On this day in 2007, the original Rock Band was unleashed on the world. Having been anxiously awaiting for that day for quite some time, I rushed into EB Games to pick up my band set. The journey I would go on with that series is one that left an indelible imprint on my life. It’s also one that I struggle to see myself coming back to in a meaningful way.
While I’m by no means a life-long Harmonix fan, I’ve loved them ever since they rocked my world with Guitar Hero II. They’ve consistently made quality music games and supported them with great downloadable content, which puts them head and shoulders above anybody else in the music/rhythm genre. As far as downloadable content goes, no game ever has had better support than the Rock Band franchise. I have easily spent hundreds of hours (and dollars) on their products, and don’t regret any of it.
It looks like my money wasn’t enough to keep their operation going. Viacom, parent company of MTV and Harmonix, has announced that they’re going to sell off the creators of Rock Band and Dance Central.
Over the weekend, I watched my brother playing “Rock Lobster” on hard pro keys. He took piano lessons many years ago, but hasn’t played piano seriously in a very long time. Part of his desire to get Rock Band 3 was to use it to get back into piano and as a means of extending his learning.
Before he finished the song, I left. A few minutes later though, I heard (and then saw) something very cool that probably wouldn’t have happened without Rock Band 3.
Since I wrote up my initial impressions of Rock Band 3, I’ve had the opportunity to play a few more sessions, including one family party where this and Just Dance 2 were big hits. Harmonix did an amazing job revamping the game on all levels, though I’m of two minds about one major change to the game.
Earlier this week, my brother and I picked up a copy of Rock Band 3 alongside a Rock Band 3 keyboard. In the past, Rock Band launches have been monumental to us. For the first game, we pre-ordered our bundle four months in advance and were at the store just as the courier dropped of the shipment of Rock Band bundles. For the sequel, we lined up at a Walmart before midnight to get the game as soon as possible.
For the third? I kind of just went to the store and picked stuff up. I can’t speak for my brother, but my interest has waned dramatically in the genre. However, Harmonix is one of my favourite developers, Rock Band is one of my favourite game series and I get the impression that they’re trying to make this the ultimate music game.
For gamers, the most wonderful time of the year starts right about now. Most of 2010’s biggest games are set to drop between September and December, including the likes of Halo: Reach and Call of Duty: Black Ops. As a kid, this used to be the time of year when I would fawn over each hot new release as they hit stores and make sure come Christmas time, it would make it on my wish list. Ever since I grew up and started working though, Santa has had a horrible time trying to get me stuff, because I have a bad habit of buying every game I want the day it comes out.
While I don’t see myself grabbing Halo: Reach or Call of Duty: Black Ops, which will likely be the biggest games out during this time-frame, that doesn’t mean I won’t have anything to play. Off the top of my head, I listed a few games I’m looking forward to getting my hands on when they hit stores later this year.