Thursday, November 26, 2009

A blocking good time!

We did it! By finishing Lego Rock Band, we now have a legion of alien fans, ready to do our bidding! :)

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

The final block

Tonight we will finish Lego Rock Band, and then go back to playing some RB2 DLC in order to keep climbing the "All Songs" Leaderboards.

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

Elated aliens and troll bashing

Tonight we continued our Lego Rock Band journey, trying to unlock more venues to play some of the unique special challenges. With only a handful of venues to go, I can now say with certainty that we'll finish the game next week.

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

WhiteBob StripePants likes to play Lego

This week will be our final night playing Lego Rock Band. The last 2 weeks were lots of fun, and this week should be no exception. I'm guessing the last special challenge will have something to do with aliens...

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

An "overjoyed farmer" and a revengeful octopus

Tonight we continued playing Lego Rock Band, beating 3 more special challenges (giant octopus, farm drought, and T.Rex). We only have 14 songs left out of 45 so we'll likely finish the game next week.

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

More Lego Fun

This week we will continue our adventure in the Lego Rock Band universe, hopefully without getting some nasty surprises like last week... ;)

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 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

Raikan's nightmarish character appears from under the bed

Tonight we had a great time playing Lego Rock Band for the first time. Apart from the annoying tendency for some songs to come back as we progressed through story mode (sometimes even twice in a row...), we thought the game was a lot of fun.

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

Lego Night!

Today is the release of Lego Rock Band, so tomorrow's session will be dedicated to enjoying its blocky pleasures.

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.