Green Day sure had a lot on their plate this past year: promoting 21st Century Breakdown, embarking on a world tour, developing a Broadway musical based on their songs, raking in the Grammy noms and sweeping the Rolling Stone readers’ best-of-the-decade poll. Now the punk-pop punks are following in The Beatles’ footsteps by announcing their own Rock Band game—the band broke the news at Spike TV’s Video Game Awards this past weekend. Check out Billie Joe Armstrong, Tre Cool and Mike Dirnt’s dead-on likenesses in the above preview clip of Green Day: Rock Band. Finally, you won’t have to compete against thousands of other Green Day fans for the chance to shout “Longview” into a mic. More »
Get ready for another wave of Boomer nostalgia to crash over our collective shores during the dog days of late August. The one-two punch of the 40th anniversary of Woodstock and the run-up to the release of The Beatles: Rock Band just happen to coincide with what are traditionally super-slow days in the music press, thanks to a large number of factors that include the waning days of the summer shed season, record labels’ decision to hold off on putting out anything “important” until back-to-school season starts, and the fact that any reporter who actually has to work in the weeks leading up to Labor Day not feeling all that inspired. (Cough.) More »
On Monday in New York, Paul McCartney enjoyed a day off before today’s final concert in his three-show stint at Citi Field. Elsewhere in the Big Apple, Harmonix and MTV Games hosted a hands-on demo of the latest build of The Beatles: Rock Band. (Ringo’s whereabouts were unknown.) I went in the hopes of getting my hands dirty and my voice raspy with a 90% finished version of the game, which comes out on Sept. 9. Sadly, no screaming teenage girls were provided. More »
I’m coming to this after pretty much everyone else on the Internet, but I do have to mention that the opening cinematic for The Beatles Rock Band makes the game look like it’s going to be pretty fun to play. As does the gameplay trailer, in which the in-game versions of the Fab Four actually look like themselves, thus escaping the whole Uncanny Valley thing that makes most computer-generated people somewhat unnerving to look at. [The Beatles Rock Band] More »
Though I remain an avid Rock Band and Guitar Hero player, I’ve long ago stopped caring about the releases of new songs for in-game play. I have more than enough to play right now, and I’m broke as a joke most days, so downloadable content is out—well, unless those songs can be as good as one of the new tracks that will appear on the first portable edition of Rock Band. See for yourself; one of these things is not like the others.
We’ve taken aim at Wired‘s Panglossian attitude when it comes to the relationship between the Internet and the music business before, mainly because the powers that be at Conde Nast’s ever-shrinking tech bible just make it too easy. Witness the magazine’s latest, and somehow most witless, entrant to its ever-growing “we can write about music, honest!” canon, “Why The Music Industry Hates Guitar Hero,” which somehow manages to be offensive, wrong, and a testament to why Wired should maybe think about scrapping its print edition and just go online. All at once!
Sure, last year, people were scooping up Guitar Hero and Rock Band like crazy, and those who weren’t helped the cause by writing pieces about how the wild success of those games would swoop in and save the music industry from file-sharing oblivion. But in 2009, things are slowing down for plastic instruments, possibly because in this dismal economy, $200 doesn’t seem like as insignificant an amount of money as it did a year ago.
It’s been a bad week in the video game world, what with the announcement that sales of Guitar Hero and Rock Band may have peaked, the dissolution of the industry’s leading magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly (it had 600,000 subscribers!), and the layoffs at EGM‘s sister web portal 1up.com (which ain’t even loading for me today). From Penny Arcade comes news that’s somehow even worse: Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber is getting into this gaming fad he’s been hearing so much about.