While it was a bye week for my precious Seahawks, at least things
turned out good for them. The Jets beat down the Cardinals in a
major offensive match-up. I don't think the Cards have ever been in
a game with such a high total points for both teams. Also, no matter
how much I dislike Favre (for his "I'm retired...wait...no, I'm not"
bullshit), I have to respect those numbers (6 TDs).
While San Francisco had a less impressive outing, they also
proceeded to lose to the Saints. This puts the Seahawks squarely at
a half game behind the tie for first place (but with a bit of
trouble since the 49ers do have a game won over the Seahawks from
week 2). Still, this is putting things more into the right side of
Unfortunately, unless Robinson, Branch, and Engram can really turn
things around, there's still some danger in the future. It will
start in less than a week when the Seahawks go to NY to face the
(somehow) amazing Giants at home. On one hand, the Giants are
awesome this season, so that will be bad for Seattle. On the other
hand, Seattle sucks on the East Coast, and that will make things
On a different note, I decided to get through the bass challenges on
RB2 this weekend. Let's just say that it's an easy ride until the
Impossible Bass Challenge. That's when you're hit with a lot of long
songs (Bodhisattva, Battery, Peace Sells, and Ace of Spades)
followed by my vision of a bass player's hell...Panic Attack. Panic
Attack is a nearly eight minute song with one hell of an insane note
chart. It reminds me of a less organized opening to Number of the
Beast...but it never lets up for more than about thirty seconds at a
time. During the guitar solos, it becomes some of the most grueling
bass you'll ever face.
I also went ahead and downloaded the single tracks (minus Sleater
Kinney) from last week. I skipped Moving Pictures since the only
song I'd want was YYZ, and it's not selectable for a whole band. The
songs are mostly pretty damned good, with particular emphasis on The
Cult and Bad Religion.
On a final note for today,
Fable 2 is now going to be launched without the online co-op
feature. What?! After all the hype, I don't like the thought of a
highly anticipated feature being delayed until a patch/update comes
out around the first week of the game. Since Fable 2 went gold so
damned early compared to it's launch date, I don't see why the game
wasn't delayed (going gold, not being launched) by a short bit to
ensure all functionality is there from day one.
Not much else to say for today, so I'll trail off about now.
wanted to play Rock Band 2. I have a lot of BWT stuff to do on my
solo band. Of course, I never transferred my DRM to my new 360 from
my old one, for reasons I will not go into. So, I spent the day not
playing RB2 just because Live was down for maintenance.
Afterall, I had
plenty of sets to do that would all come down to one simple
problem...random songs. If the random was a RB1 song, or any DLC
that came along after The Cars, I would be fine. Anything else would
kick me back to the main menu as my DRM couldn't be verified without
The worst part is
that I didn't play because of the purpose for the Live shut down; to
prepare for the next dashboard update. I have no love for this
update. It's easier to use, in appearance, for casual people.
However, I have no love of casual gaming and have no need to think
like a casual player. Avatars? F#@$, I don't use my Miis any on the
Wii (speaking of which, I haven't even used my Wii since the start
of the year...), so why would I care about the 360 equivalent? The
rest of the update seems to be changes for the sake of making things
backgrounds? Well, that seems to f#@$ over anyone who bought any
themes from the Marketplace. Avatars do the same for gamer pics. In
fact, all of these changes seem to be worse than having zero net
effect. They seem to be set to make life less fun for people who
bought pointless crap with real money.
Of course I'll use
the new update when it comes out in a month or two. However, I only
will because it will be required. If it wasn't forced, I would never
touch the thing. It's mindless change for no purpose and it's only
being implemented so that the 360 can feel more attractive to the
people who are still more likely to buy a Wii than a 360; casual
gamers. Microsoft has a strong following in the more advanced
(hardcore) of gamers, and they should keep embracing it...instead of
being some self loathing game console maker.
want more details
AC/DC Live: Rock Band Track Pack. As I type this, there's
promises of new info on the Rock Band forums in a few hours.
However, as I type this (before 8AM PST), I can't help but feel
afraid. It's a "pack" that is supposed to be $40 for around 16-18
songs (I forget the exact amount on "AC/DC Live at Donnington")...and
it's only available at Wal-Mart...? That sounds expensive and weird
in every possible sense.
game/pack/whatever is really a pack and is also available as a track
pack (DLC) for a realistic price point, I see this as Harmonix, MTV,
EA, and whoever else is involved all going to the dark side of
Activision Blizzard and Neversoft with their damned spin off titles
for Guitar Hero. The last thing I'd expect from Harmonix is for them
to make a spin off game. They seemed to understand the limited
appeal and how it would be easier to bring in more potential sales
by keeping the game as a single game with a lot of optional DLC.
Now, I shall sit
and wait while Harmonix eventually releases an announcement...
there was an announcement. However, since the Rock
Band boards have time warped, last I checked, to all posts after
9/26/08 being removed, who knows what announcement is around...
It was interesting
this morning waiting for an official announcement. Everyone, from
posters on boards to game news sites, had a different "official"
story on this. However, in the end, the official word seems to be
either completely wrong from the sum of all reports (guesses), or
completely right...depending on what side you put the most
credibility towards. In the end, the news, to me, is quite lame.
$40, only at
Wal-Mart (elsewhere outside the US), as a disk (not DLC), for 18
songs. That would be the most awkward and expensive DLC pack ever.
While The Who gave 12 songs for $20 (which would equal 24 The Who
songs for the AC/DC price), and RHCP gave 16 for $20 (32 for the
AC/DC price), and both of those (or any other pack for this case)
would allow selective buying (buy it all or get only a few tracks),
the AC/DC thing offers no choice...beyond "get all or nothing".
Plus, since the
game will be separate, it means Harmonix has finally intentionally
made a GH:Encore style game. They made a small game, with a too
large of a price point, and it's not going to be compatible (hold
on...) for the "real" game of RB2 or RB1. Yes, you can export the
songs to RB1 or 2 with an export code...but then why couldn't you
cut out the middle man (Wal-Mart) and save some production costs (on
the actual disk, some programming, and packaging) and get it as DLC?
I mean that is how the vast majority of gamers will take to this
"game". It will be as much a game as RB1 is now seen as a game by
most gamers; as something to rip songs from to use in the real
experience of RB2.
To say I'm
disappointed with Harmonix's methods on this is an understatement.
This is coming from a sucker who bought GH:Encore. I was stupid with
that, but I forgave Harmonix since it wasn't really the game they
wanted to make. It was more of a contractual obligation in the
changing of Neversoft taking over the license. As for this...well,
Harmonix had to have some part in this. At the very least, they
should have had the power to voice their opinions if this was
entirely handled by MTV and/or EA.
I just hope this
"game" tanks in sales. Not because I hold anything against AC/DC
(although I think my tastes moved beyond them about ten years
ago...) or Harmonix (who has generally done me so right), but
because I don't want to see any possible incentive, being a profit,
for this spin-off practice to continue. It's overpriced and just
feels poorly thought out.
To end my bitchy
rant for the day, the economy looks f#@$, my 360 will soon be f#@$
(in the dashboard), and I have no interest in playing any more RHCP
on RB2. Viva everything...or something like that.
F$#@ YOU GMAIL AND
INTERNET EXPLORER! I had to start with that. After typing a draft of
this post for the last 20 minutes, I find IE crashing due to the
recent changes with Gmail (which I type drafts on), and Gmail never
bothered to save my draft...despite how it should save once per
minute. So, I'll try to recreate this, but forgive me if I sound
rushed and impatient.
I am still angry
about the AC/DC Track Pack "game" after a night of thinking about
it. However, I think the blame is in the wrong places for a lot of
people. I imagine (my own speculative opinions follow) the deal went
down something like this; AC/DC, who will not split their songs in
digital distribution (hence no RB, GH, or iTunes in the past), put
down a hard option for Harmonix. Basically, they probably said that
either their music will stay forbidden or that it must be in a
format that cannot be separated into individual tracks. Let There Be
Rock was probably an exception because of this deal existing long
before RB2 came out. So, with that choice, Harmonix decided to give
fans the best they could, which is a separate AC/DC game that one
could chose to buy or not buy, instead of no choice at all.
Basically, they passed on a choice that was bad for them on the
fans. No one can really win in this, except AC/DC who doesn't seem
to care if anyone else walks away entirely happy.
Now, why does
AC/DC demand to keep material together? I don't think anyone knows.
Afterall, think of an AC/DC song...got it in your head? Good. I
imagine the theme of this song is either about getting chicks,
getting a specific chick, how awesome the chick was, or, most
likely, how awesome AC/DC is and how they rock. Why do I think this?
Because it's what all of their songs are about. All of them. Name me
an exception...I bet you couldn't. Even a comical song, like Big
Balls (now that would be fun for RB2), is still about them being
awesome and having awesome parties, despite the silly double
meaning, which comes down to them rocking.
I would say I'm
upset about the price ($2.22 is pretty high per track), the spin-off
game (lame, but Harmonix was probably not given a choice), or having
to buy at Wal-Mart (although that detail disappeared with the
official press release), but it's not that simple. Hell, I think I
would go down to Wal-Mart (or actually hit Wal-Mart's web site) and
buy the tracks there for $3 each. I would...but only if I could see
my real problem go away; buying all the tracks together. I only want
three songs from the whole pack. Like I said, all of these songs
sound the same and have the same theme (be it the "rocking out with
chicks" theme, or a more musically "rocking the E5 chord with heavy
distortion"), so I sure don't need a whole set of 18 of these. Just
give me Back in Black, TNT, and Dirty Deeds. I'd drop the $3/track
price or even go up to $10 for these three.
This forced buying
of a whole "album" is weak. This is like forcing one to buy all of
Texas Flood (album) for Texas Flood (song), even if you don't like
the rest of the material...which, might I add, is far more epic and
more reasonably forced together than the AC/DC material. The same
goes for The Colour and The Shape (which actually has a complete
theme, as the album plays out, of a relationship with a girl from
start to end). If I only want Monkey Wrench, why should I have to
buy all of the album? By the way, I sure as hell want that whole
album...which doesn't include 18 songs that all sound the exact same
with the same theme and the same love of E5 (a chord not too overly
common in that album...I mean Enough Space, the only song I
completely know on guitar from the album, only uses it 4 individual
times and only in the start of the solo).
So, my main
thought is that Harmonix probably was placed in a bad position by a
bunch of primadonas (AC/DC) who think their music is so much more
epic than it really is. Not to sound insulting, but AC/DC is as much
"by the numbers generic rock" as possible. The one thing that helped
to set them apart was two important facts. First, they brought a
very unique vocal style to their songs. Secondly, they brought the
energy that few other rock artists could keep going for 30 years.
However, energy or not, they still are not worthy of this
self-pampered bullshit that they keep showing the world.
If anything, this
has made me more appreciative of Harmonix (for offering a difficult
decision and stepping up to look like the bad guys through this) and
more tired of AC/DC, who I feel like I outgrew a good ten years ago.
You can only listen to how "we rock and we rock the chicks" so long
before you need something more fulfilling and less like the musical
equivalent of a bunch of empty calories.
another rehash of a Nintendo portable. The DSi is coming
sometime in the near future (November 1st in Japan, 2009 for the
US). It's another case of how you cannot have a Nintendo handheld
unless you have a thousand different versions, that all essentially
play the same damned games.
the DSi (as opposed to DS or DS Lite, and not a GBA, GBA SP, or
a GBA Micro, and not a Gameboy, Color Gameboy, Gameboy Pocket, or a
Gameboy Color...and don't forget a Super Gameboy or a Gameboy
Player) is the same console...but with a larger screen, a 3
megapixel camera, another lower res camera, and an SD slot to be
facilitated in music playback.
Of course, that's
at the cost of the GBA slot...which is also at the cost of enjoyment
for those who like Guitar Hero: On Tour. So, it's not just the
addition of pointless changes, but Nintendo pulled a Sony with a
loss of backwards compatibility and functionality. Bravo.
Do we really need
this? No. Will people buy it? Yes.
I hate this type
of crap. Not because I am dying of envy to get one for myself. No, I
just hate seeing more pointless crap added on to a game machine. The
microphone is pretty pointless (any uses I've seen has been tacked
on in feel), a portable playing video is usually bad (the PSP was
the least comfortable movie watching experience I ever had), and
quite frankly these additions only add to both the cost and the odds
of a critical failure (hardware crash).
I've said it
before, and I'll keep saying it; console makers need to stop putting
out revisions of a console. A new chip that's easier and cheaper to
make reliably is fine, but new features that don't really add to the
real game experience (like a new HDD size or a change for the worse
in backwards compatibility) need to stop. Nintendo, Sony, and
Microsoft, I implore you...make a console and just freakin' stick
with it for a whole generation.
Anyway, on the
note of stupidity...good comedy tonight is in store with the vice
presidential debate. I will spare all on this site about my
political views, but no matter who you are, you have to see the
comedy potential of Palin and Biden meeting. Unless you're blinded
by a strong desire to love your chosen affiliation blindly, you will
see great comedy as Palin stumbles and stutters, and Biden looks
like a deer in headlights not knowing if he could go of the attack
or if that would label him sexist.
The only important
thing I saw coming from
the Nintendo show they held in the US this week was small...it
looks like the Wii will soon be able to use the SD card slot as a
primary storage device. That is to say that one will soon (in
several months) be able to save games and DLC to the SD slot and
access them as if they were a HDD.
situation was one that required you to copy all files from the SD to
the system's built in flash memory if you wanted to use it inside of
an application. That was the equivalent of having a perfectly good
second HDD on your computer, but only one SATA or IDE port. You
would have to copy data instead of just using it when you wanted.
The most obvious
and important part of this new update will be that RB2 for the Wii
will be able to handle DLC due to this. RB2 is not alone, but
Harmonix is probably the single most obvious culprit (in a good
sense) I know of for dominating storage space on a console. I mean
my 360 HDD would be nearly empty if I didn't have any RB/RB2 songs
on the console. Having those songs, I run with about 1-2GB free at
Beyond the SD
implementation, I think the Nintendo conference/presentation was
mostly smoke and mirrors. That is to say that they tried to make the
simple and uninspired look awesome. We'll be getting another Fire
Emblem? We'll be getting Animal Crossing? We'll get a DS that lacks
a GBA slot and now has a camera or two? Big deal. This doesn't
change anything, but Nintendo sure made it sound like it is all
supposed to be the best thing since Mario first graced living rooms
across the world.
For my usual
thoughts on Rock Band DLC coming out next week, I'll first take a
Supposedly, Dr. Feelgood (Motley Crue album) is coming on the 14th
of this month. That, however, is all according to Motley Crue
and their people. If you go off of this type of source, there'd be a
lot more stuff in RB/RB2 right now than there is. I don't trust this
for another reason...Harmonix is good to their word, and they
already announced a set number of albums this year...none of which
was from Motley Crue. I mean this could very well be a real thing,
but it also could very well be a real thing for another year. Until
Harmonix says something, I can't believe it.
As for the real
straight from the Harmonix people...it looks pretty good. The
rumored six pack of Offspring, which then lost one (Come Out and
Play is on RB2), is now a three pack. Self Esteem, Gone Away, and
Pretty Fly. It's $2 each or $5.50 for the pack. It's sad to see the
loss of All I want and The Kids Aren't Alright, but hopefully they
can come along at a future date...maybe in a second Offspring pack.
Also, a few tracks
are mixed in. The link shows them all, but there's six of them at $2
per track. Some eclectic stuff (Harvey Danger), some faster stuff
(Static X), and some damned good bluesy rock in the long rumored Bad
to the Bone.
Even if you're not
a fan of some stuff on the list, it's pretty hard to be a rock fan
and not find something in this list to enjoy. Even if it's one
single song, something will probably call to you if you're not
completely closed off to all but one genre of music (sadly, this is
usually the people who I would have associated with as a kid...metal
heads). Plus, there's even a good assortment of eras and overall
musical themes. I think this is one of the first times (not counting
the initial RB1 launch DLC lineup) in which Harmonix really has
reached to as many genres as possible. While I may not be a fan of
some of this, I don't even think I could bitch about the big picture
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