Archive | 6:35 pm

The Red-Eye Report …

2 Dec

By Joshua Blake

Let me start by saying that I can’t stand the Christmas season. Everyone goes crazy and I get so sick of all the commercials. I made a silent vow to myself some years back that I would never go shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. Well, this year I broke that vow but I had a great reason. I got up, went to Wal-Mart and snagged a copy of “Rock Band” for the Xbox 360.

I bought the first installment of “Guitar Hero” two years ago, and to be honest, I still enjoy playing it. No bullets. No shankings. No story line. Just wide open, cranked-to-11 rock!

So, what’s so great about “Rock Band”? Uh, just EVERYTHING! The bundle pack comes with the game, multi-port tap, a guitar, microphone and drum set…that’s right, a drum set. The beauty of this game is that if you have bought any of the guitar controllers for the other “Guitar Hero” games on XBox 360, they work on this game too.

The new guitar controller that comes with the bundle has a couple of new features. It has a second set of fret buttons lower on the neck of the guitar for some mean solo action a la Eddie Van Halen. With these buttons, you don’t even have to use the strum bar in the solos. Just tap away until you fingers bleed. Second is the addition of an effects switch. You can add wah, echo, chorus or flange to your rocking-ness.

The microphone is also a handy tool. If you, like me, don’t have much of a range, you can turn down your vocals and you will only hear the track that is built into the game. In addition, on songs with tambourine like “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” by Jet, you can tap the top of the mic to play tambourine. Or if you are singing “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult, simply tap the mic for that extra, uh, cowbell. While the vocals are fairly simple on the easy and medium difficulty levels, you must be spot-on in the hard and expert settings.

Finally, we have the drums. This was probably my biggest draw to buying the game. You have four pads and a kick pedal. First off, let me say that the drums are awesome. You have to really wail on them to get them to work and that makes it that much better. Plus, it comes with actual drumsticks. However, the drums are by far the hardest instrument to play. Even on easy, I was tempted to go Keith Moon on the drum set.

As for the song list, it covers every thing from the 60’s to last year. Here are just a few of the 45 songs included:

“Gimmie Shelter” by The Rolling Stone

“Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who

“Suffragatte City” by David Bowie

“Flirtin’ with Disaster” by Molly Hatchet

“Epic” by Faith No More

“Should I Stay or Should I Go” by The Clash

“Sabotage” by The Beastie Boys

“Creep” by Radiohead

“In Bloom” by Nirvana

“Black Hole Sun” by Soundgarden

“Welcome Home” by Coheed and Cambria

“The Hand That Feeds” by Nine Inch Nails

“Here It Goes Again” by OK Go

“Go with the Flow” by Queens of the Stone Age

Moreover, songs are being added weekly at the XBox Live store. With all these options, your game play is endless. There are many other cool features I could go into, like the character creator and the World Tour mode, but that would take forever.

Here’s the only down side: the price. About a week before the launch, the price was cut from $199 to $169. This could be a little too rich for some folk’s blood. However, once you factor in everything that you get with the bundle pack and the endless playing hours, it’s worth it. If you would like more information on this game check out www.rockband.com for videos and a complete list of songs that are included on the game plus updates on music that will be available on XBox Live.

 That’s all for this week. Feel free to contact me at www.myspace.com/theredeyereport or theredeyereport@yahoo.com. Don’t forget Repel Day is Wednesday. Be sure to take advantage. I’ll see you when the sun goes down.