Game Review: Rock Band 3

It’s hard enough to find a game sequel that is dramatically better than the original, and even more difficult to find a third installment that’s even better.

Maybe that’s why I was prepared for disappointment with Rock Band 3.

Hopeful? Yes, but I was also ready to be let down.

Fortunately, in all the ways that matter, Rock Band 3 is better than it’s predecessors, and if you’ll pardon the pun (if you play the game, you’ll understand) it delivers in Spades.

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Thursday Throwback From RockBandAide

goldstarRBN_biggerWe got our dirty little claws in doing a video for RockBandAide and all we had to do is play Rock Band, yeah very surprising since we generally don’t go a day without playing at the B.O.M.B. shelter. But still being able to help them out why we have fun works for everyone. This is going to be a weekly story from RockBanAide so keep your eyes open for more, and go check this out and watch the awesome players in the video.

Thursday Throwback DLC: Kiss – Calling Dr. Love

Product Review: Hyperkin 3-Port USB Hub For PS3

hub1Normally I wouldn’t get too excited about a USB hub, but the Hyperkin USB Hub for PS3, has some things going for it.

On the surface, the device is a standard USB hub, expanding the standard two ports available on current PS3 models to four.

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Drunken Monkey Tech – 2009 Game Of The Year Awards

bastardssmall.jpgIt’s that time of year again. Okay, in hopes of helping you with your holiday shopping, we’re doing it a little early.

Games released before Black Friday (November 27, 2009) were considered. Anything released during the remainder of the calendar year will be considered for our 2010 awards.

If you’d like to hear how we came to our decisions, you can listen in on the entire conversation in Episode #106 of Drunken Monkey Tech Podcast.

Without further ado, our winners.

Best Racing Game
Winner- Need for Speed: Shift
Runner Up – Dirt 2

Best Music Game
Winner – The Beatles: Rock Band
Runner Up – DJ Hero

Best RPG
Winner –
Borderlands
Runner Up – Demon’s Souls

Best Action/Platformer
Winner – (TIE) Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time and Batman: Arkham Asylum

Best First-Person Shooter
Winner – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Runner Up – Halo 3: ODST

Best Co-op Game
Winner – Resident Evil 5
Runner Up – Halo 3: ODST

Most Innovative Game
Winner –
DJ Hero
Runners Up – Flower and Dead Space Extraction

WTF?!? 2009
Winner – Noby Noby Boy

Best Portable Game
Winner – Resistance: Retribution
Runner Up – Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Best PS3 Game
Winner – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Runner Up – Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time

Best Wii Game
Winner – Dead Space Extraction
Runner Up – MadWorld

Best XBox 360 Game
Winner – Halo 3: ODST
Runner Up – Halo Wars

Game Of The Year 2009
Winner – Borderlands
Runner Up – The Beatles: Rock Band

Game Review: Lego Rock Band

61IdLC2erLL._SL160_Plastic people with plastic instruments.

I’m not a big fan of the Lego games. The movie tie-in games were charming in their own way, and I understand the appeal to younger audiences. They just weren’t for me.

On the other hand, rhythm games are my forte. Rock Band, Guitar Hero, and DJ Hero see more hours of play in my household than all other game types combined.

Lego Rock Band combines these two worlds, and is at least partially successful in making it work.

LRB is a more ‘family friendly’ version of the venerable Rock Band series, with a song list that you can (generally) feel comfortable playing around younger members of your household.

While I thought this might also translate to a dumbed-down experience, I was pleasantly surprised to find that difficulty on the higher end, Hard and Expert, play exactly like Rock Band 1 and 2. Most of your downloaded songs will also work for Lego Rock Band, but songs that are intended for more mature audiences are filtered out.

From that standpoint, LRB is Rock Band with a bright plastic paint job and an edited for younger audience setlist, but there’s a lot more to the game.

For less experienced or younger players, some of the basic mechanics in career mode have been changed. If you quit or restart a song, there is no longer a penalty for doing so. You won’t lose fans or money (studs are the currency in the Lego Universe).

Also, in most venues, and only with songs that are included on the disc, you now have the option of playing a shorter version. Short attention spans get… whoa… something shiny!

You can also finish ALL parts of the game on ANY skill level, even the new Super Easy difficulty, and failing out has now been replaced with a Recovery Mode. Instead of failing the song, or if you’re playing with friends, waiting for them to use Overdrive to bring you back into the song, you go into a ‘Time Out’ where you continue to play but aren’t scoring points. During Recovery you’re playing to gain back points lost for your life meter hitting bottom. Recovery isn’t used in the Challenge Stages, you really CAN fail those songs.

Challenge Stages? Those are new too. At various milestones during your career you’ll be presented with a gig that strips away all Overdrive segments, the entire band shares a single life meter, and each instrument gets a ‘solo’ section (except vocals).

During these stages a cutscene plays in the background instead of the usual stage show. An example is using The Power Of Rock to demolish a building for construction workers. Pass the song with the special rules for Challenge Stages, and you unlock roadies, consisting of grateful construction guys.

legorbrating

In case you didn’t pick up on it, a narrative story has been included this time around. Bizarre, terminally cute, and occasionally funny, cut-scenes are scattered through the game, much like in previous Lego games. Also, in keeping with the Lego lineage, item collection is a HUGE part of the game.

Everything is customizable, including your roadies, manager, and PR personnel. All your changes also appear accurately represented during songs AND during cutscenes.

My roadies all have pig tails, beards, and eye patches.

Your kids will love this game, and if you’re into rhythm games, you won’t feel annoyed playing it with them.

Some drawbacks to the kid friendly format: there is no online play, leaderboards, and some of the menus are unnecessarily slow loading in order to show off more Lego eye-candy.

If you haven’t got any children, and you’re not a fan of Lego, you’re probably better served picking up Rock Band 2 or The Beatles: Rock Band.

If you like Rock Band AND Lego, or you want to play Rock Band with your kids but are concerned about lyrical content and difficulty levels, then Lego Rock Band is definitely a buy.

If you’re a Trophy/Achievement junkie, you’ll want to look into this as well. I’m 20 hours into the game, I’ve nearly completed everything, and should have the last three Trophies in another hour. It’s an easy Platinum/1000GP.


Buy Lego Rock Band

Gela Skins Custom Skins

Finally the day has arrived that you have been waiting for.

Gela Skins have just launched custom skins for:88GSBOMBGS

  • 24 phones
  • 8 iPods
  • 12 laptops
  • 2 others (Kindles)
  • 8 Gaming (Guitar Hero guitar, Rock Band guitar)

We haven’t got our hands on them yet, but I can assure you we will.  Who doesn’t want their favorite NASCAR driver or their favorite podcast/video game reviewers on their iPod?

The process is simple, pick your product, upload the picture, arrange it on the template, preview, and buy.  Head over to GelaSkins if you want to take a look.

Lego: Rock Band Tracklist Announced!

lego-rock-band-01

The complete tracklist for Lego: Rock Band is finally out! There are some awesome songs for this game. Check out the full list here.

Wanna get the game?  Preorder Lego Rock Band now!