Apologies for last night's post; I'd just sat through the hour-long Harmonix telecast regarding the end of the official Rock Band DLC pipeline and wanted to put up something, anything, acknowledging the official broadcast, but it was 1am and I'd rather be awake when I spoke about it at length.
I know I haven't made waves as a commenter or contributor to Dtoid, or any gaming community. I don't try to make myself a well-known guy, I just try to subsist and make sure that anything I discuss either has the right punchline or has the right amount of actual depth in it to justify the post. So let's see if I can make up for last night with this entry:
I'd been a fan of Harmonix's from the moment I bought a used copy of Amplitude for my PS2. Early in its release cycle, I played Guitar Hero at a Best Buy on a controller and thought, "hey, not bad; it's like a simpler Amplitude!"
Then I tried it again with a guitar at what my memory is telling me was a Fry's, but it may have been another Best Buy. My mind was blown, and I was completely psyched at how much the controller changed things.
Then there were all the industry shufflings, with Guitar Hero and RedOctane going to Activision and Harmonix going to MTV Games. While I was excited at the idea of the Tony Hawk guys getting Guitar Hero (I was! The soundtracks to those games were the stuff of legend!), my mind was blown at what Rock Band was bringing out. Drums! Four-player coop! I lapped up every screen, video, and morsel of information I possibly could possibly consume, and fueled my thirst for the game more and more in some whirlwind cycle of desire.
This peaked the first time I got to try drums, playing Suffragette City, with two complete strangers, at a Best Buy demo. My memory is debating whether it was in California (visiting my parents) or Texas (visiting my grandmother). At that point, I was beyond addicted. People who knew me in real life were annoyed at the earfuls they were getting from me. This was made worse because I live in PAL territory, which meant that I wasn't getting the game in November like all the people I followed were. Every. Single. Morsel. that I saw, every article, Chris Kohler's liveblogging of his first Rock Band party, I wanted everything. And I wouldn't get it for half a year.
Fast-forward to April 2008 or so, where one of my friends got hospitalized. He and I were already playing a lot of Guitar Hero II and III co-op, and were both looking forward to Rock Band together. When he got out, we pretty much played nothing but Band World Tour from then on out. The game helped us bond even more solidly, and that's the time I'll remember the most. There were so many times I'd play with friends and others when I'd play alone, and all of them were a blast.
Times change. Since Rock Band came out, some of my closest friends have moved away, others have formed families, others have found new careers or moved up in the ones they already have, I've become a homeowner, and the one thing that has been my constant the past five years and change is coming to an end the week before my birthday. On the upside, as a 360 player with a US account, the Rock Band Network lives on, but it's a cold, and it's a broken, hallelujah. But at least it's still some sort of hallelujah.
And given how much I still play the old DLC--and I do--I think even after the release cycle is broken completely, I'll be playing this for ages to come.