Tag Archive: rock band

Originally Published: December 10, 2010, on Youtube.com/CGRUndertow

As a part of CGR Undertow, I was forced to review possibly the worst game of all time in Avatar’s Rock from the Xbox Live Arcade.

A Rock Band Breakdown

Originally Published: June 13, 2010, on PlayerAffinity.com

They are one of the most popular bands in the world and have been speaking to the youth of a generation for about 20 years now. Their music has even inspired a Broadway play. So it’s no wonder that the folks at Harmonix and MTV Games felt that Green Day deserved their own Rock Band video game. Unfortunately, all this latest edition into the Rock Band library shows is how soft Green Day has become over the years.

Starting off with the hit album Dookie that launched Green Day into the limelight, Green Day Rock Band features 47 songs that touches upon most of the group’s best hits as well as the near entireties of American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown. The problem is that by putting on so many newer, and in my opinion, inferior songs, they left out almost the entirety of Insomniac, all of Shenanigans, and nearly all of Warning and Nimrod, all of which were far superior to the red-headed bastard child that was 21st Century Breakdown.

And you can tell the difference in the gameplay. I have the entire set of instruments for Rock Band and made sure to try my hand at them all as I moved through my paltry three-venue career mode. I slammed down on drums and ripped away at guitar and bass and finally screamed till my lungs bled on the microphone. That is until I hit the 21st Century Breakdown section of the game and realized just how much Green Day had sold out when none of the singles were in the game off that album, (they needed to be bought separately on top of $60 you’re already dropping) and how slow and monotonous the music was that I was playing compared to the Dookie days.

I will say that the diehards of the band will enjoy the unlockable videos and rare still shots for three and five-starring songs and challenges as you get to see Billie Joe, Tre, and Mike back in their traveling bookmobile days as they moved from venue to venue. Aside from this though there really isn’t a lot to keep you coming back for more unless you are a Green Day addict. Include the fact that 47 songs is costing you $60, and most of the songs you probably want aren’t even on the disc, and that means this is a reach in terms of a purchase.

The audio is great, as you would expect since it is a music game, and the songs sound like they’re supposed to. Although I have to say that it is hard to keep a beat when all of the swears have been edited out to keep this a T-rated game and none of the character of the band can come through because of this censorship. If anyone has even seen Green Day live, they know that Billie Joe, Mike, and Tre aren’t exactly angels in terms of their language and on-stage antics. The game may look like Green Day and the game may even sort of sound like them, but this game is everything that Green Day used to sing about rebelling against.

Obviously, there is no plot to shred apart because it’s all about playing the music. There is a lackluster career mode that takes you through three venues and three distinctive looks of Green Day over the years as you try to unlock all 47 songs, but aside from this, the game is a glorified track pack. Even with the inclusion of some Tre Cool drum challenges this game is not worth a $60 purchase.

With that said, I would still recommend this as a rental if you are a Green Day fan and especially if you have friends who are fans so this way you can rock out together (at least on Dookie). Otherwise, this is just a reminder of how much these once anti-establishment icons have sold out.

I Wanna Rock!

Originally Published: October 29, 2008, on 1050ESPN.com (Now ESPNNewYork.com)

Growing up, you have dreams. You want to be an astronaut, a professional athlete, a scientist. Others dream of one thing: being a ROCK STAR.

Unfortunately, most of us have no real musical talent whatsoever and the farthest we get in terms of a record deal is our fantasies as we sing along in the shower with our radio.

This being said, MTV Games and Harmonix have come out with one of the most highly anticipated sequels in a long time: ROCK BAND 2.

The main problem with games like this is that there are usually few differences between the sequel and the original. So why should you get this game? Well, first off, all the great stuff from the original game is back like customizing your rocker, the instruments, and the awesome music.

The big difference is all the online and multiplayer interactivity. You can battle your rockers against a friend or online to rock out in ways never before imagined. Add in the hundreds of downloadable tracks and content and the game can keep evolving every time you add new goodies. If you’re a Nirvana fan, there is an entire package to download. Is AC/DC more your style? Not a problem. You can download their greatest hits, too.

Another awesome feature is that you can even purchase merchandise based on your personalized rocker. Imagine action figures, t-shirts, and other great memorabilia with your band’s name and logo all over it.

The main setback of all these amazing online features is that you do end up having to pay for it. The downloadable extra songs are $0.99 each, the same price as an iTunes MP3, but it could add up after a while and I am sure the personalized merchandise will cost you just as much as if you were buying anything from your favorite band.

So the real question is how badly do you want to rock? This is one of the most fun, and most entertaining games that have come along in a long time, but it is also one of the most costly. In the end, if you have the cash, and really dream of rocking out, then this is the game for you. The online community is unparalleled and the opportunities to battle are constant. If you are a little pressed though, I’m not going to lie, it can get expensive. The entire set of guitar, drums, microphone, and game is close to $200. If you already have these from the original, though, at least you won’t have to go out and buy them again as they are compatible with the new game. Personally, I’m tired of singing in the shower.

Ratings are based on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest.

Graphics: 9.0: These games are not developed to look pretty, but the folks at MTV and Harmonix did not want the pyrotechnics to fizzle out either. Plenty of the game’s power has been devoted to keeping the game visually stimulating even if it’s more dedicated to pleasing your ears more than your eyes. Very pretty game results in a great score.

Audio: 10.0: Now this is where the bread and butter of the game really come into play. Looks are all fine and good, but when you’re playing a music game you want it to SOUND great and boy does this deliver. Great music from bands whose prime is past and those who are still rocking strong today keeps your foot tapping through all hours of the night and there isn’t a single hitch to think of. Perfect in every way possible.

Plot/Plot Development: N/A: There really isn’t a plot here. It’s a simulator, much like a sports game except instead of trying to win the Super Bowl or the World Series, you’re trying to become a rock star. You choose where you play and what you play, but, in the end, that doesn’t really constitute a plot.

Gameplay: 10.0: No glitches to speak of and a pace as steady as the rhythm of the song you’re playing. It’s almost a workout if you really get into it. I’ve broken a sweat rocking out on the drums a few times.

Replay Value: 10.0: With all the online features and downloadable content, it’s hard to put this game in the corner to gather dust. Add in that whenever a buddy comes over and sees the instruments, you’re going to have yourself a battle 90% of the time. You’ll be rocking on for months to come.

Overall (not an average): 10.0: For what the game is, it’s the best. There is no better out there. With its constantly updated content (even if it is for a price) and some of the best music the world has ever seen, if you can afford it, this game is a must have.

-Ray Carsillo

Originally Published: September 16, 2008, on 1050ESPN.com (now ESPNNewYork.com)

It was one of the most popular games to ever come out for a home console. Following the trend of DDR and Guitar Hero, Rock Band took it to an entirely new level. With both bass and lead guitars, drums, and a microphone, Rock Band allowed you to gather a couple of friends and live out that dream of touring around the country with thousands of screaming fans, all from the comfort of your own home.

So how would they top it? How could they continue this phenomenon and continue to draw in not only their hardcore fans, but to extend it to even the casual gamer/rocker? I had a chance to talk with John Drake, a member of the Harmonix team that put together Rock Band 2 , to see just what they did to make Rock Band 2 bigger and better than the original.

Click here – To listen to my interview with John Drake a producer of Rock Band 2 .

After talking with John, I had a chance to try out the game myself and my initial review is that this is a chart topping hit in every way possible. Not only was the selection of songs larger, but the graphics were sharper, and the possibility of downloading extras for it made my mouth water at the prospect. I only had a chance to play a demo so I can’t give a full detailed review, but my gut instinct screams as I smash a guitar on stage that this is 10 out of 10. You can pick up Rock Band 2 for XBOX 360 now and expect it out on the Wii and PS3 sometime in the middle of October.