The causes of the great video game crash of 1983 were complex, but over-saturation of the market and poor quality game releases were major factors in the outcome. In the past two years, the once thriving music game industry went through a similar downturn. At one point, the genre seemed invincible, and yet it still crashed, hard. The similarities between the great video game crash of 1983 and the demise of the music genre are impossible to ignore.
Big news from Harmonix today: the complete set list for Rock Band 3 has been revealed! It's an excellent mix of tunes across five decades, and with the addition of keyboards, there's a bit more pop included. Don't worry, though, there's still plenty of rock and roll. We've also got a trailer featuring the new keyboard gameplay. But seriously, why are you still reading this? Check out the track list and tell us what you think!
The demo for the latest band-centric music game, Green Day: Rock Band, is now available for download. XBLA and PSN users can check out "Welcome to Paradise" and "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" to decide whether this title is worth the gaming buck this unusually busy summer season. But a preview of the upcoming Green Day game isn't the most interesting part of the demo.
The sales numbers for DJ Hero are in, and they are disappointing at best. 122,300 copies of the game were sold across all platforms. That's very low for a music game, especially one that was as heavily promoted as DJ Hero. Ars Technica attempted to explain the low sales, and fans of co-op will likely appreciate this particular reason:
LEGO Rock Band. It's a mix of two of the greatest casual game franchises. What could have been just a cookie cutter track pack is actually an innovative addtion to the Rock Band franchise. Adorable characters, hilarious cut scenes, and a fun song list will keep people of all ages interested. For Co-Op Casual Friday this week, we bring you our full review!
Last year we applauded Microsoft's entry into the music genre with Lips. Unique LED and motion sensitive microphones, plus a packed song list with plenty of co-op options made for a great party. Lips is back with the first sequel, called Lips #1 Hits. But is it worth your money?
If there was one thing holding Rock Band 2 back from being the perfect music game, it would have to be the lack of support for wireless microphones. A patch has just been released that fixes this problem, allowing rockers to use the Lips microphones (also recently released seperately) in a fully wireless environment. We're pleased with the addition of this feature, but curious as to why it took so long. After all, wireless mic support was announced last year!
Is the music game genre oversaturated? Some might say yes. I'd argue otherwise; there's still plenty of good music out there that isn't available in video game form. In any event, we have some details about Harmonix's upcoming cutesified LEGO Rock Band. Iggy Pop will be appearing in the game, as the tutorial voice, and also in plastic action figure form, as you an see above. Iggy's song "The Passenger" will be in the game's song list.
Guitar Hero 5 hits the shelves and the fall rush begins. What's new this time around? Is this just more of the same from Activision? Does Guitar Hero 5 redeem the franchise, from a co-op perspective? Find out in our review!
Guitar Hero 5 hit the streets yesterday, and now we now a bit more about the game. We were specifically curious about the import features. Rock Band 2 supported the import of the Rock Band disc songs last year. We loved this feature, and when it was announced that it was finally being added to Guitar Hero, we were quite pleased. Last night, I was unable to contact the servers to try the import, but USA Today has the info. Edit: Updated information below.
It's barely September, and the fist major game release of the fall rush is here! Guitar Hero 5 hits store shelves today, and is available for pretty much every console. Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, and PS2 gamers can rock out to the new and improved game engine today. I'm eagerly anticipating this one, and it's scheduled for delivery today; look for our review later this week.
As readers of the site know, I am somewhat of a music game addict. This means we have several fake plastic instruments lying around our house. After buying many, selling them off to finance upgrades, etc., we are now "down" to all Guitar Hero instruments. We have a Les Paul from GH3, a trusty ol' X-Plorer from GH2, and the latest and greatest (for another few weeks anyway) the GH World Tour axe. For the most part, we've been quite pleased with all these guitars, save a really sensitive tilt sensor on the Les Paul. Our drum set is from World Tour, and, unfortunately, a few weeks back, the red drum pad stopped working.
This wasn't a big deal at the time. My oldest son was away visiting family, and wouldn't be back for almost a month. So, the youngest boy and I played guitar together. The kid can play almost anything on easy, so it worked out great. However, a week ago, big brother returned. This left us with a dilemma of global proportions: who had to play the broken drums?
Now, you may be wondering, why not just fix the drums? Can't you go online and order one of those tuner kits from RedOctane for free? While this may have been the case late last year, apparently there is no way to do so now. Or, at the very least, I was unable to get one, after jumping through all the appropriate hoops I knew of. Opening up the drum set was not an option for me, as I am paranoid about breaking, shorting out, or otherwise destroying a rather expensive piece of gaming hardware. Paralyzed by fear, I left the drum pad in a state of disrepair.
I'm torn about Guitar Hero Van Halen. I love me some Van Halen, as a child of the 80s. They are one of the most popular bands of all time, after all. But considering this will be the fourth Guitar Hero title released in 2009, my interest was waning. (Which is saying a lot, as I am totaaly addicted to music games.) The news that Sammy Hagar would be absent, as would all of the songs from the era in which he was the lead singer, had me fuming. I feel some of the band's best music came with Sammy. Still, there's plenty of good stuff in the game, which of necessity includes pretty much every song you'd expect from the Diamond Dave days. And the reveal trailer did indeed get me excited, once again. Considering you can pick up GH Van Halen for free, I'm sure plastic guitar fans will be hoping for this game, spandex pants, and cans of hairspray under the tree this year.
The latest iteration of the Guitar Hero franchise, Smash Hits is exactly what it sounds like: a compilation of the best songs from previous Guitar Hero games. One one hand, the entire idea of a greatest hits game reeks of "easy cash grab", especially given Activision's reputation for milking franchises dry. On the other hand, these songs are indeed great, and they are fun to play, even the second time around. The true value of GH Smash Hits lies somewhere between these two extremes.
"So.. like.. we just got this press release, y'know, and like... it just about BLEW our MINDS! Like, totally. Taylor Swift is going to be in Band Hero, and I think I'm like.. gonna faint! I was all OMG I gotta txt all my friends about it! Like, awesome. She's so awesome I gotta get daddy to buy me this game! And maybe one of those... Wii things, or something? Check out the web site it's SO PRETTY oh wow... like... I wish I had her hair, y'know?"
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