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Tag: rock band

Five iPhone Games Worth Paying For

I have written in the past about how Apple can be pompous with their public image surrounding games. I have also written in the past about the “bottomed-out” level of pricing for iPhone games, and how game developers (specifically the big-name, established ones) have struggled to adapt to and create for a platform where just a couple bucks is somehow seen as “too expensive”. I do think there is a place for “higher”-priced games on the iPhone (that is to say “higher than $1”), but I do agree that the expectation of the price and its respective deliverable is nowhere near its DS and PSP brethren. It is a completely different model where even the big guys have to think like an indie developer.

That all being said, I wanted to share a few games that I have purchased for my iPhone that I regularly return to and genuinely feel are worth the price — regardless of the developer type. These are not fun little applications that you load up once or twice, show off to someone, and never return to again. These are not applications that you pay 99-cents for and feel you got your 99-cents worth of value after a couple days. These are games that take full advantage of the platform they are on, and over-deliver on their value. Picking up any of these is a no-brainer. I present them to you in an order that somewhat resembles my feelings on that value compared with their price compared with how much time I have actually sunk into them.

(5) Wolfenstein 3D Classic Platinum (AppShopper.com Link)

WHAT I PAID: $1.99
CURRENT PRICE: $1.99

I played my fair share of Wolfenstein and Doom back during their original PC release just as much as the next kid. I was never super-into these grand-daddies of the modern FPS (back when the only term was “Doom-clone”), unfortunately, so I could not tell you just how faithful the port is based on my own experience. When you consider that John Carmack worked on it himself, though, I have full-faith this this is how it was intended to look and be played. The control scheme takes quite a bit of adjustment before you start cruising around — it uses a virtual control pad in the bottom-left like many games. Since it was always a very “2D” game with no real strafing in the first place, however, it carries over quite well once your thumb gets used to how it should nimbly and minutely slide back and forth. I have played it more than I thought I would, though I will admit that the sheer curiosity factor of playing Wolfenstein 3D on my phone carries as much weight as it does for simply being good.

(4) Rock Band (AppShopper.com Link)

WHAT I PAID: $9.99
CURRENT PRICE: $6.99

I disagree whole-heartedly with my buddy Bob over at The Appcast. Back on episode 39 of their show, a battle between Rock Band and Tap Tap Revenge 3 (then still a paid app) concluded with my choice as the loser. This could not be more wrong. Whereas Bob liked all of the avatar customization and modes in TTR3 and disliked the “vocals” part of Rock Band, I have had nothing but terrible experiences with the cruft of TTR3 getting in the way of enjoying it. Earnings credits to unlock songs that are totally different from paying (with real money) for them is not as direct as Rock Band‘s simple “beat this playlist and get the mystery song” setup, which (while it is terribly antiquated) just works. The bazillion things on-screen in TTR3 leaves me confused as to what I actually selected — it’s a MySpace-esque assault of terrible design aesthetics. It is slow. It is unresponsive in the menus. Its business model of paid downloads literally gets in the way of me trying to do anything when it takes up 60-70% of the screen.

I may sound like a fanboy, but that’s fine. Harmonix knows what they are doing, and I am fully on board with them. Rock Band is fast. It is minimalistic and yet retains its distinctive look. It is organized. If you are into downloadable content, it is cheap — two (bundled) songs run you a mere 99-cents, a huge discount from the $2-per-song price point that is standard on the consoles, and (unfortunately) even carried over to the PSP’s Rock Band Unplugged store. It is true that this game does not have the huge variety and raw number of┬á songs available in the Tap Tap Revenge series, but you have to ask yourself which type of game play experience is more your style: do you want random taps that could follow any variety of musical qualities of the song (TTR), or do you want instrument-specific patterns (RB)?

For me, the choice of a music game was clear. I paid the full launch price the day it was released, and while I do think it settled down to a more appropriate $6.99 since then, I do not “regret” my purchase in any way. When I am itching for a little drum action on the train ride home, Rock Band for the iPhone has me covered until I can burst through the door to my ION drum kit. That is the main “problem” with this iPhone version, though — when the full experience is waiting for me at home, the only time I ever play the portable version is during commutes. I cannot see myself sitting in my living room playing the iPhone version when I could get up and belt my little heart out. It is what you make of it, though; if you do not have the cash to drop on the full version, skip a couple cups of coffee and get the portable one.

For the record, I have no problem with the “vocals” portion of the game — I never expected to actually be singing into my phone, so while it would have been a “nice-to-have”, I do not feel any major loss with having to trace my finger up and down the pitch, instead. No, the performers cannot be customized like their cousins on the consoles, and no, they do not perfectly move in sync with the music. None of these things affect the base game play, though, which is the most important thing to get right in an iPhone game.

(3) wurdle (AppShopper.com Link)

WHAT I PAID: $1.99
CURRENT PRICE: $1.99

As one of the first games I picked up, wurdle certainly deserves a spot on the list. It’s simple, really — a bunch of letters are randomly boggled around in a grid, and you have to draw lines across the letters to form words. More than any other iPhone game, this is the one that I have seen groups of people get involved with (including a train conductor who stood behind us and called out a couple words). It is one of the best two-minute diversions you can find and you will lose more time with it than you choose to admit. There is always something to be said for simplicity, and wurdle hits a home run in that respect. What more can you say?

(2) Peggle (AppShopper.com Link)

WHAT I PAID: $0.99
CURRENT PRICE: $2.99

Depending on how how addicted you already are, even the $4.99 original asking price may have been a steal. The price has fluctuated all over the place since then, but it is well worth it no matter what the cost is at any given time. While I only dabbled in the game on the PC and did honestly enjoy it, this ultra-portable version of the game is exactly how I wanted to play. The wheel on the right-side to pinpoint your exact angle was a great way to compensate for the lack of mouse control. The colorful design looks fantastic on the iPhone’s screen. It runs beautifully, even zooming in to slow-motion with “Ode To Joy” as you hit your last block. It is the culmination of every bit of “casual” PC gaming since Minesweeper, all wrapped up in an absurd and irreverent aesthetic.

(1) Harbor Master (AppShopper.com Link)

WHAT I PAID: $0.99
CURRENT PRICE: $0.99

The “line-drawing” genre is one that has exploded on the iPhone. I initially saw Flight Control and thought it looked neat, but for whatever reason, Harbor Master was the one that grabbed enough of my attention to warrant a purchase. It is clear that my favorite games on the platform are the ones that take their simplicity and work feats of genius with a single, underlying concept — Harbor Master is no exception. You have a boat, you have a dock. Draw a line for the boat to empty its cargo at the dock, and draw a line for the boat to leave. Oh, but watch out for the boats hitting each other. Oh, and watch out for putting the orange and purple cargo in the right places. Oh, and on this stage, watch out for the pirate ships. Oh, and on this stage, take advantage of the fast-unloading dock but also watch out for the monster.

I have sunk more time into Harbor Master than any other application on my iPhone, most likely — yes, that includes Safari and various Twitter apps. Every other day I seem to hit a new high score on a stage, which drives me to want to play it even more. How fascinating is that? A game-lengthening tactic from the industry’s infancy (“beat a high score”) is what brings me back to this game. It is not about unlocking new stages. It is not about unlocking new boats. It is not about multiplayer (though that is also there). It is about the game doing the one thing that it does so well, assigning an obvious 1-point rating to each successful delivery, and making me want to get “just one more” each time. And everyone loves the tropical music that plays, too!

For reference’s sake, my scores are 182 on Cyclone Island, 135 on Fishing Bay, 127 on Monster Cove, 146 on Smugglers’ Reef, 152 on Cannon Beach, and 111 on Sturgeon Creek.

How about you all?

There are plenty of other games that are worth checking out. I still have not grabbed Canabalt, for example, and I know that Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor is worth a look. One of the earliest games, Fieldrunners, still has not made its way to my phone. I also can’t wait for the port of Plants vs. Zombies. How about you all? Which iPhone / iPod Touch games have you grabbed that you feel are more than worth the price of entry? How do you convince people (like our own buddy Andrew, who refuses to pay for a single iPhone app) that some of these are actually worth paying a buck or so for?

D’oh! “Rock Band” DLC Incompatibility

Not wanting to seem entirely biased in one direction (though it’s mostly true), it looks like I have to cough up a little disappointment due to the fact that in-game content and DLC for The Beatles: Rock Band will be incompatible with other versions of Rock Band, which extends to not being able to export from one game to the other.

This, of course, comes after I snarkily turn my nose up at the Guitar Hero franchise and its lack of compatibility between games from the very get-go of Activision’s take-over.

I will give Harmonix somewhat of a pass, since with the inclusion of new features like three-part harmonies, it might be rather difficult to process back into the single-vocal-track for the standard Rock Band games. I guess I was holding out hope that it would simply strip out the harmony parts and bring just the lead vocals over. If anyone could make that work, it would have been Harmonix.

I’m still waiting to hear whether or not Guitar Hero 5 is going to offer compatibility with World Tour DLC and especially its on-disc songs (since I personally haven’t purchased any DLC for it). As much as I don’t want to fall for Activision’s shenanigans again, the on-disc artist list is getting a little too difficult for me to ignore. Thrice, Brand New, Sunny Day Real Estate… graaaaaaaar! If I can bring my World Tour on-disc songs into 5, I might consider picking it up. Harmonix set the bar on this one, and I don’t know if Activision can ignore that yet again.

Was a podcast recorded last weekend? I dunno. Maybe.

They Just Don’t Get It (Let Me Play My Music!)

IGN has put up an interview with Paul Gadbois, producer at Beedox, the company responsible for developing Guitar Hero Greatest Hits in conjunction with Activision. This “new” game is not really a “new” game; think of it as a compilation disc of songs from previous games. That sounds like a fantastic idea in theory, especially since they note that songs that were previously featured as cover versions will now be updated to their master tracks, and all of the songs will be playable as the full band (vocals, guitar, bass, drums). There were a lot of songs in the first two games that I would love to see come back in playable form in the updated game engine, so you can imagine my disappointment as I kept reading.

IGN: Will downloadable tracks purchased for Guitar Hero World Tour work with this disc? What about GHTunes songs?

Paul Gadbois: Guitar Hero Greatest Hits (working title on PS3/PS2) will support the entire library of downloadable user-created songs from GHTunes and players can once again create and publish their own songs from the Music Studio. Currently, downloadable songs for Guitar Hero World Tour will work with that title only.

And it only continues to get worse:

IGN: Will there be any way to purchase this disc and import the songs into Guitar Hero World Tour (or vice versa) to have all of the tracks accessible at once?

Paul Gadbois: The 48 songs in this game will all be instantly playable and are designed to be playable off the disc only.

Excuse me? It is clearly using the exact same game engine and infrastructure from World Tour if it will be fully interoperable with the “GHTunes” library and service, so why on Earth will downloadable content for that exact same game engine not be accessible in this new game…?! I gave the jump from II to III a free pass when the previous game’s DLC would not work with the newer game, since a new company was picking up the reigns and developing from scratch. I was slightly miffed that World Tour would not import (even as guitar-only) the DLC from III, but I got on with my life.

This, however, is just another concrete showcase of how Activision views you as a consumer, and how lost of a cause they are for progress.

Here comes the inevitable Rock Band comparison you were waiting for (ignoring the Wii version of the first game, and all PS2 versions due to technical limitations):

  1. DLC purchased during the time of the first Rock Band is fully usable in Rock Band 2 the same way as it was in the first game.
  2. All DLC, regardless of when it is purchased, works in both Rock Band and Rock Band 2.
  3. The (near) entirety of the first Rock Band can be exported to your console’s hard drive for play in Rock Band 2, without the need to switch discs.
  4. While AC/DC Live: Rock Band Track Pack is a retail, disc-only game with its own gameplay, the music can be installed to your console’s hard drive and then used within the traditional Rock Band games.
  5. The upcoming Beatles game has just been given the name The Beatles: Rock Band, hinting at some type of interoperability with Rock Band games, and essentially confirms interoperability with instruments.

Sure, World Tour finally opened up interoperability with Rock Band instruments (and would even adapt the drum note-path from 6 to 5 notes when used with the Rock Band set), but that’s about the extent of the consideration I can speak to. There’s a reason why World Tour rarely gets popped into my 360. There are several reasons, actually, and I think you can infer anything I have not already touched up.

This lack of DLC interoperability is the modern example of what many of us were doing several years ago with Dance Dance Revolution simulators like DWI and Stepmania. Despite owning every single American PS1 & PS2 DDR game and a plethora of the Japanese releases, I found myself hooking up the pads to the computer to illegally play copies of songs that I otherwise would have to switch back and forth between two consoles and dozens of games to play. Want to do “Boom Boom Dollar” followed by “Cowboy“? Sorry! It would not surprise me one bit if some of the Harmonix folks went through this same process, because once you have all of your music at your fingertips (also see: having an iPod versus a portable CD player), you never want to go back, and it’s unfathomable to even consider going back to such an antiquated method.

At the end of the day, however, it all comes back to revenue for the game developers. Rock Band 2 did not quite hit sales expectations, while the Guitar Hero brand continues to perform incredibly well (especially on the Wii). Does this mean all that nonsense about interoperability, consumer consideration, games as a platform, etc. means absolutely nothing? Are they just the incoherent internet whines of a select few?

Rock Band Drum Casualty

Technically it’s not my first Rock Band casualty, since the whammy-bar on my guitar is busted… but that’s not really essential for gameplay.

Last night I was playing some good ol’ Foo Fighters songs on drums, and it was going great. Switched over to play Fall Out Boy, and BOOM… suddenly failing where I otherwise should not be failing. Doing some quick testing on the resulting menu, I found that the blue pad was no longer working. Everything else was totally fine, but blue was dead.

I checked it out further this evening, and found the following:

Yep, that’s a wire split right at the base where it connects underneath. Dammit! Not sure what to do about this. It seems like it’s something I could fix, but I’m not entirely sure. Anyone have experience with this kind of stuff? The fact that it’s split right at the base is the killer, since I don’t see much to work with and splice back together.

“Rock Band” or “Guitar Hero”: A Platform For Investment

Harmonix has done a great job of promoting Rock Band as a “platform”. DLC is backwards/forwards compatible (meaning it works in either the first or second game), and the same goes for the fake plastic instruments. You can even export the majority of songs from the first game right into the second game, something Bemani fans have wanted forever (helping contribute to projects like Stepmania and pirated collections of hundreds of step and song files from all DDR games).

That is exactly why the game has become such an investment. With everything working together so beautifully, it makes complete sense to say “Money be damned!” and go ahead and spend lots of virtual space money on the game, racking up a collection of dozens upon dozens of downloaded songs to play.

I actually briefly brought up this idea with my wife (hehe! fun to say!) earlier. She thought that maybe the term “investment” wasn’t really accurate, since you’re not, for example, making any money off of it. I think it really is accurate, though. For me, that return on investment is the fun that you get from having all of it in such a convenient mass (my time and effort is worth money, I say). There’s nothing more enjoyable in gaming to me, right now, than having a bunch of people over and having the awesome ability to scroll and scroll and scroll to whatever type of song any particular person wants to play.

Anyway, those decisions just got a lot more interesting with the release of Guitar Hero: World Tour. Suddenly you have two completely separate “platforms” that both work in the exact same way and perform the exact same function(s).

What is a music fan to do?

Unfortunately for Activision, I’ve already made a decision on what my platform is going to be… and it’s Rock Band. Why is this? Quite frankly, it’s because Rock Band was there first.

I am currently up to 247 songs available in the game, including 108 downloaded songs (which itself includes those 20 free downloads with a new purchase of Rock Band 2). With such a huge amount of entertainment at my disposal in that game, it makes little sense for me to start doing the same thing in a separate game that (like I just mentioned) works and performs in the exact same way.

This feeling is further heightened when you consider just how much overlap already exists between the games. In terms of straight-up on-disc songs, there are 13 overlaps between the two latest games. When you count DLC as-of this writing, you’re up to 19 songs. There has been very little pure exclusivity announced, so there is always a possibility that a song that shows up as DLC in one game could show up weeks (or even months) later in the other. Again, Blink-182’s “Dammit” was an on-disc song for Guitar Hero: World Tour, and even though Travis Barker was involved with that game, it didn’t stop the song from appearing as DLC for Rock Band just one week before their competitor’s launch. Billy Corgan has the exact same role in Guitar Hero: World Tour, yet “Today” appears on-disc in both games, and Rock Band already has “Siva” and “Zero” as DLC (in addition to “Cherub Rock” being on-disc in the first game). Guitar Hero: World Tour launched with Hayley Williams and “Misery Business“, but Rock Band was there first with Paramore’s “crushcrushcrush” and “That’s What You Get“.

This is why I am so frightened to purchase any DLC within Guitar Hero: World Tour. Why purchase it for that game if there’s even the slightest possibility that I can purchase it for Rock Band and add it to the larger, pre-existing collection of music?

If Activision wants to compete on this level with this information and these situations in mind, they’re going to have to do something that is horribly anti-consumer-friendly… bring in the exclusivity.

There are already confirmations of this with Metallica, and they’ve even noted that Rock Band getting an Aerosmith song took place before they grabbed the band for Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. The consumer (read: ME) would need this knowledge that there is absolutely no chance of them getting a band’s music in the other game (in this case Rock Band) before they would consider purchasing it for the new game (in this case Guitar Hero).

So what is the point to this tirade? Is it just more pro-Rock Band shenanigans from me? Possibly; I certainly wouldn’t deny that. If nothing else, it proves that Harmonix was the one with the foresight to plan for all of this and get there first.

Finally, as a brief follow-up to yesterday’s “Subtle Harmonix Genius” post (and pretty much falling in line with the above conclusion), they’ve announced that next week’s Rock Band DLC is going to be the entire Foo Fighters album The Colour and the Shape. It’s not the No Doubt pack I was expecting, but it *is* a giant pack of music from yet another artist that is also featured in Guitar Hero: World Tour, and that’s more or less exactly what I expected them to do (I just predicted the wrong artist :P).

EDIT: In thinking about this a little more this morning, I realized that I’ve basically described a typical video game console war… except the games, themselves, are acting as the consoles. Sure, we’ve always had this type of competition (especially in things like yearly sports games; EA vs 2K for example), but never has it reached the $200-to-entry threshold level between competitors (for the full experience, anyway).

Subtle Harmonix Genius

Hey, all. I’m back! I have a lot to talk about on whatever (and whenever) the next podcast is about gaming on a honeymoon, but until then, it’s business as usual for me.

(That basically means that I talk about Rock Band in some capacity, if you’re new here.)

So I picked up Guitar Hero: World Tour (game-only) Monday evening after getting back into the states. I was considering getting the guitar bundle as the new guitar looks pretty sweet, but since my Guitar Hero III one is still kicking pretty well and the whammy bar is the only broken component of my original Rock Band one, I’ll just hold out until something major actually snaps somewhere before I upgrade. I’m not going to talk about the new Guitar Hero just yet, though. I do have a whole lot of comparisons and such I’d like to make, but it’s not time for that yet.

I want to talk about some, as I’ve titled it, “Subtle Harmonix Genius”. Harmonix, as you may well know, is the developer of Rock Band (and originally Guitar Hero, before the four or so involved companies all got split apart, sold, acquired, formed new alliances, etc.). I’ve been keeping an eye on what Harmonix has been doing with Rock Band (more specifically Rock Band 2, though it’s all one big platform, as they’ve accurately described it) as the release of Guitar Hero: World Tour neared. It’s all extremely intriguing, and quite sly if you dig really deep into it. Let me give you a few examples.

Foo Fighters’ “Everlong” is an on-disc song in both Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero: World Tour. Months ahead of time (back in July), Harmonix began heavily promoting their game with “Everlong“.

System of a Down’s “B.Y.O.B.” is an on-disc song in Guitar Hero: World Tour. On August 5th, Harmonix made “B.Y.O.B.” available as DLC for Rock Band.

Nirvana’s acoustic (MTV Unplugged) version of “About A Girl” is an on-disc song in Guitar Hero: World Tour. Two weeks prior to the game’s release (on October 21st), Harmonix released a seven-track pack of Nirvana songs as DLC for Rock Band.

Travis Barker, current drummer for Blink-182, was involved with Guitar Hero: World Tour in that he was motion-captured and appears as a playable character/avatar. Blink-182’s song “Dammit” is an on-disc song in the game. One week prior to the game’s release, Harmonix made “Dammit” available as DLC for Rock Band.

The week of Guitar Hero: World Tour‘s release, Harmonix announced that the 20 free downloadable songs promised with all new purchases of Rock Band 2 would become available.

I haven’t even touched on a whole ton of other songs that are available in both games, via all sorts of combinations of on-disc and DLC (“The Middle“, “Lazy Eye“, etc.). Take a look at No Doubt, though. I’ll make a prediction and say that Harmonix’s promised “The Best of No Doubt (Rock Band Edition)” pack will be made available extremely soon, hot on the heels of Guitar Hero: World Tour and its on-disc “Spiderwebs“.

None of these are coincidences. These are all calculated and smirk-inducing examples of the genius over there at Harmonix. I can see plenty of examples of a potential Guitar Hero: World Tour consumer who already owns Rock Band looking down the set-list and saying, “Why buy the whole new game when I can just spend $10 on DLC and get just the songs I want in a game I already own…?

More Rock Band / Guitar Hero discussions coming from me will be on the topics of the series as a platform and choosing one side to make an investment in, actual comparisons between the two games and their gameplay, and a whole heck of a lot more.

No, there will be no Rock Revolution discussion. Sorry, Konami.

Top 10 Couch Songs In “Rock Band”

While this is a Top 10 list, it’s not part of a regular episode, so I won’t toss it over with the rest of the more formal Top 10 lists. This is instead intended to just be a fun little thing to put out there, and to coax Jeff and Andrew into making their own lists, as well.

In case you haven’t heard, we play the crap out of Rock Band. Constantly. It was like a part of me was dead on the inside when I had to send my 360 back for repairs and thus could not play Rock Band. One of the things we love about the game (series) is how amazing Harmonix has arranged the playable songs. There’s literally something for everyone. No matter what type of music you like (or think you like), there are a couple songs that you are dying to play on every single instrument.

I figured the three of us could take a couple minutes to jot down a Top 10 list, but in a different way from what we’ve done before. My list is going to be the Top 10 Emo Couch Songs In Rock Band. Admittedly, some of these are going to cross genres a little bit, but they’re all relatively part of the same scene (or evolutions over time). Both games are fair for this list, as well as all downloadable content.

10: AFI – “Girl’s Not Grey” (music video on YouTube)
What I like about the inclusion of this song is the style. It’s more aggressive than the majority of others in the same genre, but the vocals are of a different range, as well. It’s far from my favorite AFI album (that would probably be The Art Of Drowning), but it’s a logical and fun inclusion.

09: Jimmy Eat World – “The Middle” (music video on YouTube)
It was a pretty huge song, so it makes sense that it would eventually be whored out to all of the current-generation music games (it’ll also be popping up in Guitar Hero: World Tour and On Tour Decades). Every little bit of the song is fun to play; that brief pause after “It just…” totally makes you feel like a rock star.

08: Against Me! – “Stop!” (music video on YouTube)
It was literally just released as DLC this week, but it’s an awesome inclusion. It’s got a slightly funky drum beat to it, all of the parts are fun to play, and it’s a great song. I’m not even really sure what else to say about it. Don’t stop and take some time to think… just download it! Ugh, that was terrible.

07: 30 Seconds To Mars – “Attack” (music video on YouTube)
I don’t even particularly like this band, which is what really impressed me about the song. I threw it on a mix CD of songs from the game, and happened to really like what I heard. I absolutely loathed “The Kill”, and was shocked to find myself enjoying this one. I keep trying and trying to be able to do all of the singing and screaming parts of this song, but it’s just totally out of my range. I can’t do it. Grrrrr. Thankfully, it’s ridiculously fun on guitar and such, so it works out in the end.

06: All-American Rejects – “Move Along” (music video on YouTube)
The fact that I got Jeff to even remotely listen to a couple of this band’s songs is a testament to their catchiness. Their first album is probably the superior one in terms of hooks, but this particular song is a perfect inclusion. The opening drums are super fun once you get the hang of the pattern, and the vocals are at a perfect range for nearly anyone to sing.

05: Buzzcocks – “Ever Fallen In Love” (music video on YouTube)
I’ll admit that I actually didn’t know of this particular song until I heard Thursday’s cover of it. Their version is delivered quite differently in the vocals, but it’s amazing that you can sing it either way and it still works out perfectly in terms of scoring. The drums are really fun to play on this song, but my favorite part is easily the final “… ever fallen in love wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiith” at the end.

04: Paramore – “Crushcrushcrush” (music video on YouTube)
While “Misery Business” would have been our first choice of a Paramore song (which Guitar Hero: World Tour is getting), having this show up as DLC one day certainly wasn’t a bad thing. The drum part of this song is one of the easiest expert-level songs, which can really make you feel like you’re making progress with learning how to play. The vocals are deceptively difficult to get a good score on, mostly because you simply don’t have a lot of time to breathe in between lines!

03: Fall Out Boy – “Dead On Arrival” (music video on YouTube)
Those that were present the first evening that we had Rock Band will painfully remember my squawking along with Pete’s vocals on this one. Sorry. Take This To Your Grave is somewhat of a scene classic with its clever lyrics, and while this song is much more straight-forward than the rest, it was a great pick from the album. Bring in the (and I hate to use the phrase again) deceptively difficult instrument patterns (especially on drums) and you’ve got a winner.

02: Weezer – “El Scorcho” (music video on YouTube)
I’m a sucker for gang vocals. Add to that the fact that it’s in a party game which essentially obligates people to shout along? Sold. From the oft-forgotten album Pinkerton, this one’s another “easy” song in all areas, but its lyrics are so ridiculous and fun that it doesn’t matter. Definitely one of my staple performances, and one that I can actually 100% on hard-level vocals.

01: Dashboard Confessional – “Hands Down” (music video on YouTube)
When I heard that the game-titled tour was going to have a DLC pack in the future (and that Dashboard was a part of it), I was both excited and terrified. I was excited just to have some Dashboard music coming my way, but was terrified that it might be something much newer that I had no real attachment to. Reading that song title put a huge smile on my face, as does singing it every time. Chris always introduces the song as being about “the best day” he ever had, and I have absolutely no problem sharing in that with him every time we play the song.

How about you guys ‘n gals? What are you favorite couch songs? Jeff and Andrew… what are your lists going to be? ­čśÇ

More “Rock Band” DLC Problems…?

So this morning I tried to download another one of those songs that I’ve been dying for and drowning in anticipation for: “Under the Bridge” by a certain band with Chili Peppers that may or may not be Red Hot.

Note that I’m not really the biggest RHCP fan in the world. In fact, I don’t really like them that much at all. Especially over the last few albums, I feel that it’s VERY much turned into a monotonous string of the same music over and over. Does that say something for Anthony’s getting clean? I dunno. But that’s not really what I’m here to talk about.

Under the Bridge” is one of those new-classic-rock songs, having been one of the most played songs of the early 1990s… and quite frankly, being amazing. I was still a kid/teen in the early 1990s, and so I have the same rememberings and fascination with the song that, perhaps, songs from bands like The Who and such are for an older generation.

Needless to say, I hopped right on Xbox LIVE this morning to grab the song. It’s not like I was going to have any time to play it before work, but it’s the principle of the matter… I like knowing it’s sitting there already on my hard drive, ready to play when I eventually get home (have a meeting with the DJ for our wedding after work today, so my playing is getting delayed even further :P).

Clicked to download. 1%. Ran off to cook breakfast. Came back. 1%. Raised an eyebrow. Sound effect and notice that it failed to keep a connection and I would have to re-download. Huh. Tried again. Same end result. Signed off and back on. All other internets working. Tried again. Same end result.

Here’s hoping we don’t have another Moving Pictures-style “technical difficulties” issue, and it’s all resolved by the time I get home tonight…

Anyone else have any issues? How about you PS3 rockers?

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