OXCGN’s Rocksmith Review
For those to (realistically) rock
by Gav Ross
©2012 Gav Ross
It’s a line that has been haunting Guitar Hero and Rock Band tragics for years.
Being able to five-star hundreds of songs in either game’s Expert mode or nail a Dragonforce solo close to perfection is an admirable feat, to be sure, but even the most ardent defenders of the rhythm genre would have, at some point, had that nagging feeling deep in the recesses of their mind that maybe, just maybe, the naysayers are right.
The skill of being able to proficiently flex your digits across a few coloured buttons on a Fisher Price-like neck to match corresponding notes on a TV screen – what use does that serve in the real world, especially when there’s a realistic alternative?
Ubisoft’s entry to the rhythm game race is somewhat late, since the peripheral-based market effectively bottomed out almost three years ago, leaving sets of dusty, battery-draining drums and guitars hidden under beds and destined for landfill.
Rocksmith is a game-changer; the evolution of the genre we all imagined might one day be possible.
It’s just a shame it’s a tad tardy; if it dropped sometime between the second and third Guitar Hero releases in 2007/8 it would have changed the landscape completely.
Crying Doom for
Activision’s Flagship Franchise is not Long for this World
by Nicholas Capozzoli
©2012 Nicholas Capozzoli
In the fall of 2007 I was just beginning my first semester of grad school. Following a new friend’s suggestion one night, we ventured over to a nearby dive bar for a few pitchers, and to play a video game that the place was featuring as part of their nightly special.
The game was Guitar Hero.
My friend, as it turned out, was well versed with plastic instruments, blasting through Blue Oyster Cult‘s Godzilla as I plinked and plunked my way through alongside him. But as each new track went by I found myself rapidly improving, upping the difficulty and powering through tough solos with aplomb.
A passion was born that night, one that followed through to the release of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. I beat Metallica’s One to the cheers of classmates in studio. I remember the desperate relief and aching fingers that came from surviving Slayer’s Raining Blood.
But in the span of just a couple years my plastic guitars collect dust under my TV. Literally, they’re dust magnets. The most activity that they see is when they occasionally fall over and scare my dog.
The problem is self-evident: the instrument rhythm genre suffered from profuse over-saturation.
A staggering twelve games were released under the Guitar Hero name for consoles between 2005 and 2010, and that doesn’t include portable titles or mobile apps. There was far more than even the most devoted gamer could possibly want, and when the players found themselves sated, the bubble burst hard.
Two years out from the rhythm game implosion, and the genre is a radioactive wasteland.
Mutants like Rocksmith and BandFuse sift through the rubble, looking for scraps. Harmonix, maker of the original Guitar Hero and the Rock Band series, was sold for $50, and that’s not even a joke.
OXCGN’s Rabbids: Alive & Kicking Review
©2011 Gav Ross
A Rabbids mini-game collection on Kinect is so obvious it’s a wonder Ubisoft didn’t push for it as a launch title over a year ago, much the way Rayman Raving Rabbids was a close-to-launch release for the 360 console.
The manic, beady-eyed, near-toothless little creatures and their WarioWare-like party games were decent fun back in 2006, so it makes sense for a similar Kinect offering to be an even more enjoyable experience?
Right? Not quite, it seems.
Why Activision “Knows Not What It Means”
© 2009 Aaron Klein
There is a big hub bub on the net right now over the use of Kurt Cobain’s likeness as an unlockable character in Guitar Hero 5. This means Cobain can be the front man of your band while you perform the hits of Flava Flav and Bon Jovi.
While that may not initially seem like a big deal- gamers love unlockable characters- anyone familiar with Cobain’s work will get a creepy vibe upon watching this video of Cobain’s doppleganger in action.
• Activisions ‘vision’ of Kurt Cobain
Now compare that to some real footage of Cobain performing: