Rocktoid Bandtoid deflowers Rock Band hands-on at EA

Your fellow Rock’em Sock’em Robots knew we had done our job proper when we were invited to EA Headquarters in Redwood Shores, CA for a one hour hands-on bands-on experience with the much anticipated game Rock Band. Maybe the encore was expected due to Nick “Voice of a Rock God” Chester’s performance at E3. Or perhaps it was because of Destructoid’s general consensus of Rock Band‘s pure superiority that we’re already looking for ways to give it away to aspiring artists.

One way or another, when Husky Hog and I knew we had to give EA a performance rock-worthy of meeting up at 9 in the morning, we took to stretching our phalanges, simulating our Queen falsetto, and turning up the robot force to 11.

Hit the jump to find out which 5 new songs have been added to the playlist since E3 along with a few new revealed details of the game. That of course and our incredibly Rocktoid Bandtoid experience which made waking up before 3 pm worthwhile for even the most virtual of rock stars.

Unhook your training bras, faithful Dtoid army, and surrender your tender nips to the glory that is the following songs revealed for Rock Band’s playlist (all original master recordings might I add):

“Are You Gonna Be My Girl”  |  Jet
“Blitzkrieg Bop”  |  The Ramones
“Epic”  |  Faith No More
Here it Goes Again”  |  OK Go!
“Creep”  |  Radiohead

Arriving on EA’s campus at 9 o’ clock sharp, we kicked off the morning by warming our vocals to Radiohead’s classic “Creep.” After crooning out the first few bars of my siren-like Thom Yorke impression, it was easy as cake to convince our PR buddies Abby, Andrew, and Peter to adorn themselves with the official Destructoid arm bands (crafted by yours truly a mere 3 hour prior to arrival). Unfortunately, we couldn’t break out the whiskey in time for them to tell us anything about the price, release date, controller specifications, or upcoming downloadable content for the game. We shall forgive them however, in leu of their hard-core rock participation.

While we practiced our empowered rock star stances during the loading screen, I took notice that the screen art featured our individual avatars in various band photo shoots. These screenshots change given the customizations you adorn upon your personal Rock Band avatar, which include a large variety of tattoos, wardrobe choices, and hair colors —  enough of an assortment to give provide enough room for the David Bowie’s and Layne Staley’s out there.

Feeling mighty empowered by the mic stand (which is not included with the Rock Band set, but is available for additional purchase), I kept it steady on the vocals and had no trouble keeping pitch at medium level with an average rating of 90% for all of the songs we performed. Since the original vocals are played subtly in the background while you sing, it’s not too tricky to listen carefully and align your voice with the melody. This also means no fancy-pants harmony or improvisation is allowed until the freestyle vocal fill window, where you can hoot and holler all you want.

The game adds a new spin to consistent performance, as band members who are not up to speed will be removed from the stage. This leaves the body of the song limbless, and significantly less soulful when lacking a single instrument. The hollow musical void will remain until the rest of the band members can muster up the points to recover their rookie from the angry mobs of the crowd. The flip-side to this epic fail is during “Unison Phrase” opportunities, where the band earns bonus points if every member plays flawlessly. This also ends when the rookie trips up after missing a single note. 

Unfortunately, like Nick mentioned before at E3, there still seemed to be a persistant issue with the model of the guitar controller as we had several run-ins with players accidentally hitting the start button in the middle of a song. It seems as though there won’t be any major modifications to the design at this point, so hopefully it will be a mere matter of graceful guitar playing tactics to avoid such hiccups.

An hour had passed before we knew it, and before we left our vinyl boots and studded caps behind for our day jobs, EA snapped a memento for their wall of fame. Big shout-out to Andrew, Abby, and Peter for an incredible performance that morning.  Meanwhile, the rest of you should be waving your shirts around your head in excitement for this to come out, *sigh*, sometime in the holiday season of 2007.