The AbyssThe Abyss

Posted on Feb 17th 2009 at 11:38:48 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Rock Band, Harmonix

It's a weird feeling, sort of like you'd envision the Mafia to work. Just when you thought you had removed yourself from being a hardcore gamer, some game pulls you back in. Such is my new addiction.

When I am not being a good little Site Director and coding the site, I find that I have an addiction. This game has me so engrossed that it just isn't funny anymore. When the weather outside is bad, this is the game that keeps me glued in front of the TV. What game is it? Why, it's Rock Band 2.

It's funny though, because this game was the second of the two band games that I bought. See, I bought Guitar Hero: World Tour first because I thought it would have the better instruments since Red Octane was originally a hardware manufacturer. So, I had higher respect for their workmanship. Looking back, it wasn't a bad choice based on limited data, but, it's as though the future has set ablaze to that notion. I've now RMA'ed by PS3 Guitar twice and Drum Set once. It's.... ridiculous. I'd complain more if it wasn't for the fact that their RMA process has been really good, and I get free batteries out of it. I just hope that these new instruments actually continue to work as intended, but hey, right now the drum set works and I am addicted.

Why is it that I like Rock Band so damn much? Well, I like the drums, and I like them a lot. It's probably the closest analog of an instrument that any rhythm game has, and I find that great. To me, it feels as though I am actually playing the drums, and that feeling completely engrosses me, much more than playing the plastic guitar ever will. This feeling, coupled with the amazing track list of the Rock Band franchise (Radiohead and Talking Heads YEAH!) keeps me addicted.

Now, you might be asking why I like Rock Band 2 more than Guitar Hero: World Tour. That's a fair question, and I'll give you my spin. Rock Band takes the Band Experience and does it well. While World Tour makes you move from stage to stage, Rock Band does it with more pizazz. I love that although I play by myself the game treats my play through as a band. So, regardless of venue, my band's always the same members of Valley Junction. Guitar Hero, as far as I know, does not do that if I select Drums, and perhaps I should have delved into the band option, but at this point it seems like a moot point. Rock Band has won my heart. Not only does it keep my band intact, but it also makes you feel like you're in a rising band better than Guitar Hero ever will. Hire a staff, take risks, make fans, Band World Tour in Rock Band 2 is a treat and I love it. Perhaps you love it too.

So, such is my addiction. Any of you out there also addicted to this game? I know I am, and to a certain extent it drives me crazy... in a good way.

Note: Yes, I own the PS3 version... why don't you submit an image scan for the game?



Posted on Jul 11th 2008 at 02:20:59 AM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Konami, Harmonix, Guitar Freaks, Rock Band

Good God, this development took a really, really long time to materialize. You know, Konami has been pretty active in the rhythm genre, and ruled Japan with its Bemani series. Dance Dance Revolution. Guitar Freaks. Drummania. Beatmania. Certainly, Bemani is popular in the Land of the Rising Sun, but stateside, only DDR really has taken off. Sure, there is in fact a stateside version of Beatmania, but it wouldn't say anything other than DDR has taken off here. Have you seen Drummania or Guitar Freaks in the states? Guitar Freaks may have seen a PS1 release, but I certainly have not it. It is almost as though Konami dropped the ball on that one.

Where Konami dropped the ball, Harmonix picked it and scored big time. Guitar Hero, Rock Band, they certainly have had their share of winners. See, Harmonix was, and still is, very successful in the rhythm business. Four or so years later, Konami has finally figured out that Harmonix's devices are a bit close to those of Guitar Freaks and Drummania. Hmm, you don't say? Great job noticing, Konami. You know, the likeness between the peripherals is uncanny. Why didn't Konami do this earlier? I guess they can get more damages now, if they win, and given how similar the peripherals are I certainly expect them to.

Konami Sues Harmonix Because Rock Band is Fun [Dtoid] [IMAGE]



Posted on Mar 24th 2008 at 09:51:50 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Rock Band, EA, Harmonix, Wii

Let's not kid ourselves. I really like music / rhythm games. As such, I really like games like Guitar Hero. So, when the next Harmonix game was announced and it was Rock Band, it was pretty damn exciting. Then, there was the revelation that the game was only coming out for the 360 and PS3, which made baby Jesus cry. I myself, was one sad panda. The pain was lessened a bit when I saw the associated price tag, but the game still was amazing, and deep down, I still wanted it.

Fortunately, Harmonix announced that eventually Rock Band would be coming to the Wii, and that was about it. No price, no release date... nothing other than that the game was coming to the Wii. Well, that's nice, but I want more concrete information. The Wii owners want more information. Would it be expensive like its brethren, or would it be slightly more affordable? Would it be a quick cash in like Guitar Hero / PS2 Rock Band, or would the content be more like the 360 / PS3 versions? Most importantly, when would it be coming out?

Well, there is a release data and price for the Wii version. June 22, 2008. $170. Price, not too surprising, but hey! We now have a date. Additionally, it  will be a "Special Edition", with 63 songs, including 5 bonus songs. Oh boy, I can barely contain myself. Yay. Seriously.

So, the burning question of will this game be a gimped version like the PS2 version, or will the game be like the 360 / PS3 version has yet to be answered. Certainly, my excitement will either fall or rise with that announcement, and I can't wait to hear more about this version of the game.

Rock Band Wii 'Special Edition' on June 22, $170 [Joystiq]

UPDATE: Kotaku asked for comment about DLC... No DLC... yet. No DLC ==No Buy.



Posted on Dec 22nd 2007 at 03:02:46 AM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Rock Band, EA, EA Hates Canada, Stop Trying to Emulate Nintendo


So, how's it going EA? Find any new developers to buy up? You broke my heart when you bought Maxis. It further disintegrated when you guys dissolved Maxis into EA Games. You bastard. I hate you. Luckily for you, I am still a die hard Will Wright Fan, and for that reason I'll have a reason periodically to buy a game developed and published by you.

Recently, you released Harmonix's Rock Band to the masses in "North America". It was shortly around launch that you clarified "North America" to mean United States. Now, I am American, but when I think North America, I think three countries:

  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • United States

In addition, Latin America is part of North America, even if we tend to ignore those countries. I feel honored to bring you that geography lesson for today, brought to you by NAFTA. Someone should have given Harmonix / EA this lesson when they decided to announce a release date for Rock Band. If I was Canadian, I'd feel pretty slighted by the fact that EA does not find you part of North America. I'd be even more ticked that Rock Band was delayed all the way to yesterday. But, perhaps EA would make amends by giving you guys a decent launch. Eh? Eh?! Nah, that's not EA's style. Turns out most retailers in Canada did not get a shipment yesterday, much to the disappointment of fans camping out for the game. Furthermore, those retailers that did get a shipment got a horribly reduced release. This slighting would infuriate me if I was Canadian, and I've come up with some conclusions about EA:

EA, you have an identity crisis. I believe that you think that you are Nintendo. Furthermore, I think you have confused Canada with the continent of Europe. What's the deal? Did you guys get hit on your head? Snap out of hit! Stop shafting our friends to the North, where some people call themselves Tan and some people like to say 'Eh?'. It's a lovely country. Stop screwing the pooch. Give them the game. Don't be jerks. It only hurts your sales. Ask Activision, I bet they could give you some pointers on alienating fans.

Sorry Canada, I couldn't snap EA out of their trance. Before you know it, you'll start seeing EA published minigames out the wahzoo and more casually focused games! My God, help us all.



Posted on Dec 13th 2007 at 12:52:58 AM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, President Skroob, Ebenezer Scrooge, Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Playstation 3


So, you're a PS3 owner and you happen to own both Guitar Hero III and Rock Band. Harmonix said that the Guitar Hero III Controller would work with Rock Band. Almost a month after release though, it still does not work. Blame Harmonix? Don't be so quick to blame, as this release by Harmonix explains:

Quote from: Harmonix
Hi Everyone,

As we have said in the past, Harmonix and MTV Games believe in an open standard philosophy of hardware and game compatibility. We think that there should be interoperability between music instrument controllers across all music games. This is clearly in the best interest of consumers, game developers and console manufacturers and will only help to grow the music game genre as well as inspire innovation and creativity.

Two weeks ago, Harmonix created a software patch for the Sony PLAYSTATION 3 version of Rock Band that allowed for guitar compatibility and support for third party peripherals, including enabling use of Activision's Guitar Hero III controller with Rock Band. The compatibility patch was submitted, approved and had been scheduled for release by Sony on Tuesday, December 4. Unfortunately, Activision objected to the compatibility patch's release. The patch remains with Sony, but we have been told that it will unfortunately not be released due to Activision's continued objection.

As is the case with the Microsoft Xbox360, we believe that Sony PLAYSTATION 3 users should be able to use the peripheral of their choice with Rock Band. We sincerely hope that Activision will reverse its decision and allow release of the compatibility patch and further, that Activision will allow Guitar Hero III to support Rock Band guitar controllers as well. We welcome all third party developers who wish to support our controllers and will provide any required support in order for them to do so.

We believe that when consumers have choice, everyone wins. Harmonix and MTV Games hope that Activision and others will also adopt this philosophy.

Sincerely,
The Harmonix Team

Well, ain't that a crock of shit. If I was impacted by this situation, I'd be pretty ticked off right now. Seriously, how can a PS3 Rock Band have a bassist right now? Certainly, they can not. This is a pretty douchy move on Activision's part, and I hope they realize that they are angering a lot of people who have previously been buyers of Guitar Hero. I guess they don't care about future sales of GHIV. With the Wii Mono situation, the exorbitant price of DLC and this dilemma, GHIII owners have some things to be ticked about.

More as this story develops.

Rock Band Forum Thread.



Posted on Sep 28th 2007 at 08:57:55 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Damn, Rock Band



Joystiq is reporting a price point and release date for the Harmonix developed Rock Band. Who wants to take a stab at the price and date? No one? Well then, there it is:

PS3, XBox 360 - November 23, $170

PS2 - December 10, $160

I could have sworn that they said that the prices would be manageable, not nearing the price of a PSP! Holy crap! Certainly my desire to get this game has significantly dropped off, even if it promises me a harem of women I will not be purchasing this game at that price point. What's even more fun is that November 23 is a special day in the US. It would be... Black Friday. Who wants to fight hordes of shoppers for their copy of Rock Band? Certainly not me.

Sorry EA, but you just killed my interest in your Guitar Hero killer.

Ed: It should be noted that this price is for the Rock Band Bundle. The game is still listed to be $59.99 for the PS3/360 and drums / guitar look to be $80.

[Read on Joystiq]


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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This is where my thoughts go and are never heard from again.

Well, maybe not, but this is the repository for all of my published thoughts and rantings. It'll make my day if you find at least 10% of it amusing and enjoyable to read.


Sorry for the other 90%.

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