Not much to really
say today. I spent the weekend playing some Rock Band and playing
some real guitar. Since this isn't much to base a post upon, I don't
think I'll drag this subject out any longer than saying this little
On a small other
note before I wrap up this tiny post, I don't think the
Nintendo Wii Fit shortages are quite how analysts are seeing
Yes, the Euro is a
lot stronger than the American dollar. However, the way this is
being said (that North America is getting fewer copies of the game
than Europe for just this reason) doesn't hold water all the way. On
one hand, Nintendo could overcome losses from the weaker dollar by
expecting higher total sales (Americans do buy a larger volume of
games than most other regions due to number of gamers and number of
people ready to spend economic stimulus checks). On the other hand,
the Canadian dollar is pretty strong and Canada is another region
that buys in North America.
If there was a
definite shift to avoid weak American currency, then we'd see
numbers broken down a bit more (like 100,000 of the 500,000 in North
America went to the US and the other 400,000 went to Canada). I'm
more in favor to believe there's far more than this than meets the
analyst's eyes. For example, there could be a distribution snag, or
some other hurdle in the US. When you add in the higher import
prices and taxes for games in Europe (which is why Rock Band is so
expensive in Europe), there isn't really more money to be made just
from a stronger Euro.
Plus, when an
analyst sees something as true, I have to feel less inclined to
believe it just because of the usual track record of analysts. I
mean analysts were saying GTA4 would have been delayed beyond the
end of April due to various reasons (including that the EA buyout of
Take Two was already in place). Analysts may be paid to understand
trends in certain sectors, but the ones in the games sector just
don't seem to have a grasp of the material they are so determined
and expected to know.
hardware involved, 500,000 is still a nice large number of units to
push to market. If anything, I'd expect this was more of a testing
the waters type of thing. Americans are deemed fat and lazy, and
rhythm games (the closest analogue to Wii Fit would be DDR) are not
nearly as popular in the US than in Europe or Japan. I'd expect this
may have played a far larger role in the shortages than a weak US
dollar...I mean I keep thinking of the relatively strong Canadian
dollar as a perfect example.
Hero game is being focused on a single band. First there was
Aerosmith, and now there is
Metallica. On one hand, I am a Metallica fanatic...as long as
you don't count anything beyond the self titled black album. So,
this would interest me if not for one thing...
Metallica is not
fun on guitar games. It's just pure insanity and difficulty on a
five buttoned virtual guitar to play anything so complex. Especially
this holds true when the original songs are not nearly as hard on a
20+ fretted 6 string guitar as on the video game counterpart.
More than that, I
really cannot stand the way that Activision is really trying too
damned hard to milk the GH name for every last possible cent. Yes,
it's their right to take their property to do whatever they want
with it, but it seems to tarnish the name that was once so well
associated with well planned quality. Plus, it seems like it would
be better to just offer this type of material as DLC for an existing
game, like how Harmonix wants to do so often with Rock Band.
I've reached the
point in which I hope Activision and Neversoft just destroy all
credibility for the GH name. They are pumping out games like a sweat
shop operation, they add false difficulty, they are stuck in a cash
centric ideal (yes, all game developers/publishers want money, but
you disguise it like Harmonix does to make it look, and maybe even
be, a labor of love), and they seem stuck in a "me too" thought
process. The once mighty and proud GH name is now looking like
nothing more than a cheap two dollar whore.
On the note of
Rock Band, I saw something I really enjoy the idea of at a book
store yesterday. There are some people who are inspired to pick up a
real instrument from the Harmonix games. There is also an ideal book
to help with this, to an extent. Hal Leonard (a well respected
guitar instruction and tablature publisher...although I personally
hate their style of focusing on music clefs/staffs instead of tabs)
has released a book of guitar tabs and sheet music for a variety of
Rock Band featured songs.
While this is not
nearly enough to get someone to learn the guitar, it's a fun little
extra to start applying some skills that one may pick up to some
songs that are easy to visually and aurally identify. I would prefer
a less short-cut filled book (if you see the book in a book store,
just scroll ahead to the music for Should I Stay or Should I Go and
you should understand my dissatisfaction), however it's a fun little
book to give out the music for easily identified songs.
This book is
probably a few months old by now, but since I've just recently
picked up my real world axe again, I only now noticed it. It
definitely gives some credibility to people who argue against the
elitist attitude that rhythm games serve no purpose and are a waste
of money. It can be a good push towards learning a real instrument.
It's nothing like the game equivalent, but it's still a good
Not to mention
that argument that playing something like RB is worth the money just
for the enjoyment and socializing that can follow.
I didn't download
any of the new Rock Band songs. It's not that I don't want any of
them, but I've been busy with sickness and other things. After
seeing the youtube videos of expert guitar I could come to two easy
First of all, the
Disturbed songs look boring. Maybe it's because it's just not my
type of music, or maybe it's the note charts...actually, I think
it's both. I just don't enjoy the look of the charts, the solos look
very annoying, and the music itself just doesn't interest me in the
slightest. So, despite the ease of getting a pre-order code from the
new CD, I will not get these tracks at $1 or even two of them for
On the other hand,
the Jimmy Buffett songs all look like fun. I know I will be getting
them, but probably not until later this week. They look like pretty
fun of note charts (despite being around tier three), and the songs
are good nostalgia. If you grew up around anyone who enjoyed surfer
or tropical culture from the 1960's or 70's, then these songs are
bound to strike a chord with you. Hell, if you enjoyed Club Dread,
these will still be a good pack choice for you.
Anyway, I'm still
fighting the lingering effects of being sick. It's like an
aftershock after a major earthquake. I always have a little
something extra after being sick (usually a sinus problem), and it
just doesn't lend towards fun times when you feel like throwing up
every time you stand up.
You can follow this link for more info, since I don't want to
touch this subject too much. However, in short, Jack Thompson is
looking at a recommended disbarment for ten years. On one hand, it
will stop his ambulance chasing style to video game lawsuits. On the
other hand, it will free up his time to look at other pursuits (like
trying to push more video game censorship laws and such).
Since I've made a
tradition out of it, at least in my own mind, I'll make a prediction
now for what next week will see for Rock Band DLC.
It's a little
trickier than previous weeks with how we had two completely unique
packs (in terms of how they relate to each other). So, my guess is
going to punk or alternative. I think now would be a perfect time
for some 1990's alternative songs, with maybe some Nirvana. Whatever
it is, I doubt it will be from the 1980's (or at least the 1980's
sound) and it will probably be nothing newer than from 2002. It will
also not be overly heavy in sound, due to the Disturbed pack. It
will also not be anything overly light in sound, thanks to Jimmy
So, I'm putting my
guess onto the 1990's, with something in the punk, grunge, or
alternative pipelines. Either that, or it could be something even
older than Buffett...like the rumored Rolling Stones songs.
again, I have little to talk about today. I still haven't tried the
Jimmy Buffett songs, and I haven't even played any video games
(beyond the weekly Professor Layton puzzle) since last weekend. So,
I'll wrap this up for today by saying I'm glad that the
Getaway sequel has been canned. I really think the first Getaway
was the single worst GTA clone to enter into the gaming world.
Rock Band DLC for next week was announced. I don't even know
what to think of this. For one thing, I've never heard of any of
these songs or artists. On the other hand, it's called the MTV2
Pack, and I find MTV, MTV2, and all other MTV channels to be as
relevant to quality music as FOX News is relevant to the liberal
perspective in America. In other words, I will probably be skipping
There's also a
single track added in, but I see myself skipping it most likely
since it's another thing I've never heard of. I will give them all
the chance to show their quality on youtube charts Tuesday...but I'm
not expecting much here.
At least my
prediction from yesterday was 100% wrong. I didn't expect anything
so new, but it does still fit in my general feeling of it not being
overly heavy or old. The "not new" part, however, escaped me.
Last night I
finally got a chance to download and try the Jimmy Buffett song pack
on expert guitar. I would have tried drums (medium) and even singing
(easy or medium), but that's another story.
The songs are all
a lot more fun than I expected, even from the note charts I saw on
youtube. They are nicely fast (Volcano is pretty damned fast), and
have some very logical charts. They all play well and I cannot think
of a better pack for pure enjoyment purposes. Plus, if you're a
Buffett fan, then these are probably already in your library of DLC.
So, I didn't get a
chance to try anything beyond guitar for a very lame reason; my 360
is dying. I'll probably have to spend some of my economic stimulus
check on getting a new 360. I'm not talking about the red rings
here...I'm talking about something more lame, in my view.
The system will
load to the dashboard, but will usually stop there with some sort of
error on the DVD drive. What is causing this is obvious...my 360 is
very quiet. How quiet? Well, the drive will not spin about 19 times
out of 20. The only solution is a lot of rebooting and pulling out
of the power cord. Eventually the system will work...but it takes so
long that I lose a good 10 to 45 minutes each time I want to play
45 is the longest
amount of minutes I've lost in this annoying process. It's also the
amount of time I lost last night. This meant that I had only enough
time to play the Buffett songs on guitar, along with Cherub Rock and
Complete Control (my two favorite tracks for guitar). If the system
loaded correctly the first time, I would have easily had time to
play some drums and pick up the mic for a few songs. Sadly, it was
not meant to be.
So, I think this
weekend will see me entering the world of blowing extra money on a
new 360. I'll also enter the annoying world of having to log in each
time I play on my 360 if I want to play any DLC. Of course, now that
I'm in this lame position, I foresee my internet failing on me
constantly as I try to play the system.
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