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Just Dance photo
Just Dance

Ubisoft has turned your phone into a console camera

Unless you're rocking a 2004 Razr
Jun 15
// Brett Makedonski
Man, so many people just want to dance in front of their video game consoles. You may scoff, but Just Dance is the most successful music franchise ever, so that statement applies to some folks. For those who haven't alr...

Rock Band 4 is doing a new fun thing you wouldn't expect

Jun 15 // Brett Makedonski
Between those dueling stages was an innocuous, decidedly less interesting room. But, what it lacked in flair, it made up for in substance. Some posted up nearby talking Filipino politics, but those who ventured inside found the biggest change to Rock Band in years. Guitar solos aren't what they used to be. Trepidation was abound. Shredding in Rock Band is such a staple. Now it's different. Accuracy has been replaced with creativity. I couldn't help but think that's a musician's move right there. I also couldn't help but be a little dejected that there's less skill involved with the instrument that I spent the most time trying to perfect. Down the hall, Pearl Jam's "Alive" started playing, and Eric Pope couldn't hide his disdain. I thought about firing it up to figure out how these new solos worked. I refrained and chose "Cult of Personality." In everyone else's hands, this is a plastic guitar; in my hands, it's a pipebomb. Things didn't pan out quite as I wanted. Rather than rhythmically dissecting the song until the solo hit, I was met with five minutes of solo. That's a dev mode thing -- perks of the preview event. I guess that's adequate time to figure out the ins and outs of the new format. I was mostly right, but not entirely. [embed]293727:59016:0[/embed] A small group had formed after a few minutes. Someone made a comment about the five buttons on a Rock Band guitar. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. A Harmonix representative sprung into action to correct the misstatement and pitch the Freestyle Solos -- a system that reminded everyone there are ten buttons on these axes. Intricate notes have been left by the wayside for colorful patterns. Blue means to play in first position (normal notes); orange indicates you need to slide up the neck and play on those five forgotten-about buttons. An algorithm decides exactly what gets played, whether it be sustains, eighth notes, sixteenth notes, or just wildly tapping without any strumming. One of the patterns mandates you just play anything. Make noise, anything works. While it sounds somewhat insane, it mostly works. The solos come together in a way that's satisfying -- as if you were actually playing the solo. However, substituting that for nailing a classic solo isn't a trade-off that I necessarily appreciated. It just feels like maybe it's a bit too easy now. That's not the only concern. Harmonix has made a point of framing Rock Band 4 as a party game that anyone can pick up and play. But, I saw many of my peers struggling to integrate the solos into the gameplay they already knew. When I asked the devs how long they expected it'd take for casual players to grasp Freestyle Solos, they thought it'd go pretty quick. I estimate it'll take slightly longer than very casual players want to commit. In that event, the mode can be turned off, which seems like a less than optimal solution. For those who have the patience to learn it but aren't dedicated enough to excel at the old solos, Freestyle may be a fine compromise. Wailing on those solos makes you feel really good even when you're performing a relatively simple task. It makes for a nice little illusion for anyone who doesn't want to look past it. 
Rock Band preview photo
'Play Freestyle!'
Everywhere I looked, my peers seemed to be having fun. Mere minutes before, everyone couldn't stop talking about how cold that Santa Monica rooftop was. It was the opposite of fun. Now, that had melted away, a distant memory ...

Guitar Hero Live photo
Guitar Hero Live

Maybe you'll actually recognize a few of this week's Guitar Hero Live songs

For a change
Jun 02
// Brett Makedonski
After the initial reveal of Guitar Hero Live, Activision's been slowly unveiling ten songs a week to keep us interested. The only problem is that the vast majority of songs (and artists) are completely unknown to the majority...
Guitar Hero Live photo
Guitar Hero Live

I don't recognize most of the new songs revealed for Guitar Hero Live

But that's probably my fault
May 26
// Darren Nakamura
The tracklist so far for Guitar Hero Live has been a bit puzzling for some. Personally, I can suspend disbelief long enough to pretend to play a Skrillex song on guitar. I mean, I'm pretending to play guitar using an electron...
Crypt of the Megadancer photo
Crypt of the Megadancer

This Mega Man mod for Crypt of the Necrodancer looks awesome!

Mega awesome!
May 23
// Jed Whitaker
You've probably seen Crypt of the NecroDancer, the rhythm based roguelike dungeon crawler that recently released on Steam to positive reviews, but not like this. Crypt of the MegaDancer is a full conversion that gives the en...
Rock Band 4 trailer photo
Rock Band 4 trailer

Live-action Rock Band 4 trailer looking for bodies

Take it on the road
May 20
// Nic Rowen
Are you a Rock Band fan living in the Seattle area with nothing to do for the next few days? Do you mind standing around bored stiff for hours on end while gaffers, grips, and roadies endlessly disassemble and reassemble sets...
Guitar Hero Live photo
Guitar Hero Live

Guitar Hero Live adds 10 more songs I don't know

Hot acts like Marilyn Manson
May 19
// Steven Hansen
I have willfully ignored Guitar Hero Live until now. I will go back to that after I finish informing you of the 10 songs newly confirmed for the game (?), none of which I recognize by name, but a few of which I have assuredly...
Guitar Hero Live photo
Guitar Hero Live

Guitar Hero Live adds tracks from Alt-J, Judas Priest, and more

May 12
// Mike Cosimano
The first 24 tracks in the Guitar Hero Live soundtrack have been announced, and we must face a dark truth: the latest entry in Activision's venerable rockstar simulation franchise sure does have a lot of tracks without h...
Rock Band 4 details photo
Rock Band 4 details

Rock Band 4 wants players to 'color outside the lines'

Improvisational vocals and more
May 05
// Darren Nakamura
IGN has the hot scoop on Rock Band 4 these days, having taken a trip to the Harmonix office to cover the upcoming music game. While it has exclusive gameplay footage going up later this week, the site posted some details yest...
Guitar Hero Live photo
Guitar Hero Live

Guitar Hero Live wants to give players stage fright

If you suck, don't go for the stage dive
Apr 17
// Darren Nakamura
Just a few days after the trailer reveal, this video showed up going further into what makes Guitar Hero Live new. It's a long one, so if you're not able to sit through 34 minutes of video, Destructoid has you covered. The p...
Guitar Hero Live photo
Guitar Hero Live

Skrillex is on the list of Guitar Hero Live artists

Wubbing in first position
Apr 14
// Brett Makedonski
Following this morning's official reveal of the long-leaked Guitar Hero Live, Activision's talking a bit about the core of any music game: the music. Of the 13 announced artists, one sticks out like a sore thumb: Skrillex. Th...
P4: Dancing All Night photo
P4: Dancing All Night

Persona 4: Dancing All Night's Japanese box art is appropriately groovy

I'd expect nothing less
Mar 25
// Brittany Vincent
Persona 4: Dancing All Night is still slated for a Western release in 2015, but it's headed for Japanese Vita owners on June 25. I'm eagerly gobbling up every single scrap Atlus tosses out until the official release, so check...
Rock Band 4 photo
Rock Band 4

Kinect interference won't be an issue in Rock Band 4

That's certainly reassuring
Mar 09
// Brett Makedonski
Harmonix wants the Rock Band 4 experience to be a social one -- a group of people together in a room using music as the driving force toward enjoyment. However, Microsoft has a once "integral" peripheral for the Xbox One...
Rock Band 4 photo
Rock Band 4

Tell Harmonix to put the entirety of '...Like Clockwork' in Rock Band 4

Really, just urge them to include the QOTSA discography
Mar 06
// Brittany Vincent
Looking forward to Rock Band 4 just as much as I am? You're probably wondering how the upcoming roster is going to look. Me too. In fact, I'm pretty concerned. I dropped a pretty penny on hundreds of songs, with 70% of them i...

Rock Band 4 is coming, and it's bringing the party back

Mar 05 // Brett Makedonski
While it's important to look forward, fans also can't help but look back. After all, there are some pretty hefty investments there -- both with regard to instrument peripherals and downloadable tracks. Harmonix acknowledges this and is doing its best to make sure that there's continuity across the Rock Band brand, even if it has jumped to new consoles. With regard to instruments, Sussman says that the team's doing its best to ensure that legacy peripherals will be compatible with Rock Band 4. He couldn't definitively say that it'd happen, but Harmonix is working with Sony and Microsoft to try to work something out. Sussman said that he was confident in the chances those conversations would yield positive results. The other big concern, previously purchased downloadable songs, has an even better outlook. Harmonix is tackling the engineering issue, something that Sony and Microsoft are fully supporting. The only problem is that it'll require a lot of man-hours to essentially recreate every song in the library. It's going to eventually happen, but Harmonix can't say how long it'll take to get there. But, players definitely aren't going to be required to buy tracks a second time or anything in that vein. Of course, alongside Rock Band 4's release will be a set of brand new instruments manufactured by Mad Catz. However, that's not the extent of its involvement. Mad Catz is cooperatively publishing the game with Harmonix. This'll likely mark the largest software publishing deal in Mad Catz's history. [embed]288538:57603:0[/embed] Despite Mad Catz's involvement, Rock Band 4 won't release with a flurry of optional equipment like Rock Band 3 did. Because Harmonix is putting focus on the social aspect, it's mostly doing away with Pro mode. Drums will still be supported because the base instrument is all that's needed. Gone are Pro Guitar and Pro Bass. Also nixed are all forms of keyboard. Sussman said that through data collection, Harmonix saw that keys were played a very small percentage of the time relative to other instruments. Although this is the first time in a half-decade that Rock Band's making a return, there's also the well-founded rumor that Guitar Hero will throw its hat back into the ring this year. When asked if the studio was at all disappointed that it'd face immediate competition, Sussman seemed upbeat about Rock Band 4's chances against Activision's property. "We're focused on things we can control. However, I think our pedigree speaks for itself," he said. He's right; Harmonix has a history that's rooted in quality. However, maybe none of that really matters if the general audience just isn't ready to go back to Rock Band. When we pressed Sussman about the idea that most people from his audience seven years ago are likely in very different places in life now, he was unflinching. "While I realize that people move on, a love for music is all that's needed for Rock Band to be appealing to you. That's something that no one grows out of," he commented. Again, Sussman's right. Even if Harmonix stayed mum on a lot about Rock Band 4, it tipped its hand on what might be the most important facet: the game's tone. Rock Band 4 is all about the unique social experience that comes from playing music together. It wants to be a party, a constant source of good times. Basically, Harmonix is doing everything it can to make sure you want to get the band back together.
Rock Band 4 photo
Releasing in 2015, coming to PS4 and Xbox One
Five years after the latest installment in the seminal music/rhythm franchise, Harmonix is going on a proverbial reunion tour. Rock Band 4 is in development for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and it's currently scheduled fo...

Rocksmith photo

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...

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...

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 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...

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