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Rock Band questions answered (some of 'em)

The folks over at Multiplayer used their "We work for MTV" powers to get some answers out of Harmonix about Rock Band. Of course, the fact that Harmonix also works for MTV probably aided them in this process. Ah yes, they even mention it in the post, so there you go. Anywho, Harmonix answered a few frequently asked questions (there should really be an acronym for that) about Rock Band that have been plaguing the community. First and foremost, there are no plans to offer other hardware configurations aside from the drums, microphone, guitar, and game bundle that has been circulating for a while now. In other words, if you'd prefer a bundle with, say, just a mic and the game, you're out of luck unless you buy them separately (which is still cheaper than the monster bundle). Also of note, the 360 bundle (with a wired guitar, remember) comes with a USB hub for all those other instruments. Finally, for those with Guitar Hero II X-plorers lying around, 3rd party guitars and peripherals should work just fine with Rock Band. We're sure it won't take long for peripheral makers to produce some less expensive versions of the various instruments, so those not looking to break the bank on the bundle may want to wait. Of course, if you're planning on nabbing Guitar Hero III, you should be able to use its guitar as well.

A look at guitar in Rock Band, new REM track

While Rock Band looks to add a great deal to the Guitar Hero formula, there is a (legitimate) fear that hardcore Guitar Hero fanatics will find the game lacking. After all, it wouldn't exactly be fun for the rest of the band if the guitarist simply spent the whole song shredding while the rest of them stood silent. IGN takes a detailed look at this problem in a recent article. To sum up, Rock Band concentrates more on riffs than solos, but that doesn't mean solos aren't there. IGN concludes that they may not be as challenging as some of the most hardcore Guitar Hero tracks, but they can still have a high degree of difficulty. Furthermore, the article discusses Rock Band's version of star power, which is called overdrive. In an interesting trade off, a guitarist must use his or her overdrive in order to bring back a failed band mate. Ouch. The article also mentions the optional extras on the Rock Band Fender guitar, including the solo buttons close to the body as well as the effects switch. The effects switch can be used to turn on effects like wah wah during overdrive and solo sections. Finally, IGN reveals a new track for the game, "Orange Crush" by R.E.M. See it for the first time in the video above.

More Rock Band tracks: KISS, Soundgarden, RHCP

And the Rock Band tracks keep coming. EA, MTV, and Harmonix have announced three new tracks for the upcoming rock simulator. Again we see a mix of old and new tracks, in keeping with the songs that have already been revealed. Without further ado, here they are:
  • "Detroit Rock City" by KISS
  • "Dani California" by Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden
Find a list of all tracks revealed thus far after the break.

Continue reading More Rock Band tracks: KISS, Soundgarden, RHCP

Video: Rock Band goes down Highway Star

A new Rock Band trailer made an appearance over the weekend sadly featuring no in-game footage, but it does take us down the the road of chaos and craziness called Highway Star. The Rock Band Highway Star trailer (embedded above) is quite the entertaining pre-rendered CG fest that should get your blood pumping and make your inner daredevil want to rock out. We aren't sure why the band featured in the trailer likes playing on top of vehicles (maybe because they need dangerous extremes to get a natural high, since numerous drug overdoses has led to their brain's excitement nerve endings to burn out), but darned if it isn't badass and darned if they aren't a nimble few. Go ... watch ... now!

Rock Band US tour kicks off Sept 9th

Future rock stars and Rock Band enthusiasts will be able to take in the complete Rock Band experience this Fall with the Rock Band US tour kicking off in a few days. MTV Games just announced that a 24 city US Rock Band tour will begin September 9th in Las Vegas and wrap up on December 16th in Orlando. Tour attendees will be able to play the game on a complete concert stage and have a chance to enter MTV's casting call for their "Rock Off" event where one lucky winner will have the chance play live on TRL and open for a surprise band at a Rock Band launch concert. Get ready to rock and check out the complete tour schedule after the jump with finalized locations and times to come.

[Via Joystiq]

Rock Band gets Grateful Dead

Just like a proud father when their son scores the winning home run in the neighborhood tee-ball game, MTV Games announced that they have partnered with the Grateful Dead for this Fall's release of Rock Band. As part of their multi-track downloadable offerings, Rock Band will be exclusively offering 18 Grateful Dead master tracks as downloadable content after the game ships. The 18 tracks will come from various Grateful Dead albums and is guaranteed to include the songs "Truckin'", "Uncle John's Band", "Touch of Grey", "Sugar Magnolia", and "Casey Jones". No pricing details were announced, but you can be sure that you'll have to stock up Microsoft points this holiday season.

Deadheads, it's time to pull out the trippy drug chest and "lose yourself" in the sweet Rock Band melodies. Come on, trust us ... the water is safe to drink.

Video: Rock Band as played by the pros

Ah, delicious Rock Band. While we were able to sample of its delights at E3, we can hardly say that we were particularly good at it. The drums, while awesome, are tough. Now, if you can get a whole group of people who know what they're doing, Rock Band is a sight to behold. So, what better group of people could you get besides the folks from Harmonix themselves? Our friend DeaconBlade over at Unscripted 360 put together just such a group during PAX, including Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos and a guitarist from a real band (ooooohhh). The result: awesomeness.

Now, can we get an official price on this thing? Please?

Rock Band hits Europe in 2008, new tracks

Electronic Arts has confirmed that Rock Band won't see the light of day in Europe until 2008. The confirmation comes not long after Red Octane founder Charles Huang predicted that producing enough music peripherals for a worldwide launch would prove too difficult. Naturally, EA didn't explain why Rock Band won't see Europe in 2007, but we imagine Huang's reasoning is pretty sound. EA also announced that a PS2 version of the game is in the works, and it will launch alongside its current-gen cousins in Europe next year (and presumably in the US as well). Finally, EA revealed ten new master tracks for the game:
  • "Gimme Shelter" by the Rolling Stones
  • "Highway Star" by Deep Purple
  • "Should I Stay or Should I Go" by The Clash
  • "Epic" by Faith No More
  • "Cherub Rock" by Smashing Pumpkins
  • "Creep" by Radiohead (!)
  • "Sabotage" by Beastie Boys (also in GHIII)
  • "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" by Jet
  • "Here It Goes Again" by OK Go
  • "The Hand That Feeds" by Nine Inch Nails
See all the confirmed tracks after the break.

Continue reading Rock Band hits Europe in 2008, new tracks

Europe, Australia get no Rock Band in 2007?

Rock n' Roll is a harsh mistress. There can be no doubt about that. It's so harsh, in fact, that Europe, Australia, and New Zealand won't be seeing Rock Band until next year. At least, that's what it looks like. Yes, we know. Let it out. Let it all out. We can hear the lamentations being shouted at computer monitors all the way on the other side of the Atlantic and Pacific. During a GameSpot interview, Red Octane founder Charles Huang noted that he didn't think Rock Band would see release in Australia and New Zealand by the end of the year. He then refined his statement to cover "multiple territories." When contacted by GameSpot UK for comment, their EA rep responded, "We don't think [Rock Band] will be released in Q4." Huang cited the difficulty of producing enough peripherals for a worldwide launch as a likely reason for any delays.

Keep in mind that Huang works for Rock Band's closest competitor, so a delay is probably in his best interests. Still, given EA's comments about the UK, Australia and New Zealand's rock fate isn't looking too bright this year.

[Via Joystiq]

EA and Activision find mud, start slinging

We knew it had to happen eventually. EA and Activision have officially begun sniping one another in regards to Rock Band and Guitar Hero III. In one corner, you have Activision's Will Kassoy who sees Guitar Hero III as a highly accessible sequel in a genre-defining series. Furthermore, he says that Rock Band may prove too complicated for the average gamer, while Guitar Hero III offers fun for everyone. EA, naturally, takes a different stand. According to EA's Frank Gibeau, the various choices available in Rock Band (guitar, bass, drums, and vocals) is precisely what makes it accessible. As Gibeau notes, some folks would rather sing than play guitar. Which will ultimately win? Gamers will decide later this year.

[Via Joystiq]

Dash update preps 360 for wireless guitars

Major Nelson sends word that a Dashboard Update is now available. Users will be prompted to download the update the next time they sign into Xbox Live. Before everyone goes crazy looking for fabulous new features, you should know that this is not the Fall Update. Most of you probably figured this out, as it is still summer. All the update does is ready the 360 to accept those fabulous wireless guitars that ship with Guitar Hero III and Rock Band later this year. It's good to know that the 360 will play nice with the wireless guitars and all, but we'd really like to know how much they're going to cost.

E3's Rock Band Guitars wired, fuels 360 price speculation

After an intense session of Rock Band from Harmonix -- we totally nailed the vocal for Stone Temple Pilots' "Vasoline" by the way -- we noticed that the guitars had dangling wires tethering them to the Xbox 360. Considering the game has been widely advertised as having wireless guitars, this made us curious. Remembering the recently leaked price memo, you may recall that the wireless 360 guitar was listed at $79.99 while the PS3 guitar was listed at $59.99. Some have speculated that the 360 discrepancy is the result of having to pay Microsoft to use its proprietary wireless technology. Is MTV Games making cheaper wired guitars for those that can't afford wireless? Mmm ... could be.

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