Thursday, December 31, 2009
The 1021st song we played was Wolfmother's "Pilgrim", and the past year's journey to play all the songs was indeed a very interesting musical pilgrimage. From SpongeBob SquarePants to Cannibal Corpse, we played almost every music style imaginable. 2010 will be even more interesting with the release of the Rock Band Network, provided the PS3 gets a decent selection of tracks.
From now on we'll always start our sessions by playing the new DLC, followed by the worst ranked songs. That way we'll continue to climb the "All Songs" Leaderboards. We have a ton of songs that were played with 1 to 3 instruments, so there is a lot to catch up on.
- Stars breakdown for the 48 songs: Gold stars (11), 5 stars (35), 4 stars (2, for "World Turning" and "Woman")
- Bongoo was the "Top Performer" for the most songs (28), followed by Sylvie (13), DMan (12), and then Pheonix (6)
- Bongoo had the most FCs (9), followed by DMan (6), and then Sylvie (2)
- We barely survive "White Unicorn", which has an intense drum section near the end
- Sylvive complains that she doesn't have much to do on bass during "Club Foot", and then it suddenly becomes very intense with some rapid-fire notes (as Trapper says, "careful what you wish for")
- We end the year and DMan's special visit with a late night trip to Perkins, which has now become one of the band's regular joints (with "Pub Italia")
- Happy New Year to all! :)
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Here is my top 3 DLC from last week:
3. "Build a Bridge", by Limp Bizkit: You might not recognize Limp Bizkit when playing this song, as they are more thoughtful and mellow than usual. A good track that is lots of fun on guitar.
2. "A Lot Like Me", by The Offspring: Not as difficult as some other Offspring songs, but the triple chord changes made me think I was back playing Guitar Hero 80's... :) It's a great sounding song from their last album, especially the chorus starting with "And the rain comes...".
1. "(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To", by Weezer: This song is groovy. It has a great rhythm, being a bit tricky but always fun on all instruments. The lyrics are great, progressing nicely throughout the song (gotta love the "Slayer" reference).
Honorable mention. "Ocean Avenue", by Yellowcard: I love the drum chart on this one. Keeping a note streak during some of those fast rolls is a great feeling. A fun song overall from a pretty good band I had not heard before.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
We gained 15M points (new total of 824M), helping us climb the "All Songs" Leaderboards.
- Stars breakdown for the 24 songs: Gold stars (1), 5 stars (10), 4 stars (9), 3 stars (4)
- Bongoo was the "Top Performer" for the most songs (18), followed by Phoenix (6), and then Sylvie (1)
- Bongoo had the single FC of the night
- Phoenix drops his drum sticks during a song, continues to play with his hands, and recovers them nicely during a drum fill section
- Bongoo more than doubles his previous Q*bert record while the new DLC was downloading, getting more than 100,000 points
- Phoenix does a great job translating the "Take Me to the River" vocals to French in real-time while drumming :)
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
We'll likely play between 24 and 32 unranked songs, including two weeks of new DLC (this week's DLC was early on the PS3), moving us up the "All Songs" Leaderboards.
Here is my top 3 DLC from last week:
3. "¡Viva la Gloria!", by Green Day: If you haven't heard already, "Green Day: Rock Band" will be the next game released by Harmonix. This would not have been my first choice for a band-based game, but the fact that the songs will be exportable is great news (their early songs should be a blast to play). Hopefully all future band-based games will have that feature. Now last week saw the release of the 2nd 3-pack from Green Day's latest album. To be honest the songs from that album have been fairly bland to hear and play, but "¡Viva la Gloria!" stands out from the group for its interesting transitions. The vocal intro is accompanied by some neat orchestrations, and if the drummer has fallen asleep, he's in for a rude awakening, especially at the end. :)
2. "This is War", by 30 Seconds To Mars: It's about time that we get more songs from this group. Their last DLC was released almost 2 years ago ("The Kill" and "Attack"), and it had some very interesting charts (especially on drums). What stands out for me from this group is their ability to create great build-ups (see the end of "The Kill" for example). These build-ups are also present in their 2 new songs, but an interesting addition is the great crowd sing-alongs, making the tracks even more epic.
1. "Kings and Queens", by 30 Seconds To Mars: A great song with some very tough drum sections. I particularly like the variety of the guitar chart. The build-up at the end is very powerful, having a kind of ethereal quality. In my opinion, the songs from this group are much more interesting and complex than most songs by the week's feature group, Green Day.
Honorable mention. "Gives You Hell", by The All-American Rejects: When I first heard this song at the 2008 VGAs, I found it pretty annoying. But playing it in Rock Band is surprisingly fun, especially the somewhat unique drum chart and the section at the end on guitar.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
We downloaded last week's DLC at the start of the session, giving time during the download for Bongoo's traditional Q*bert session. After lots of hair-rising moves and untimely deaths at the hands of red balls, coiled serpents and crazy-sounding purple aliens, it was time to start rockin'.
Our first 8-song set included last week's DLC, starting with Bongoo's top 3 (see last post). We'll do that every week from now on. After that we randomly picked some unranked DLC, which naturally included lots of now classic Lego Rock Band songs.
We gained 31M points (close to our goal of getting an average of at least 1M per song), our total going up from 778M to 809M points, which will help us in our climb of the "All Songs" Leaderboards. We're now getting closer to 16th place "Sè+ùà Àssàù+ Sòfà", a band with one of the oddest names in the Leaderboards.
- Stars breakdown for the 32 songs: Gold stars (13), 5 stars (14), 4 stars (5, for "Sulfur", "Duality", "One Vision", "Aces High (Live)" and "You're Gonna Hear from Me")
- Sylvie had a great night as she was the "Top Performer" for almost every song (22), followed by Bongoo (8), Phoenix (7), and then Raikan (5)
- Sylvie had the most FCs (8), followed by Phoenix (4), and then Bongoo (3)
- Phoenix did an amazing job on drums on "Two Princes" and "Aces High (Live)"
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tonight we'll likely play between 24 and 32 unranked songs, moving us up the "All Songs" Leaderboards.
Here is my top 3 DLC from last week:
3. "Psychosocial", by Slipknot: I remember going to see Machine Head" in 1999 in Montréal. They were the 2nd band of 3, with "Coal Chamber" headlining (didn't care much for them). What I had not anticipated was the amazing raw energy of the opening band, Slipknot. They were fairly unknown then, but they easily stole the show that night with their aggressive style, heavy riffs, pounding rhythm, and unique visual style. There were rumors that they didn't want to be included in rhythm games, their last song coming way back in GH3. I'm glad they changed their mind, as tracks like "Psychosocial" are a blast to play. They may have become more mainstream as years went by, but this song in parts is as heavy as they've ever been. I love the main guitar riff, plus the chorus sounds great.
2. "Sulfur", by Slipknot: Amazing song on all instruments. On bass its constant movement makes it one of the funnest songs in a long time. It has some crazy drum sections, especially at the beginning, but if you survive, you'll be treated with some amazingly fun beats in the second half of the song. If you've followed these posts, you'll notice that I like complex drum beats that are fast but not impossible (think "Funk #49" and "Science Genius Girl"), and this one delivers in spades. Let's hope for some more Slipnot in the future ("Wait and Bleed" would be great).
1. "The Sounds of Silence", by Simon & Garfunkel: A classic song, made even more popular by its inclusion in the movie "The Graduate". This would have been awesome with the harmonies feature. This song is fairly simple and easy on all instruments, but it's such a great-sounding song on vocals that it becomes great to hear and play.
Honorable mention. "Dreaming of Love", by Lights Resolve: I usually play songs on bass first, so on first listen I thought it would be a very easy song on guitar and drums. While not overly complex, I was happily suprised to discover that it does have some interesting beats and chord changes. Part of the chorus reminded me a bit of Coldplay in terms of singing style. Keep those free tracks coming! :)
Thursday, December 10, 2009
The "All Songs" Leaderboards will be refreshed on Friday or Saturday, and I can see from the new totals that tonight's increase from 759M to 778M would technically move us up to 17th place past "Cobra Kai Dojo" and "Cøølsville Killers".
I can also confirm that "Mary G0 Round" will move up to 9th place, becoming the 10th band to join the billion point club. Congrats!
- Stars breakdown for the 18 songs: Gold stars (10), 5 stars (7), 4 stars (1, for "Under My Wheels (Live)")
- Bongoo was the "Top Performer" for the most songs (8), followed by Sylvie (7), Raikan (4), and then Phoenix (2)
- Bongoo had the most FCs (3), followed by Sylvie and Raikan (2 each), and then Phoenix (1)
- It was neat that we gold-starred more than half the songs tonight, plus we got more than 1M points per song on average. It helps that we played all songs with our optimal line-up.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
We'll probably play between 24 and 32 songs, moving us up the "All Songs" Leaderboards.
Here is my top 3 DLC from last week:
3. "You're Gonna Hear It From Me", by Night Ranger: This 80's stadium rock band was unknown to me until their DLC 3-pack was released. Their songs are great on all instruments, but what stands out are their amazing guitar solos. This song has the easiest solo out of the three songs, but that also makes it the funnest.
2. "Don't Tell Me You Love Me", by Night Ranger: This is their best song in my opinion. It has some crazy hard guitar solos, but the highlight is a surprisingly fun drum chart. The beats are unique, varied, and pretty fast but never impossible (always a good combination).
1. "Smells Like Teen Spirit", by Nirvana: The anthem of a generation, what a classic song! I started high school in 1991 (yeah, I'm old...), so I can't count the number of times I jumped around to that song. It's great on all instruments, but I particularly like playing it on drums.
Honorable mention. "New Fang", by Them Crooked Vultures: If it wasn't for a somewhat bland guitar chart, it probably would have made my top 3. The song's unique rhythm makes it fun on drums and bass. You can really tell that it's a blend of members of Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age. Watch out for that ending on drums! I had to keep a steady beat, omitting the extra notes, otherwise I might have failed.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Out of the approximately 1000 songs released so far for the RB platform, we have 95 that are still unranked in RB2. If we assume that there are about 8 new DLC per week, we will have a score for each song in 4-6 weeks. At that point we'll play some of our lowest scored songs, including some whose score was obtained by playing with only 1 instrument.
With our total score increasing to 759M this week, this moves us past "Cobra Kai Dojo" for 18th place in the "All Songs" Leaderboards.
- Stars breakdown for the 24 songs: Gold stars (11), 5 stars (11), 4 stars (2, for "666" and "School")
- Sylvie was the "Top Performer" for the most songs (13), followed by Bongoo (12), Phoenix (3), and then Raikan (1)
- Bongoo had the most FCs (2), followed by Sylvie and Raikan (1 each)
- Phoenix did a great job on "Fire" from Jimi Hendrix, a pretty tricky drum song
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Here is my top 3 DLC from last week:
3. "American Girl", by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: As for most songs from this group, this song has some great guitar solos, but this one takes the cake in terms of complexity. I was quite impressed with the quality of these Live selections. Usually I prefer studio tracks, but when they are of this quality, it can actually enhance the experience. It helps that the "Live Anthology" spans their whole career, increasing the number of quality recordings and performances.
2. "Mary Jane's Last Dance", by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: A well-written tune that has a great vibe, especially the feel of the sections with the harmonica. The song is not overly complex, but it certainly is fun to play and hear.
1. "Refugee", by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: The song has a steady beat and is fun on all instruments, plus it has a pretty catchy chorus. If I remember correctly, some of the Tom Petty songs have crowd singalongs, and this one is no exception. Whether it's the real crowd or if it was added to the recording, what matters is that it sounds great.
Honorable mention. "Here Comes My Girl", by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: No relation to the Pixies song as far as I know. It deserves a mention for the neat buildups leading up to the choruses. If the rumors about RB3 having a keyboard are true, those choruses will be fun to play. Like some other songs from this pack, it is pretty simple, but it has a great feel.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
While it might have taken us longer than expected (4 sessions instead of 2 or 3), it was definitely worthwhile for its offbeat humor and unique characters.
All the special challenges were a lot of fun, including the last one with the asteroid. If we had to choose our favorite though, it would have to be the Ghostbusters sequence with its surprise apparition. Creating interesting roadies and other staff was rewarded by seeing them in the story sequences (ex: our "emo" roadie got a lot of screen time, he must have needed attention...).
Next week it's time to start catching up on six weeks of DLC, plus we'll revisit the great songs from Lego Rock Band by using the Export feature. We'll eventually join the billion point club (see the "All Songs" Leaderboards).
- Stars breakdown for the 19 songs: Gold stars (8), 5 stars (11)
- Sylvie was the "Top Performer" for the most songs (13), followed by Bongoo (12), and then Phoenix (9)
- Sylvie had the most FCs (9), followed by Phoenix (8), and then Bongoo (6)
- To make sure we finished this week, we had a steady rotation of "Charlene" and "Doll" for "Make your own" setlists. Raikan was almost always just 1 vocal phrase away from us getting full band FCs on both songs.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Here is my top 3 DLC from last week (Note: "New Fang" wasn't considered because it hasn't been released on PS3 yet):
3. "Medicate", by AFI: A driving song which is fun on all instruments. It has a good breakdown in the middle, something that seems pretty common for AFI.
2. "Walk Like an Egyptian", by The Bangles: Very catchy tune that is certain to be a crowd favorite. The drums are trickier than I would have expected, which is a good thing.
1. "The Leaving Song, Pt. II", by AFI: In my opinion the best song of the week due to its great riffs and constant energy. The breakdown once again is well done, having a bit of a "Tool" vibe.
Honorable mention. "Beautiful Thieves", by AFI: The song has its ups and downs, for example having somewhat bland verses. But the song deserves a special mention here due to its great uplifiting choruses.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Once again the story sequences and special challenges were quite entertaining. We saw the ice melting scene, the Lord of the Rings style battle (example message: "Awesome troll bashing"), plus the alien saucer powering (example message: "The aliens are elated"). We had just unlocked the moon when we decided to call it a night.
One part of the story that left us a bit puzzled: If the aliens were so eager to make us sign a contract, how come they decided to play next instead of telling us to?
- Stars breakdown for the 18 songs: Gold stars (7), 5 stars (7), 4 stars (4)
- Sylvie was the "Top Performer" for the most songs (9), followed by Phoenix and Bongoo (5 each), and then Raikan (2)
- Phoenix had the most FCs (4), followed by Sylvie and Bongoo (3 each), and then Raikan (2)
- We continued our strategy of playing short songs for "Make your own" sets to progress faster through the game (ex: "Charlene" or "Crackity Jones", plus we added "Doll" this week)
- It was a nice touch to see the Roadies we created last week appear in the story sequences! :)
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I've also been playing the exported Lego songs solo this past week, and I can say that some of the songs have the best bass and drum charts that I've seen in a while. Kudos to the people who picked the songs and wrote the charts! :)
In a week we'll go back to climbing the "All Songs" Leaderboards. We'll be playing the exported Lego Rock Band songs and a lot of the recent DLC. On this note, here is my top 3 DLC from last week:
3. "Club Foot", by Kasabian: Great song on bass and drums, too bad the guitar chart is pretty bland. A better song than "Shoot the Runner", Kasabian's previous DLC.
2. "Employee of the Month", by SpongeBob SquarePants: This is a catchy song that is fun on all instruments. It is definitely my favorite of the 2nd SpongeBob pack.
1. "Icky Thump", by The White Stripes: A really unique DLC experience. The song has a few great riffs and some truly bizzare guitar\keyboard solos. Not for everyone, but highly recommended for the adventurous.
Honorable mention. "Ridin' the Hook", by SpongeBob SquarePants: The lyrical theme of the song plus the vocal exchanges between the drummer and the singer makes this a quirky and fun song to play.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
There was a lot of quirky but funny Lego humor in the text and video of the challenges and in the other story sequences, like the revenge of the octopus, the celebrity on the UFO (won't spoil it), plus the "overjoyed farmer" getting quite a ride.
- Stars breakdown for the 24 songs: Gold stars (10), 5 stars (11), 4 stars (7), 3 stars (1)
- Bongoo was the "Top Performer" for the most songs (16), followed by Sylvie (14), Phoenix (8), and then Raikan (2)
- Bongoo had the most FCs (5), followed by Sylvie (4), Phoenix (2), and then Raikan (1)
- Once again we were annoyed that we were playing the same Lego Rock Band songs multiple times. To counter this, we decided to play short "Make your own" sets to advance to the next stage (good choices are "Charlene (I'm Right Behind You)" and "Crackity Jones").
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
We'll go back to climbing the "All Songs" Leaderboards in one or two weeks, depending on when we finish Lego Rock Band. With the latest RockBandStats.com update, we are now ranked 18th. One neat thing I noticed is that the songs we played when we were offline in September have now been uploaded.
Here is my top 3 DLC from last week:
3. "School", by Nirvana: The other two Nirvana songs from Bleach were fun in parts, but this one is my favorite because it is a bit more complex and varied throughout. Hopefully the rumor is true that Nirvana's missing hits from Nevermind are on they way to Rock Band soon.
2. "Best of You", by Foo Fighters: This one makes my top 3 due to a really fun drum pattern in the middle of the song. I love unique parts like this that are tricky and fast, but not impossible.
1. "The Pretender", by Foo Fighters: A great song that is fun on all instruments. Usually the "hits" are not necessarily the best in terms of gameplay, but in this case it hits the mark.
Honorable mention. "Wheels", by Foo Fighters: This is a slower Foo Fighters song from their Greatest Hits album, but that doesn't mean that it isn't a fun song to play. I give this one a slight edge over "Word Forward", also from that album.
It is a bit surprising that with 24 songs now in the game for the Foo Fighters (2nd only to Pearl Jam's 26), the newest Foo Fighters DLC still feels quite fresh and interesting. As they are the first band to have an "03" DLC pack, that is encouraging for the quality of future DLC.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
The special battles throughout the game are the highlight. We played 2 so far (building destruction, Ghostbusters), and that is the main reason we'll be playing through the whole story mode in the next 1 or 2 sessions. That means that we'll take a small break from climbing the "All Songs" Leaderboards.
Another fun part of the night was creating random Lego characters. Some of the combinations are absolutely hilarious and everyone was almost rolling on the floor laughing at one point.
Now the abomination that Raikan randomly selected at the start was really the stuff of nightmares. He had a huge orange afro, plus a beard, glasses, and a dress... (we should have taken a picture).
Speaking of this character, we were happily playing the Ghostbusters story sequence, when all of a sudden you see three Lego characters on a bed. We barely had time to notice that one of the three was a monster when Raikan's freakish face popped up from the under the bed. Adding to the shock value was that he started to nod his head up and down. Let's just say we had a hard time sleeping last night... ;)
- Stars breakdown for the 16 songs: Gold stars (11), 5 stars (5)
- Phoenix was the "Top Performer" for the most songs (9), followed by Sylvie (6), Bongoo (4), and then Raikan (1)
- Phoenix had a nice streak of FCs (6 overall for the night), followed by 1 each for the other three band members
- We found out that you can just look at the game and and still not fail, constantly getting "OK" recoveries. It was our way to protest getting the same song twice in a row.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Now any song played in Lego Rock Band will eventually need to be played in Rock Band 2, as we will want to play them all to continue our climb of the "All Songs" Leaderboards. If and when we decide that we've had our fill of the blockiness, we'll download the Lego Rock Band songs as DLC and play them in Rock Band 2 instead to save some time (edit: for PS3, the Lego download feature is only available on November 12th...).
We might also play some of the new DLC of the last two weeks. Queen had a new 10-pack two weeks ago, and now they have 2 more in Lego Rock Band.
Here is my top 3 DLC from last week:
3. "Pilgrim", by Wolfmother: Great driving song from Wolfmother's latest CD with some good riffs. Add to that some neat "Beatles"-esque vocals in the choruses and voila, you crack the top 3! :)
2. "Superbeast", by Rob Zombie: One of Rob Zombie's best songs. I still prefer some of the White Zombie songs (his earlier group), but this one has a great driving rhythm. The drum chart is the highlight for me. It's quite fast and tricky in parts but always fun, expecially if you can keep a note streak.
1. "Woman", by Wolfmother: I thought this song would not be too special or a bit tiresome, having played it so often in Guitar Hero 2, but I was highly mistaken. In a week with a lot of fun drum charts, this one tops them all, with its flowing fills and unique middle section. Kudos to the chart makers! :)
Honorable mention. "Burn", by Rob Zombie: This song gets the special nod due to a really fun bass chart. Lots of movement throughout with a many good riffs and a neat bridge section. Unfortunately the drum chart is a bit dull, otherwise it would easily make my top 3.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I didn't try the Queen songs on all instruments yet, plus there are many good ones to choose from (not just the hits), but here are my top 3 so far:
3. "One Vision": Worth it for the drum track alone, tricky but fun, with lots of variety! I can't help but think of its use in the Sony Press Conference at E3 this year.
2. "Somebody to Love": It's neat to now have a great gospel-infused song in Rock Band. The song would be lots of fun with the harmonies vocal system of The Beatles: Rock Band.
1. "Fat Bottomed Girls": Catchy, rockin' song with some great riffs.
Honorable mention. Tie for "Another One Bites the Dust" and "Under Pressure": Both songs have classic bass lines and are lots of fun to play. It will be neat to try "Under Pressure" on vocals to see how tough it is to alternate between Freddie Mercury and David Bowie.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Raikan, Phoenix and Sylvie had recently changed the look of their avatars, but I had decided to keep my metal viking look. I guess I chose the wrong day to arrive later for a session, as I had been transformed by the otheres into a pink kilt wearing weirdo with a matching pink guitar... :)
- Stars breakdown for the 24 songs: Gold stars (3), 5 stars (13), 4 stars (5), 3 stars (3)
- Sylvie was the "Top Performer" for the most songs (11), followed by Bongoo, (10), and then Raikan (4)
- Sylvie is the only one who had some FCs (3)
- Phoenix had to take a break after playing "100,000 Years (Live)", "The Wagon", and "More Than Meets the Eye" in the same set (the 1st and 3rd being the only songs we didn't 5-star with the optimal line-up). The songs are not the most difficult on drums but they each require some endurance. What random band is selected for his first song after the break? Iron Maiden...
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Harmonix unblocked my access to the RockBand.com Leaderboards last week (after about a month), so I was able to finish the update for the cycle that started in mid-September. We moved up to rank 20 in the "All Songs" Leaderboards, with a total of 667.5M points (close to 100M points more than before). We'll see a more accurate rank in the next update (above 700M points), when all scores are from after the blockage.
Harmonix's API will make score retrieval much faster once it is ready, but one bit of good news is that normal score retrieval seems to be faster than before, especially for scores with higher ranks. I currently have the full range of scores (top 100,000), and the last time I started a cycle with that range it was going to take about 10 days. I'm hoping the current cycle will take about the same time or less.
Tonight we will play 24-32 unranked songs, including some new DLC from last week. The only pack last week was the Brütal Legend 3-pack, which included some classics from Motörhead and Tenacious D, plus a newer Testament track. A great addition or replacement for the Brütal Legend pack would have been Dimmu Borgir's epic "Progenies of the Great Apocalypse" (also from the soundtrack). There were also some very interesting single tracks last week. Here is my top 3 DLC from that selection:
3. "Kansas - Icarus - Borne on the Wings of Steel (Live)": It had been a while since we heard a good progressive rock track in Rock Band (hoping for more Dream Theater or some Opeth eventually). The track stays interesting as it changes quite often, with the highlight being the last guitar solo. It will also make you wonder if you're playing Violin Hero... :)
2. "Testament - More Than Meets the Eye": Testament was the first metal group I ever got into. They are very heavy, but still quite melodic at times with the resilient Chuck Billy as frontman and the amazing Alex Skolnick on guitar. I'm so glad that Alex is back with the group, his solos are always legendary. This time the solo is again very interesting and technical, but not as melodic as usual.
1. "Joe Satriani - Surfing with the Alien": If you've never heard Joe Satriani's guitar virtuosity before, prepare to be amazed. With Yngwie Malmsteem, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, and John Petrucci, he is one of the best guitarists on the planet. "Satch Boogie" might be more intense (now the hardest guitar song in the game, hard to believe "Caprici di Diablo" could be topped), but I find that "Surfing with the Alien" is a better song overall. It still has some crazy technical sections, but it also has a great vibe with its dreamy main riff. I used to play some instrumental songs on my high school radio show, and this one was on regular rotation.
Honorable mention. "Tenacious D - The Metal": It's just a fun short song on all instruments. The main guitar riff was a treat to play in Guitar Hero 3 and it still is. I also like how the vocal track in the bridge section is clearer than in Guitar Hero 3, even though it masks that amazing acoustic guitar part a bit.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
We played 32 songs, 16 of which were with the optimal line-up. We gained 30M points in the process (going from 680M to 710M), which will help us gain ground in the "All Songs" Leaderboards.
- Stars breakdown for the 32 songs: Gold stars (8), 5 stars (20), 4 stars (3), 3 stars (1)
- Bongoo was the "Top Performer" for the most songs (18), followed by Sylvie, (11), Phoenix (7), and then Raikan (6)
- Sylvie and Bongoo tied for the most FCs (2 each), followed by Raikan and Phoenix (1 each)
- We 5-starred everything with the optimal line-up, except for "Police Truck" (4 stars), which has some fairly difficult parts for all instruments
- Phoenix, Raikan and Bongoo tie with 97% of notes hit twice in a row (for "Poison" and "Creepin' Up the Backstairs"), but Sylvie just had to be different... :)
- Phoenix finds out that some of his least favourite bands have some very fun drum tracks ("Had a Dad" and "Even Flow")
- We randomly pick "Killed By Death '08" and then "Hell Hole", a logical progression...
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Out of all the new songs, my favourite is "Handlebars" from "The Flobots" (hence the title of this post). It's just a fun song to play and hear, especially for the vocals and drums (+ gotta love the trumpet). 2nd place goes to "Dance Epidemic" from "Electric Six" (groovy), and 3rd to "Steady, As She Goes" from "The Raconteurs" (good overall music writing). "Alanis Morissette" would get a mention (especially for "Ironic"), but her songs were so overplayed in Ottawa in 1995 that they are somewhat annoying, even to this day.
We are currently ranked 24th with 573M points in the "All Songs" Leaderboards, but our real total is 680M. Harmonix is working on an API for more efficient Leaderboard score retrieval (just the data, plus all 100,000 scores for a song at once). Once it is ready to use, I'll have here.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
We also played a trick on Phoenix before "Do You Want To", switching his drum settings to "Lefty Mode" He thought the track was very odd, eventually realizing what was going on because of the energy activation on the red pad instead of the green one. :)
We played our last unranked RB1 song ("Dead On Arrival"), and we have about 64 unranked DLC songs remaining. There were two weeks where we played offline, so adding those songs to the total and considering the weekly DLC, we'll likely have caught up with all the songs by December.
We gained about 25 million points tonight (655M to 680M), so we'll continue to move up in the "All Songs" Leaderboards (when I regain access to the RockBand.com Leaderboards).
- Stars breakdown for the 26 songs: Gold stars (10), 5 stars (13), 4 stars (2, for "Wolf Like Me" and "I Will Not Bow"), 1 star (1, for "Charlene (I'm Right Behind You)")
- Bongoo was the "Top Performer" for the most songs (14), followed by Sylvie, (10), and then Pheonix and Raikan (4 each)
- Raikan, Sylvie and Bongoo tied for the most FCs (1 each)
- We found out that "There Was a Time" was really "There Were 2 Times" (restart due to a crazy guitar solo finish)
- We had a 2nd week in a row with a 4-way tie for "Top Performer" (98% each for "No Rain", no "Top Performer" indicator)
- We almost had another 4-way tie at 97% for "Pick Me Up", but Sylvie just had to be the only one with 98%... ;)
P.S. Phoenix is inquiring about "www.3macasandareject.com" being down. Once it's fixed the Score Reader will once again be functional.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
We are still ranked 24th with 573M points in the "All Songs" Leaderboards, even though we really have 655M points. Hopefully Harmonix will soon unblock my access to the RockBand.com Leaderboards so we can see our real rank. You can see a thread with info about this issue right here.
P.S. Sad news yesterday as it was announced that Evile bassist Mike Alexander (of "Thrasher" fame) had died while touring in Sweden at the age of 32. R.I.P.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
One funny moment was when we just missed getting 1 million points for "Heartbreaker" and I jokingly asked "Who's to blame?" (meaning who's the worst performer). It turned out that we all were! :) Everyone had the same percentage (98%), and there was no "Top Performer" indicator.
This is the first time there was a 4-way tie for "Top Performer" since we started tracking this info. Before that we did get 2 full band FCs (for "Nine in the Afternoon" and "Today").
We gained about 30 million points tonight (625M to 655M), so we'll continue to move up in the "All Songs" Leaderboards.
- Stars breakdown for the 32 songs: Gold stars (8), 5 stars (15), 4 stars (8), 3 stars (1)
- Bongoo was the "Top Performer" for the most songs (23), followed by Sylvie, (11), Raikan (6), and then Phoenix (3)
- Bongoo had the most FCs (8), followed by Sylvie (3), Raikan (2), and then Phoenix (1)
- Pheonix did a great job on "Hammerhead" on drums, hitting 93% of the notes, which helped us get 5 stars
- Phoenix also had a great time with his "Science Genius Girl" drum sightread (fast and fun drum pattern)
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
We are still ranked 24th with 573M points in the "All Songs" Leaderboards. Once Harmonix unblocks my access to the RockBand.com Leaderboards, we will know our updated rank (see News section in the RockBandStats.com Forums for up-to-date info).
Thursday, September 24, 2009
We played 28 unranked songs, the first 16 with the optimal line-up, and the last 4 with 3 players. We gained about 23 million points (602M to 625M), so we'll move up a bit in the "All Songs" Leaderboards.
It was neat that we could 5-star almost every song we played, even with many people not on their usual instruments. Everyone has pretty much become a multi-instrumentalist.
Phoenix didn't have the internet set-up once again, so we're not sure if the songs we played will be uploaded to the Rock Band servers at a later date. Based on our experience the last time we didn't have a connection, I don't think this works well in RB2. We'll just have to play them again after we're done playing all the songs.
- Stars breakdown for the 28 songs: Gold stars (6), 5 stars (18), 4 stars (4)
- Sylvie was the "Top Performer" for the most songs (13), followed by Raikan and Bongoo (9 each), and then Phoenix (1)
- Sylvie had the most FCs (4), followed by Raikan (2), and then Phoenix and Bongoo (1 each)
- Phoenix would have had to have been "More Human Than Human" to do well on drums on a sightread of that song on Expert, it's quite tricky
- Phoenix is fed up with his drum silencers, so he converts them into some pretty neat slippers! :)
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
We are currently ranked 24th with 573M points in the "All Songs" Leaderboards. As usual we will play between 24 and 32 unranked songs to continue our climb.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Great job by Harmonix for adding more info in the Quickplay menu! Being able to see the star rating again is a plus (it was removed in RB2), but the real innovation is seeing the top 5 scores among friends, including everyone's rank. The game even tells you who is ahead of you after finishing a song. That makes it easier to pick which song to play to get ahead in the Leaderboards.
It's also great that Harmonix has added a way to see the Bass scores in the Quickplay menu. This feature was missing in previous games.
I am still planning to add the Beatles scores to RockBandStats.com in order for people to see all their scores on one page and see some expanded Leaderboards, but having this additional info in the game is a step in the right direction for Harmonix. Great work! :)
2. Dolby Digital:
When I started playing, I didn't realize that the sound was not set to Dolby Digital by default. after setting the lag calibration to my normal configuration and then playing a few songs on guitar, I noticed that some of the fast chord changes didn't match the music. I thought that was odd because I use the same settings for all the rhythm games released so far. But as soon as I switched the audio settings to Dolby Digital, the calibration issue disappeared...
We played two weeks in a row at Phoenix's house without realizing that it wasn't in Dolby Digital. I did feel the calibration was slightly off when I played guitar the first week. This could be one of the reasons why.
Friday, September 18, 2009
We had a great time trying out the vocal harmonies in "The Beatles: Rock Band" tonight. We actually managed to play all the songs, including the Encore that we skipped last week.
Next week we'll go back to playing some unranked Rock Band 2 songs. Phoenix's internet was down this week, but he'll change ISPs by next week's session due to the frequent interruptions.
For most of the night, Raikan was on the blue harmony line, Bongoo on brown, and Phoenix or Sylvie on orange. Seb also joined us near the end, with Pheonix and Raikan on drums.
Overall, I found singing the harmonies to be a great experience. Hitting the "triple fabs" was awesome as it usually sounded great. But I was annoyed or frustrated with a few aspects of the vocal system:
1. I hated when the pitch lines suddenly shifted up or down. I'm used to RB2 vocals representing the whole range for a given song and not moving. This feature is most likely due to the need to see the distance between the harmony lines, but it did make it quite difficult to adapt after a shift.
2. If someone didn't sing the beginning of a specific harmony correctly, the game had a tendency to lock a player to one of the harmony lines. That made it difficult to adjust the pitch to skip to the desired harmony line. Raikan pointed out that SingStar didn't have the lock-in feature, which made it easier to make adjustments.
3. On certain songs, the harmony lines blended so much that only a very short portion of a given line appeared independently in a segment (ex: brown line near the end of one of the songs). We could adapt to the blended colors, but this made it difficult at times to know which main line to use.
Apart from these issues, I found the vocal harmonies feature to be very well implemented. Kudos to Harmonix for bringing a new dimension to the Rock Band experience.
- Stars breakdown for the 45 songs: Gold stars (10), 5 stars (24), 4 stars (9), 3 stars (2)
- Harmony stats (highest percentage or 100% for one of the harmony lines):
- Bongoo was the "Top Vocalist" for the most songs (25), followed by Raikan (11), Phoenix (5), and Sylvie (4)
- Bongoo was the only one who had some FCs (4)
- One song we didn't like very much which I forgot to mention last week was "Good Morning Good Morning"
- We find out that the Beatles liked to say "Woo" a lot, which we often performed as "Woof"...
- Sylvie did a song with two microphones, and oddly enough, the percentages were slightly different for each one
Thursday, September 17, 2009
We'll also go back to playing Rock Band 2, playing some unranked songs to move up in the "All Songs" Leaderboards.
Friday, September 11, 2009
The first thing we noticed when we started playing is how colorful everything was. It gives the game a great visual style, but it was hard at first to get our eyes adjusted to the notes. Just as we got used to it, the game turned ultra-psychedelic in the middle section, the backgrounds occasionally overpowering everything.
I also found the hammer-on notes a bit difficult to notice, as they are closer in size to the normal notes compared to the ones in Rock Band 2.
The setlist was pretty good, with the middle "trippy" part the worst section of the game. Some of the songs were just odd and boring (ex: "Getting Better"), but the beginning and end of the game had some great songs (ex: "Here Comes the Sun").
We started the night with our optimal line-up, but when Seb showed up, we took the opportunity to try the vocal harmonies as a 5-member band. Raikan and Phoenix had some interesting vocal exchanges, especially when the game makes the singers alternate talky parts. We only had 2 mics, but we'll definitely try the game with 3 mics next week.
- Stars breakdown for the 44 songs: Gold stars (3), 5 stars (24), 4 stars (16), 3 stars (1)
- Bongoo was the "Top Performer" for the most songs (29), followed by Sylvie and Pheonix (12 each), and Seb (2, on Medium)
- Bongoo had the most FCs (5), followed by Phoenix and Sylvie (1 each)
- We only fail on one song, "Birthday", which had some tough vocal sections
- Phoenix swaps the lyrics from one song to another pretty nicely (was it a pony, a bird, a bulldog, a walrus, or an octopus?)
- He also raps along "Helter Skelter" Beastie Boys style, coming up with some memorables lines like "I like Ewoks!" :)
Thursday, September 10, 2009
If we finish it, or if we want to keep some of it for another time, we'll continue our climb of the "All Songs" Leaderboards by playing some unranked Rock Band 2 songs.
Friday, September 4, 2009
We played some Q-Bert while the new DLC was downloading, with Phoenix showing us some of his daring moves (ex: jumping in harm's way to get to the annoying green tile turning monster).
We played 32 unranked songs, 24 with the new line-up and the last 8 with some instrument swaps. A lot of songs were pretty difficult tonight, which is partly due to us playing the easy songs last week.
We gained 25M points, which would be enough to move us up to 21st place in the "All Songs" Leaderboards.
Sylvie did an amazing job on drums in the last set, finishing "Magic Bus (Live at Leeds)" on Expert. That is a crazy song on drums near the end. Keith Moon was a beast of a drummer!
- Stars breakdown for the 32 songs: Gold stars (2), 5 stars (19), 4 stars (11)
- Bongoo was the "Top Performer" for the most songs (16), followed by Sylvie (12), Raikan (5), and Phoenix (3)
- Sylvie and Bongoo tied for the most FCs (2)
- Phoenix bought some special beer glasses that are meant for different types of beers, which we used to taste some uniquely flavoured summer beers (pineapple beer from Belgium, "homemade" Innis & Gunn (Sapporo + scotch), raspberry wheat from New York state)
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Last week's scores have probably not been uploaded because we played offline, but we are currently ranked 25th with 567M points in the "All Songs" Leaderboards.
If we play at least 24 unranked songs, that would move us up to 22nd place (including last week's scores).
Friday, August 28, 2009
We mostly played 2 song sets consisting of the easiest unranked songs, with regular instrument swaps. Because this was more of an informal session, we only tracked the number of Fcs, with Bongoo getting 11.
We gained about 10M points, enough to move past "Brass Knuckles" for 23rd place in the "All Songs" Leaderboards. The only possible obstacle to this point gain is that we played offline due to Phoenix's problems with his ISP. It will be a good test to see if offline scores are uploaded the next time we connect.
- Bongoo did some voxtar (vocals and guitar at the same time) at the end, using Sylvie's hoodie as the mic stand while she was drumming. :) He got more than 80% of the notes with both instruments on Expert for "Sex on Fire" and "I Predict a Riot".
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
We are currently ranked 24th with 567M points in the "All Songs" Leaderboards. Tonight our goal should be to play 24 to 32 unranked songs and gain at least 24M points. This would move us up to 21st place.
Friday, August 21, 2009
DMan, Phoenix, Sylvie and Bongoo ate some nachos, drank some great beers (ex: the amazing Rochefort 10), and had very interesting conversations to celebrate the last 16 months of the band with DMan on vocals.
Topics ranged from the history of "3 Macas and a Reject", to the survival of our species, and even of the the ethics of friendship.
We wish DMan well on his journey to Montreal. As I said in the comments for the last post, we will certainly miss his talents as singer, video editor and writer. We look forward to his guest appearance in a future session. Farewell!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
So instead, I say let's all go out to our favorite pub (Pub Italia?), have a drink or two and reminisce of the good times we've had with both RB 1 and 2. We could all meet up at Phoenix's house around 8ish (sorry for volunteering your house man, but its the usual gathering point) and take a car from there down to the pub.
Let me know what you guys think. :D
Friday, August 14, 2009
- Raikan will move from Bass to Vocals
- Sylvie graduates from "Honorary Maca" to "Permanent Maca" on Bass
We played 24 songs with the optimal line-up, moving up a few ranks in the "All Songs" Leaderboards. Raikan and Bongoo also played a few songs with 2 players.
- Stars breakdown for the 24 songs: Gold stars (4), 5 stars (16), 4 stars (3), 3 stars (1)
- Raikan was the "Top Performer" for the most songs (12), followed by Bongoo (11), DMan (3), and Phoenix (2)
- Bongoo had the most FCs (6), followed by Raikan (3), and Phoneix (2)
- We finished two songs with 3 FCs (all except vocals for "Cups and Cakes" and "Geraldine")
- DMan told us to wait after the solo to activate overdrive during "Wilson (Live)". He misses his own activation, resulting in him saying "Oh Shitson!" instead of "Oh Wilson!" right after (you had to be there...)
Thursday, August 13, 2009
We have a little over 150 unranked songs left to play. Taking into consideration the average number of DLC released each week, we should have a basic score for each song by the end of September.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
a) Nothing was official; and
b) I didn't want to jinx anything
I've received an offer for a job in Montréal and I'll be starting on August 27th. So, I'm not too sure what that means for Rock Band, seeing as how I won't be in town, nor have the internet for a while. Right now I'm more preocupied with the logistics of moving to Montréal and what not, so we'll see what we can do in the long term.
In the short term, next week will be my last official RB night in Ottawa, so we'll have to make sure it doesn't go to waste.
See you guys tomorrow!
Friday, August 7, 2009
Phoenix bought a Roland electronic drum kit a while back to play with his real band, but we brought it down for tonight's Rock Band session. It was neat to see how quickly he adapted to the pad/button configuration.
We gained 17M points tonight, which is just enough to meet our goal of being in the top 20 in the "All Songs" Leaderboards.
- Stars breakdown for the 22 songs: Gold stars (6), 5 stars (7), 4 stars (6), 3 stars (3)
- Raikan is the "Top Performer" for the most songs (11), followed by Bongoo (9), DMan (4), and Phoenix (1)
- Tonight was the first time that noone gets an FC, possibly due to the difficulty of the songs selected
- It seemed to be a Guitar Hero 3 night at the beginning, with 3 of the first 9 randomly selected songs coming from that game ("Hier Kommt Alex", "Black Sunshine", "Pride and Joy")
- We get two 3-way ties for "Top Performer" in the same session (between DMan, Raikan and Bongoo) . This occured when noone was flagged as "Top Performer" but we all got the same percentage
- Phoenix shows us his special powers, as he correctly predicts his percentage for the song where he is the "Top Performer" (93%)
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
One funny moment was when Phoenix changed the lyrics of "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" (from the new Country Track Pack) to "She thinks the Trapper's sexy, there's really something wrong...".
We also had a tough time passing "No Hassle Night" from "The Dead Weather" due to the crazy drum intro. After a few attempts, Bongoo saved the day so we could go on with our night. :)
We played 32 unranked songs, gaining 24M points along the way. This should move us up from 27th to 22nd in the "All Songs" Leaderboards.
- Stars breakdown for the 32 songs, 5 stars (22), 4 stars (10)
- Bongoo is the "Top Performer" for the most songs (20), followed by Raikan (8), Nick (4), and Sylvie (2)
- Bongoo has the most FCs (5), followed by Raikan (3)
Thursday, July 30, 2009
500M points is a nice achievement, but I'm sure we will be joining the 1B point club soon... :)
Friday, July 24, 2009
We had the shaky arrow during "Doin' That Rag", which made it difficult to sing for those who hadn't heard it before. We finally passed it with Bongoo on Vocals, with Sylvie being the "Top Performer" while playing guitar.
That Grateful Dead song is my least favorite out of the 13 that are out so far. Apart from the main riff which is somewhat catchy, the whole song has a very disjointed feel, never quite hitting any kind of rhythm, melody, or groove. I really like the Grateful Dead songs on guitar, but this song is kind of painful to play and hear.
- Stars breakdown for the 24 songs, no Gold star due to the unusual line-up: 5 stars (10), 4 stars (13), 3 stars (1)
- Bongoo is the "Top Performer" for the most songs (16), followed by Phoenix (5), DMan (3), and Sylvie (2)
- Bongoo had the only FC of the night
Thursday, July 23, 2009
RockBandStats.com is currently at its optimal range to update twice a week, so our scores with last week's session are now up-to-date. We are currently ranked 27th for the "All Songs" Leaderboards with 483M points. This is slightly lower than our in-game total due to some songs being played with one instrument only, the score not being high enough to be ranked.
Gaining 24M points would move us up to to 22nd place.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Worst case: I can arrange to keep the back door unlocked if you wish to come and start without me, I'll let you know on the phone.
Monday, July 20, 2009
On June 1st 2009, several months after the launch of our shop, CafePress modified its royalty policies. Where we, as shopkeepers, had once decided how much our products would sell for, CafePress would now state the price for all products, giving shop owners 10% of every sale.
Now, this may seem reasonable, but let me take you through an example:
On the 3MaaR store, we have a "They're Buttons You Know" T-Shirt posted at $21.99. Of that $21.99, CafePress takes $14.99 for the shirt, and we receive $7. Not bad huh? Well, if you happen to buy our T-Shirt off of CafePress' website (which all people do, as we have virtually no traffic going to our shop) you'll have to pay $25 (3$ more than what we ask for it). Not only that, but CafePress will only give us 10% of the sale, meaning we get $2.50 and CafePress gets $22.50, up from $14.99!
- Our price - $21.99
- Our cut - $7.00
- CafePress' cut - $14.99
- New Price - $25.00
- Our cut - $2.50
- CafePress' cut - $22.50 (That's $7.50 more than before!)
Customers get screwed because they have to pay 3$ more for our shirt, and we get screwed because we receive $4.50 less than what we would have originaly. The only ones who are happy in the end is CafePress, who laugh all the way to the bank.
As for any potential shop owners out there who are looking to publish their creations, don't use CafePress. There are many other great alternatives (like Zazzle.com for example) who are much better, and a lot less devious...
Friday, July 17, 2009
But that is nothing compared to what is on display in our current Rock Band catalogue. In a single set, we can now go from SpongeBob SquarePants (ex: "The Best Day Ever") to Cannibal Corpse ("Hammer Smashed Face")! For an interesting "Disney-esque" parody of the real Cannibal Corpse song played in E major, see this video (warning: not for the squeamish). Those are some very happy riffs...
While some of the extreme lyrics of Cannibal Corpse could potentially have been censored (see this post), having such contrasting musical and thematic styles in a single game is a good sign that we'll continue to get some great artists in all genres. Harmonix is a company that is not afraid to push boundaries to expand their clientele.
That said, tonight we started off by playing all 8 songs of the Mayhem pack. That was a very intense set, with Phoenix thankfully playing on Hard difficulty (I warned him beforehand of how crazy some of the drum charts are). Most of the songs were a lot of fun to play, with my favorite being the Behemoth song.
We played another 16 random unranked songs after that, the first time in a while we play the whole night with our optimal line-up. Because we started the night with 464M points, this should be bring us very close to the top 20 in the "All Songs" Leaderboards when they are updated.
- Stars breakdown for the 24 songs: Gold star (5), 5 stars (12), 4 stars (5), 3 stars (2)
- Raikan is once again the "Top Performer" for the most songs (10), followed by Phoenix and Bongoo (7 each), and DMan (4)
- Raikan and Bongoo tie for the most FCs (2 each), DMan would have won but we don't count songs that only have "talkie" sections
Thursday, July 16, 2009
"Original 84" All-Console Rank: 40th
"All Songs" All-Console Rank: 32nd
Friday, July 10, 2009
Using our patented pseudo-random song selection technique (see this post), we just so happened to get two AC/DC songs in a row. But not just any two AC/DC songs... Jailbreak (Live) and High Voltage (Live)! These two songs are the longest in the game, at 10 minutes+ each.
Now I don't mind long epic songs (I'm a Dream Theater fan after all), but these two, especially Jailbreak, had some really long and boring parts that seemed to never end... Phoenix had enough of one of these songs, so Sylvie played the second one.
Tonight was the first time that Bongoo was not the "Top Performer" for the most songs. Raikan gets the win with 14 vs. Bongoo's 10!
Also of note is that we didn't have an internet connection so hopefully the next time Phoenix connects, tonight's scores will be uploaded. In RB1, scores for songs that were played offline were never uploaded, but apparently this is fixed in RB2. This will be a good test. We'll have to wait until next week to try the new metal songs from the Mayhem pack.
- Stars breakdown for the 24 songs: Gold star (5), 5 stars (17), 4 stars (2)
- Raikan is the "Top Performer" for the most songs (14), followed by Bongoo (10), Phoenix (6), and then DMan and Sylvie (1 each)
- Bongoo has the most FCs (4), followed by Raikan (2)
- Phoenix has an amazing performance on "Sleepwalker", finishing as the "Top Performer" with 96% of notes hit
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Tonight we will play at least 32 unranked songs, which will move us up about 8 ranks in the "All Songs" Leaderboards (rank 31 to 23). We can also try to beat our record for Gold stars for one session (13), plus play some of the new songs from the Mayhem metal pack.
"Original 84" All-Console Rank: 39th
"All Songs" All-Console Rank: 31st
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Behemoth - Conquer All
Black Dahlia Murder - What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse
Cannibal Corpse - Hammer Smashed Face
Gob Forbid - Empire of the Gun
Job for a Cowboy - Embedded
Marilyn Manson - Disposable Teens
Slayer - Black Magic
Whitechapel - This Is Exile
Last year we had two metal variety packs (3 songs from Earache and 6 songs from Roadrunner Records), so this makes it the largest one yet! Of note is the first black metal influenced group in Rock Band (Behemoth), plus songs by the pioneers of thrash metal (Slayer) and death metal (Cannibal Corpse). There are also some more modern metal groups (Whitechapel, Black Dahlia Murder, God Forbid, Job for a Cowboy), plus the least "metal" song of the pack by shock rocker Marilyn Manson.
All the bands are part of the Mayhem Festival in the U.S. this summer. Unfortunately there was no "Heavy MTL" metal festival in Montreal this summer, so at least we'll have a taste of another festival through Rock Band! :)
One thing I'm wondering about is if Cannibal Corpse's lyrics will be censored. A few Rock Band songs have violent or gory lyrics that weren't censored ("Good Mourning/Black Friday" by Megadeth and "2 Minutes to Midnight" by Iron Maiden), so it might not be. But I wonder what parents would think if they saw their children sing that song... It's all about parental supervision I guess.
The members of Cannibal Corpse have some interesting thoughts about their lyrics in the "Response to critics" section of their Wikipedia page.
It's funny how in the U.S. nudity and sex bring about so much censorship for any type of media (ex: "Sir Psycho Sexy" lyrics in Rock Band, NC-17 ratings for some movies), whereas extreme violence and gore is tolerated (ex: violent movies usually get an R rating at the worst).
Nevertheless, bring on the metal! :)
Saturday, June 13, 2009
In the meantime, keep an ear out for the "1 Maca and a Reject" duet in a town near you! ;)
Friday, June 12, 2009
But I was happily surprised by how fun all the songs were, especially on guitar. The 2nd pack wasn't as good as the 1st one, but still, I find that having more genres in Rock Band is a good idea.
The PS3 seems to disagree... Raikan wanted to sing some country songs (he loves "How Do You Like Me Now?!") so we played an 8-song all-country set. Perhaps this country overload was too much for the PS3 to handle, so it crashed as we were finishing our 5th song! That's the first time this happened during one of our sessions, so was the PS3 trying to send us a message? ;)
When we got back into the game, the scores for the 5 songs had not been saved in our song list. Hopefully the scores were still uploaded to the Leaderboards between songs.
We played one 8-song set with our optimal line-up tonight and it paid off, as we got 7 Gold stars, and nearly an 8th for Prong's "The Banishment" (really fun song). The rest of the night there were instrument rotations for variety, with Sylvie and Seb subbing in at times.
In total we played 29 unranked songs and gained about 26M points, moving us up from rank 32 to 23 in the "All Songs" Leaderboards (we now have 438M points). At this rate we'll likely be in the top 10 within about 3 months.
- Stars breakdown for the 29 songs: Gold star (7), 5 stars (18), 4 stars (3), 3 stars (1)
- Bongoo is the "Top Performer" for the most songs (20), followed by Raikan (8), DMan and Sylvie (3 each), and Phoenix (1)
- Bongoo has the most FCs (9), followed by Raikan (3), and DMan (2)
- We get 666K on "Hillbilly Deluxe", the week of the release of the "Iron Maiden" 12-pack DLC
Thursday, June 11, 2009
"Original 84" All-Console Rank: 34th
"All Songs" All-Console Rank: 32nd
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
WARNING: The video does contain the original version of the song, which may not be suitable to some. I did my best to find a way to mute the lyrics and add our own, but unfortunately this always greatly reduced the audio quality.
Click on the Play icon below to play. The file is roughly 33MB, so give it a little time if you don't have highspeed. Also, click here to see a higher resolution version of the video.
Sorry it took so long to complete, I tried uploading the video to Youtube.com, only to find that it was blocked "due to a copyright claim by WMG" (which is kind of confusing seeing as how there are plenty of videos on there with the Down With The Sickness... oh well) After trying out different formats, I came to the conclusion that flash was best, and uploaded the video to my own server. Hope you enjoy!
Friday, June 5, 2009
We played 40 unranked songs and gained about 32M points, which would move us up 11 ranks in the "All Songs" Leaderboards.
Phoenix did feel better later on so we managed to finish the night with our optimal line-up (with Sylvie replacing Raikan). We were playing the lowest tiered unranked songs before that, so we decided to challenge ourselves by playing the highest tiered ones.
- Stars breakdown for the 40 songs: Gold star (13, a new record for one session), 5 stars (20), 4 stars (5), 3 stars (2)
- We all activate at the same time to help Phoenix during "My Last Words". Bad move... We decide on an Energy activation order, and it pays off during our second try and for "Good Mourning/Black Friday"
- DMan does great for two songs playing "Bass" and "Vocals" at the same time (not Voxtar, so Voxass? Voxbass?)
- Bongoo is the "Top Performer" for the most songs (23), followed by DMan (12), Sylvie (8), Phoenix (5), and Seb (2)
- Bongoo has the most FCs (14, a new record for one session, plus one while dodging the Roomba), followed by DMan (6), and Sylvie (1)
- We learn that DMan is great at imitating SpongeBob! :)
Thursday, June 4, 2009
"Original 84" All-Console Rank: 34th
"All Songs" All-Console Rank: 42nd
Friday, May 29, 2009
Like last week, half the songs were played with our optimal line-up and half with a different combination for Drums, Bass and Vocals (with Sylvie).
DMan had a surprise as he showed us the result of his hard work. It looks amazing and we can't wait for the final version to be released to the world... :)
- Stars breakdown for the 32 songs: Gold star (9), 5 stars (14), 4 stars (8), 3 stars (1)
- Phoenix gets a lot of tough drum songs in the first 16 songs, including "Burn" and "Let There Be Rock (Live)" in a row...
- We get a 4-star performance for "Devil's Island", but that is very good considering we were all on Expert
- Bongoo is the "Top Performer" for the most songs (14), followed by Raikan (9), DMan (6), Sylvie (3), and Phoenix (1)
- Bongoo has the most FCs (7, including 3 in a row to start the night), followed by Raikan (4), and DMan (3)
- Good thing we didn't miss the Big Rock Ending on "Let There Be Rock (Live)" (160K+), it's a workout in itself!
Monday, May 25, 2009
The sessions will now be on Thursdays due to Bongoo having soccer on Wednesdays.
"Original 84" All-Console Rank: 34th
"All Songs" All-Console Rank: 46th
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Half the songs were played with our optimal line-up and half with a different combination for Drums, Bass and Vocals. We get around 75% of Gold stars for songs played with the optimal line-up.
There were also some weird effects with Bongoo's guitar near the end. The low batteries caused some dropped notes here and there and some flashing of the effects switch menu on and off. Replacing them with some of Phoenix's batteries gave an even weirder result, with everything working correctly except the overdrive triggering on its own all the time on the next note after being ready...
- Stars breakdown for the 32 songs: Gold star (12), 5 stars (7), 4 stars (11), 3 stars (2)
- Sylvie plays drums for one 8-song set and does very well on tough songs like "Vital Signs"
- We have a great run on "Damnation Game", even without our optimal line-up on Bass and Vocals
- Bongoo is the "Top Performer" for the most songs (19), followed by Raikan (15), DMan and Phoenix (2 each), and Sylvie (1)
- Raikan and Bongoo have the most FCs (5 each), followed by DMan (2)
- DMan didn't stay on Vocals the whole session, so it's worth noting that he is the only one who didn't miss a BRE (1 miss each)
- We learn that Trapper has his own song in Rock Band ("Dead" by the Pixies): "U gotta hit the Trapper, the Trapper..." ;)
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
"Original 84" All-Console Rank: 34th
"All Songs" All-Console Rank: 66th
As a bonus goal, we can try to have more Gold stars than last week (6).
Thursday, May 14, 2009
We played 40 unranked songs tonight, gaining 31 million points in the process. That will surely be enough for us to be on page 1 of the "All Songs" Leaderboards once RockBandStats.com is back up (top 50).
- Stars breakdown for the 4o songs: Gold star (6), 5 stars (24), 4 stars (6), 3 stars (4).
- One of our sets was a drummer's nightmare (or dream, depending on how you look at it). Phoenix had to play "That's How I Escaped My Certain Fate", "Young Man Blues (Live at Leeds)" (with an impressive 90% of notes hit), "Holiday in Cambodia" and "Outside" pretty much in a row...
- Phoenix and Sylvie swap instruments for the final 8 songs, giving Phoenix a much needed rest.
- Bongoo is the "Top Performer" on the most songs (29), followed by Phoenix (8), Trapper (3) and Sylvie (2).
- Bongoo has the most FCs (7), followed by Phoenix and Trapper (2 each).
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
We'll track "Top Performers" and "# of FCs" as usual, but we will also track some band stats like "# of Gold Stars".
Note: There are no links to RockBandStats.com in the Goals post this week due to it being down for maintenance. It will be back up as soon as possible.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
- We played with the original line-up for the first 24 songs, then DMan and Phoenix swapped instruments for the final 8.
- Phoenix had 3 FCs in a row, including a great performance on "Reptilia".
- Bongoo was the "Top Performer" for the most songs (13), followed by Raikan (10), Phoenix (8), and DMan (6).
- Bongoo had the most FCs (5), followed by DMan and Phoenix (4), and then Raikan (2).
- It seemed to be a RB1 night, as our pseudo-random technique selected a higher than expected selection of RB1 songs.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
"Original 84" All-Console Rank: 31st
"All Songs" All-Console Rank: 90th
We can use our pseudo-random technique to choose unranked songs (see last week's post) and we'll also track "Top Performers" and "# of FCs".
Thursday, April 30, 2009
- Sylvie (Bass and Vocals) and Trapper (Bass) replace a sick Raikan.
- Bongoo is the Top Performer for the most songs (14), followed by Phoenix and Sylvie (8 each), and then DMan (6). That adds up to more than 32 due to ties.
- DMan and Bongoo have the most FCs (2), followed by Sylvie (1). The calibration was adjusted after 16 songs. If it had been done earlier there would have likely been more FCs.
- Phoenix does some great voice-overs over many songs, the most memorable one being his "metal" rendition of "Body I Occupy"! :)
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
"Original 84" All-Console Rank: 30th
"All Songs" All-Console Rank: 116th
We only need 6 million points to be in the top 100 for "All Songs", so that will be our minimum goal. We'll play any song that is unplayed or that has a low score.
My main goal for my scores at RockBandStats.com is to eventually play all songs on all instruments. I've started using a pseudo-random way to go through the songs with no scores in the song list and we can borrow that strategy tonight for variety:
1. Pick the "Make your own setlist - 8 songs" gig in Reykjavik
2. Song list appears sorted by difficulty
3. Select the first song with no score (or the first below a certain score if they are all played, ex: 500K)
4. Change the sorting category once, and then repeat steps 3 and 4 until 8 songs are selected
The sorting change makes for some nice variety, with the occasional set with the same artist multiple times in a row (By Name -> By Band -> Genre -> Decade, etc...).
As usual we will track the Top Performers and the # of FCs.
Rock on Macas! :)
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Update: The website will soon be closing due to the unavailability of reliable Leaderboard information from RockBand.com.
You want star information with your Rock Band scores? You want uninflated Leaderboards? You just want more stats in general?
Instead of having everyone use their own Score Reader to browse through all the pages in the RockBand.com Leaderboards to get their scores, it is run once for this website and everyone can see their own scores much faster!
On RockBandStats.com, you can satisfy all your statistical needs by:
- Getting a list of your scores and star ratings on the My Scores page
- Looking at a list of the unglitched (uninflated) leaders on the Leaderboards page (including All-Console, All-Solo and All-Song options)
- Getting a quick view of who is the best in the world on the Hall of Fame page
- Comparing your stats with other players and bands on the Compare page
- Getting song info, including which are most popular on the Songs page
- Getting your own stat banner to track your stats on the Banners page
The database currently holds 67 million scores from 2.8 million players and bands. This includes the top 10,000 scores for every song, plus every Gold star beyond that range.
All the stats on this website will be completely refreshed about twice a week. The times in the "Last Update" column indicate when your scores were last retrieved from RockBand.com and are for the Eastern Time Zone. This website is brought to you by Bongoo, a member of 3 Macas and a Reject (this is our blog). If you have any questions about this website, please post here or send an email to "firstname.lastname@example.org".
A big thanks to Harmonix for creating this great game, to Phoenix5096 and DMan3021 for their contributions, to Kawigi for providing star cutoff information, to elsif for the stat banner functionality, to jpiceman for providing some star cutoffs, and to everyone who gave some suggestions.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
With Raikan playing remotely, we decided to play some of the free DLC since both PS3's had those and we had yet to play many of these as a band. Bongoo had the most FCs (6), followed by DMan (4) and Raikan (2).
When we lost our connection with Raikan, Trapper took up the Bass for the first time in a year and we played some random DLC. After helping us with paths and seeing us win 2nd place at the competition a few weeks back, he has a new interest in the game.
It's hard to believe but it's already been about a year since we started playing weekly. The original band name was "3 Macas and a Trapper", but after he stopped playing it was "3 Macas and a Random Guest" (we had new people every week). In June, DMan joined the band and "3 Macas and a Reject" was formed. 2 months later we cracked the top 10 and started this blog, eventually going all the way to #2 for RB1 PS3!
After also climbing the leaderboards in RB2 and catching up to some great online superbands, we finished off our first year with two live competitions, getting 2nd place in the first one. I'm sure there will be lots of neat highlights for our 2nd year!
With DMan in Vegas next week, we'll take a week off, our first since starting a year ago. In two weeks, we'll have another session at DMan's, this time to work on a special project. After that, you better watch out "Happy People" and others, we'll be continuing our RB2 leaderboard climb! :)