Goodbye speculation, hello LEGO Rock Band, the game you were never really expecting but you'll probably stand up and cheer for anyway. You know, like LEGO Final Fantasy. Or LEGO Fallout.
Improbable? Seems that way. I mean, the hypothetical legal red tape involved had to be staggering. LEGO Group, MTV Games, Harmonix, Warner Bros., Travellers Tales, Backbone Entertainment, another dozen I'm probably forgetting yet to be announced...what are the odds?
Like the LEGO-less version of Rock Band, this presumably kid-friendlier version with cute claw-grip plastic abstractions is due for the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii, release date vaguely heralded as "holiday 2009." Oh, and a version for the Nintendo DS, too. Sounds like a clip-on peripheral a-brewin', though the DSi's lack of an old-style Gameboy cartridge slot leaves the question of "how?" hanging in the wind. Ad hoc wireless peripheral?
Traveller's Tales, who've handled the trunk LEGO games (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Batman) thus far, will cover all three console versions partnered with Harmonix, the guys responsible for the first two Guitar Hero games and the trunk Rock Band series. Backbone Entertainment (they did Rock Band Unplugged for PSP) will work with the TT and Harmonix on the DS version.
Tracks teased so far:
"Boys and Girls" (Good Charlotte)
"Kung Fu Fighting" (Carl Douglas)
"Song 2" (Blur)
"So What" (Pink)
"The Final Countdown" (Europe)
The predictably upbeat and informationally tasteless blurb, courtesy Warner Bros.:
LEGO Rock Band combines the multiplayer music experience of Rock Band with the fun, customization and humor of the LEGO videogame franchise packed with brilliant chart-topping songs and classic favorites suitable for younger audiences.
Here's another, from LEGO Group veep Henrik Taudorf Lorensen:
We’re thrilled to offer another LEGO branded gaming experience that will deliver humorous and social play for families and friends. LEGO Rock Band is built around the same values of imagination and family-friendly creative role play that is present in other LEGO videogames. It will deliver innovative new elements of game play that complement the fun of the Rock Band experience.
And one final slice of vanilla enthusiasm, from TT Games' Managing Director Tom Stone:
LEGO Rock Band combines two compelling properties and creates an experience that family members of all ages will enjoy playing together as a group. Harmonix and MTV Games are the world experts in music gameplay, and we’re genuinely thrilled to bring the unique and humor-filled LEGO experience to their Rock Band universe.
Features? Build your own LEGO rockers and bands, travel around the planet to various venues, rock out in fantasy locations (yo Indiana Jones?), travel off planet (aloha Star Wars?), and I'm sure they'll find a way to sneak Batman and Robin in somewhere. The press release confirms what you'd expect — it'll be fully compatible with existing Rock Band controllers, and a few others too.
Questions. Why no PSP version? How's the DS version going to work? Do you mean DS as in DS-original-only? Or DS-equals-original-DS-plus-new-DSi? How's the LEGO version supposed to be any more family friendly? Isn't the original already? Will you be able to import Rock Band and Rock Band 2 songs and/or downloads? Export LEGO Rock Band tracks to other versions?
Now if they offer a LEGO version of Will Arnett dancing on stage with LEGO cards, scarves, and knives as Joey Tempest wails along with "The Final Countdown's" unmissable synth-Baroque riff, I'm probably hook-line-and-sold.
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