Non-Flash Links At Bottom Of Page

Malik (9/9/09)

Things are more than chaotic for me right now. I'm back from vacation, but with enough problems in my life to make me feel like I need to be back on vacation again.

Anyway, I skipped all Rock Band songs this week. I'm interested in a couple, but my money and time needed to go elsewhere. Like with The Beatles and with the final chapter of Final Fantasy IV: The After Years.

Speaking of which, when I get time I'll post some thoughts. For now, however, I will say the final chapter starts pretty awesome with a feel of the second world of FF6. It's dark, gloomy, and heads in a whole new direction. The only problem, so far, is that you can't change you party despite having a few useful characters in your airship (like you ninja squad from Edge's chapter) and only four in your traveling party.

Well, there's one more problem. You can collect Small Tails for a reward as the first part of the chapter is underway. However, I may be screwed out of this one time reward that you cannot go back for after you reach a certain point in the plot. Why? Well, you need seven or fourteen small tails for one of two possible rewards. Well, after grabbing about 12, I checked my inventory and it said I had four!? Then I grabbed about five more and it finally said I had five!? I hope the trade-in of small tails still works for me since I have obtained more than my inventory says. If not, then I miss out on one hell of an awesome ability/item...all due to one strange bug. I guess time will tell, since I haven't met the person who trades you for these small tails yet to see if my game is screwed or not.


Malik (9/10/09)

Yesterday ended up working out to be a good day. I didn't have time for The After Years, but I still had some good things come my way.

First off, I played all of The Beatles: Rock Band. That includes the one DLC song (All You Need Is Love) that's out right now. I played most of the game solo, but my friend Bastich joined me for the last few venues on the mic. I didn't try anything beyond expert guitar, but I can say that the game is not exactly for challenge elitists on guitar. Maybe the vocals and drums get tricky, but the strings all seem to be rather simple compared to Rock Band. That's not a problem, however, if you're like me and like to have fun rather than trying to look like an elitist douche when you brag about your leader board rank.

The game is pretty quick. I mean it's 45 (plus one DLC) songs that average around three to four minutes each. An endless setlist of Beatles would not exactly be some amazing challenge. There's even an achievement for beating the game, from start to finish, in less than 24 hours. This shouldn't be a problem for a lot of gamers since it can all be finished in about two to three hours.

However, while I enjoy the game, there are some issues. The first is that it looks a bit different from RB. That's not bad in itself, and you do get used to it with time, but it seems the note charts are shorter (less time to see upcoming notes). Also, the vibrant colors are a bit hard to get used to. Still, these issues are minor and will remedy themselves with some playing time.

Another problem is the credits. Holy shit...the credits don't end. They go on for about 15 to 20 minutes, with everyone ever remotely related to the product being mentioned at least once. Major League Baseball gets thanked twice, if that's a good indication. Also, you cannot skip the credits (but you can pause). They are long enough that my wireless 360 controller did go to sleep half way through. Yes, only half way through did the controller time out. Plus, you may need to go through the credits to get the encore song (The End), and I didn't want to risk it by resetting.

Also, the game lacks any modes beyond story and quick play. There are challenges, but they are only the complete set for a given chapter in the story without breaks between songs. I would have loved something else, maybe to incorporate DLC into the game better. DLC, so far, is only found in quick play.

Also, if you got the free DLC code from Gamestop for a pre-order, I think it's pretty much bullshit. You can enter your code now, but many songs (all but one) that will be DLC are not out until next month, or later...and the list of the ten songs you can pick from are limited (including Her Majesty...a whopping 25 second song). Plus, if you get three songs from an album for free, and then buy the rest, it looks like you may pay almost the same amount that you'd pay for the entire album after the album discount. Then again, this is a Gamestop problem and not a The Beatles issue.

Anyway, I have to wrap things up since it's a busy night for me. Last night, Velveta scored two VIP passes to End Fest tonight. While I could do without Blink 182 (maybe if I was about ten years younger...or if they didn't record anything beyond Enema of the State) and Taking Back Sunday, it will be cool to see Weezer with some backstage passes and free food included in the deal.


Malik (9/11/09)

Last night I got to see Weezer. This takes another band off my list of "need to see at least once" bands. That was the good news. Well, that, and the fact that Weezer put on one hell of a good show. Between playing a good dose of old favorites (mostly from the blue album) and some of their other songs, there was fun. Add in a partial cover of War Pigs and a full cover of Should I Stay Or Should I Go? from The Clash to end the show and you have a strong performance.

The bad part of this concert, however, was pretty big. For one, I've never gone to the White Water Amphitheater before, and I'm not sure if I ever want to again. It's a venue a lot like Woodstock or, more local for myself, The Gorge. Which is to say there is one road into the show. It's a long road that goes down to a single lane in each direction for a fair amount of the time. This is leading out of a normal area of high traffic at rush hour each work day. So, when I say it too almost two and a half hours to get to our seats after leaving home, and we only traveled about 14 miles, it says something is just plain bad on this location. We were hoping to get to the concert early enough to take advantage of our back stage passes...which didn't happen since VIP stuff (included in our VIP passes) was stopped as soon as the last band before Weezer left the stage. We got to the show just as Weezer was getting on stage...which ruined the plan for free food, free backstage access, and some other fun.

Basically, in the end, Weezer was the opening act (or the main opening act) for Blink 182, so their set was also a short one (55 minutes). So, after two and a half hours of traffic hell, I saw one quick set and then ran like a mad man to avoid the traffic that would get out after Blink ended. Well, I also ran for the hills once Weezer was done since I figure I don't need anymore of the modern imitation Blink (since the band turned into a bad imitation of the modern emo bands before their break-up five years ago).

Speaking of music, Rock Band 2 DLC next week is looking pretty interesting. It's another big mix of styles with a few from Anvil, a couple from Dinosaur Jr., a couple from The Guess Who (which should be awesome for my tastes), and two from Tenacious D (at long last they get DLC).

I'm probably going light on DLC for a while since I'm hitting some financial road blocks with some car and puppy maintenance needed in the next couple of week. However, The D is a definite must have (even if Rock Your Socks is probably going to be hard as hell on guitar).

Also, on a final music related subject, I'll just say this; agreed!

Anyway, my weekend is looking like a mix of chores and trying to make some headway on The after Years. I've played the final chapter once since it came out, and I definitely have some catching up to do.


For Those Who Don't Have Flash Plug-Ins...

Rested XP    News    Reviews    Videos    Features    Forums    Archives    Search This Site    Links    Contact Us    Disclaimer

Non-Flash Links At Bottom Of Page