You may have seen that some details about Rock Band 3 have been released today. This comes on the heels of last week’s missive from Activision Blizzard, a celebration of the result of their latest savage beating of the deadest horse who ever keeled over and neighed his last: Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.
I don’t know how to feel about it. The pessimist in me looks at this proposed super-game and says that it cannot work. There is too much here. Potentially SEVEN players at once? Vocal harmonies? Real instruments? Scrolling TABS (an idea that I (and I’m sure you) had about 20 minutes into the original Guitar Hero)?
My brain won’t accept that it can all work together well. What is the catch? Is this a defense mechanism from keeping me from having an excitement overload?
But that’s silly. I can see exactly what the catches are.
– It’s going to cost a million dollars
– The new stringed guitars arent going to work for shit as either a controller or a real guitar
– Mad Catz (designers of every shitty off-color controller you’ve ever had handed to you by a Cheshire Cat-grinning childhood friend at a sleepover as he loads up a game he’s already better at anyway) is going to fuck it up
– The keyboard is going to be relegated to uselessness in half the songs
– The keyboard’s very inclusion is going to make the tracklist much stranger and much less appealing (read: diverse)
– The Pro Mode is going to be unresponsive and janky
And so forth. Let’s plan on revisiting this list about a few days after release and see how many of these worries are unfounded.
The only thing I’m not concerned about is its superiority to its aforementioned rival. What must they be thinking right about now? “So they’ve got…everything. Well…we’ve got GENE FUCKING SIMMONS, YEARRRRGH! (throws up the devil horns) FUCKING METAL!”
A Nice Year -by-Year Retrospective of Rock Band vs. Guitar Hero
2005: Guitar Hero is released, and the world is bathed in its blinding light, tears in its eyes. A nagging need that most gamers didn’t even know they had is slain righteously, only to be replaced by another unsatiable one for MOAR. Somewhere, Bobby Kotick gets an erection and he doesn’t know why. Somewhere else, Konami gets really frustrated.
2006: Harmonix, emboldened by their runaway success, decides to do this shit fucking right. Guitar Hero II is born and immediately ascends into Valhalla on the back of a golden unicorn. Jon Sharpe tries to kill himself in tribute to its glory but finds himself rendered invincible by the power of rock.
2007: Harmonix QUITS WHILE THEY’RE AHEAD and sells their baby to deplorable, sniveling dickbags for a bunch of money which turn around and use to release Rock Band, the logical evolution of their idea. Jon Sharpe attempts to merge with the game disc and a plastic drumset to become a Rock Band playing cyborg, but ultimately fails, resulting only in his mastery of the game. Meanwhile, the evil men at Activision churn out their first epic turd, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. It has in-game advertising for KFC.
2008: Activision unwisely chooses to encourage more direct comparisons between their game and Harmonix’s by adding drums and singing, releasing the inappropriately named Guitar Hero: World Tour. The thoroughly embarrasing and amateurish effort is soundly reamed by the triumphant new Rock Band 2 which fixed pretty much every problem from the first one. Jon Sharpe escapes his physical body, and his essence is beamed into the cosmos under the power of love.
2009: Harmonix wisely decides to take a year off to pefect their next opus. They also continue their unprecedented post-release support with about 9 billion DLC songs a week. Guitar Hero 5 is released and about that many people give a shit.
2010: Harmonix decides to add absolutely fucking everything for Rock Band 3. The emotionless profiteers at Activision Blizzard decide to rape Dio’s corpse and exploit the metal resurgence by pretending Brutal Legend didn’t just happen and making it again, except with Gene Simmons.
More as it develops.