Tag Archives: rock band

How smart are you about The Beatles?

On the official website for The Beatles Rock Band they have a new flash game based on the opening cinematic.  Answer the questions correctly and get points. I got only 26. Methinks I have some studying to do. :( It’s also very difficult to click on the stars with a trackpad, so make sure you do this on a computer that has a mouse.

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Green Day: Rock Band

Seriously, guys? Green Day had one good album (and half of another one). You can’t seriously put together a game on this. If there was ever jumping the shark, this was it.

I don’t particularly care for Green Day, so I won’t be buying it. But they’ve done DLC before – why can’t the rest of this game be DLC? It better be cheap, like the other track packs – because that’s what this is. A glorified track pack with band-specific models. Either way, I won’t be buying it. I’d rather them spend their efforts/money on Rock Band 3. I guess where it falls is the price. AC/DC track pack debuted at $40 for 18 songs with no custom assets. At the time, people were asking for custom assets. Now, at $20, the AC/DC pack is not such a bad deal. If this is more than $40, I don’t think it will sell very well.

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LEGO Rock Band First Thoughts

After staying late at work last night, I managed to rush home to enjoy some LEGO Rock Band. After taking the disc out of its flimsy plastic case and popping it into the Xbox, I was greeted with a neat video of Lego people rocking out. Bricks were flying, dinosaurs were stomping, etc. The main title screen has a Lego version of the Rock Band 2 menu tiger, and he’s pretty ferocious. The game starts off much like any other Rock Band variant, with a menu giving you the option for free play (as opposed to Quickplay), Story, Training, Options, Extras, and the music store.

My main disappointment with the game (which I otherwise really, really like) is the lack of online play. There is none. You can’t even play with friends in story mode or free play. It limits the utility of the game greatly. Every Rock Band iteration has had some kind of online play and seeing it missing here feels wrong. I wanted to rock out with my buddies and their minifigs. Keep this in mind if you really like online play.

That being said, the actual game itself is quite fun. Free Play is just like Quick Play in Rock Band 2, with all the same features. The difficulty settings are a bit different than in Rock Band 2, and you’ll see some songs rated as more difficult here than they are in RB2. You also probably won’t be able to use all of your DLC – only stuff marked as family friendly on rockband.com’s slonglist will show up as ready to play in Lego.

In terms of the actual in-game play, the mechanics are about the same as RB2. The note gems are lego blocks instead of the usual RB gems, but that’s about the extent of the difference on the highway. I do notice that enabling Overdrive gives a flashier effect on the highway, but again nothing too out of this world.

The Lego venues look very nice, and the minifigs animate well. It’s a nice change of pace from the past year or so of seeing my usual rockers, and I admit I would probably load it up more often than Rock Band 2 if it had online play.

I haven’t gotten very far into the story mode. I like what I’ve seen so far, though. There’s Lego cutscenes (like the other Lego games) to tie the various events together. There’s also Rock Challenges which have music video-like backgrounds. I’ve seen the one for Ghostbusters already and it looks really cool, so I’m going to try to hit up the story mode and see more of them.

The tracks are exportable to RB2, but the process is a bit convoluted. First, you need to redeem the code from the game’s insert slip at rockband.com. You then get an XBox live token (or PSN token) to download a special LEGO Export license. Once you do that, you can then go into the Music Store in Lego RB and choose to export. This will trigger a $10 1.28GB download of all of the tracks in the game. Sorry guys, no picking or choosing. They just show up as regular DLC in RB2, with no indicators to show they are from Lego. The songs are, unsurprisingly, rated easier in RB2 than in Lego.

What’s the big thing to take away from all of this? I need a bigger hard drive. I only have 500MB free. Rock Band takes up an astounding 12 GB of my 20GB drive (of which there’s only, what, 14GB available to use anyway). It’s still a traveshamockery that Microsoft charges obscene prices for add-on hard drives. They always find a way to be customer unfriendly in the end.

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I want it all, and I want it now.

The Queen 10-pack for Rock Band is one of the best packs to download for the game. Period. Why is that? Well, Queen’s awesome, for one. But two, the pack contains no clunkers. None at all. All of the songs are great, and the two omissions should come in the future. At least, I think they should. We all know that We are the Champions is coming in Lego Rock Band, but the other glaring omission, Bohemian Rhapsody, is tougher to explain. My guess is that it would be an on-disc track for a theoretical Rock Band 3 that has vocal harmonies a la Beatles. I have no evidence for that, it just sounds logical.

The game is smart enough to put Fake Freddie Mercury in as the singer during quickplay, which is a nice touch.

Of course, that wasn’t the only DLC that came out this week – we had the remainder of the Abbey Road tracks for Beatles: Rock Band. Needless to say that I bought it so I could play the B-side medley as one track, and I wasn’t disappointed. In terms of value the Queen pack probably wins if you could only buy one for now. I suggest picking up both, they’re just two seminal parts of rock and roll and are a blast to play.

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Timothy Leary’s Video Game

I really like Beatles: Rock Band. I’m a big fan of the Beatles, so I enjoy the music. I also enjoy the game’s overall presentation, as it’s really the first rhythm game that’s very nice to watch in addition to play. There’s just one flaw with the visuals – they give me a headache. Trying to watch both the fretboard and what’s going on in the background gets very tiring. Plus, I think they changed the fretboard transparency compared to Rock Band 2, making it more transparent. It makes it difficult to see what’s coming ahead, perhaps to let you see the backgrounds better and to make otherwise easy songs a bit trickier. Plus, when playing bass, the Beatlemania clouds on top of the Bass Groove pattern is a bit overwhelming.

What baffles me is when Teasdale did his talk about Rock Band 2, he mentioned the transparent fretboards specifically as problematic for people. So why the backtracking? It doesn’t make much sense to me. I wish I could dial down the transparency a bit and that the Beatlemania clouds weren’t so busy. Alas. It’s still a pretty fun game though, and I look forward to seeing what we can get out of Lego Rock Band when that drops in a month.

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The Beatles: Rock Band

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or don’t pay attention to vidya games), you might have heard about this thing called Beatles: Rock Band that came out this week. It’s pretty awesome. I picked it up on the ninth and proceeded to play it straight through from start to finish in story mode.

I had a huge grin on my face when playing it, especially during Here Comes the Sun. I couldn’t help but make mistakes while enjoying the visuals and singing along. The story mode is very well composed, hitting all of the highs of the Beatles’ career. Even the sad parts (like the ending) still make you feel pretty good.

Overall, I don’t have much to say about it other than you should play it, even if you aren’t familiar with the Beatles. As someone who’s a decent fan of the Beatles, it does them right even if it glosses over some parts (like Yoko, Pete Best, etc).

Now gimme Abbey Road, damnit.

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