Sunday, February 17, 2008

Rock Band Hero

For Christmas, our family acquired (among other junks) two video games for our XBox : Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Of course, by now, everybody knows about these games, but since my blog is read by old coots and other clueless dinosaurs (if it's read at all), I have to explain that Guitar Hero is a game that comes with a guitar shaped controller and the aim is to play the notes of a song as they scroll down your monitor or your TV.

Let me open some parentheses for a minute here:

Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, right, and guitarist Joe Perry,
at the Tweeter Center in Mansfield, Mass.

Two years ago, Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry came home and found his youngest son, Roman, now 16, playing Guitar Hero with friends. "I played it a little bit and said, 'This is fantastic. Does it have any Aerosmith songs on it?' " Perry says. "The first game didn't, and I was hugely (upset)." Problem fixed: The first one-band edition of the game, Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, is due in June for PlayStation 2 and 3, Xbox 360 and Wii. GH: Aerosmith will track the history of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, who have sold 100 million-plus albums.

"It's got our whole career, from the first place we ever played as a band, Nipmuc High School (in 1970, about 40 miles from Boston) to the (2001) Super Bowl halftime show," says lead singer Steven Tyler. "It's 30 years of the legend of Aerosmith and where we played to get where we are."

Aerosmith can be played by one or two players, who start out as Perry and can unlock guitarist Brad Whitford and bass player Tom Hamilton. The entire band did motion-capture sessions so screen images would be realistic.

"It's a cartoon, but it's got all my movements and Steven's movements," Perry says. "You can tell it's Joey (Kramer) playing the drums."

OK, close parentheses.

Rock Band is based on the same principles, but it can be set up for up to four players and it comes with a guitar peripheral for lead guitar and bass guitar gameplay, a drum peripheral, and a microphone.

Each player is represented on the stage by a different character, which can be personalized with various ethnicities and clothes and haircuts, tattoos, etc.. As the band plays more gigs and acquires more money and more fans, it can get better transportation (private jet plane, for example), better instruments or private bodyguards, etc..

Since we got those games, our lives have changed and our popularity has soared. It's like karaoke, but worse, because you get to ruin the background music by playing the various instruments badly, on top of ruining the song by singing off key. My children's friends all love Rock Band and I have now irrefutable proof that I have no sense of rhythm and not much of a voice either. So if you can afford the game Rock Band, and if you can find it (there were some scarcity problems around Christmas), go ahead and buy it: it will change your life!

Rock Band vs Guitar Hero

Related article: Rock Band vs. Guitar Hero:

And this warning (click on image to enlarge) :

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