Casual Friday: The Guitar Hero Rock Band
For PC World's latest
The Interactive Box Set
Initially, I made a couple cracks about how GH:A should be like some VH1 Behind the Music special. Playing some less-than-"G-rated" moments in Steven Tyler / Joe Perry's career sounds fan-tastic (like a battle mode while chasing the dragon, maybe?), but a deep dive into the band members'
The disc packs tunes from throughout Aerosmith's career and
Then there's the whole issue that you've really got to be a fan of the band. Personally, I'd like to see an AC/DC Hero, or Rolling Stone Retired Heroes--heck, I'd settle for Wham Sidekick (okay, maybe not the last one). But next time, instead of sound-bite cut scenes that last a couple seconds, really try
That said, wannabe rock stars (especially the Aerosmith faithful) will get their money's worth. But will gamers
Too Many Guitars!
Here's the scenario: We've bought the Guitar Hero games. We've signed on for Rock Band kits. Both are getting overhauled for the holidays with new gear. Add to that how Konami is finally getting in on the action by releasing its own take, Rock Revolution. That means three music games and potentially three sets of instruments cluttering up my living room. Great.
Now in a perfect world, all these devices would work with every music game. They all run off the same concept with the same colored buttons--why not, right? The cynical capitalist in me sees a pretty logical reason for the game makers to stick
Asked point-blank if
One Harmonix spokesperson puts it this way: "Harmonix and MTV Games believe in an open-standard philosophy of hardware and game compatibility...there should be interoperability between music instrument controllers across all music games." Thank God someone out there is thinking of the poor shmoe (me) that has to justify all this gear to his significant other.
Fortunately, Konami is on the same page as Harmonix / MTV Games. According to
Game peripheral maker The Ant Commandos crafts a number of these music controllers, and its latest, a Widow Maker bass guitar, works on both Rock Band and Guitar Hero. (It works on the PS2 / PS3 only because Microsoft stubbornly refuses peripheral licensing, but that's a whole other story.) The short version, according The Ant Commandos COO, Raymond Yow, is that "we try to work with game developers on all the newest games. Why lock the consumer to one platform or to one game? Open up the standards, and whoever makes the best peripherals should win." Amen, brother!
Form Your Own Rock
Ah, to heck with all this. I know exactly what to do with all those extra controllers lying around. I say we download some software and form our own band. No, I'm serious.
Guitar Hero Guitars: A San Francisco-based hacker band called The Guitar Zeros created software so that you could rock your own riffs on the game guitars. Plug an axe into your PC and follow the instructions on the band's
Rock Band Drums: You got your shredders, but you need to keep the beat. Andrew Rudson hack lets you plug
WiiMote Turntablism: Some bands need a DJ--and thanks to DJ WiiJ, you, too,
Band Aids: All you need now is any ol' microphone...maybe a cowbell. And some groupies.
With the tools for the job all jacked in, it's time to learn some skills. I found a bunch of music training games at Flashmusicgames.com--plus a couple of goofy ones at the excessively pink GirlsGoGames.com. So take your pick, go forth and rock!
Have a great weekend, people. I'm out!
Senior Writer Darren Gladstone geeks out over gadgets, games, and odd uses for humdrum tech. In other words, he's a nerd--and he's okay with that.