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About
I'm just this guy, you know? A thirty-something and probably the quintessential Sino-American geekster, with the only significant difference being I live nine hours ahead of Los Angeles.

My preferred game genres are music/rhythm games and the occasional FPS/action RPG (Bethsoft RPGs, Mass Effect, etc.). Rock Band 3 and variants of Rock Band probably inhabit 90+% of my gaming time, with the rest mostly devoted to things like the latest Bethsoft release or whatever game du jour happens to be out there. Before Rock Band, there was Guitar Hero and DDR. Less so nowadays, although I'm still happy to play HVAM on singles expert since apparently I don't quite have the muster for HVAM doubles anymore.

I currently don't buy Activision games because I don't like the publisher, even if I like the games or developers. I actually enjoyed what I've played of Guitar Hero 5 and DJ Hero, but I'm adamant about not purchasing their games. Possibly used. Maybe next time I'm in the States, I'll go to a GameStop or something, I dunno.

But enough about me. How are you doing?
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(Dtoid apparently missed this article when restoring old blog articles; I'm reposting it again for posterity! Thanks for keeping tabs on it, Flixist!) Originally dated November 4.

Minutes ago, John Drake confirmed that RB3 will not play either "Rock 'n' Roll Star" or "Hier Kommt Alex," independent of source (either exported off the RB PAL disc or downloaded off of the XBL marketplace).

While people are running around worrying that this will allow licensing issues to disable any and all DLC at will, I'm certain that's not the case. Rather, the explanation he intimates (that it was licensed specifically for RB PAL--well, he mistakenly says RB2 PAL, but we get the point) suggests something that I'm actually kind of afraid of: that the only way of guaranteeing that your favorite song will not disappear from future iterations of Rock Band is by making sure its original license wasn't for a specific RB title.

I don't know if this applies to Track Pack exclusives or not, but as we've seen, it definitely applies to the main games, what with two other tracks exported from RB1 ("Dani California" and "Black Hole Sun") not showing up in RB3. There's also the slightly more immediately obvious songs excluded from the original exports ("Enter Sandman" and two covers from RB1, additional RHCP and Soundgarden songs from RB2 on top of the AC/DC, Journey, and Metallica tracks, "Monsoon" from RB EU*) proving that no on-disc song is safe, but with RB3 we're beginning to see the exact extent of that.

* Surprisingly, "Monsoon" as DLC still works in RB3, despite not being exportable in PAL, making it the one song NTSC LIVE account holders are and have been able to play and PAL players can't beyond RB1.

The side games are the most questionable territory here. Band-alone games (like GD:RB) are pretty much going to be an all-or-nothing deal (and let's face it: discs like GD:RB have probably been negotiated so that exports of their track list will work in all future installments), but then you have titles like Lego Rock Band, where they didn't confirm 100% export until the last second because they were still in the process of negotiating it at the time. Were they able to secure exports for all future titles at the time, or just for a limited period?

Then there's Rock Band: Unplugged. The initial reports during that period when people started getting pre-release-day copies of RB3 suggested that "Rock Your Socks" was missing from the RB3 set list, which is when I first formulated this theory of mine. (We discovered later on that pretty much all of that week's DLC was bugged for the 360, which made me drop it, before this came back with a vengeance.) There were a good number of tracks initally released for RB:U that later ended up as DLC on the RB Marketplace. Were they originally contracted as DLC and then subsequently negotiated for RB:U (the way the non-exclusives were), or is there a clause in there that will keep me from playing "ABC" sometime in the unspecified future?

I hate it when questions get asked that we quite frankly are never going to get an answer to, due to the high opacity of negotiations in music licensing, but now I'm more convinced as ever that, should there be a particularly awesome song you're looking forward to, keep checking for the Friday DLC announcements.








(Dtoid apparently missed this article when restoring old blog articles; I'm reposting it again for posterity! Thanks for keeping tabs on it, Flixist!) Originally dated October 19.

So there's a discussion on the Rock Band forums involving stores prematurely releasing Rock Band 3, and whether or not it's kosher to reveal anything despite the setlist being publicly available since Gamescom. Some people argue that the setlist is the only thing that can be really spoiled in a game like Rock Band, and even without thinking I can immediately say that were that true they wouldn't have been driving up the keyboard/harmony/Pro-mode by dropping small hints in demos and such.

Simply put: If you're demanding information that hasn't otherwise been divulged to you, you can be spoiled. It's all a matter of degree.

Let's remove this conversation from music-based gaming in general. (Shocker!) I'm going to quote from one of my posts in the above-linked thread:

The thing about non-plot spoilers is, sometimes they add to the cool factor, particularly if you haven't been spoiled about it beforehand.

To take an example outside of Rock Band, I remember the gasps of "AWESOME!" people had when watching the live demonstration of Assassin's Creed II, when Ezio took out two guards simultaneously. I had my metaphorical jaw drop when I saw it in action. It's nothing incredibly innovative, it definitely has no impact on the plot proper, but it announces itself in an incredibly stylish fashion and you can't help but grin.

After a while, it becomes something you take for granted, but the first few occasions you see and/or experience it, it's a brand new aspect of the toy you didn't know was there.

Small flourishes enrich the experience, especially if you haven't been spoiled on them. They're the hotel mint on the pillow you weren't expecting, or you discovering that her/his lips taste like strawberries.

I can even expound on this even further, where small details MAKE the experience what it is, and spoiling it can kill the surprise factor, particularly if it's something that's never been seen before. Do you remember The Matrix, and seeing Bullet Time on the screen for the first time? Was your mouth agape? The movie could've thought of other ways of handling Neo dodging bullets--THAT was the important bit, plot-wise--but it decided to go with the most fantastic way they could possibly think of at the time: cameras encircling Keanu Reeves.

It's true that you can still enjoy whatever has been spoiled, on its own or in context, plot-related or otherwise. Hell, after the whole HP6 spoiler internet wankery (which I will not reproduce here, juuuuuuuust in case) I just kinda "meh"ed and enjoyed the book anyway. Then I made sure to read HP7 immediately after purchasing it from the closest bookstore on release day (though that wouldn't have helped with the HP6 thingy since that happened prerelease). Otherwise people wouldn't own movies for the home or keep them after watching them the first time around.

However, if you ARE spoiled, you lose some of the surprise factor that you'd get if you tore into whatever you're going into without any preconceptions.

Also, if I'm going to experience it firsthand, I definitely don't want to have someone else spoil the taste of her lips to me.







LoopyChew
9:13 AM on 11.11.2010

All I can say right now is that I hope the sky isn't falling.









If you haven't been following gaming news over the last couple of days, you may have missed the announcement of Professor Layton Vs. Ace Attorney.

This is the only way I can think of to make it even better.

If you haven't been following gaming news over the last couple of days, you may have missed the announcement of Professor Layton Vs. Ace Attorney.

This is the only way I can think of to make it even better.








Anyone following the plastic instrument genre with any sort of reasonable enthusiasm are aware of Power Gig: Rise of the SixString. The five of you who follow my blog may have seen my thoughts on the game, at least early impressions from what I've seen (and hadn't) on the web. Those dedicated to the plastic instrument genre and follow it with any sort of fervor have also probably caught wind of the events of the past twenty-four hours or so: a video detailing PowerGig's version of Pro mode (called Chord Mode), and PowerGig's fightin' words.

Let's break this down, starting with Power Gig's blog entry:

Power Gig will be the FIRST AND ONLY band game that uses a real six-string guitar as a controller when it hits stores October 19. We donít know when the makers of Rock Bandô 3 will release their guitar controller. They havenít said.***

*** In partnership with Fender Musical Instruments Corporation as announced on June 11, 2010.

Power Gigís guitar bundle will be available for only $179.99. We donít know what the price of the Rock Bandô 3 guitar controller will be. Again, they havenít said a peep. Not one peep.

All this is technically true, although there's a lot of careful word choice going on here. Rock Band's proper six-string controller, the Fender Squier Stratocaster, fits all these conditions, in that there's no word on pricing, availability, or any such thing; most likely because only a month or two back they were still in the prototyping stage and only five or six existed at the time. Harmonix doesn't have any idea how far along that is because Fender's the one working on them.

However, we know about Mad Catz's Mustang Controller which, while it's not a real six-string guitar, can be used in game and as a MIDI Guitar controller. We know when THAT is coming out--within a week of RB3's release, if not at release time--and its price: $149.99.

Power Gigís guitar is easy for ANYONE to pick up and play in most modes. Rock Bandô 3 has talked about this one. And as far as anyone can tell, you can only use their guitar controller in Pro Mode.* Sounds tricky.

* As revealed at PAX Prime 2010 during the Harmonix panel on Rock Band

Again, true for the Squier, and not for the Mustang. The Mustang works in GRYBO mode like any other guitar controller. I don't know about solo buttons, but when you're mostly just trying to play

Power Gigís guitar is the ONLY real six-string guitar controller that works with almost ANY band games you already own.** From what we understand, you can only use Rock Bandô 3ís guitar controller in Rock Bandô 3 Ė and not even in the full game. Only in Pro Mode.*

Real guitars are better than fake guitars. So if Rock Bandô 3 really does have a real guitar, and it really comes out and people really play itÖawesome!! At Power Gig, we believe in real music for all. So on October 19, we invite everyone to rock out on our 100% real six string guitar Ė for real. And thatís the difference.

* As revealed at PAX Prime 2010 during the Harmonix panel on Rock Band
** Go to www.powergig.com/compatibility for more information.

Let's cover this point by point:

* Power Gig wants people to "rock out for real." The word "Real" used nine times in the blog post, including the post title ("Power Gig and Rock Band 3: Real Guitars. Real Differences.") and "really" three times (all of which are being used as an accuser, implying that Rock Band 3 may be deceiving us). The motto they've been using for the game, apparently trademarked, is "rock it real." They obviously want us to associate the word "real" with the game.

Let's look at their "real" Chord Mode again.



So, if I understand this screenshot, I'm going to put my fingers on the fifth string (C), and on the...green and orange frets? On the same string? Or are there five strings, and you need to place your finger on the fifth fret? At least in Rock Band 3, you'll understand the way the finger-waves work because you get real-time feedback on your finger positions. If you watch that video, you don't get any kind of feedback at all--not even what frets you're holding.

* "Pro guitars can only work in Pro mode." Not only is this patently untrue (factoring in the Mustang, which is going to be the Pro guitar MOST people are going to be using?), but it's a secondary factor. Pro mode is a completely different beast, and there SHOULD be a greater distinction between Pro and GRYBO mode. That the "Chord mode" is still derivative of GRYBO makes me doubtful, since it means that you only need to use five frets. How "real" is five frets?

* As everyone else and their dog has pointed out, how do you tout "rocking it real" when your drums literally do not exist? Are you really saying that air drums are more "real" than the potential of connecting actual electronic drums to your GH Kit/MadCatz MIDI adapter?

* Apropos of absolutely nothing else on this list, are you really branding your microphone the "MojoVox?" REALLY?

Between this blog post, a setlist with a few good songs and a whole lot I'll have to Grooveshark later on, and my natural predisposition towards Rock Band (seeing as only a fractional percent of my music DLC money has gone towards any other franchise), Power Gig gets no sale from me. This kind of marketing is about as classless as you can possibly get, and Dan Teasdale's counter-snipe is absolutely merited. And I hope the sales of PowerGig are as poor as their sportsmanship.

For real.
Photo








On the RB forums, people occasionally refer to the art of playing bass and singing simultaneously as "Geddying," after the Geddy Lee, Rush's bassist/vocalist.

However, now that keyboards have been introduced, I think we need to use the verb "to Geddy" to more accurately refer to the ability to play bass, sing, AND play the keyboards all at once, since he does that, too.