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Music games

Rocksmith photo
Rocksmith

Rocksmith will turn you into a guitar legend like Hendrix or the guy from Papa Roach


*results not guaranteed
Feb 25
// Brett Makedonski
Rocksmith 2014's getting some DLC songs by Papa Roach today. One time in eighth grade, a kid in my class started a speech by saying "Cut my life into pieces, this is my bat report. Echolocation, no seeing. Vampire bat bite your arm, now you're bleeding." I wonder what he's up to. Probably not playing Papa Roach songs on Rocksmith, if I'm being really honest.
Guitar Hero photo
Guitar Hero

Reunion tour: New Guitar Hero reportedly in development


'More realistic'
Feb 24
// Brett Makedonski
Don't adjust your (hot tub) time machine. You haven't traveled back to 2010; it just feels like it. According to a report from Kotaku UK, Activision has a new Guitar Hero title in the works. It's said to be announced at ...
All you need is Rez photo
All you need is Rez

Note to self: Replay Rez at least once a year


'The journey will begin anew'
Feb 23
// Jordan Devore
On the rare occasion I use my Xbox 360, I'm amazed the thing still works. It's laughably slow to boot up, full of games as it is, and having gone through several broken systems last generation, there's a lingering fear that t...
Hatsune Miku: PM2 photo
Hatsune Miku: PM2

Beard View: Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai 2


I know too much about Hatsune Miku and I don't even know that much
Feb 20
// Jed Whitaker
Oh hello Destructoid! Its your old beard buddy Jed here, and I guess I'm officially part of the Dtoid team now. Are you proud yet dad!? This time on Beard View we're taking a look at Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai 2, the Vocalo...
Rock Band DLC photo
Rock Band DLC

Harmonix releasing more Rock Band DLC, a couple of 'we're back' songs


Hinting at something bigger?
Feb 16
// Brett Makedonski
In mid-January, Harmonix surprised everyone by breaking its radio silence on Rock Band with the first set of downloadable songs in almost two years. While it's not quite the return to weekly DLC, Harmonix looks to be ba...
Rock Band photo
Rock Band

Harmonix survey asks what you would want from a new Rock Band experience


Just more Rock Band, to be honest
Jan 16
// Brett Makedonski
The Rock Band franchise has shown promising signs of revitalization lately. Earlier this week, there was the surprise announcement of a trio of fresh downloadable tracks. Now, Harmonix has posted a survey throwing all so...
Rock Band DLC photo
Rock Band DLC

Harmonix surprises everyone with an imminent trio of Rock Band DLC songs


Foo Fighters, Avenged Sevenfold, and Arctic Monkeys
Jan 12
// Brett Makedonski
Remember the days of yesteryear when a bevy of plastic instruments was a de facto part of your interior design? Well, if you so wish, that look could make a comeback, as Harmonix is adding to the Rock Band library f...

Harmonix returns to classic rhythm-action with Amplitude

Dec 05 // Alessandro Fillari
Amplitude (PS4 [Previewed], PS3)Developer: Harmonix Publisher: SCEARelease Date: Q2 2015 "This opportunity is to make the game we always wanted to," said product manager Annette Gonzalez while discussing the development of the game. As a reboot of the original, Amplitude features both an expanded track list and gameplay system. Even after the success of the games that followed, the developers wanted to have a shot at creating another title in the vein of Frequency and Amplitude. "People really, really liked those games, they have fond memories of them, I have fond memories of them -- I played FreQuency and Amplitude a lot back in college -- but apparently they didn't really sell very well," said communications lead and former Destructoid editor-in-chief Nick Chester. "People loved it, it reviewed very well, but nobody bought them, so therefore we didn't make another Amplitude game and moved on to Karaoke Revolution, Guitar Hero games with Konami and Activision." With the rise of game development via Kickstarter, Harmonix figured it was the perfect time to get the next game going. With its crowdfunding campaign, the studio wanted to gauge the current interest for the return of its earliest titles. "Kickstarter was a great opportunity for us to say, 'well, you wanted another Amplitude game, right? We have permission from Sony to actually go ahead and do it, but do you really want this game, prove it.' If they were really interested in it, then it would get funded, and it did," said Chester. For the uninitiated, Amplitude tasks players to ride the musical tracks as they match up each beat and verse with the corresponding buttons. With each track spread across multiple lanes, you'll have to actively switch between them to maintain your multiplier. If you miss too many verses and beats, your ship will cease function and end the track. With each timed beat, you rack up points and build your multiplier to activate special abilities, such as slow-mo, which slows down track speed, turning snazzy electro into a soothing and calm ambient pieces. By far, the most apparent aspect of the game was how challenging it was. My first crack at the game was on medium setting, and I barely made it halfway before losing. Perhaps it was because I had a hard time grasping the rhythm, but I initially felt a bit overwhelmed by the pace. Thankfully, playing a few tracks got me in the swing of things. Though I certainly still had my work cut out for me, considering how easy the folks from Harmonix made it look during the more intense tracks. As with all of Harmonix's titles, music is the core element of the experience. Featuring over 20 tracks, including licensed music from artists such as Anamanaguchi, Freezepop, and Kasson Krooker, Amplitude definitely seeks to reaffirm the studio's approach to music games. Moreover, Harmonix has also has incorporated original compositions that not only evoke the same hyperkinetic style of the original, but also manages to tell a consistent story with each passing track. "They [original songs] have this dark and electro vibe to them to tell you enough about the narrative," said Nick Chester. "All the tracks in this build were written in-house by the folks at Harmonix, all of the core story for the game was written by us, and outside of that you can unlock other songs from other artists." While much of the attention will be focused on the music, the visuals also do a lot to bring players into the experience. Amplitude's visual aesthetic feels like a mix between the bombastic and otherworldly Rez, with the vaguely familiar look of the digital world from Tron. Moreover, the visuals become more pronounced and striking as the track reaches crescendo, taking players on a trek through light and sound. Not content with offering the same experience with new visuals and sounds, Harmonix wants to implement features into Amplitude that take advantage of modern gameplay. In addition to online leaderboards for tracks, players can also engage in multiplayer matches against others locally. During our demo, we tried out the four-player battle mode, which pitted players against each other on the same track. As you can imagine, things got pretty hectic as every had to find an empty lane to score points. After each verse, the lane would collapse, forcing everyone scramble for the next lane to maintain the multiplier. I came away pretty pleased with what I played. Harmonix has certainly refined its craft for music games, and even though the title is only 60-70% complete, it is on track as a product that will reassure fans of the original and those looking for a unique and challenging take on rhythm action. Amplitude is one title you'll want to keep an eye out for next year.
Amplitude preview photo
3-2-1, Let's Jam
Before the folks at Harmonix Studios put themselves on the map with Guitar Hero and Rock Band, it was known for the cult hits Frequency and Amplitude. Blending fast-paced rhythm-based action with mesmerizing visuals and ...

The Voice photo
The Voice

The Voice still looks like garbage, but I want to play it


♫ I got garbage~~! On a clooooudy day~! ♫
Oct 16
// Brittany Vincent
Let it be known that I play any and all karaoke games, no matter how bad they are. Hell, I even bought Disney's Sing It because I thought there might be a couple Hannah Montana songs I could rock out to. But I think Activisio...
Don't sell your games photo
Don't sell your games

I'm so glad I never sold my copy of Mario Paint


Hold on to your favorites
Oct 14
// Jordan Devore
I may not replay videogames very often, but when I do get the urge, it feels impossible to ignore. If it's an Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or Wii game I feel compelled to revisit, that's no big deal at all -- there's still enough...
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Disney Fantasia Music Evolved demo is out


Try it out!
Oct 10
// Dale North
I believe that Harmonix's Disney Fantasia Music Evolved is one of those games you'll have to experience for yourself to really get. You can read our previews and get some idea of how it made us feel, but I really think that t...
Vib Ribbon photo
Vib Ribbon

Enough teasing: Vib-Ribbon is headed to PlayStation Network


Releasing in North America, at last
Oct 06
// Jordan Devore
There was an out-of-nowhere nod to Vib-Ribbon at Sony's E3 press conference this year, and then nothing. No follow-up announcement. That wasn't very nice at all. But everything will be better, soon enough: the cult PlayStatio...
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Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call song contest winners announced


Picked by Nobuo Uematsu himself
Oct 02
// Dale North
The Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call Legacy of Music contest results are in! Final Fantasy series composer Nobuo Uematsu picked the winners himself (I'm still kind of freaked out that he heard my contest demonstration ...
Amplitude photo
Amplitude

Amplitude isn't pretty yet, but at least it works


It's coming along, Kickstarter backers
Sep 30
// Brett Makedonski
Judging by the first gameplay video of Harmonix's reboot of Amplitude, development's coming along rather nicely but is still far from done. This prototype update for Kickstarter backers is heavy on placeholder visuals and ha...
Rocksmith 2014 photo
Rocksmith 2014

Rocksmith 2014 plays its encore on Xbox One and PS4


Meet the new boss, same as the old boss
Sep 23
// Brett Makedonski
Although it was outed by ESRB ratings almost a month ago, Ubisoft just got around to formally announcing that Rocksmith 2014 will be headed to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on November 4 of this year. For the most part, thi...
Band Saga photo
Band Saga

Band Saga looks like the Audiosurf of isometric shooter action


YO
Sep 02
// Darren Nakamura
Generating gameplay using music might be one of my favorite things to happen in videogames in the last ten years. Though Audiosurf released six years ago, there still are not many games that utilize the functionality. Soon e...
Harmonix photo
Harmonix

Check out Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved at PAX Prime


Dance the night away
Aug 28
// Brittany Vincent
Harmonix is headed to PAX Prime in Seattle this weekend, and bringing with them Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved, as well as swag and some brand new songs that you can check out if you happen to be in attendance. The event's on...
Rocksmith 2014 photo
Rocksmith 2014

Rocksmith 2014 rated for PS4 and Xbox One


...but can it teach me how to play "3s & 7s" competently?
Aug 26
// Brittany Vincent
Rocksmith 2014 has been rated for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One by the ESRB and Korean Game Rating Board, and I'm still sitting here waiting for a new iteration of Guitar Hero. Although Ubisoft hasn't announced any new versi...
Taiko no Tatsujin photo
Taiko no Tatsujin

New pics surface of the Taiko no Tatsujin drum controller


And it was never ever localized, the end!
Aug 21
// Brittany Vincent
More pics have surfaced of the sweet Taiko no Tatsujin controller compatible with the Wii and Wii U. Unfortunately there hasn't been a Taiko no Tatsujin game available in the West since the PlayStation 2's heyday, but rhythm ...
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Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call: Music contest kicks off, new screens


Kupo!
Aug 06
// Dale North
The Legacy of Music Contest for upcoming 3DS game Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call has officially kicked off. Did you see...me in the contest announcement video? Weird, right?  I can't wait to hear all of the arra...
Next great roguelike photo
Next great roguelike

Man, I wish I were playing Crypt of the NecroDancer right now


It's out on Steam Early Access
Jul 31
// Jordan Devore
Are you playing Crypt of the NecroDancer? You should be playing Crypt of the NecroDancer. It's a rhythm-based roguelike in which you hop around dungeons to the beat of music, a novel mechanic that ends up being enjoyable -- n...
Taiko Drum Master photo
Taiko Drum Master

Bang the drums and roll the dice in this Taiko Drum Master RPG


More Taiko than you can handle!
Jul 04
// Brittany Vincent
A new Taiko Drum Master game is now available on a mobile device nowhere near you (if you live in Japan, anyway) with Taiko Drum Master: RPG Daton, an adorable quest featuring the cute little Taiko characters, pachinko balls...
Project DIVA F 2nd photo
Project DIVA F 2nd

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd to feature fully-translated English lyrics


The songs are still in Japanese, though
Jul 03
// Brittany Vincent
It's exciting to see so much love for Hatsune Miku from Sega, especially given how fun the Project DIVA games are. Perhaps as an extension of said love, Sega has announced that Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd will feature f...
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Korg DSN-12 analog synthesizer comes to 3DS this September


3D oscilloscope on the 3DS!
Jun 26
// Dale North
The following might be lost on you if you're not a music or sound person. Japan-based Detune Ltd, the folks behind DS and 3DS musical software titles Korg DS-10 and Korg M01, are back with another new musical tool, the Korg ...
The Rhythm of Fighters photo
The Rhythm of Fighters

The Rhythm of Fighters combines music with brawling for your gaming pleasure


Putting the "beat" back in music
Jun 20
// Brittany Vincent
Do you love fighting games? Do you love music games? What about a combination of the two? No, I'm not talking about Kickbeat. I'm actually talking about The Rhythm of Fighters - SNK Original Sound Collection. Strangely enough...
Project DIVA photo
Quick hands-on preview
As Miku fans likely already know, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd is coming to North America this year, to both PS3 and Vita. It was through your support for the first title that this sequel's release is possible, Sega tell...

Phil Fish is back photo
Phil Fish is back

Fez, Canabalt creators announce new partnership


Polytron and Finji reveal support for musical indie game Panoramical
Jun 12
// Kyle MacGregor
A unique partnership was unveiled today at the Los Angeles-based Horizon conference, an E3 alternative event hosted by Venus Patrol and the LA Museum of Contemporary Art. Panoramical is described as "anthology of intera...

Harmonix announces Dance Central Spotlight, a digital-only Xbox One exclusive

Jun 09 // Dale North
There's a new fitness mode that will give players up to 90 minutes of non-stop dancing to burn calories. A new practice mode can be called forth at any time to learn moves. There's also the ability to do a loop of routines, like a sort of playlist. So far, these are the only confirmed songs for the tracklist: “Wake Me Up” –  Avicii “Talk Dirty” –  Jason Derulo ft. 2 Chainz “Show Me” –  Kid Ink ft. Chris Brown “Counting Stars” –  OneRepublic “Happy” – Pharrell Williams  
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Kinect lives on
Dance Central Spotlight is a new Xbox One Kinect dancing title. The idea is to keep the focus on dancing and music, serving as a sort of follow-up to the hit Xbox 360 title Dance Central. The difference here is that Spotligh...

Fantasia: Music Evolved introduces partner apprentice Scout

Jun 06 // Dale North
A new hands-on (hands-off?) session had us playing a newly revealed area called The Neighborhood. The scene features urban street art, psychedelic colors, and has a bit of a comic book vibe. Harmonix said that it was inspired by artists like The Who, and by songs like Cee Lo Green's "Forget You," among others. The area starts out pretty quiet, but as you move the Muse 3D cursor around to manipulate zones, it starts to come alive, first with radio signals, and later with music that you've unlocked. A play through of "Forget You" had us layering rock guitars and keyboards with Cee Lo's original vocals from the hit song. Later, we chopped up drum loops in a composition spell, and created a keyboard solo by waving hands in another.  After this, a diversion into a subway stop of The Neighborhood had us doing a freestyle sequencing section with singing vegetables. A turnip and beet had their own vocal tracks, while a carrot dropped a beatbox track. By moving between the vegetables, the player can jam out to create their own loops, making their own track. This performance is then added back into The Neighborhood as background music. In this case, the trio was added to a train that came back around to the scene regularly. A few new tracks for Fantasia: Music Evolved were announced during our session. Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence" will be a part of this stage, as will The Police's "Message in a Bottle." On the classical side, "The Nutcracker" was pulled from the original Fantasia. I tried my hand at Drake's "Take Care." Things got pretty interesting with alternate music tracks that underscored the entire song with acapella background vocals and beatbox rhythms.
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Hands-on with new Neighborhood level
Harmonix has thought a lot about how they'll welcome players to Fantasia: Music Evolved and they've decided to add a partner apprentice that will serve as a sort of game guide. Her name is Scout, a talented but impatient appr...

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Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call trailer shows off RPG elements


New modes shown
Jun 05
// Dale North
The music of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call is pulled from the biggest RPG series ever, so why shouldn't the game have its own RPG elements? This new trailer for the upcoming 3DS music game shows off some of tho...

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