Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Rock Band had a ridiculously profound effect on my life

4:00 PM on 04.02.2013 // Brett Makedonski

The day the music died

It's a sad week. Granted, it's an inevitability that's more than five years in the making, but nonetheless, it's sad. This is the week that Harmonix releases its final regularly scheduled Rock Band DLC -- a streak that's stretched across 281 weeks.

Harmonix should be applauded for its loyalty to the consumer. Alongside the 2007 release of Rock Band, the company pledged that it'd support its game with new downloadable tracks every week. Harmonix upheld this promise for far longer than anyone expected it to, and possibly longer than was financially beneficial. Now that the weekly DLC's being discontinued, it's tough to not feel as if everyone has more or less thrown in the towel on the music genre. I wish this weren't true.

You see, Harmonix and the music genre of videogames mean more to me than they do to most other people. I'll probably never forget the exact moment that these games entered my life. It was the winter break of my freshman year of college, and my friends and I were bored and all sitting around at someone's house. In an effort to kill some time, the person whose house we were at fired up a PlayStation 2 and pulled a plastic guitar out of the closet.

I was hooked immediately. From the opening notes of Guitar Hero's "I Love Rock 'n Roll," I just connected with the game in a way that I had never experienced before. We spent the night taking turns attempting to best some of the music industry's most revered and recognizable songs. Sure, it was only medium difficulty and there were still plenty of plunks and wails, but each passed song brought with it an undeserved sense of faux-rock stardom.

That night bred an obsession of sorts for me. From that point forward, Harmonix had my heart. I spent countless hours practicing and perfecting Guitar Hero, and later Guitar Hero 2. I went so far as to track my scores through an online database. It wasn't long before five-starring songs wasn't good enough; I was chasing gold stars and full combos. If I missed a note, I started the song over. Meticulous? Hell yes it was. But it never, ever stopped being fun.

In 2007, Harmonix took its revolutionary concept of plastic instruments and put a spin on it to include a full band dynamic. Consider my interest sufficiently piqued. I wasn't alone, either. By the time the game released, my friends were constantly chiding me to buy it. They all offered to chip in, and to this day, I only own about one-fifteenth of my original Rock Band kit.

The investment turned out to be well worth it. The night I brought it home, we played it until the wee hours of the morning. We rotated everyone through all of the instruments, and put particular care into ensuring that everyone sang. We played songs like "Say It Ain't So" and "Wanted Dead or Alive" way too many times because we didn't realize that we weren't unlocking new songs. Simply put, the night was perfect.

As Rock Band put a whole new spin on the music genre of videogames, it also changed the light in which I experienced them. The Guitar Hero franchise had grown into a place of competitiveness for me. I associated those games with precision, perfection, and besting other players. Rock Band taught me to step back from that and enjoy the games for what they were.

I still cared about the scores, but I also couldn't fault other people for not caring as much as I wanted to. I never really had the dynamic of a four-person band that all excelled on Expert. Truthfully, I'm kind of glad I didn't. It let me enjoy the Rock Band games as a pure social experience -- something that doesn't seem to come along often in videogames.

That first night of owning Rock Band set the pace for what was to come. Rock Band would eventually become the centerpiece for many of my social moments across the next five years. In college, entire parties revolved around Rock Band. Many nights out on the town were pre-gamed while playing Rock Band. It was always a uniting activity, as it seemed that everyone, across all walks of life, genuinely enjoyed playing the game. I'd wager that plenty of others have come to the exact same conclusion.

Now that Harmonix is pulling the plug on weekly DLC, it feels like the franchise as a whole is going with it. You can't blame Harmonix though -- the genre had simply reached its saturation point, and that probably came a few years ago. At least it's going out with a semblance of dignity.

Throughout the years, I spent hundreds of hours playing Rock Band and spent at least a thousand dollars on downloadable songs. These games had an impact on my life unlike any other videogame that I've ever played. I can only hope that Harmonix's next big undertaking can play even a fraction of a role in my life that Rock Band did. 

As Don McLean's "American Pie," the final piece of regularly scheduled DLC for Rock Band, so eloquently puts it, "I can still remember how that music used to make me smile."

Brett Makedonski, Associate Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Donski3 Tips
While you laughing, we're passing, passing away. So y'all go rest y'all souls, 'Cause I know I'ma meet you up at the crossroads. Y'all know y'all forever got love from them Bone Thugs baby... ... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I am pretty hyped for when I get a laptop because I'll be able to have a good enough connection to stream XbOne/soon PS4 games to it along with natively rendered Steam games. Hype!
Avoclefo avatarAvoclefo
Got a PS4 that came with SW Battlefront this week, and planning on picking up the FFX/X-2 remake. Hype is through the roof, especially for FFX. If I were to get one other game, what should it be?
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Did a google maps search around my parents house for bars and there isn't one in like 25 miles, so I picked up an Intel compute stick and South Park: Stick of Truth on Steam. That's more or less the drunken screaming I'm in the mood for at about the cost.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
Do you ever have that moment of clarity when talking to someone and suddenly realising: You're just a skull, and they're just a skull, with fucking eyeballs and a sac of skin being the only comparative difference between you visually? ..just me then?
Nathan D avatarNathan D
After quitting for two days out of frustration, I beat Ludwig on my first try of the night. I'm on cloud fucking nine right now.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
When I did my retail shift today, we were moving more Smash/Splat Wii U bundles and the Gears/Rare Replay/Ori XB1 bundles than Uncharted and Battlefront PS4s. I think Nintendo and MS have better value on their side this holiday. Sony got lazy.
Confuseddalek avatarConfuseddalek
I found this weird game called Samurai Heroes for 8 dollars today. Its not bad.
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
Got Deadpool, Arkham Asylum and BioShock 1 and 2 all for 30$. Not to bad for going Black Friday shopping late.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
If you haven't played Tales from the Borderlands yet, GO BUY IT! By far the funniest game I have ever played, and the characters and narrative are incredibly well written. Very few memes unlike BL2 by the way.
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Played all of Life is Strange today in one sitting. Bloody hell. You should all play it. Only game this year to make me cry. Bravo developers. Possibly the most valuable thing I've ever bought for £10.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Last night, got farther than ever in Wasteland 2. This is my third playthrough-once thru beta, once through the orig version, now on Directors cut. Worth the restart, and it speaks highly of the game that I like it enough to do this. DAMONTA HERE I COME!
KeithTheGeek avatarKeithTheGeek
GUYS HELP I KEEP BUYING MORE AMIIBO. Today it was Little Mac, since he went back up on Gamestop's website. I probably would have gotten Captain Falcon as well if I wasn't already running a little short on cash.
BigDoniel avatarBigDoniel
50 hours in and I can safely say that Xenoblade is the best JRPG I've played in years. Should hopefully be finished in time for X too!
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
One job down on day I should have off, now for the other job.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I beat Murasaki Baby on PS Vita. Easy 100% trophy. That ending theme tho.
TheGwailo avatarTheGwailo
I have 34 games in my Steam queue alone, 4 on xbone, and a handful on handhelds. I have 3 days to make a dent. Time's up, let's do this!
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: To make up for yesterday, I decided to ask a second Community Question today. Have you taken advantage of any Black Friday deals today? If so, what did you purchase? Feel free to share pictures of your spoils, if you have any.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Some Black Friday artwork arrived today ! [img][/img]
Lawman avatarLawman
Black Friday is getting to me. All these games I kinda, maybe want that are at anywhere between respectable and deep discounts, but I'm not sure if I want to bite. I'm wondering if Godzilla's worth $12? After checking review scores, I'm not sure.
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Mission complete![IMG][/IMG]
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -