It's fitting that in what is currently a sea of people rehashing the same topic after topic that a music game post can stand out. Well, time for another fun filled mini-review blitzkrieg lovingly titled 'Stuff I Did Since Last Time I Told You What I Was Doing!
Completely by coincidence all the stuff I did since last we talked involved music games. Yes I know what you're thinking: "But Xzyliac, we all know you're a plastic peripheral slut. Isn't it a little convenient that instead of playing real games you spent your last 3 weeks playing music games?" It is but I swear I didn't plan to. My plan was to come here and talk about DJ Hero, Halo 3: ODST, and Prince of Persia. However
Gamefly had different plans. They lost my ODST and Prince of Persia for a week and in the meantime I might have slipped up and played a few
music games...I CAN QUIT WHENEVER I WANT TO!
The Beatles: Rock Band
So this is old but I'm gonna talk about it anyway because I played through it again without the hype and I thought you people might be interested in that since, ya know, music games are all about hype and nobody in their right mind can honestly be enjoying all these games. Okay I'll stop ripping on people who rip on music games.
Watching a Beatles movie high
*There's obviously a lot of love that went into this title. There's just all kinds of good vibes everywhere. From the menu to the cutscenes, the animations, even without the hype this clearly is probably the pinnacle of band games until somebody gets the balls to put a plot in there realistically portraying a band.
*Great setlist. Seriously you won't find many classics missing here.
*The environments really pop out which is different for a music game . Each one is obviously unique and well crafted.
*Dreamscapes. They're cool.
Watching a Beatles movie sober
*Short. Short, short, short. I know all the work they had to go through to transport those masters but I would've waited another 6 months for maybe a dozen songs. Seriously I think we're back in the area of Guitar Hero 1 as far as number of songs.
*DLC is screwed up. I dunno who the hell determined how they were gonna break Abbey Road up but for us who got 3 free songs it kinda blows. Some people can't even get their tracks without getting the whole album thus making it not free. Thanks for nothing Harmonix.
*You play chronologically instead of tier-by-tier. This actually works well and all but it sucks when and if you run into that one track that you can't seem to five star (i.e. I Wanna Be Your Man on drums is a bitch).
Guitar Hero 5
For the first time in years I feel like Guitar Hero is going to be underrated. That's right you heard me. There's so much hate (some of it warranted, a lot of it not) against Guitar Hero that I feel like a lot of music gamers are going to miss a great opportunity here. For the very first time in a long time and a lot of entries it feels like the Guitar Hero series has got its legs again. I'll be first to admit flaws and faults with anything but dammit guys this game is good!
*They fixed everything! Seriously I don't know if Neversoft visited Harmonix Music Systems for a boot camp or what but the charts, menu navigation, everything (except the forever crappy Music Studio) has been fixed and is either useable or great. I dunno what the hell happened in between Guitar Hero: Money Printing Spin-Off Edition 7 and Guitar Hero 5 but it's fucking brilliant.
*Quick Play is so incredibly awesome. It's perfect for parties. You don't even have to go into the game anymore. You go into the intro video, a song is playing, and you drop in and start playing. And you can't fail! Good move NSoft.
*It looks real pretty.
*Good DLC. As of the time of this writing I would say the DLC is decent. Needs moar metal however.
*Crappy importing. Just...don't even bother.
*Only decent setlist and even then a good chunk of the good ones are, rumored to be, or have been announced to be in Rock Band.
*Still doesn't have anything to drag me from Rock Band and I doubt GH ever will.
*No Doors? What the fuck?
I grew up around live DJs and mash-ups. East Coast and West Coast. As my family hopped around America priority number one was which station had the best live DJs. I still remember many Friday and Saturday nights listening to the DJs on the radio while driving through some crowded highway and dancing in the car with everybody rockin' the fuck out and every time he threw a new mix on we all were like "AWMIGOD DID THEY JUST MIX THOSE TWO SONGS?" Those are some of my favorite childhood memories.
Now I don't know if the radios do that anymore or who these idiots are who are trying to convince me DJing isn't mashing songs up but it's this techno bullshit but screw you guys. DJ Hero was a no brainer purchase for me because it felt like, well, what a DJ game should be. A buncha hits smashed with obscure techno tracks or even better other similarly awesome hits. Pros and cons:
Hollaback Girl vs. Feel Good Inc.
*The majority of these remixes are really well done. Some of them put together such random tracks I would have never made the connection but now it seems so obvious. Of course Shout and Pjanno go together! DUH!
*It looks pretty. I'm glad FreeeStyle didn't have to struggle like Neversoft and Guitar Hero with finding a vibe.
*You can play as Daft Punk and it's pretty badass. Also, personal childhood hero, DJ Jazzy Jeff.
*Like Guitar Hero 5 beside it this game is very party friendly. Maybe because of the music type even moreso.
*For all of us plastic instrument addicts there is nothing like getting a brand spankin' new piece of hardware and the DJ Hero table is a proud accomplishment by it's creators. It's solid and it feels great. It may take a while for you to find your stride (I had trouble pressing buttons and scratching at first because some of my fingers, like my ring finger, were too weak to effectively scratch so now I do everything with my pointer and middle finger) but when you do you realize it's a very intuitive and simple device.
Ace Of Spades vs. Groundhog
*While there are a ton of mashes in here a lot of the songs repeat. They're not terribly bad. I think the most repeated song is Hollaback Girl (or maybe just the most noticeable) and it's only repeated thrice out of 93 mixes. This will annoy some people. I personally think every mix is different enough that if you're whining about 3 different Hollaback Girl's you're nitpicking (your average mixtape will be half of one side dedicated to only one song after all) but I can see how some people may be bothered by that.
*No more Jay-Z...ever. Unless it's Run This Town...and we edit out Kayne West.
*It's pricey. I got the Renegade Edition (totally worth it) but even the pussy regular edition is a big ol' $120 here in the states. And with all the great titles coming out this year Acti would've done good if they offered it for $80 at least through the holiday.
*Grandmaster Flash is annoying as fuck.
*No good DLC yet.
*You can't fail so arguably there's little challenge however if you suck it'll make the mix sound awful and your neighbors may personally come over and smash your head in.
*And finally yes, we get it, this game has hip-hop/dance/pop and it's not your cup of tea. Great. There are two others games for that. Rock Band and Guitar Hero.
Lego Rock Band
Last but not least is Lego Rock Band. Of all four of these games this one was the one I was the least excited about. I was unfamiliar with 90% of the setlist, it felt a lot like whoreware, and the idea of a kids music game seemed redundant to me. I was wrong. So very wrong. In fact I would argue Lego Rock Band is the best of all of these games beating out even The Beatles: Rock Band in my mind for best peripheral-based music game this year. I wouldn't trade it for the world and here's why:
Bionicle: Mask of Light
*Good setlist. Really good setlist. Songs I had forgotten about completely that I remembered from Shrek and even a Scrubs track makes an appearance here. And that's really what I admired about the setlist. After the classics and the radio rock you get songs from various popular kids movies and fun shows and you go "Oh yeah! That song!" Nothing against Band Hero (haven't played it yet) but I have to say this is a far more pleasant strategy than pulling a bunch of Top 40s tracks and I have to give Harmonix and TT props for it.
*Great Lego game humor. The game actually follows a plot, the plot is fun, and the presentation is top notch.
*Rock Power Challenge thingies are a blast. They're what Harmonix should do in replacement of music videos for Rock Band 3.
*Fills the lonely gap between this holiday season and the next when we can assume Rock Band 3 is coming out. There a lot of great ideas and things that I think they'd be fools not to bring into RB3.
*You can export the entire setlist and that's awesome. Even better perhaps is that the game let's you play select kid friendly DLC and RB1 songs. See Neversoft this is how you do a non-band specific spin-off.
*Lego Queen. I fully expect to see this at my local Toys R' Us.
Bionicle 3: Web of Shadows
*For a Lego game the customization here sucks bulloks. The character builder is my main target here. It's just...no fun. You're very limited in the number of things you can do. However I will say when you find a minifigure or a combo you like...it's adorable.
*How did this get an E10+ rating? Umm, Suddenly I See, a track you'll be playing a lot of, has the line "Why the hell," over and over.
*The songs that suck do suck A LOT. Good Charlotte, Blink-182, Rascal Flatts, Razorlight, and Incubus can all kiss my ass.
*No Bowie/Freddie duet singing Under Pressure.
*While this didn't bum me out some might be bummed that there's no online. So if you want to play these tracks online you'll have to pony up for the $10 export fee and play 'em in Rock Band 2.
So there's my batch of mini-reviews. I got my ODST and Prince of Persia last night (literally right after beating Lego Rock Band...even when Gamefly fails they succeed).So definitely expect that lineup for the next SIDSLTITYWIWD (hmm...maybe SID is shorter). I'll probably be picking up Dragon Age next week since everyone's gushing about it and according to Elsa I can be a slut and sleep with redheads and have threesomes.
What you expect me to say no to a redhead? Bitch, please.