Thursday, May 15, 2008

Another Thing Crossed Off

Well, I'm done college. Did the whole graduation thing and all that. So! Anyone need someone with a BA in Literature? Anyone? Hello?

FINE! I'll go to graduate school...

Anyway, now that it's summer and I have virtually nothing to do except make money and drink beer (awesome!), I have free time up the wahzoo. I'm currently blasting my way through House, the TV show. Good, good shit. Procured all of the seasons in a magical, complicated process involving stuff that rhymes with "florrents." I don't really know how it all works. Something about tubes.

I also grew a beard because of my inability-to-shave inspired hospitalization. Looks kinda cool. I figured it's playoff season, so, why not roll with it for a while.

In other "interesting to mainly me" news, Nine Inch Nails did something wonderful and released their newest album for free via their website. My overwhelming support for such a valiant presentation of artful work drove me to buy tickets to their August 29th concert at the Wachovia Center in Philly. I'll be going with my dad (jealous? should be.). I can't wait.

In the world of videogames it seems there's been a nice trend going on in the musical world of stuff: Rock Band Fever, it should be called. Guitar Hero IV is supposed to have a drum kit, and Konami has announced its own Rock Band knock-off entitled Rock Revolution, thus titling their game something the entire country of Japan will be unable to pronounce. Will it succeed? Time will tell, but I doubt it.

Rock Band has managed to net a huuuuuge fan base already, and its weekly release of usually decent content is more than enough to keep people loyal. Yeah, Guitar Hero was first, but they've been trumped. They have. Face it. As of now I can play Rock Band for over six hours and not repeat a single song. Can Guitar Hero claim that? Well, with combined games, sure...but who counts that?

Rock Band 2 will be nifty. I know details because I work with some little company called "MTV," but I sure as shit can't spill any of my beans. Which is fine because I get to know stuff you don't (this is where I stick my tounge out).

The point is, Rock Band did something cool, and so now everyone wants to be cool. So, copycat games are going to start flooding the gamespace. Does this surprise anyone? It shouldn't. The problem here, though, is that these companies aren't copying some simple game mechanic (like, say, timed button-pressing boss fights a la God of War), but an entire game experience. If you have Rock Band, 60 downloaded tracks, and the whole instrument setup, are you going to re-buy that for a Guitar Hero game? For a Konami game (which has a chunk of the same songs, by the way)? Unless you're rich as hell, I'd imagine not. These new iterations can try to appeal to gamers by offering additional "cymbals" or "drum pads," but beyond super-duper hardcore music fans, this stuff will easily fly over everyone's heads. Shame, too, because if all this had come out at the same time, it would have been quite a showdown. Oh well.

I applaud the attempt at competition, though. Maybe, maybe if these new games are amazing in their own new and exciting ways, I'll grab them, but the addition of two more drum pads (Konami) isn't going to be enough to force over my cash.

In the meantime, I'll just keep enjoying what I already have...even if I know I'll have to exchange my drum kit for a forth time. Damnit.

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