Rock Band 3 Reveal (via USA Today)

Really, the main focus of Rock Band 3 development was finding new ways to experience the music and actually doubling down, if you will, on our investment in compelling game play.

“We are adding a new instrument (a 25-key, fully functioning MIDI keyboard) and we’re adding a whole new mode, which is designed basically to answer that staleness factor.”

The result, he says, is “an experience that is both accessible to players who are just getting into this thing, and builds something for the hard-core player who is maybe a little bored with where music games are.”

This is one of the weirdest places I can think of for this news to be broken, but this has me so re-excited about music games. Stuff to look out for:

  • Drop-in, drop-out game play, change instruments or difficulty levels without having to back out to a menu.
  • A way to filter the songs in your library (which is getting huge in the Markel household).
  • Three-part harmonies.
  • 25-key keyboard instrument added.
  • Pro mode, with new guitar controllers with actual strings, drums where the cymbals are different hits than the drum pads, and two-octave keyboard tracks.

That screaming sound you heard was my wallet, begging for mercy.

(via ‘Rock Band 3’: What’s new, what’s notable – USATODAY.com.)

I Do Nothing Half-Way: Rock Band

Let’s talk about Rock Band for a second.

With these games, my passion runs pretty deep. I probably get in a good session every week, grabbing my plastic guitar or drum kit, finding some music to fit the mood, and playing along. It’s great fun and quite challenging.

It costs a little bit of money, but what hobby doesn’t? I’ve picked up a couple of guitars over time. I’ve bought a very nice drum kit to go with it. I’ve spent a good amount on songs to build the library. I’ve become pretty decent at the game, at least on guitar.

Nothing prepared me (or for that matter, my wife) for the Rock Band Stage Kit.

You can picture this in your mind. It’s evening. You’re having a good time pretending to be a completely awesome guitarist. You think to yourself, “Nothing is missing here. This is the experience. I’m playing the music.”

This is fine.

Now take that feeling and add an LED light pod, a fog machine, and a strobe light.

Of course, now you think to yourself, “What on earth does that look like, and is it awesome?”

It looks like this:

And yes, it is awesome. I bought it a little bit for the humor factor—and it does provide that in a way that makes one giddy with laughter—but I have to say that it actually does add something tangible to the experience. It’s synchronized to the on-screen lighting and the music.

I have heard from the Internet that someone out there has hacked together six of these things into one massive light show.

I have some research to do.

Things for Which I'm Thankful, Part Two

… my eldest son’s propensity for building things he has seen out of Lego. This is his take on Lego Rock Band:

There Are Changes and I'm Rolling with Them

I don’t know why, but this is my favorite Rock Band track for this week. How can I turn down a song with three awesome and very different solos?

This is an example of a full Rock Band track, with all four parts. The bass is on the left, lead in the center, drums on the right, and the vocal track is not shown, though the lyrics are at the top.

Because Some of You May Not Be Familiar with Fake Plastic Rock

I realize that not everyone who reads may have an understanding of what Rock Band is and why it’s perhaps one of the greatest timesinks I’ve ever run across. I post often about it and will even throw up YouTube videos of note charts for songs I’m really interested in. For those of you who might need a small primer, I present to you this series of videos and explanations.

Rock Band is a “rhythm game”. What that means is that you are handed some music in the form of a track playing on your television courtesy of a video game system. You are also handed a plastic instrument. The first game to tackle this idea handed you a guitar. In Rock Band, there are four instruments: Guitar, Bass, Drums, and Vocals. Each plays slightly differently. The goal is to hit the right “notes” within a certain “window” of a graphic crossing your screen.

The game comes on a disc with about 80 songs, and there are weekly releases of downloadable songs you can purchase and play. The songs cost $2 each, which is a steal considering you’re not only hearing the music, but you’re also “playing” it.

To save those of you who might not want to load everything, I’ll put the rest behind a cut; please read on if you are interested.

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