UPDATE: Lego Rock Band and Band Hero: Compatibility

November 26, 2009

Well, it seems there’s still a LOT of people out there worried about the compatibility between the Rock Band and Guitar Hero games, specially the new Lego Rock Band and Band Hero ones. I’ve written a short post about it a while ago, but I guess I’ll throw you guys another bone here.

A friend of mine sent me a link to a very good post over at Guri de Apê, that contains an awesome chart comparing… well… almost every plastic instrument released to date with each and every one of the music simulation games. Unfortunately for most of you, Guri de Apê is a brazilian blog, which means the post is written in Portuguese.

But fear not! I’m going to teach you all you need to know about the Portuguese language to understand their HUGE compatibility table. Here goes:

SIM = YES
NÃO = NO
N/A = N/A
CONSOLE = CONSOLE

See? I guess that’s pretty easy, eh? So without further ado, here’s the link to their HUGE compatibility chart:

HUGE COMPATIBILITY CHART

Good luck buying the peripheral of your choice and, in case of questions, please comment below.


BIKE HERO

November 22, 2009

Really, I won’t even spoil the surprise explaining what the hell I mean by Bike Hero. Just follow this link here and find out by yourself. No need to thank me, really.

And by the way, be sure to watch the video response to Bike Hero as well. Watch it until the end, because the ending is HILARIOUS.

 

How does it feel???

HOW DOES IT FEEL?!!?!?!!??


Ars Technica: DJ Hero flops in retails

November 22, 2009

In a recent article, Ars Technica tried to explain why DJ Hero flopped in retail. It’s actually a very interesting article, and among the reasons, they cite that DJ Hero is not a party game and that the learning process takes longer than, say, learning how to play a plastic guitar.

But allow me to give my own interpretation of the phenomenon. I think it was Activision itself that killed DJ Hero before it was even born. By flooding the market with a THOUSAND Guitar Hero titles this year alone, people just didn’t see it as a big innovation (as it SHOULD have been… after all, it IS an innovation!), but as another title aimed specifically at milking the cow even more.

I mean, Activision released Band Hero, Guitar Hero 5 and DJ Hero almost at the same time, for crying out loud! It’s easy for a “Hero” title to get lost in a sea of similar games. I am already so pissed at Activision for exploiting the franchise that badly that I just ignored Band Hero and DJ Hero altogether.

For example, imagine this scenario: if Activision took their time in releasing titles, like Harmonix does (for a minute, let’s pretend Lego Rock Band never existed), when they announced a DJ-centered music game it would have been seen as a major innovation, like when Rock Band innovated by bring drums and singing to the table.

Instead, it’s yet ANOTHER Hero game in a sea of Hero games.

I mean, take a look at the user comments at Gamespot’s Band Hero video review:

KriobaKeys: Don’t Activision have anything better to do, quality not quantity!
Somebody89: Congrats Activision you will have flooded this genre and wear out the audience all by yourself. What is this 5 Hero games this year I think?
ninstigator: another one of them sigh* they’ve saturated the market. Maybe if DLC couldnt get us more songs then buying another guitar hero games makes sense.

Yeah, it HAD to flop. It was written in the freaking stars.


Song Request Friday: Ben Bosco

November 20, 2009

More specifically, THIS SONG:

Bach Violin Concerto in E Major (3rd movement)

I know most people haven’t heard of this guy, but he does some awesome versions of classical songs for the bandolin and guitars. That song would be an awesome concert opener or closer. So, wanna play those classical pieces that were composed for the violin, only on your guitar instead? Contact Ben Bosco.

And by the way… Bach kicks ass.


Rock Band 3 might teach us how to ACTUALLY play

November 18, 2009

I’m starting to REALLY like this Dhani Harrison dude. You know, George Harrison’s son, Dhani, who was pivotal for the development of the Beatles Rock Band? Well, apparently he is sticking around as a consultant for Harmonix, helping develop Rock Band 3.

And guess what?

He wants to make the controllers more “realistic”, so people can actually LEARN how to play ACTUAL instruments.

For the full story and more details, please visit PlasticAxe.com.


For those about to rock: a message by G. K. Chesterton

November 18, 2009

G. K. Chesterton is, by far, my favorite thinker. He is also one of the most underrated thinkers in history, in my humble opinion. I am currently reading his marvelous “Tremendous Trifles”, which you can access for free online, and his fourth story, called “The Perfect Game”, drew some special attention from me.

Some time ago I was talking with a few people, and they said they’d never play Rock Band or Guitar Hero games because they were just too difficult and they’d never be able to play them. When asked if they thought the games were cool, they always replied that yes, they were incredibly awesome, but unfortunately they didn’t have the skill for them.

I always get a little frustrated when people quit music games while still on Easy. And I get frustrated, not because I think they suck, or they should try harder, but because I love the games so much that I want everyone to share my enthusiasm.

I think the words of G. K. Chesterton might help the wannabe rockers who just need a little push to start their fake musical careers. In the story, Chesterton is talking to his friend, Parkinson, while playing croquet, about the uselessness of skill. I hope you enjoy the read!

“how far you really are from the pure love of the sport—you who can play. It is only we who play badly who love the Game itself. You love glory; you love applause; you love the earthquake voice of victory; you do not love croquet. You do not love croquet until you love being beaten at croquet. It is we the bunglers who adore the occupation in the abstract. It is we to whom it is art for art’s sake. If we may see the face of Croquet herself (if I may so express myself) we are content to see her face turned upon us in anger. Our play is called amateurish; and we wear proudly the name of amateur, for amateurs is but the French for Lovers. We accept all adventures from our Lady, the most disastrous or the most dreary. We wait outside her iron gates (I allude to the hoops), vainly essaying to enter. Our devoted balls, impetuous and full of chivalry, will not be confined within the pedantic boundaries of the mere croquet ground. Our balls seek honour in the ends of the earth; they turn up in the flower-beds and the conservatory; they are to be found in the front garden and the next street. No, Parkinson! The good painter has skill. It is the bad painter who loves his art. The good musician loves being a musician, the bad musician loves music. With such a pure and hopeless passion do I worship croquet. I love the game itself. I love the parallelogram of grass marked out with chalk or tape, as if its limits were the frontiers of my sacred Fatherland, the four seas of Britain. I love the mere swing of the mallets, and the click of the balls is music. The four colours are to me sacramental and symbolic, like the red of martyrdom, or the white of Easter Day. You lose all this, my poor Parkinson. You have to solace yourself for the absence of this vision by the paltry consolation of being able to go through hoops and to hit the stick.”

I can’t help but think that if Mr. Chesterton was still alive today, and enjoyed playing Guitar Hero, he wouldn’t be bothered if he never left Medium at all. And neither should anyone. The fun of the game is on the game itself, not on being able to FC all the songs.

Edit: and by the way, this is the reason why I, so passionately, write in this blog about the details most people don’t even think about in music simulation games. It’s because I love even the tiny details. I can’t FC songs on the “Challenging” tier, but boy, do I love the game.

Leave the FC videos to the pros. We, the true fans of the genre, will carry on having fun with all the little magical attributes of the games.


On band-specific music games

November 17, 2009

Though not in black, I’m back. And speaking of being back and in black simultaneously, let’s talk a bit about AC/DC. As far as I’m concerned, AC/DC is a pretty big band. I mean big in terms of fame, of course. They have many legendary rock anthems in their music catalogue, have had their songs appear in dozens of movies, sell thousands of t-shirts around the globe at any given year, and I couldn’t watch them in their last world tour because the concerts got sold out in 10 minutes. So, I mean, they are pretty big, I think.

So considering how big they are, you could think AC/DC are a bunch of assholes. But nope, they are not. In fact, with all the hype around music games nowadays, instead of negotiating a game just for themselves, they agreed to release a big freaking live track pack for Rock Band 2:

Which is an awesome track pack, really. Now let’s change the subject a little.

I’m getting kinda fed up with my Beatles Rock Band. Now, don’t get me wrong: the game itself IS amazing. What is almost unbearable to me is having to swap out my Rock Band 2 DVD and insert the Beatles Rock Band one every time I wanna play a couple Beatles songs.

I mean… I am rarely in the mood of spending a whole hour just playing Beatles. Yeah, I love Beatles, but one of the awesome things about music simulation games is that you’re given freedom to play what the heck you feel like playing at any given time. And since the songs in Beatles Rock Band are not exportable, well… I don’t feel very free playing it. I mean, I can’t just play “Dragula” and “Octopus’s Garden” in the same setlist, right? Bummer.

Thinking of it this way, the AC/DC track pack is a much better solution, since you can actually play the tracks you want in the middle of the most nonsensical setlist you can imagine. Of course, the perfect solution would be to have all Beatles tracks exportable to Rock Band 2, but well, we can’t. Which really is a shame, because between playing RB2 and the Beatles one… it’s kind of a no brainer for me most of the time.

And there’s another thing. The whole deal, I hate to repeat myself here but here I go again, the whole deal of music simulation games is TO CREATE YOUR OWN ROCK STAR. PERIOD. So when you’re playing someone else’s avatar, someone who’s already famous, it’s JUST NOT THAT ENGAGING. You spend a lot of time creating your character, dressing him like a kickass rocker from hell, picking a righteous style and finish for your AXE, and you do that because you wanna go there and rock shit up with your “rock avatar”! So why the hell would I wanna play as James Hetfield in Guitar Hero: Metallica for example?? He’s famous already, where’s the thrill in that?!

The whole thing was done tastefully in Beatles Rock Band, since the game actually tells the player their story. And it has this whole different vibe to it which was delivered in an extremely accomplished way. But really, I’d love my guitar character to play “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” in Rock Band 2. I’d really love it.

But since I don’t have the option to, in most of the cases I just choose not to play it at all, and to make a huge freaking setlist in Rock Band 2 instead with the songs I love.