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Malik (6/23/08)

Since I knew what was coming to Rock Band this week (Doolittle), I didn't even look at the announcements for DLC. Afterall, it's rare to get more than one pack in a week, and I assumed that an album of more than a dozen songs would easily occupy Harmonix for the week.

Well, as they say; I assumed and that made an ass out of something or other...

A three pack of Weezer is coming to Rock Band tomorrow in addition to Doolittle. So, we will be getting an extra three songs to keep us all extra busy in spending money this week.

I am definitely not complaining. Yes, I'm not the biggest Weezer fan, and if we saw more Weezer I would go with something more along the lines of Hashpipe, Undone, and In The Garage (may be slightly wrong on the names's Monday and I'm tired). However, this onslaught of extra music is nothing short of awesome. While we keep getting word of Activision trying something or other, it's good to see that Harmonix is still keeping the rules of their game obvious and true; a lot of DLC each week (ok...there was one week of nothing, but I'll let that slide even for their stupid reasons they used when the PS3 store was out of action).

Hopefully Harmonix keeps this trend going. A lot of music and for the selections and variety to never end. Now if only we could get some dates for some of the announced and rumored upcoming songs. Especially I'm looking at some more Nirvana, The Who, Offspring, AC-DC, and the Rolling Stones.


Malik (6/25/08)

I downloaded the entire package of new songs for Rock Band yesterday. That would be Doolittle and Weezer Pack 01. I also played through all of the songs and have some strong observations.

First off, these songs are all quite easy to pass on expert guitar. If you can do Creep and the weird middle (should be a solo) part of Maps, then these songs are all passable without any real issue. Most songs go off of either chords a-plenty, shifting single notes, or fast as hell strumming. The only real challenge would come in getting good scores on some of the faster strumming songs.

Sadly, these songs are actually pretty dull on guitar. The Greatest Man in The World (Weezer) has a lot of breaks from guitar playing. This applies to several other songs (Weezer and Pixies). You also have a bunch of very short songs on the Pixies side of things.

Ultimately, if you enjoy either of these bands, then the songs are good for you. If you don't enjoy the music, then the note charts will not change your mind and you should save your $20 for another set of DLC.

I'm not saying I regret buying them, since it's a good amount of new songs, and I do enjoy new songs being added to Rock Band. However, I think the songs already present in Rock Band do a far better job of letting you rock out to these two groups. Say It Ain't So and Buddy Holly both show off the fun factor for Weezer a lot better than any of the new songs (although Troublemaker is not too bad). For the Pixies side, Wave of Mutilation is definitely the sweet spot for the entire band.

Still, if you're like me and enjoy playing on expert and like random set lists in BWT mode, then these songs will definitely lower your chance of being screwed by the game with a set of all tier nine songs (my copy of Rock Band loves Green Grass, DLC Metallica, and Run to the Hills on random).


Malik (6/26/08)

One more thought on the Doolittle DLC that came out for Rock Band this week; if you don't have the achievements for 100% expert drums and/or up strum 100% on bass, then this pack will give you that. The song Silver is the perfectly easy solution for achievement whores. After all, these two parts on Silver are insanely simple. How much so? Well, go to youtube (I'm too damned lazy today to find the video myself) and search for "expert drums bass Silver" and you'll see.

In fact, the drums include a start of one bass hit every second or two, followed by one hit of g+y+bass each second or so for the entire song. I mean the entire song is the same rhythm of the exact same hits without any variation. The video for these two parts alone on expert is pretty damned funny thanks to captions added by the guy who posted the video.

The same is easily said for bass, except it's single note hits at around the same rate. The only difference is that these hits are held notes. However, if you cannot get 100% on this song for either part on expert, then maybe you need to just give up on the game. On bass, I could see some problems due to note shifts from green to orange, but the drums are easier than most songs on easy drum level...hell, it's easier than any song on easy drums. I'm not shitting you on this.

Well, as for my predictions of the DLC to be announced tomorrow; I see something heavy in the future. The era is harder to pinpoint since Weezer has all stuff from this decade and Pixies was from the 1980's. However, I do see something heavy in the future. Maybe the rumored metal pack, or maybe something along the lines of the Rolling Stones. Whatever it is, I expect something heavier and faster in it's rhythm.

Time for one of the usual Malik rambling Bitchings...

On a final note about Rock Band/Guitar Hero for today, the rumors of The Beatles possibly coming to one or both rhythm games is awesome news. However, I keep seeing a lot of posts on various message boards on how this means "teh crap" is coming. I find this hilarious. It's amazing how such an influential band from many decades past is now thought of as "old people" music. Yet, I see no complaints about how GH: Aerosmith will be old people music (despite how a lot of the true Aerosmith classics are from the era when the Beatles were still big and some obvious influences in the music of Aerosmith...even a cover or two was done by them of Beatles how Come Together was not originally an Aerosmith song).

As a fan of music, I just hate to see a band dismissed because of the most obviously known songs. Social Distortion is not just "Story of My Life", Metallica is not just "Enter Sandman", and the Beatles is not just "Hard Days Night" or "Love Me Do". The Beatles, in fact, had some heavy stuff (Revolution would rock on Rock Band), some insane stuff (Maxwell's Silver Hammer...a song with lyrics about a serial killing messed up student), and some damned epic songs (While My Guitar Gently Weeps). Yet all that's remembered of them by the modern generation seems to be songs that were played on their famous Ed Sullivan appearance. Considering the band last for a long time (well over a decade) and had written literally hundreds of songs, it seems like a true shame that they don't get nearly enough recognition in the modern age.

Then again, the same can be said of most bands who come to Rock Band. It seems like the common comment on Rock Band message boards is either that the new DLC sucks (if it's from the current decade) or that there's too much "music for old people". I think Harmonix is brilliant in including so many of histories greatest songs and artists. I just think it's sad that so many people seem caught up more on how old the songs are then in opening their ears to music that could very well have come along in the modern day. After all, there are so many current artists who do try to revive the older sounds of music (The Strokes, The Darkness, Jet, etc.) into new songs.

Music does not age the same way people do. Led Zeppelin is still awesome sounding today, old school Social D and Offspring still applies today (try Don't Drag Me Down from Social D and Tehran from Offspring to see two old and very relevant songs), and...well, I could name examples until my fingers cramp from typing. Instead, I'll just say, to fall on deaf ears, that people should expand their music tastes. Old and outdated are not the same word.


Malik (6/27/08)

Three words for Microsoft; about f#@$ing time!

Yes, Microsoft has finally handled the issue of transferring game licenses from one 360 to another. Considering how many people have bought new systems for various reasons (from old systems dying with non-red ring issues to people wanting Elites), this has been long overdue. There are some caveats, however...but aren't there always some technicalities with Microsoft?

For one thing, you can only do this once per 12 month span. So, if you buy a new console today, because you drive no longer functions (not covered by the three year red ring warrantee), you can make the transfer. But, if the Super Pwnage Elite system is then released in 10 months and you want that, then you have to wait two more months to make the transfer of licenses to that system.

Also, Microsoft says this is not needed for refurbished or repaired systems. So, what's the deal there? Is Microsoft finally going to do the transfers for you automatically when you send in a system for replacement. Also, what's with "repair"? It's common knowledge that you will not get your old system returned to you, fixed, if you send it off in the magical coffin box. No, you will always get a refurbished system of a different original origin.

Note: As I typed this last part, I went to the FAQ and saw that refurbished (or "repaired") systems get it done automatically now. Good job on not always being lazy Microsoft.

Also, each license needs to be moved to the new console. My question is if this means each "game" (as in only Arcade games can be transferred, not DLC), if each game's content is moved in one click (all DLC and games), or if DLC has to be moved one license at a time (if I moved my Rock Band DLC over to my new 360, this could take me more time than I would feel it's worth)? Since I don't care enough to move my licenses (I always have Live hooked up to my new 360 so I can simply log in to use it), I just don't care enough to move my licenses.

At least Microsoft is finally, almost three years later than they should have, looking at this most obvious of problems in the DRM era they helped to usher in for consoles. This is part of the reason why I used to, before Rock Band DLC, buy so damned little on the 360 Marketplace. I always knew DRM would bite me in the ass when (not if...there is never an "if" in modern consoles, and this even applies to Nintendo) I had to buy a new system to replace one that died on me.

Speaking of DLC and DRM and other acronyms and abbreviations...the new DLC for Rock Band for next Tuesday is a Cruefest Pack (Motley Crue, Papa Roach, and Trapt) at $1 per song ($3 for the pack), and a single free song (“Promised Land” - Vesuvius).  I was right about the songs next week being heavier in sound...but I really wish they would have gone with a better theme.  Maybe something very American (American Woman comes to mind) or Canadian (Rush or Sum 41, maybe) for Canada Day (July 1st...Tuesday) or the 4th of July.


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