Thursday, August 30, 2012

No audience would pay to see this

My love affair with Rock Band ended some time last year. It certainly wasn't for lack of content, as there are new tracks every week and have been new tracks every week since the first game's inception. At one point I played the game every other day, then it dwindled down to once a week when I bought the new tracks, then down to when I noticed something come out that I was interested in, and finally not at all. I consider myself a proponent of the genre, having been on board since before the first Guitar Hero came out, and even I succumbed to the same fatigue that killed one of Activision's cash cows.

It still sits there on my thinly stocked game shelf next to DJ Hero, Lego Rock Band and Beatles Rock Band. They are all that survived the last purge, based mostly of how much money I have invested in DLC. This is also why I will always own a 360: it feels silly to have around 500 songs and nothing to use to play them should the desire ever come back.

This is precisely why I initially welcomed Rock Band Blitz with open arms. It is not even close to the same game but it at least will leverage the existing library. I bought it last night without thinking, finished Lego Batman 2, then settled in with what I thought would be a new music game to enjoy.

That part about it not being much like Rock Band? It is much more important than I thought. I never played Rock Band for the score. It was all about playing pretend with plastic instruments. Rocking out all alone in the comfort and safety of my basement. Rock Band Blitz is all about the score and nothing else. It is built around replaying the same song over and over until you have figured out just what power ups to use and where. You could do the same thing with Rock Band, but you didn't have to. In Blitz, it's all there is.

This is my conundrum about Blitz. It doesn't bring the same magical feeling that holding on to a fake guitar or beating on plastic drums did, but even the 'real' thing didn't bring that magic any more. I am not sure how good of a game it is; I don't want to max out my score, I just want to go through all of the tracks I bought years ago and have played since. And since that is all I really want to do Blitz may actually be what gets me to dust off the drums, move the couch, and start playing Rock Band again.

Either Harmonix is filled with evil geniuses and this was their true intent or I am impossible to please. Either way, I can play Spoonman again, and it has been years since licencing took that away.

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