4-day weekend

I am beginning a 4-day weekend and I have some ambitious gaming plans.  First, I am going to start a Necromancer in Diablo 3.  The patch came out on Tuesday, but I haven’t had time to play it yet.  I’ll probably be level 70 by Tuesday.

Next, there is an achievement in Rock Band 3 that I haven’t completed.  It is to play all 70+ core songs (not downloads) in one sitting.  I am going to complete that at some point this weekend.  I’ll keep you posted with my progress.

I’ve also been into Fallout 4 again, and I hope to push the main story line fairly far ahead as I’m curious as to how this ends.  If you haven’t played this one, I recommend it!  Both Fallout 3 and 4 are excellent games with amazing story telling.

Genre:  Music/Rhythm
Platform:  XBox 360

I have made my love of music/rhythm games known through my post about Rock Band 3.  I have gone back and started to play another game in the Rock Band series, LEGO Rock Band.  This is a cute game and I think it was designed specifically for the younger fans.  It has a “super easy” difficulty, which I’ve not seen anywhere else.  The song list is so-so, but it is still a lot of fun to play.

You can sing, play drums, bass or lead guitar.  It does have a story mode and is pretty cute.  At one point, you even get to meet LEGO Queen and play as LEGO Brian May.  It is a fairly consistent story format for Rock Band games.  As you play, you collect money (studs in this game), fans and stars.  You can use your studs to buy new items, including new forms of transportation.  New transportation means new venues, which means more songs.

One thing I don’t like about this game is that it makes you replay a lot of songs.  In one sitting, I played one particular song three times, which is too much repetition for my taste.  I’m going to finish the story mode so I can rack up the achievements.  Overall, it’s an ok game, but I’m not in love with it.  If you’re a fan of the music genre, you’ll like it.


Chey’s Top 25 Games – #8 – Rock Band 3

My love affair with music games was immediate and heavy.  I had heard of Guitar Hero back in the Playstation 2 days, when I was an XBox owner, and was intrigued.  Alas, it was not released for the XBox.  When I was visiting my brother, I wanted to play it so much that I bought him a PS2 with Guitar Hero.  I was in love.  I then went home and got my own PS2 with Guitar Hero.

Guitar Hero 2 came out not too long after that and I sold the PS2.  I was just immediately good at the game, having a music background and strong rhythm skills, and enjoyed the game immensely.  I have every single Guitar Hero or Rock Band game and have played through them many times.  It was hard to pick a single favorite game for my list, but Rock Band 3 wins out.

Rock Band 3 allows you to import any songs that you purchased through their store into the game, even if you purchased them for other games.  It also allows you to bring in songs from Rock Band 1, 2, AC/DC and Greenday.  The Beatles songs were not importable.  It introduced harmonies on vocals and a keyboard controller.  It also has pro modes for all instruments, so you can basically learn a real instrument as you play.  The keyboard controller is good for this, although it’s a mini keyboard with just over an octave to play with.  I bought a real electric guitar to plug in, but the pro modes take a lot of work, which I wasn’t up to at the time.

What really makes this game fun, though, are the songs.  I have spent a gross amount of money on the songs, so I have quite a list to pick from.  This makes it a fantastic party games.  When we lived in Daytona, we were somewhat known for our Rock Band parties, and we’re starting to rebuild that here in Houston.  Everybody has fun at these parties.  It’s amazing who you can get to sing, even if they are adamantly against it at the beginning.  Add a bit of liquid courage and even the most staunch person is singing their heart out.

I haven’t seriously played these games in a long time and I’m really rusty.  They are still a lot of fun and definitely have an air of nostalgia about them.  I’m undecided on whether I want to touch Rock Band 4, but Rock Band 3 will always have a special place on my shelf and heart.


Who’s ready to ROCK?!?

Fireworks game! Boom Boom Rocket

Genre:  Rhythm
Platform:  XBox 360

Independence Day is tomorrow here in the US, so in honor of one of the staples of the holiday, I’ve picked a game involving fireworks to discuss.  This is Boom Boom Rocket, available on the XBox 360 Arcade.  It’s a wonderful rhythm game which is fairly easy at the lesser difficulties, but is really hard to master.

Once you select your song and difficulty, the music starts and multi-colored arrows are thrown up from the bottom of the screen.  The colors represent the different colors of your buttons, or you can use the d-pad with the corresponding direction arrows.  Once the arrow reaches the purple line at the top, you press that button.  If you are successful, you will be rewarded with a firework.

Once you build up your multiplier meter enough, you can trigger your super ability, which gives you 24X points or something crazy like that.  This is how you climb the leaderboards, but I always forget to do it.  I tend to concentrate more on perfecting the game than getting a high score.

Fortunately, you can play this game less visually and more audibly.  The music is really your cue.  You just need to know which button to press.  It’s similar to Guitar Hero or Rock Band in that respect.  The graphics are absolutely beautiful and the music is wonderful as well.  It’s all classical music, which I really enjoy.  If you like rhythm games and classical music, I would check this one out.  It’s currently only available on the 360 and hasn’t been added to the XBone backwards compatibility list yet.

Hidden Gems – Cartoon Conductor

Genre:  Rhythm
Platform:  Nintendo DS

A lot of Nintendo DS games are making my hidden gems list.  It is a great platform and the use of the touch screen and stylus make for some unique games.  I can’t really say that Looney Tunes Cartoon Conductor is unique as it uses the same game play mechanics as another very good game, Elite Beat Agents.  Elite Beat Agents actually wasn’t unique, either, as it is an American version of the Japanese release, Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan .

None of that really matters, though.  Cartoon Conductor combines the great game play of those two games with the silliness of the Looney Tunes.  As you work through the songs, you’ll be treated to funny cut scenes of some of the more famous Looney Tunes cartoons.  Who can forget “Kill the Wabbit?”  All of your favorite characters are here – Foghorn Leghorn, Tweety and Sylvester, Speedy Gonzales, Bugs and Elmer and the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote.  The soundtrack is also great, but it’s all classical music.  I happen to like that, but if it’s not your thing, you may not enjoy this game.

There are different difficulties.  In this type of rhythm game, you tap and drag your stylus with the music to match what is on the screen.  It isn’t always intuitive, though, so it can get a bit frustrating.  The graphics also aren’t great and I think it would have been better if they had used the actual cartoons instead of an attempt at 3D.  Despite this, though, I would recommend playing it at least once.  Not everyone is going to love it, but I found it entertaining.