I have little to talk about today. I mean there is talking about the
obvious of YYZ on Rock Band and how they'll handle a anti-vocalist
(instrumental) song...but I imagine it won't matter too much. Either
they will grey out the song if a vocalist is in the band (bad
solution) or give the vocalist a heads up at the difficulty select
screen ("you will not play on this song"; good solution since it
would allow it to be in a four player band set list). There's also
rumored music creation settings in a Harmonix game...but that's
a bad decision and I'll just ignore it as Harmonix finally trying to
one up the Neversoft guys (instead of the usual Neversoft trying to
one up Harmonix).
Instead, I'll just tell a little story today.
My mother recently got into rhythm games. It started with GH3 (when
she saw it at a gathering at my house about ten months ago). She has
a Wii, so she got the Wii version of GH3 and beat it on easy. I then
bought a new 360 (disk read errors made my original 360 unreliable
on the fly, but workable if you allow a little time to toggle the
power so the drive would spin) and gave my old one to her. I also
planted the all-so-evil thought in her head of how sweet Rock Band
Next thing I know, she has Rock Band and a new HDD in her recently
acquired 360. I have to say I'm pretty proud of her taking on the
game and blasting away at vocals and guitar solo careers. She laid
easy guitar to rest pretty quickly. That's when I told her that the
final tiers only showed up in medium (and higher) difficulty. So,
she had never seen all the songs on the disk.
This was a little nostalgic for me since my first game of Harmonix
was GH1. Another game that locked out some later songs when played
on easy. I, much like her, felt that the blue button and a fourth
finger being used were a sick joke from Harmonix. I even pretended
the orange button never existed...that fret was just too much over
my head to acknowledge. Being an expert player on RB, it's obvious I
got over my fears.
My mother recently made the jump to medium and has done quite well.
She's up to tier seven already. Stuck on Vaseline. That's when I
decided to go back to Vaseline on medium and see if I could offer
some pointers (it is a hard song when you first play it).
I know part of the problem, for me, is medium is slow on the scroll
speed compared to expert. However, this is not as obvious on most
songs as it is on Vaseline. That song has a lot of "walls-o-notes"
due to the strum speed being pretty similar to that on hard or
expert. Hell, the majority of the verses are the same as on expert
(green to a hammer-on red, over and over again). I actually was
stuck at about 90% note hit when I finished the song...a song I get
95%+ on expert when I'm halfway drunk.
I don't know the point of this story. Maybe it's to say that that's
a tricky song. Maybe it's me saying I'm glad to have a common game
with my mother (not many people in their late 20's can say the same
thing for a game not made by Pop-Cap). Maybe it's me saying that
Vaseline should be a higher tier, but it feels like Harmonix
overbooked the higher tiers (I think Suffragette City, Dead on
Arrival, Ballroom Blitz, and Electric Version all had this same
problem) and had to drop down some songs in level (but not in their
actual charts) to even out five songs per tier.
So, whatever the point I intended for this story, take what you want
from it. I should have something more normal to post tomorrow. At
least this story, if you didn't give a shit about it, wasn't my
other story for the weekend...one of helping a friend move in one of
the heaviest rains we've had in the Seattle area in the last four
It's another slow
day for posting, from the looks of things.
I can't look up even the tiers of the Rush album Moving Pictures on
Wikipedia. I think this has to do with some technical problems
keeping the DLC from being released when expected (2 AM PST).
In fact, I imagine the delay in releasing this pack comes down to
one thing; how the game handles YYZ and it's lack of vocals. I
would think that the song gets treated uniquely (not showing in solo
vocals, and maybe not showing in BWT if vocals are active or not
including vocals when performed). So, who knows when it will
go live. For now, it's a Tuesday without DLC for the second
time in Rock Band history.
I am also
expecting Tales of Vesperia this week, but with no call on my
pre-order, I'm guessing that it will not show at my local EB Games
At least the Live
Marketplace has something related to ToV. There are four free
DLC packs. Two include skills for two characters (one
character per pack) and two are free item packs. I doubt
they'd effect the game too much (low level items and probably low
usage skills). At least I can download them and...errr...
...why do I have
DLC but no game (ToV) and game (RB) but no expected DLC?
In fact, all I've
done in the last 24 hours seems to be watching a lot of the
Angry Video Game Nerd. I watched about four or so hours of these
videos last night and did nearly nothing else. If you haven't
watched this stuff before, I would recommend it...assuming profanity
doesn't frighten you...and some really bad video games from ages
long past don't give you horrible flashbacks of bad purchases.
So, without much
to say, I'll probably keep it to that little rambling chunk of
Ever wonder a great way
to cause a complete breakdown of all sanity on a message board?
There are some good ways that seem to make no sense, but the best
seems to be capable only by Harmonix.
If any of you
tried to check any Rock Band related message board for the last day
and a half, then you would have seen the fanboys going ape shit.
Moving Pictures has been delayed due to "technical issues". It is
still AWOL as I type this around 7:30 AM. If it was something like
the Devo and Duran Duran songs, then a few people would freak out,
but most wouldn't care. However, that all changes and becomes
magnified when it's an entire album of the beloved Rush.
I, personally, do
have to admit I'm disappointed. I'm not a Rush fan, but I like new
songs. I can get by with nothing new, but it would have been a good
time killer when my work is suffering from network failures and I
have the option of staying at work and doing nothing or going home
(having a good boss is a good thing). Going home is usually followed
by finding something to do. Do to Tales of Vesperia not being
available on it's ship date, that left Rock Band. However, I got by
fine with the fact that I could always get by doing what I normally
do when I'm home and slightly bored; some real guitar followed by
watching random shit on TV.
reaction on the message boards is beyond insanity. The threads
opening on the official Rock Band boards about this failure to
release Moving Pictures are being closed and locked as quickly as
the Harmonix moderators can. The message boards at GameFAQs are
being flooded with messages being removed by moderators. It's like
the fanboys (be them RB or Rush fanboys) are coming out of the
woodwork to spread a special dose of insanity.
The songs will be
released, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it delayed until next
Tuesday. I still think the key issue is with a lack of vocals on YYZ.
The only other explanations I would be able to think of are;
Something is being
tweaked to replace Tom Sawyer on the normal sets with the new master
track, assuming you downloaded it. This would be a cool feature to
add, but not worth the hassle of driving fanboys crazy.
The second option
is the classic "someone spilled some coffee on the server and it's
fried" type of thing. In other words, random technical problems.
The only thing I
can think of saying about this is simple; Rock Band fans need to
chill. It's not like a single delayed pack will end the world. Also,
Harmonix may way to, in the name of damage control, toss the
salivating dogs (insane geeks) a bone about now. The best way would
be to explain what the issue is and maybe even hint at some future
DLC. At least that would redirect the energy of the masses and
answer some questions. However, in reality, Harmonix is one of the
best companies out there. No other company would offer so much DLC
for a relatively low price with so much consistency. Afterall, they
could act like Neversoft/Activision and offer a whole one pack per
month (or less frequent). It's almost like the average Rock Band
player has become spoiled from having too much good stuff coming
Anyway, by the
time I post this, I should have ToV. So, at least I'm set for a good
afternoon of gaming.
Some info was released
in the last day at the Rock Band message boards on the albums
expected for this year. Ok...actually they released
a link to Entertainment Weekly, which was the exclusive place to
release this information. It's probably something to do with how MTV
likes things like EW, despite how Harmonix seems like they could use
the info directly at their site to battle their recent PR mess of no
In a nutshell, we
are looking at;
"...full albums by
Foo Fighters (The Colour and the Shape), Red Hot Chili Peppers
(Blood Sugar Sex Magik), Jane's Addiction (Nothing's Shocking),
Megadeth (Peace Sells... But Who's Buying) and Stevie Ray Vaughn
(Texas Flood), along with a specially-compiled No Doubt Best Of
I think it's safe
to say that some of the albums (Foo Fighters, RHCP) will definitely
not come out until September 14th at the earliest. I say this since
each of those albums have a song on the RB2 set and Harmonix would
look rather lame to release all but one song on an album and then
release the game later...with the missing song. For an easier view
of the albums, check
Also, according to
the Rock Band boards (sorry, no link), Moving Pictures is not coming
for a few weeks. However, something is supposedly going to still
come along this week to make up for a break in the DLC each week
streak. Even if that streak ended back in the spring when the Sony
store was being redone. I'd still be happy if they would just tell
us a hint of what happened. I don't even care if they lie about it
("a monkey threw some poop when we had 'bring a monkey to work day'
and it fried the servers"). I'm not upset about no Moving Pictures,
but rather I'm curious about what could be going on. It's like
putting a joke in front of us and then refusing to include the punch
line. Maybe that's what this is...a big joke. April 1st, however,
seems to be about a half year away.
something does come along this week, there is not much time left
with Saturday rapidly approaching. As long as it's not some more
music from American Mall, I'll be good.
Last night I
started playing Tales of Vesperia. After playing the demo on the
Live Marketplace, I was a bit worried about the balance in the game.
The boss in the demo was insane, and with no instructions (I wanted
to know the controls, at the very least), it was more than I'd want
to see from anything that's not an optional boss in a Tales game.
Well, the good
news is the game is balanced nicely. The better news is that the
game is, at least in my mind, the best damned RPG on the 360. There
have been some good RPGs (especially Lost Odyssey), but none can
hold a candle to ToV. The game looks amazing with it's anime cut
scene visuals in the actual game engine. The sounds are great,
complete with some good voice work. The controls are solid. The
challenge is about right. The plot is interesting.
In face, I think I
would have played the game all night if not for the need to eat
dinner at some point. So, I put in a good four hours and didn't feel
like I had done more than just started the game. That whole "time
flies..." saying holds so true with this game. I mean, the only
complaint I can think of (and this is not a valid complaint) is that
you don't get a mage for any of your first four party members. I
just want to finally see what the arcane arts (magic spells) look
like beyond healing and beyond a confusing and short demo.
Anyway, instead of
rambling about ToV for another fifty pages, I'll cut this short and
say I don't think and J-RPG fan or Tales fan will be able to
complain about this game. I'll also end for today by saying I'm on a
four day weekend. I may post if anything cool comes out of Rock
Band, but I will probably be too busy. Until Tuesday, this place is
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