4832&idCategory=323
    Adapter orders will begin shipping out next Thursday, 1/20 from the US GameShark Store. Demand is expected to be high, so don’t miss out on your chance to order the MIDI Pro-Adapter.

    For those who pre-ordered from other retail outlets, those locations are also expected to receive limited supply and hopefully begin shipments simultaneously. Needless to say, there still looks to be higher demand than availability. The eBay pricing of $100 for these $30-$40 adapters is a tell tale sign. Do not expect the supply to be available on store shelves for several more weeks, or longer.

    UPDATE 1/24/2011: Mad Catz has updated their Rock Band forum post, stating all Amazon pre-orders will be filled this week.

  • Xbox 360 Rock Band 3 MIDI PRO Adapters in January

    Posted on January 11th, 2011 Shawn 1 comment

    Rock Band 3 players expecting to use their non-Rock Band keyboards and electronic drums in the game, are currently steaming at the fact the game has been out for more than two and a half months, and the adapter to allow this functionality still is not available. Fortunately, PlayStation 3 and Wii players were able to get their hands on them earlier this week at Best Buy and a couple online/brick-n-mortar retailers. Though, Xbox 360 players are still without (except for a handful of fortunate souls).

    Mad Catz, the company producing the official peripherals has made a press announcement regarding the Xbox 360 version of this adapter, and it looks like positive news. I hope what they state is accurate, since Mad Catz had a very difficult time “under promising and over delivering” the hardware for Rock Band 3’s launch.

    If what Mad Catz is now stating is accurate, Xbox 360 players should start seeing retail availability by the end of January. I sure hope 4,000 adapters is enough to meet immediate demand. I plan on getting two myself.

    Read on for the Mad Catz press release. Read the rest of this entry »

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