Rock Band II
Posted on September 15th, 2008 @ 8:45 am

We picked this up yesterday, along with a “replica” bass guitar with a double strum bar. We played some before we went over to MIL’s house to pick up the kiddo, and played it some more at MIL’s house with his brother and sister-in-law. And then played it again after we got home and ate, up until it was time to go to bed.

It’s pretty much like the first version (and it is backwards compatible with the components – the guitars, drums and microphone, so you don’t have to buy the whole kit again, you can just buy the game if you have the instruments already), and you can pay 400 MS points (which I think is equal to about $5) and transfer most, if not all, of the games from the first disc so you have more songs to play.  And any songs you may have purchased from Live with the first game, can also be used on the second game.

There are some new differences though.  You can hire staff – promoters for the various regions of the country and the world, groupies, interns, and a manager (I can’t remember if you could hire a manager in the first game or not). There are various challenges in each town, that are QUITE difficult.  For instance, there was one that required the band to play on Expert level.  Another which was just for a guitarist.  And another that was for a high level song (not on Expert level, but an extremely challenging song even on Medium) that sounded like it would have made the Medium setting look almost like Hard or Expert.

Another twist, is that occassionaly something will pop up after you’ve chosen a song – for instance, we were playing through the single songs in a particular city, and after we chose the last song before the multi-song sets, a notice popped up that a “film student” wanted to film a video in 60s psychadelic style, with a song of their choosing (which happened to be a Go-Go’s song), and we’d get no money, but we’d get more fans than normal if we finished with five stars.

Another time, while we were doing a three or four song set, a notice popped up for an option to “confuse the guitarist”, where the game randomly chose a more “challenging” song than what had been on the set for the last song, and if we finished it with a minimum of four stars, we’d get something like quadruple the money and double the fans.  My husband was the guitarist, but the song the game chose was one that we’d already played and wasn’t really *that* difficult, so we were able to get five stars.

My guess is when my husband gets home from work today we’ll probably be playing it again sometime before bed.  It’s pretty fun.

Supposedly one can purchase the updated guitar & drum set separately in about a month.  The guitar is supposed to have put the “click” back in the strum bar so one can feel when it’s been pressed down enough to be recognized by the system. The current one does not “click*, so I guess there have been reports of people breaking the strum bar from pushing it up or down too hard, from thinking they had to do so to get it to click.  Frankly I like the current version since it is quieter, but that is just me. Oh, and the new guitar is also wireless.

The drums are “supposed” to be quieter and recognize the drum sticks better -and it is wireless.  And there is also going to be yet another drum set released closer to Christmas that is made by an electronic drum making company, which will have an “xbox” brain in it for Rock Band II, and be interchangable with a separate “drum kit” brain to make it a stand alone electronic drum set for actual use in a real band.  But that version is going to cost another $100 more – just for the DRUMS – than the entire Rock Band II kit which *includes* the guitar, microphone and drums!  So I would only recommend purchasing that drum set if you have someone in your household who actually plays drums outside of the game.

There are some more perks in the game, but we have not tried or encountered them just yet, so I won’t bring them up for now.  One thing though, that I hope they took out of this version of the game, is the fan cap.  In the previous game, the fans capped at like 500,000 on the Medium setting. It was rather depressing to reach that limit, and not be able to move on to other cities or unlock other songs because they required more fans.  We are just simply not agile or nimble enough to move up to the next difficulty setting without failing out constantly (and thus LOSING fans).  I’m sorry, but not everyone is going to be able to play on Expert mode no matter how much they practice.

So we’ll have to play until we reach 500k fans and see whether the limit is still in place.  My hope is that it will not be there, so we can continue to play and unlock cities, venues & songs.  The replay value will be excellent without a fan cap in place, for people like my husband and me who will likely only hope to be great on the Medium setting.

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Just Gadgets · Just Gaming
World of Warcraft funny
Posted on September 8th, 2008 @ 10:41 am

Sometimes the titles to the quests in the game make me giggle.  They like to use puns a lot, parodies on stuff, things like that.

Yesterday, we got a quest out in Draenei land that really caught my eye.  The name of it looked REAALLY familiar.

“Precious and Fragile Things, Need Special Handling”

It was a quest to gather some ancient relics.

Can anyone guess where the name of it came from?

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Just Gaming · Just Random
World of Warcraft
Posted on September 6th, 2008 @ 6:04 pm

I started a new character tonight – a Draenei Shaman.  My husband chose a Draenei Mage.  When we play with the intent of grouping, we tend to pick characters in the same region, especially with the “refer a friend” bonus that we’re making use of right now.  He “referred” me and I created a new account, and now when we group we make 3x the experience, so we’re levelling up pretty quickly.  I’m already level 9, and we started playing maybe an hour ago?  I have about 600 more experience points to obtain and I’ll be level 10. :hay:

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