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.
(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.
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.
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?
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.
Before I get into the rest of the my set list, something occurred to me about the Unison Bonus mechanics of the game, and I'm wondering how it's handled in RB3.
Unison Bonuses are the original Band Moments, for those of you who have never touched Rock Band and swear by Guitar Hero. When you play a Unison Bonus, if all the instruments involved manage to nail that particular section, everybody gets an extra 25% added to their energy bar on top of the standard 25% they get(meaning all the instruments have the ability to deploy Overdrive). Miss it, and the instruments that manage that section only get the normal 25% they would.
The problem is, as originally mapped in the game, all instruments that are playing must have at least one note per Unison Bonus section to get it, and you cannot have Energy-collecting phrases on multiple instruments without it being marked as Unison Bonus.
Most of the songs already listed in Rock Band, when they have keyboards, have keys that are pretty evident throughout. But what happens when you have keys that are mapped as sparingly as, say, "Polly"'s drums? On Polly, that was fine, as it was a pretty minimalistic song anyway, and relatively short. Keys can be used a lot more sparingly, however, and I don't think it makes too much sense for Unison Bonuses to be assigned to nothing but all instruments. Either that, or allow overlapping Energy-collecting phrases on multiple instruments. I'm not THAT picky.
Now, for the next leg of my wishlist, I have to thank one of my friends for asking to burn a couple of party mixes for her birthday party. It gave me the chance to run down my entire library at home, allowing me to review songs that aren't on my laptop or iPhone, but probably should be. Also, probably because of the way Destructoid works, I published Part 2, but because I waited a day after the initial draft to publish it (I wanted to post it the day after my whole RB3-DLC-backwards-compatibility discussion), it may have gotten lost amongst other day-old blog posts.
For your reference, Part 1 is available here, and Part 2 here. All the songs I've suggested to date have their own playlist at the bottom of this post. Now, onwards!
31. "The Inevitable Return of the Great White Dope" by The Bloodhound Gang (Hooray for Boobies, 2000)
First things first: This is conditional on "Like a scrotum, here it is in a nutshell" making it past the censors.
Beyond that, I have to concede that the majority of this song is about the rapping than it is the instrumentation. There's a lot here that could potentially be used for the different instruments, but a lot of them are pretty obviously synthesized. The bassline is actualy a sawtooth, the guitar would switch between a synth guitar and another keyboard, and the keys would be the organ that seems to permeate throughout the entire song.
"Fire Water Burn" would be fun, but I don't remember a keys line.
32. "It's My Life" by Bon Jovi (Crush, 2000)
Continuing the tradition of having one Bon Jovi song per non-band-specific Rock Band title, this seems to be the logical next-choice, except that it doesn't come from Slippery When Wet. There's tons of harmonizing and vocalizing, a piano/synth loop, and it's another one of his ridiculously huge hits. Another Ritchie Sambora guitar solo (significantly shorter and less technically impressive than the SWW ones, admittedly) and my former status as a 908er compel me to demand this song. I also have to have to say, this is the one I would want of all Bon Jovi's other songs.
Except, maybe, "Never Say Goodbye." That'd also be awesome.
33. "Me Plus One" by Annie (Anniemal, 2004)
Synthpop isn't poorly represented in Rock Band, to be sure, but I could do with more of it. There's a synth bass to be represented, a light guitar line reminiscent of INXS's "Need You Tonight," and vocal ooh line that could be represented by either harmonies or keys.
If there were a reasonable way to get "Chewing Gum" in there, I'd be cool with that, too.
34. "You Know It's Hard (Murder)" by The Crystal Method (Tweekend, 2001)
I've heard this song referred to both ways. An awesome breakbeat drum line, a constantly-changing guitar line, synth loops, and an actual vocals track makes this a TCM track that would be a great on-disc track on RB3.
The only other TCM song I'd put on-disc is their Filter collaboration with "Trip Like I Do," but Harmonix's "83 songs, 83 artists" line makes this more or less an unlikely choice (I suppose this could be a loophole). Also, I like this song better.
35. "The Audience is Rural" by Cut Chemist (The Audience Is Listening Theme Song, 2006)
This would make good use of harmonies with singing AND talkies at the same time, not to mention have a ridiculously awesome drum line, a chorded bassline that changes up pretty frequently, and a synth-sax line. Plus, bonus "Hey, it's that song!" points for being the lyricized version of the song people remember from the iPod commercials.
He did a collaboration with Ozomatli, if I remember correctly, that could probably work. Not quite as well, but it'd cover the ill-covered hip-hop-Latin genre. Actually, the more I listen to it, the more I'm convinced it'd make awesome DLC. But it's still actually an Ozomatli track that CC contributed to, so...
36. "Digital Love" by Daft Punk (Discovery, 2001)
Because I want Daft Punk, dammit. Not the greatest-known song, but definitely off their best-known disc and a single to boot. This song covers all instruments, has a small synth solo, an awesome guitar solo, and the singer autotunes his way through a melody.
I could get behind "Robot Rock," though.
37. "Come On Eileen" by Dexy's Midnight Runners (Too-Rye-Ay, 1982)
There is no good reason to not include this song outside of licensing. This hits the coveted 25-40 demographic of theirs by being a ridiculously popular one-hit-wonder of the 80s, has a memorable piano line, harmonies, and should be fun on most of the instruments. It also contains one of the few non-metal blast beats I can think of during the later accelerando. (Also barely audible in the original mix, a piano solo.)
38. "I Touch Myself" by Divinyls (Divinyls, 1991)
Also hits the same demo from my "Come On Eileen." Not the most exciting drum or keys line (there's an organ playing in the background), but harmonies, basslines and guitar lines that walk all over the place (plus a semi-guitar-solo), this would be an awesome addition to the library.
39. "Pato and Roger A Go Talk" by The (English) Beat (Special Beat Service, 1982)
None of you guys remember this group. I barely did, but for repeated viewings of Grosse Pointe Blank ("Mirror in the Bathroom") and Ferris Bueller's Day Off ("March of the Swivelheads" when Ferris is racing home towards the end of the movie), and a girl I dated being a fan of the group. Reggae/ska is under-represented, and this song with its toasting, syncopated keyboard and walky bass/guitar lines would be an excellent candidate for Rock Bandification.
40. "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Part 1" by The Flaming Lips (Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, 2002)
Because you can't get enough psychedelic rock, and this is my favorite representation of the genre. It also covers all the RB3 bases in terms of instrumentation and harmonies. Plus, anyone who hasn't already heard this song will have to try and sing lines like "You won't let those robots eat me" with a straight face. Should be a crowd-pleaser.
Alternatively, I guess "She Don't Use Jelly" would be the other demanded Flaming Lips track, being the one really big charter, while also including wacky lyrics that are difficult to sing without cracking up.
41. "40'" by Franz Ferdinand (Franz Ferdinand, 2004)
Let's get this out of the way: I'm a huge Franz Ferdinand fan. This is one of my favorite songs of theirs, and does a good job of covering all instrumental bases while being pretty well known (it's been used in a lot of dramedy trailers for movies for the past few years). It also has a memorable guitar riff (and a tremolo line) and a varied if not technically-complex bass line.
I'd be pretty much happy with more songs off of their debut album. "Auf Achse" would be another good one with a fairly memorable keyboard line.
42. "Low Rider" by War (Why Can't We Be Friends?, 1974)
All-out classic. The guitar line would be boring, but the bass line is memorable, and the song is filled with small drum fills here and there would keep it from getting too dull.
"Why Can't We Be Friends?" would be another obvious candidate, especially to remind people that it wasn't originally a Smash Mouth song.
43. "Worry About You" by Ivy (Long Distance, 2001)
Not quite shoegazer music but getting there, Dominique Durand's voice is hypnotic, and the cascading vocalizations during the bridge just take me away. The clock-tick guitar line works with the drifting keys (there are several layers of synths, and they could cover different synths over the different verses). The bassline is a very straightforward one, mostly meant to be practical here, but that's not a sin.
The other Ivy song I'd REALLY want in-game is "Feel So Free," but I figure I'd go with the one people may actualy have a chance of recognizing. Fewer people would recognize "Feel So Free" unless they were a big fan of Veronica Mars, where that song got its pre-release debut.
44. "This Love" by Maroon 5 (Songs About Jane, 2002)
I can only assume this wasn't in the original Maroon 5 pack because...well, actually, it was probably because it wasn't part of the new album, but now that piano and harmonies are in RB3, I can't see any reason they WOULDN'T put this song in there. It's arguably their biggest hit, should be fun on every instrument, and basically the only reason anyone would protest it is if they're both complexity-driven metal fans AND haters.
I've always been partial to "The Sun." That song has a really nice bass and key line, and would also work beautifully in game.
45. "The Time Is Now" by Moloko (Things to Make and Do, 2000)
Roisin Murphy's voice is dead sexy. Your voice cannot beat hers in sexiness, unless you are k.d. lang, Shirley Manson, or Chrissie Hynde. I guess that's a count against this song, since your voice cannot possibly match hers.
However, fantastic acoustic guitar AND bass (yes, acoustic bass!) lines and a synth line that could switch between piano and strings at the drop of a hat make this a great candidate for on-disc-ness, or barring that, DLC.
46. "99 Luftballons" by Nena (Nena, 1983)
If I need to justify this song, I will HURT you. Also, it HAS to be the original German version.
47. "Absolutely (Story of a Girl)" by Nine Days (The Madding Crowd, 2000)
More power-pop, with both keyboard and guitar solos (the former following up the latter), a bass line that doesn't jump out at you, but actually kicks a lot of ass, harmonies that jump out at you, and a chorus whose infectiousness is almost on par with "Alex Chilton" (no chorus can be as infectious as "Alex Chilton"'s). I really don't know any of their other songs, but this one is a clear winner in my book for on-disc-ness.
48. "Spit on a Stranger" by Pavement (Terror Twilight, 1999)
Because I wouldn't be able to claim indie-pop pretender status without listing these guys at all. This song has a very light key part, a beautiful guitar riff, a subtle if walky bassline, some choice drum fills, and low-to-the-point-of subliminal harmonies. This song is beautiful and you can't convince me otherwise. I want this song, now more than ever.
49. "Dirty Mind" by The Pipettes (We Are The Pipettes, 2006)
And on the opposite side of that, we have The Pipettes, which would probably be The Spice Girls but for the fact that the songs from the one album I'm aware of from them feels significantly more retro (if keeping the whole "riot grrl" thing going). This song has a guitar line that, while hard to notice at first, will grab you when you do. The bassline is also sufficiently walky, the keyboard clean and energetic, and obviously the girls singing harmonize (as they are paid to do) and do so well.
Also, the accents? Also very, very sexy. Not as sexy as Roisin Murphy, k.d. lang, Shirley Manson, or Chrissie Hynde, but still sexy.
50. "I'm Gonna Be" by The Proclaimers (Sunshine on Leith, 1989)
Don't think I need to justify this one, either, but I WILL note that it has a keyboard line, even if you don't hear it.
51. "A Change Would Do You Good" by Sheryl Crow (Sheryl Crow, 1997)
This song catches Sheryl Crow just after the Tuesday Night Music Club perkiness, with a badass fuzz bass, an acoustic guitar loop (and a guitar solo besides), a more-evident organ over a less-evident synth, and...drums. This is probably my favorite Sheryl Crow song overall, which probably explains its presence here over some of her other songs.
"All I Wanna Do" from TNMC would also be a good candidate, on account of it being her breakout hit, but I wouldn't refuse "Every Day is a Winding Road."
52. "Gangsters" by The Specials (Specials, 1979)
If I'm going to throw in suggestions like The Beat, The Specials also have to go in there. They could change between the two different guitars for the guitar line (there's one with the ska pick-up, and another one that functions as lead guitar, with occasional noodling, and a solo); the bassline is everywhere, there are both a piano and an organ, and a place where the drums start getting exciting more than functional.
I also request that the line "DON'T CALL ME SCARFACE!" be marked for Overdrive.
"Ghost Town" and "Little Bitch" are other good candidates from The Specials.
53. "Dub 56" by The Toasters (Dub 56, 1994)
Fine, one more ska suggestion. Energetic EVERYTHING in marked contrast to The Specials, with a guitar solo, a couple of drum fills lying about, and a bassline that while not "Maxwell Murder" insane still manages to get around, this would be a wonderful representation of the Third Wave/Modern Two-Tone genre in-game.
54. "Unbelievable" by EMF (Schubert Dip, 1991)
That bassline. Tell me you wouldn't want to play that bassline. Or that piano line, for that matter. The guitar manages to be interesting for a while (did YOU remember there was a solo in this song?), too. The drums get some variation, too.
55. "A Girl Like You" by Edwyn Collins (Gorgeous George, 1994)
That thing I was saying about sexy voices? I meant female voices. Edwyn Collins has a fantastic voice that I think guys would have problems matching up to. The guitars and the piano have the obvious advantage when it comes to the instruments in this song, I guess, but there's
no love lost for the drums, which has a few fills. The bassline is mostly a workman's bassline, but damned if its one main riff isn't a hot one.
56. "Nothing Is the Same" by Grand Funk Railroad (Closer to Home, 1970)
One of the few times I'm aware of that GFR has lived up to the "Funk" part of their name, this song doesn't contain keyboards. However, it is in fact a fantastic song for all the other instruments. The guitar doesn't stop noodling, the bassline struts around like it owns the place, the drums do not stop with the fills, and minor harmonies support a wonderful vocal melody.
And then you get to the jam.
Seriously, wait until you get about two and a half minutes in. Some of you may rip it as being derivative of "Working Man," except I believe "Working Man" didn't come out until 1974, meaning this song was first.
And then when you think it's about to climax into a BRE, you have another break which just kicks ass and takes names.
It finally starts coming to a climax by quieting down, but not without spending most of that slowdown noodling on both guitar and bass and drums making fills like crazy.
Then you get to the BRE.
Seriously, this is one song I desperately want for the game. Hopefully, now you do, too.