Since I’ve been taking a rare weekend off, I took the time to download the latest batch of XBLA demos to check out the latest slices of (hopefully) juicy bite-sized gameplay. The results were mixed. Braid I’d actually downloaded the demo for this a while ago, but at that stage I’d been pretty short of time, and on getting frustrated with a particular section I had tossed it aside and gone with the far more immediate Geometry Wars 2 instead.
One of the things I like about Rock Band is that the DLC is regular, reasonably priced and à la carte - you can pick just the tracks you want and it doesn’t break the bank. Guitar Hero conversely has so far not released very much DLC, generally charges more for it (500 points for a 3-song pack compared to 80-120 points per track in Rock Band), and doesn’t give you the option of just purchasing the tracks you want - it’s the whole pack or nothing, making it much less convenient.
Looks like I could be getting my wish and Rock band 2 will be out in the UK before the end of the year: Yep, that’s a UK official Microsoft ad saying it, so I think that’s pretty certain (for 360 at least). So it’s November - unsurprisingly the very time that GH:WT comes out - makes sense. Woohoo - looks like we can look forward to having 500 tracks to choose from this side of the pond too, instead of a just the measly 400 (!
I just watched the Little Big Planet beta video that VG247 posted, and I have to say well done to Media Molecule for creating a game with a definite British feel to it (as well as it still looking damn interesting). I complained a while back about the overt Americanisation in so much of the output of British studios in recent years, losing a lot of the regional quirkiness that I think enhances content from any country, so I’m glad to see the spirit is not dead.
For some reason I was suddenly curious as to how much money I’d spent since last December on digital content for the 360, such as XBox Live Arcade titles and more recently Rock Band DLC. Of course you buy things in Microsoft Points on the 360, which like Wii Points and Disney Dollars are designed precisely to disguise how much money you’re actually spending. The PSN has my respect in this regard for taking the brave step of actually pricing things in units of real money.
Finally! I’d already had She Bangs the Drums in GH3, but it’s not one of the Roses’ best tracks and the GH3 implementation was, typically, not that much fun. There’s a small handful of tracks on Guitar Hero : World Tour that I would like to see in Rock Band, and one was Love Spreads by The Stone Roses. Luckily next week’s Rock Band DLC includes this track, so that’s one crossed off my list.
You’ve no doubt heard about the first tests of CERN’s LHC today, but the folks at Reddit are clearly ahead of the game on this and are making sure that the scientists are adequately prepared for the discoveries that may be around the corner. They’ve taken the prudent step of sending CERN a crowbar, a copy of the Half Life Strategy Guide, and a ‘training headcrab’, together with a simple note:
I just read that EA has decided to drop the RRP of Rock Band in Europe ahead of the PS3 / PS2 / Wii release this Friday, to £109 instead of £129 for the instruments edition (game is still extra). This is good, but I’m not sure whether it will be reflected in the practical price you pay; Play.com were already selling the instruments bundle for less than this lower RRP (£99) right from release in May (on 360), and Amazon matched it fairly quickly.
One of the latest items of news in the music game scene is that Sting is now confimed to be lending his likeness to Guitar Hero : World Tour, along with the already announced / leaked likes of Ted Nugent, Billy Corgan, Jimi Hendrix, and Ozzy Osbourne. Now, I can imagine marketing men getting excited about being able to include famous characters in a game, in a wonderful brand marketing / halo effect / leveraging synergy moment, but I look at these announcements and really can’t give a rat’s arse.
I blogged a little while ago about the soul-crushing tedium that was my brief, never to be repeated experience with EVE Online. Well, happily Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation has waded in with his size 9’s and had me cheering from the stands in between chuckles. Amen, brother Yahtzee, amen.