It is only one
more day until what I view as my take on the "childhood Christmas"
scenario. That is to say that tomorrow is when I'll finally
have Rock Band in my all so deserving hands. I don't know if
I'm so "deserving", but I need that game and I want that game like
no others in such a long time. The last time I felt the need
for a game this badly was when I first played Guitar Hero at a
friend's home and knew that Christmas (when Velveta was giving me
the game) was so far away...
I just wish Rock Band
would be a game that Gamestop would break the street date on.
On one hand, I want the game, but on the other hand I think they
need to move it. According to message boards and other rumors,
Rock Band was starting to show up in stock rooms at various
Gamestops as of the middle of last week. With how small so
many Gamestops are, you can only think that this would be a
problem...big box (the bundle boxes sound pretty damned big) in a
tiny room...multiplied by 30 or so per store. It's the ideal
scenario for breaking a street date, but with how much trouble that
has caused lately with other games breaking street dates at other
retail outlets (ToysRUs comes to mind), I don't see Gamestop taking
the inventory clearing method until tomorrow morning.
My only hope for Rock
Band that has not materialized, yet, is that some more DLC gets
announced. In particular, I'm thinking that some Social
Distortion content is needed. With how all four basic elements
of Rock Band (great vocals, lead and rhythm guitars with strong
sounds, a well used bass, and some good drum patterns) are covered
so well by Social D, they seem like the perfect band to be used for
a different take on a punk DLC. Instead of just hitting one or
two types of punk, the Southern Cali punk sound could be hit upon.
Anyway, yesterday was
another great win by the Seahawks. Ok...it was another good
win. That opening drive was enough to eliminate "great" from
describing their victory. It's one thing to try to take Hester
out of the picture by altering your kicking and punting patterns,
but it's another thing when you give the opposing team excellent
field position for their opening drive. That type of setup,
where you almost give away a touchdown on the opening drive, is the
perfect thing to demoralize your team and set the other team up with
a major momentum shift.
At least the situation
was handled in time. It didn't take long for the Seahawks to
re-start what they only recently (as of last week) discovered;
scoring in the first quarter is a good thing). The Seahawks
may have started with a sloppy opening Bear's drive, but the
momentum never fully left the Seahawks. There was plenty of
scoring, and a final victory of 7 points (10 going into the final
few minutes of the fourth quarter) is a definite solid win.
I think, like I said
last week, the big difference for the Seahawks the last two games
have been one important factor; Alexander is out. I hope he
takes his sweet time to recover from one side of his body (knee,
ankle, and wrist) being completely messed up. With Alexander
on the bench, Holmgren has finally started to rely on the single
most consistent player of the season; Hasselbeck. Or should I
say the right arm of Hasselbeck. He has found receivers in
tight positions, and in the open, and has delivered far more
reliably this season than anyone could have thought possible with
his previous seasons. Hasselbeck is truly coming into his
own...and it's about time.
Plus, despite shifting
to a majority of passing plays has not equaled the death of the
Seahawks running game. In fact, Morris is really coming into
his own on the team. True, he hasn't had any triple digit
running games since becoming the starting running back.
However, he has come close. With an offensive more focused on
the passing game, he's been doing pretty damned well with topping 80
yards per game. In fact, at one point yesterday, Morris was
averaging twice as much per run as what Alexander had been achieving
It may be time for
Holmgren, once Alexander is healthy, to look into a different style
of running game. In other words, go with a two runner package
more often. Alexander may be the former MVP, but he is no
longer at the same level. He is 30 years old, and for a
running back that is close to retirement age. Meanwhile,
Morris is still pretty young and has an entirely different style.
Instead of strong arming his way out of tackles, Morris avoids the
whole situation with a great foresight for finding holes and
gaps. Throw in his sudden bursts of speed and you have one
hell of a potential star. He just needs to be given some
opportunities once Alexander is back...and Alexander needs far fewer
opportunities. Back in the 2005 season, I was one of the
biggest Alexander fans (and I still like the guy...he's a good guy),
but I was able to see that he is falling from his previous level of
amazing abilities. Why does Holmgren have such a hard time
seeing this? Isn't Holmgren the one who's job is based on
seeing this type of ability?
Anyway, a win is a win.
Better yet, a good win is a good win. Yesterday was a good
game for the Seahawks and it will help to keep their momentum going
as they close in on the end of the season. Luckily, the rest
of the season is leaning more towards the easy side than the hard
side. They only have two more games to face against division
rivals, and the Rams (despite some recent success) are still a joke.
The only thing in the way of another divisional title is Arizona.
They have been having a bit of fortune (especially compared to the
previous half dozen seasons), but I think they still will fall in
the NFC West to the Seahawks. In fact, I think the Seahawks
still have the potential to end with a good looking record.
They may be 6-4 (and only one game up on Arizona), but that can
easily still be a 10-6 or even a 12-4 record when January rolls
The only real question, in my eyes, is this; what will happen when
Alexander demands to be let back into the game, despite not being
ready? Will Holmgren do the smart thing, or will he once again
let his past respect for the guy ruin the balance of a pass friendly
Rock Band is
beyond awesome. However, there are a few warnings that need to
be stated. I would go over the whole game (good and bad), but
the good speaks for itself. This game is definitely a 9.5/10
in my book. However, there are two issues you need to be aware
of to play this game.
cannot add or drop band members on the fly on offline co-op tour
mode. I don't know if I'm missing something, but Bastich and I
looked for quite some time and found no way (beyond forming a new
band) to change what part he was playing. We tried to make a
four person band, with just the two of us, and dropping out the
extra people. Sadly, if you drop them, they were still
required to start the song and probably to play the song (equaling
instant failure). That will seem minor in many instances,
until you get worn down on one instrument and need to change (or
want to try something new with the same band you've grown to love).
Second off, the
guitar may or may not have issues. As I type this, I'm waiting
for Bastich, who is going to hook me up with a quick shot of
compressed air. My down strum keeps double strumming in a way
that makes down strumming impossible (well, it's possible but you
break all combos by strumming two quick successive notes).
EA's support site, the solution may be as simple as a shot of
compressed air into the strum bar. Since my guitar failed
after about three good hours, I'm hoping that some dust merely
settles into the mechanism. I should know soon enough...too
bad my last can of compressed air is running on a whisper.
However, that little whisper did seem to help some (the problem was
no longer constant), so I may be in luck. Just remember to try
this out (the compressed air) if your strum goes out...but if that
fails, the GH3 wireless controller is a nice quick
replacement...especially since the RB controller has a very short
leash (USB cable).
Last of all, and
this is a good thing (ok...I had to say one), songs you download (I
got the Metallica and Queens of the Stone Age packs) are included
into the co-op tour mode. You never know, when playing a set
in which the audience picks the songs, when you may find some good
old thrash (Metallica) to kick your overly confident ass. Good
times when someone decides to move to hard (when they are a medium
player) because medium is a hair too easy...and then you see the
dreaded words of "Metallica" on the screen. Good songs, but
definitely not for the unprepared.
Anyway, I also got
Mass Effect yesterday...but it will not be played until I'm alone.
When people are around me, which has been constant for the last
couple of days, it's all about the rock. I should have some
more thoughts later on on both Rock Band (does air fix the guitar
strum?) and Mass Effect...but with Thanksgiving tomorrow, and the
weekend being dedicated to Rock Band, it may take a few days.
Happy day of
gorging on the plate presented to you tomorrow.