There are a couple of rumored set lists out there for Rock Band 2,
one with 84 tracks on it. These lists have come from a cross
between long rumored bands, supposedly leaked lists from people who
tested the game, and those few songs revealed on X-Play last week.
I don't know what to make of these lists as a whole, but a few
things do stand out to me. The most obvious being that these lists
seem to sound, to me at least, more like GH4/GH:WT set lists than
Rock Band sets. For example, you have Metallica, Testament, Megadeth,
Mastodon, and a lot of other really heavy and metal songs. It seems
less like what we've grown to know RB to be about. It also looks
like these would imply that the final tier (with so many songs in
the works, I wonder if tiers will go higher this time or if we'll
just have more songs per tier than the usual five at the start) on
guitar is going the GH3 way...pure metal. Afterall, how else would
the final tier of guitar look when you have Metallica, Megadeth,
Mastodon, and other incredibly technical and
heavy guitar songs?
The other thing
that strikes me about these lists is what is included that seems out
of place. For example, Come Out and Play (Keep 'Em Separated) from
the Offspring was supposed to be a DLC according to sources in the
last few weeks that are close to Offspring.
Most of all,
there's a little something missing that seems unusual to me; The
Beatles. They have been part of the rumored RB2 sets since it was
first revealed that this prolific group was first rumored to be in
negotiations with Harmonix and Activision a few months ago.
Anyway, the most
important take home message from this all is one word; rumored.
These lists, as they stand, could be in the game...but they could
also be rumored lists that include songs that won't be in the game.
They could also be including DLC that will be released prior to or
at the launch of RB2. Until Harmonix gives their official word, I
don't trust any of this, and no one should. Yes, I would like to go
crazy for I Was Wrong (awesome Social Distortion song), Where'd You
Go (I do want some Bosstones), and a good deal of the other songs,
but it's too damned early to get hopes up on any of this. The only
lists to trust is the one shown on X-Play, and even that could
easily change if Harmonix wishes it.
The one thing not
being mentioned that I'd like to see in RB2, however, is the
definition of "classy" being revamped. I want to see some common
names fixed. I could go off about how "Malik" (my screen name in
many things for many years) is a real name and well accepted in many
cultures. Instead, I'd like to mention some names found in many
parts of rock and music in general. Names like Willie (a certain Mr.
Nelson comes to mind instantly), Dick/Dicky/Dickie (Mr. Vale made
awesome music), and any name that contains the letters that spell
out improper words despite not being the same context when used with
other words ("ass" being the most obvious).
I want my band(s)
and my characters to finally be free to be listed on the online
leader boards. I am sick of being the unseen member of a band or
having to take too damned long to make a band name because I used
some letters best not seen by puritan knee-jerking idiots.
On a final note
for today, I came across
one funny article at Kotaku. In itself, this isn't really
anything humorous. All it says is that Led Zeppelin is not
comfortable with their music being used in Rock Band or Guitar Hero
games. This probably applies quite quickly to all other rhythm games
(Rock Revolution, DDR, blah, blah). It all comes down to not wanting
their master tapes to fall into anyone's hands but their own.
First question I
have when seeing that is simple; would they license their music to
be covered by one of the Harmonix cover bands? If so, I don't see a
problem Yes, a cover of Zep would be lame compared to the original,
but it would still rock more than no cover or original. It's like
how we have a cover of various Rush songs, Last Train to
Clarksville, the Iron Maiden songs, and so on. Yes, the covers suck
when compared to the originals, but when the originals are not
available, then the covers are a damned bit better than nothing.
The part that
makes this humorous is that the answer is probably obvious; they
wouldn't let their songs be covered. This is all speculation in this
paragraph, but I think Plant, Page, and Jones would all say that it
would ruin the integrity of their work, art, vision, or whatever
buzz word is wanted. I
can't see any other reason to fear having a song of theirs in a game
that even Pete Townshend said is a great way to bring people
together. The part that is icing on the cake, or more aptly put as
"the punch line" in all of this is simple; Puff Daddy was still able
to skull f#@$ Kashmir a decade ago.
At least Harmonix
(I'll even give Activision some credit with this, as well) shows
respect to music and is not just out there to perverse or damage the
legacy of great rock epics and anthems (unlike Puff Daddy, P. Diddy,
or whatever the f$#@ he wants to be known as at any given time).
Gamespot has some
pre-E3 stuff on Rock Band 2. I can only think of one thing to
obvious new stuff, like anyone can play any instrument (I guess
Harmonix now believes that Dave Grohl exists and is not something
magical/imaginary like a unicorn or a proper note chart on a
Neversoft GH game). There's also no more band leaders, so you can
make and change bands pretty quickly without regret of having a bad
setup (like having a vocalist for the leader and then never playing
that band anymore since no one wants to touch vocals anymore).
Unfortunately, this also means that in a small way, bands are less
worthwhile. By this, I mean that a band doesn't really feel like a
band when you can change anything without any single element
(member) being constant. At the least, a leader should remain, but
be able to change instruments. That would keep the band feeling
Also, it looks
like all DLC is backwards compatible and forwards compatible across
the franchise, like we've known for some time. But, it also
looks like more hints are being dropped on being able to use all
RB1 songs in RB2...and I mean the core songs. I want to see how this
is done, since there is way too much room for piracy or weird DRM
bullshit involved. The way Harmonix deals with this may impress me
more than anything else in the game...even if it's not as fun to be
impressed by as the game itself.
There's also the
obvious addition, as we all expected, of BWT online. However, I
honestly don't give a shit about this. I think there's just
something about RB that requires a group of people to be together in
one room. Between the beer, the bullshitting, the socializing, the
bitching, the excitement, and the feeling of working together, I
don't see online being able to replicate the offline experience.
Then again, I'm lucky enough to have a solid group of two constant
band mates each Friday, and a few pretty regular alternates to keep
However, the other
modes have definitely changed. Solo tour is gone. Now we have Tour
Challenge. These can be played in any group size (one player up to
four) and have you accomplishing a set of non-linear challenges. I
almost see this looking a bit like BWT, but allowing for single
player fun. The challenges are supposed to focus on your given
instrument of choice in solo, and it will integrate DLC. This means
the challenges will never end, to some extent. While I'm already
overly hyped on this, I should relax until Harmonix fully divulges
what this mode means. Also, I'd love to see what the BWT will now
look like since Tour Challenge sounds a lot like BWT from the first
now info on a Battle of the Bands mode. It sounds a lot like a score
challenge, but whatever. Tour Challenge and BWT are all that I am
caring about right now.
No. That's a lie.
All I care about
is what has been said about the challenges...it will incorporate DLC.
This means that all mode should be able to do so. This means that
the expansion pack I dreamed up a few months back for RB is about to
be realized (but not as an expansion). The one part of the game that
always annoyed me was how little DLC mattered. It just feels weak if
it only comes up in random or self made sets. I wanted it in the
actual BWT sets. Afterall, I would prefer to play some songs a lot
less, but these core songs (like Dead on Arival) have to be played
in certain sets, with no way around them. This may still be the
case, but there's a good chance that there will be more sets out
there to keep up with never ending DLC. This will ensure, I am
hoping (and anticipating) that we won't have to face a choice of
only a few possible sets to play before unlocking another
group...and all of those few sets have something to fear and dread.
has won over my gaming soul. They don't have to do or say anything
between now and September and I will keep going ape shit every time
I think of RB2. If RB kept me playing for the last 8-9 months
without me wanting to stop, I can see RB2 doing so until my fake
Strat is pried from my dead hands.
I don't think any
of the new songs for this week are exactly calling for me. While the
music is not of the type I'd be down for (what is with Stadium
Arcadium Red Hot Chili Peppers? They do have some good old albums to
tap into), I still looked at the expert guitar charts.
On one hand, I am
not a Rush fan, so I'd need some damned fun charts to get me to buy
the Rush tracks. It's not out of the realm of possibilities, since
Limelight was fun enough of a chart to attract me. However, if
Working Man failed the first time, a new solo is not going to do it.
As for the RDCH
tracks, Tell Me Baby or whatever the name is of the track that's not
Snow (Hey Oh) looked dull. It's a bunch of simple single note
repetition. If it was a song from their older days (Other Side would
be an awesome RB song), I may have considered it. But failing on the
chart, the song had no hope for me.
As for Snow (Hey
Oh)...damn! I don't think I'd want to touch that song with a ten
foot pole. The expert guitar just looked too much like the expert
bass part for Green Grass during the second guitar solo, but on
crack. There's nothing too technical, like sliding scales, but there
are a lot of fast hammer ons that just look like they would kill my
will to live...as well as killing my left hand.
At least next week
will be pure awesome with The Who.