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5:00 AM on 04.17.2015

Harmonix says 'don't throw away your old Guitar Hero controllers'

Where are all your old Guitar Hero and/or Rock Band guitars now, eh? Stuffed under the couch? Collecting dusting the basement?  If you haven't thrown them away -- and I really, really hope you haven't thrown them away --...

Vikki Blake



Amplitude's multiplayer mode has been reworked for the better photo
Amplitude's multiplayer mode has been reworked for the better
by Darren Nakamura

I have some good memories of playing single player FreQuency years ago. However, the only memories I have of the multiplayer mode are of me playing against my friends in high school and crushing them, then going off to college and playing against a guy in my dorm and being crushed. Neither situation was particularly fun.

With Harmonix's new Kickstarter-funded Amplitude, the multiplayer is getting a nice upgrade. Instead of FreQuency's simple head-to-head score attack, it uses something closer to the system found in Amplitude (2003). From that starting point, the player count has increased from two to four, and a handful of other tweaks have been implemented, turning it into a party game I can imagine a group switching to after arms and voices are shot from playing too much Rock Band.

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Harmonix Music VR could supplant Audiosurf for me photo
Harmonix Music VR could supplant Audiosurf for me
by Darren Nakamura

Audiosurf is more than seven years old now (wow), but it still holds a place as a desktop icon on my computer. I still play it regularly. The thing is, I almost never play it on any setting other than Casual with Mono. It is the thing I go to when I want to turn off my brain for a bit and just enjoy some music along with some pretty colors.

I got a chance to try out Harmonix Music VR at PAX East this past weekend, and it looks like it could fill that role perfectly. There is even less to concentrate on, but the step into virtual reality makes it more engrossing. I could see myself coming home from work, putting on the headset, and just chilling with it to decompress.

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6:30 PM on 03.09.2015

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

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...

Brett Makedonski


10:45 AM on 03.08.2015

Borderlands characters are now in Dance Central Spotlight

Gearbox and Harmonix have worked together in the past with a dance section in one of last year's trailers for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. At the PAX East Inside Gearbox panel, Gearbox and Harmonix announced a new p...

Darren Nakamura

11:30 PM on 03.06.2015

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

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...

Brittany Vincent



Rock Band 4 is coming, and it's bringing the party back photo
Rock Band 4 is coming, and it's bringing the party back
by Brett Makedonski

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 for a 2015 release. But, Harmonix doesn't want to put out Rock Band 3.5; the Boston-area developer acknowledges that it can absolutely improve upon past iterations.

In a conversation at GDC in San Francisco, project manager Daniel Sussman told Destructoid that Harmonix revisited Rock Band 1, 2, and 3 while brain-storming for the direction of the next game. Sussman readily admitted that Rock Band 3 was too much of a sprawl -- a bit unfocused to the point that it clouded the game's identity. In hindsight, it was somewhat off-putting to fans that couldn't get a definite feel for how seriously it took itself.

That's what Harmonix wants to change with Rock Band 4. The focus is purely on creating an accessible, social experience. There's a certain harmony that comes from playing and listening to your bandmates, a bonding sense that shines simply because of the format. Harmonix just wants to get back to that and make another title that people enjoy playing in the company of others.

Granted, we have to take Harmonix at its word for now. There's no playable build of Rock Band 4, and the team isn't even ready to talk about a lot of the features. That's all coming later, likely sometime around E3. But, it's worth noting that the word "evolution" kept coming up to describe the next steps in the series, a sign that Harmonix plans for Rock Band 4 to be a platform with a long-term vision, not just a precursor to sequel after sequel.

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3:00 PM on 03.02.2015

I fear for my fingers after seeing Amplitude in action

Harmonix is reviving Amplitude this summer and, if recent rumors hold up, Activison might bring back Guitar Hero. The lows of the rhythm genre are real low, but I'm ready for that high again. Going into this weekend's PAX Ea...

Jordan Devore

3:00 PM on 02.18.2015

If this is what a 'rhythm violence' game looks like, I'm all about them

While watching this trailer for THUMPER, a self-described rhythm violence game from current Harmonix artist Brian Gibson and former lead programmer Marc Flury, I didn't want to blink. I also let out a confused "what?" follow...

Jordan Devore

3:00 PM on 02.16.2015

Harmonix releasing more Rock Band DLC, a couple of 'we're back' songs

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...

Brett Makedonski

8:52 AM on 01.19.2015

Amplitude delayed from March until 'summer'

I hope you weren't too excited for a March release date for the upcoming Amplitude reboot, as Harmonix has announced that it has been delayed until "summer" for quality concerns. The developer says that they don't want to cut...

Chris Carter





1:30 PM on 01.16.2015

Harmonix survey asks what you would want from a new Rock Band experience

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...

Brett Makedonski

11:45 AM on 01.12.2015

Harmonix surprises everyone with an imminent trio of Rock Band DLC songs

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...

Brett Makedonski



Harmonix returns to classic rhythm-action with Amplitude photo
Harmonix returns to classic rhythm-action with Amplitude
by Alessandro Fillari

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 an electronic soundtrack, players could tap their feet along with the beat while using quick reflexes to achieve the high score. Though the titles never lit the charts on fire, they garnered a cult following and were fondly remembered among fans of rhythm games.

With the success of Rock Band, Guitar Hero, and Dance Central under their belts, the developers at Harmonix decided it was time to revisit the long-dormant series. Keen to show off an early build of the game in time for the upcoming PlayStation Experience event, the devs were confident they nailed their reboot of Amplitude.

And with the success of their Kickstarter campaign, they've definitely got an audience ready to check out the reunion with the long-missed series.

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Review: A City Sleeps photo
Review: A City Sleeps
by Nic Rowen

[Disclosure: Nick Chester, who is currently employed at Harmonix, previously worked at Destructoid. As always, no relationships, personal or professional, were factored into the review.]

It's a weird time to be Harmonix. It is hands down one of the most successful and influential independent developers of all time. It led the development and popularization of an entire genre of games over the last generation; who else can say that? At the height of its power, the company released a near-perfect game with Rock Band 3, and it's still just about the only studio to have ever done right by the Kinect.

But times change, the rhythm-game craze is over. All of those plastic instruments Harmonix built its name on are gathering dust in closets or bargain bins, and the masses openly celebrated when Microsoft took the Kinect out of the box. So what is Harmonix to do?

Go and make an old-school 2D shoot-'em-up, apparently.

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Review: Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved photo
Review: Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved
by Chris Carter

[Disclosure: Nick Chester, who is currently employed at Harmonix, previously worked at Destructoid. As always, no relationships, personal or professional, were factored into the review.]

Fantasia holds a special place in my heart. My wife and I both grew up playing instruments, and whenever a song comes on from the film, we get to share a little moment as Disney fans. Yes, PhilharMagic is one of our favorite attractions at Disney World.

So when I heart that Harmonix was making a Fantasia game, I got excited -- until I heard that it had at least one song by Drake in it. Of course, my full judgment was reserved for the finished product, and I found it to be a magical experience overall.

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