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Malik (12/1/08)

I'm back from my glorious four day weekend. Glorious for both being a long weekend and for being a weekend filled with beer, food, making beer, and all that good stuff that represents Thanksgiving (overindulgence).

The weekend started with Thursdays Seahawks game. I would go into detail, but it is all the same. Seattle only pulled out one surprise; with the better part of ten sacks (I think it was seven or eight), Hasselbeck didn't die on the field. Beyond that, the offense sucked, the offensive line still wasn't present, and the defense was a joke.

I'm glad, about now, that I've officially stopped caring for this season. I'll still watch and be happy when a good thing happens...but I'm not going to let the Seahawks disappoint me anymore this year. The only thing that could evoke a strong feeling of dread would be a serious injury that would run into next season.


Malik (12/3/08)

The new Rock Band DLC is better than I expected. However, since I expected pure shit, it's not saying much.

To be fair, the foreign songs (including Tokio Hotel or whatever the Monsoon people are called) are pretty good on guitar. Ready Set Good! (Tokio Hotel) is a lot like Monsoon, but with slightly different chords. Other than that, the other foreign songs are good fun for expert guitar. They are all various blasts of nostalgic rock goodness. In particular, Hay Poco Rock n Roll (I think that's the name) is awesome. Think along the lines of classic Rolling Stones melded with 80's rock on the guitar part.

Of course the foreign songs will probably not see much full band time with my usual four person band. Main reason being that the vocals will be torture. It's only so easy to sing in a new language before you realize that you're in a different tongue and are about to fail with a lack of skill.

I can also say, surprisingly, the guitar part of the free song this week is fun. The song itself grates on my nerves since it's Nickelodeon bubble gum crap. However, the constantly shifting chords offers a bit of variety to keep the guitarist happy in the end. Too bad I still can't find the will to play with the sound muted, so this will only exist on my HDD for one reason; variety is increased on random sets.

The other Nickelodeon poop (Naked Brothers Band) will not find it's way to may HDD. I did give a watch to the expert guitar youtube videos posted by Npeaen. While the charts don't look too bad for 80MP, it still doesn't make the songs tolerable in the least. I Don't Want to Go to School, in particular, is horrible on the ears.

As for the two more American of songs (I think both bands are American...if not, who cares), they are not bad. Well, the All American Rejects song (like the other two tracks from them for DLC) can easily become a guilty pleasure (call it "my dirty little secret" to sound witty). It's pretty weak in terms of rock-factor...but still fun.

Tempted by Squeeze (the Cool For Cats band) is probably the only true must play song for a full band for this week. Unfortunately, it's lame to play solo on guitar. Just like with Cool For Cats, the guitar chart is almost absent. However, when you have the vocals going and get into the song, it's still a lot of fun.

So, for costing only $1 per track (except the free one), it was, surprisingly, a very solid week. We're also now at that mythical 500 tracks available to play in Rock Band 1&2. Nicely done on Harmonix's part to uphold the promise of 500 before 2008 closes.

My one big complaint for the week is that these Nickelodeon songs don't belong. The game is rated T, filled with songs that don't appeal to the same crowd as Nickelodeon music would, and nothing along these lines have existed before in Rock Band. To add them shows that Harmonix is being controlled by Viacom (parent of MTV and Nickelodeon). Afterall, the target audience was never present and then to add them as DLC will not encourage a purchase by a 10 year old just for these three songs. It's one thing to constantly add a new genre (or demographic), but a one time increase will not do anything for this audience...

...the only hope to see these songs sell abundantly would be for this genre of tween-bubble-gum-crap to keep coming along. Now that's something I think the majority of Rock Band fanatics can agree about...that it must not happen again.


Malik (12/5/08)

As I said earlier this week, it's a crazy time for me. Sadly, the largest impact so much chaos will bring into my life is the lack of constant posting. I still will aim for a few posts a week, but even these will be short and limited as I try to survive this month.

Anyway, it's now known that country will come to Rock Band a week from Tuesday. On one hand, it will be DLC, so if you don't like it, you can skip it. However, I have a problem that ranks up there with why I was not happy with the Nickelodeon crap.

Country is not a genre that's really in high demand on Rock Band. At least I don't think it is. There's no country already there, and to add some now, as DLC (which limits the appeal factor) and not on-disc, is to try to tap into a market that doesn't exist. It's not like country will kill the game, but it's simply something with a very limited appeal that's space and time (to program) would be better served on established favorite genres and themes. In other words, Harmonix will only be able to release so much DLC in a week, and it would serve their interests (money/profit) and the fans' interests (fun songs to throw money away on) to have this space used by something that would be more likely to sell and not something that would only consume limited resources.

Anyway, I hope that Harmonix at least releases something more traditional in the same week. Considering how the final Tuesday of the month is not matched with a Thursday (January 1st is a Thursday...the day PS3 owners would get the DLC), Harmonix has three albums (well, two albums and a pseudo-album) to release this month to fulfill their promised number of albums this year. So, my guess would be that the country day has to also include one of the two entire actual albums.

Anyway, next week we will be getting No Doubt for Rock Band. That was quite expected, since it's been strongly rumored for the last couple of weeks. The less expected part is that there are no other tracks. However, more unexpected is that the pack is now only 13 tracks, instead of the original rumor of 15 (or 16 depending on what web site you checked). Anyway, it's a good deal at $20 for all 13 ($2 each).

Considering that this will add another album (or a pseudo-album) and another artist not yet on Rock Band, I'm happy. The pack could definitely use less (or no) songs from anything after Return of Saturn (especially no Hella Good is needed), but I'll take whatever I can get for some more variety and fun songs.


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