The Spike TV Video Game Awards show happened this weekend. I would have watched it, but I frankly have enough women, cars, and Mountain Dew here at my fortress, and if that’s not good enough to get Jack Black over here, then so be it. Either way, a bunch of games got announced, including Green Day: Rock Band, from Harmonix and MTV Games.
Anyway, details about the game are scarce, but design director and notorious lothario Chris Foster of Harmonix posted on his twitter account that the game’s songs will be exportable for use in your other Rock Band games, unlike those found in The Beatles: Rock Band. He also says the game will be fun, and I’m going to agree with him, and totally not because I want a whole bunch of free crap from Harmonix. And, by the way, if you’re from Harmonix, you can ask my editor for my shipping address. I have no dignity and you can set my price.
God, what a lonely-looking stand they had this game set up on. Look at that. Really?
When it comes down to brass tacks, at least to me, Rock Band and LEGO go together like peanut butter and chitin. After being revealed to discerning eyes during Dan Teasdale’s GDC talk, the game has garnered some attention from puzzled, clueless journos like myself. LEGO Rock Band is a game for the little’uns, principally, tooled to a younger age demographic and given a fresh coat of paint to keep the drooling cretins jamming away on modern pop hits. So if you’re coming in looking for some Pantera, you’ll be disappointed. But I digress.
Hit the jump for some impressions of LEGO: Rock Band.
By now, you’ve likely seen the hubbub that surrounded the unveiling of The Beatles: Rock Band at the Microsoft presser. Hell, the two remaining Beatles even took time out of their busy schedule of rolling around in huge piles of money and prestige to come onstage for approximately 2 seconds and say how awesome it was. Where does it stand in the growing pantheon of music games, though? Does it innovate? Can it woo new fans? Is it safe? Will it blend?
Well, Harmonix, if nothing else, is dedicated to the music. That being said, they did a fantastic job of doing the Beatles justice, even going so far as to disguise their E3 booth as giant replica of Abbey Road. Yeah. They roll like that.
Hit the jump to check out our opinions on The Beatles: Rock Band.
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr unveiled their upcoming game ‘The Beatles: Rock Band’ Monday at the E3. The combined effort of Harmonix and MTV Games features their early days at the Cavern Club in Liverpool through some of their later appearances with 45 mastered tunes with multi-part vocal harmonies. If you are into the album Abbey Road, it will be downloadable shortly after the September 9 debut, the same day Apple Corps Ltd. and EMI release the remastered Beatles catalog.
Read More | CBC
So here’s the drink list from the event Harmonix threw the other day at the Rockit Room in San Fran. Nice, eh? I didn’t get the opportunity to indulge, but one fellow told me that the overdrive will “take you to flavor country” before gliding away on roller skates.
Oh, and at the end of the night, they announced and played a song called “Don’t Stop Believing” or something by some flash in the pan band named Journey, claiming that it would be hitting Rock Band. Should be available next Tuesday, but the date is subject to change and the pricing has not yet been announced, if you care about that kind of stuff.
(It’s very hard for me to break sarcasm, but I’ve always held the position that the first music and rhythm game to get this song wins the war. Good job, HMX! You’ve doomed me to more DLC as my children starve. Or, at least, they’re LIKE my children. But they’re older, and female. And hookers.)
Well, ever since the folks at Harmonix got their hands on the Beatles catalogue, we all (and by that, I mean ‘I’) figured that this day was coming. Sure enough, Apple, MTV, and Harmonix have announced The Beatles: Rock Band for release on 9/9/09, and a website has been put up with nothing but an interior shot of (what I believe is) Abbey Road Studios (main recording studio for the Fab Four) and a ‘9.9.09’ plastered across the screen. The game will feature content by the Beatles (duh) and will be bundled with signature instrument replicas if you order the full shebang, and if that means I get to rock a little plastic Hofner, I’ll be there on day one. When reached for comment, Paul and Ringo both chased me off their property with vicious dogs. I tried to reach the other Beatles, but I unfortunately lent my shovel to the neighbors.
Hit the jump for the full press release.
In a recent profile of Activision CEO and industry provocateur Bobby Kotick, Forbes decided to talk about a number of Activision bread and butter franchises, such as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (whose empty, frail husk now litters that halls of Activision, milked clean of its sweet, sweet nectar). Somewhere around the end, though, is an interesting little snippet of text:
“EA also teamed with MTV to sell Rock Band, a shameless knockoff of Guitar Hero that added drums, bass and a microphone to the world of make-believe rock stars. EA says it is returning to an “auteur model” of designing games, taking bigger chances on fewer ideas.”
Look, we should all see this kind of writing for what it really is: Unresearched and inflammatory. Even if you didn’t know that the Rock Band guys are the guys who made Guitar Hero in the first place, it’s a wee bit unprofessional to take sides. I’ve worked for Activision, and they’ve said some crazy things regarding the music game timeline, but don’t confuse the quote as coming from Kotick.
Funny how they don’t mention Guitar Hero: World Tour anywhere.
Read More | Forbes
Rejoice, ye fans of backwards compatibility! Harmonix has just released the title update for Rock Band that will allow players to export the first game’s song list into Rock Band 2 at their leisure. 55 of the songs are slated to have the ability to transfer over (“Run To The Hills”, “Paranoid”, and “Enter Sandman” are exempt) - you just pay 5 semolians, follow the instructions, and the songs are then burned to your HDD as any other DLC song would. Plus, you can also delete individual songs, if there are some you didn’t particularly care for. Personally, after being forced to play “In Bloom” into eternity during the first game, I’ll take that as a very welcome addition.
Rock Band is slated to have over 500 songs available for download and play by the year’s end, which is relatively unprecedented. Where they’re going from Rock Band 2 is anybody’s guess, but there have been some rumblings about a music creation system in the works (though Guitar Hero: World 2 seems to have that base covered already).
Those of you lurking around the iTMS Games section may have noticed a recent addition for a Guitar Hero-esque iPod game named Phase: Your Music is the Game. The nice thing, though, is that this game isn’t just a rip-off of the GH formula, but a clever new game designed by the folks at Harmonix (and thus released by MTV/Viacom). One really cool feature of the game, as well, is that the rhythm action takes place to music you have stored on your iPod. Get it? Your music IS the game.
Phase is currently on sale for $4.99 at the iTunes Music Store.
Read More | iTunes
The Official Xbox Magazine’s podcast has an interview this week with Harmonix co-founder and president Alex Rigopulos about their upcoming game Rock Band. In the interview he talks about the game bundles, although light on concrete details he does confirm a band-in-a-box bundle that will include a guitar, drum kit and microphone. However, he goes on to say that the PlayStation 3 version will include a wireless guitar controller while the Xbox 360 version will have to include a wired guitar because Microsoft‘s wireless technology is too expensive to make the bundle reasonably priced. Since the 360 also has only two USB ports, the 360 Rock Band bundle will also be packed with a USB hub.
Rigopulos goes on to discuss the game’s career modes a little, saying there will be both solo career mode that progresses in a linear fashion similar to what Guitar Hero players are used to, but they are also including a less linear band career mode. In this mode you traverse to various venues trying to build up your fan base and in some cases return to previously played locations to maintain your fame there. Also it’s worth noting that the solo career mode will not include a bass career track so your options are vocals, guitar and drums in solo career mode. But Rigopulos did reveal that the finale songs for each career path (and therefore likely the difficulty distinctions throughout) will be different for each instrument, and he even said that at this point the drum finale will be The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”
Read More | KOXM Podcast
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