An Ode to Rock Band

On one hand, the news of Harmonix’s last round of Rock Band DLC hitting today shouldn’t have stung me as much as it did. I haven’t picked up a plastic instrument in years and had no plans of going back. However, this franchise has left an undeniable mark on my life since its 2007 debut and it’s sad to see the curtains finally close on an old friend.

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Early Impression of Rock Band 3

 

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.

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Dance Central Full Track List Revealed

Yesterday, Harmonix announced the full track list for Dance Central. Despite my reluctance to buy a Kinect, this game is still very high on my most wanted list. Harmonix is one of my favourite developers and I’m really excited to try their take on the dancing game genre. If you’re wondering what tracks you’ll be shaking your booty to this holiday season, click through to the rest of this post.

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Is Def Jam Rapstar Hip-Hop’s First Great Music Game?

Hip-hop has historically gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to quality music games. While rock, pop and dance have been adequately served, hip-hop fans got DJ Hero (which was half not hip-hop), the obligatory Beastie Boys song in the rock games and Get On Da Mic (which was awful).

Def Jam Rapstar aims to finally bring gamers a good rap video game. I don’t know enough about the gameplay or feature set to talk intelligently about it, but so far it appears as though they’ve got the most important part right: the soundtrack.

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Dance Central: My Kinect Killer App?

I am not a fan of motion controls. I’ve made it very clear on this very blog. In particular, I have a number of doubts surrounding Microsoft’s motion controlled solution. While I think the idea behind Kinect is cool, I have concerns about how the technology works, the price (rumored to be $149.99) and the types of experiences being made available for it. So far, Microsoft is marketing this squarely at the casual audience, providing no shortage of Wii-inspired and Wii-ripoff games, such as Kinect Sports, Kinect Adventures and Kinectimals. As Darth Vader once said, “Do not want!”

After watching Microsoft’s e3 presentation, I was ready to avoid the Kinect completely. But if I told you I didn’t want to play anything the Kinect has to offer, I would be lying. I want to play Dance Central really bad.

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Girlfriend Gaming: Dance on Broadway Review

Dance on Broadway is a very interesting game. When Ubisoft scored huge with Just Dance, there was no question that they would capitalize on that success. What I didn’t see happening though, was Ubisoft creating a dancing game based on Broadway musicals. I’m not sure if there are enough aspiring Broadway dancers that want to live out their Hairspray dreams through a Wii game to justify this game’s existence.

Even my girlfriend, who just so happens to be a fan of Just Dance and musicals, was reluctant to pick this up. With only 20 songs on the disc, it’s not easy to justify picking this up at regular price. Thanks to a Wal-Mart sale that took 50% off the regular price, she now owns it and we’ve strutted and shimmied our way through a number of show tunes. I haven’t played through every song, but I think I’ve played enough to say if this one deserves a standing ovation or whether it should exit stage left.

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Pick Up Post: You Say You Want A Revolution

Over the weekend, I just so happened to be at an HMV when I stumbled across one of the most ill-conceived games of the last decade (if not of all-time). I have made fun of this game incessantly since it was announced in May of 2008 and have watched it fall into the absolute bottom of the bargain bin. I have seen stores have difficulty selling the full kit for $10 and the disc alone for $5.  At the price of $2 (which was the price I got it for), even I had to stand there and think about whether or not this would be a good investment. It probably wasn’t, but at least I can now speak first hand on why this game sucks.

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I Play Just Dance and See Why It’s So Divisive

Hope you had a great Easter weekend. For me, it was a great opportunity to spend some time with my family as well as my girlfriend’s family. As far as gaming goes, most of it went down at my girlfriend’s house, where my girlfriend, her sister, her sister’s boyfriend and I played a bunch of Wii games. We played a bunch of games, including the Beatles: Rock Band, Rock Band Track Pack Volume 2, Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 (which was really fun) and we beat New Super Mario Bros. Wii (which was epic, because we stayed up till 3am on Sunday night to beat it).

The one game I wanted to talk about today though was Just Dance. My girlfriend and her sister had been extremely excited to buy this game and finally picked it up over the weekend. Just Dance is the hottest new game on Wii, having sold over 2 million copies worldwide and garnering rave reviews from customers. However, the gaming press and core gamers have slammed Just Dance hard, claiming that it’s a half-baked product that doesn’t even work.

Now that I’ve played it, I see where both sides are coming from.

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Last Night, a DJ Saved My Life

The other day, I received my DJ Hero setup in the mail. Not having bought refurbished products before, and being a bit concerned over the condition of the stuff they sent me, I was very quick and thorough with my inspection. The game was opened, yet the disc and manual looked to be in mint condition. As for the turntable and mixer, it looked just fine as well. Considering the fact that I can’t even get DJ Hero used for anywhere close to what I paid for this refurbished version, it was a steal.

Come On DJ, Spin That Wheel

As a fan of music games, hip-hop music and DJ-ing, DJ Hero caught my eye the moment it was announced. At first, I had my reservations in regards to how it would control. Unlike my previous forays into video game musical instruments, I do have a bit of background in real DJ-ing, which skewed my perception of how it would work. While I am no DJ Shadow or DJ Q-Bert, I do have the ability to blend tracks on CD turntables and do some basic scratching. I was kind of bummed that the controller would only feature one turntable and I wasn’t so sure I was cool with having buttons on the turntable. It wasn’t until I got my hands on it a few weeks ago that I changed my stance.