A couple of weeks ago, I took Jimmy Page and Jack White to task for their anti-Rock Band stance that it diverts interest away from kids learning to play real instruments. The comments they made sprung out of a promotional tour for a documentary called “It Might Get Loud,” which features Page, White, and U2 guitarist The Edge holding a conversation about their love for the electric guitar. After watching the film this week, I see Page and White’s argument in a new light. I still don’t necessarily agree that every kid who decides to play Guitar Hero or Rock Band does so at the expense of learning the real thing, but their passion for the six strings is such a huge part of who they are as people and artists, it’s hard to fault them for viewing the plastic play-along versions as inferior. “It Might Get Loud” is highly recommended, by the way, if you have any interest at all in rock music.
For those about to write, I salute you!
Let's say you have a friend entirely new to Rock Band and he/she only has 15 dollars or the Microsoft point equivalent to download tracks. What 15 songs would you recommend? -- JTHMROCKS
Ooh, good one. I’m going to answer this purely from a “this is music I like and would recommend to people” perspective, rather than a technical/chart layout recommendation. These are the first 15 songs I’d buy (prepare to gain insight on my musical tastes):
1901 – Phoenix
I’ll Stick Around – Foo Fighters
Piece of My Heart – Janis Joplin
Don’t Stop Believing – Journey
Are You Gonna Go My Way – Lenny Kravitz
Hair of the Dog – Nazareth (“A son of a bitch!”)
Use It – The New Pornographers
Porch – Pearl Jam
Under Pressure – Queen
My Iron Lung – Radiohead
Roll With the Changes – REO Speedwagon
Texas Flood – Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
Once in a Lifetime – Talking Heads
Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground – The White Stripes
Behind Blue Eyes – The Who
Of course, what I’d really do is buy all of The Who and Pearl Jam first, and then whittle away at my list of singles. And I’m still waiting for a 15-minute version of Phish’s “Stash.”
Earlier in the week, I posed the question of 2D vs. 3D Mario games…
As much as I enjoy the 3D versions of Mario, I'm an old-school at heart (since that is what I grew up with), so 2D Mario is the winner for me. Plus, you can have more levels and a generally bigger game with 2D vs. 3D. It's cheaper to develop and you can turn out more 2D titles than 3D because of programming complexities. I just think that we are living in an age where we are at the pinnacle of 2D development...so why stop making them, right? -- IcemanMX
Seeing the December sales numbers for New Super Mario Bros. Wii warmed my heart. It wasn’t too long ago -- probably shortly before NSMB first appeared on the DS -- that I was privately lamenting the “death” of Mario as a blockbuster game franchise. But now new households and younger generations are learning how to stomp, slide, leap, and glide through the Mushroom Kingdom.
Of course, this raised the idea that because it’s already outsold Super Mario Galaxy, the 3D Mario games have somehow swapped with the 2D games on the genre endangered list. There’s definitely a greater complexity to the 3D games that NSMB lacks -- “move to the right and jump” is easier to grasp than floating upside down on a sphere in three dimensions -- but if we can get to a state where New Super Mario and Mario Galaxy alternate every two years like the Summer and Winter Olympics, everyone can be happy. And I’ll be doubly happy.
The guys and gal talked about this more on this week’s episode of Feedback, y’all should check that out.
Re-watch progress update: I’m now up to the 4th episode of season 4. I didn’t think I was going to make it after a few consecutive days of actually doing something constructive, but a few late night sessions this week put me back on track for a successful full rewatch. Excluding, of course, the Jack’s tattoo and Nikki & Paolo episodes.
They have answers to many of the questions I've had, but I just don't necessarily like the answers they provide to the questions they bring up. Seems like they back in to all of thier solutions rather than having a grand plan and following through on it. -- Vyyk78
What answers did you specifically not like? I can understand being skeptical about having an overall plan for the story, as I’ve been burned before with The X-Files and Buffy The Vampire Slayer, both of which limped to the end of their runs. But the Lost guys have proven that even though they may stumble, they do have a plan. The four-toed statue was introduced at the very beginning of season 2, and they held off on addressing it for a long time. You can’t plan every aspect of a TV show’s plot, as there are too many variables that could throw everything off (the producers were surprised we all hated Nikki & Paolo, for example). But during my re-watch, I’ve found the answers they’ve given us to be more than satisfactory – the first time through was clouded by impatience.
Five Favorite Really Minor Characters on Lost:
- Dr. Arzt -- “Now? Now you’re pulling out your laptop?”
- Cassidy -- Saw through Sawyer’s crap (mostly), helped Kate avoid the feds, and raised a daughter on her own. Bonus points for being in Deadwood.
- Kelvin -- Desmond’s predecessor in the Hatch, and Sayid’s American captor in the Gulf War flashbacks. Like Cassidy, he was a great example of everyone crossing paths in the past, and the unlikelihood that they’d all end up on the island. (Something I hope the show addresses in the last season.)
- Carl -- Trustworthy, true to his word, protective of Alex, kept in a cage just like Sawyer…and we never really got to know his backstory.
- Sarah -- Not necessarily “minor” because of the way she caused Jack to become even more of a headcase, but because Julie Bowen is just really, really attractive.
BEST PRICE IS RIGHT GAME: PLINKO OR CLIFF HANGERS?
Plinko is the Leno of The Price is Right. It's old, outdated and boring. I'm with Team Cliff Hangers. -- Wozman23
Cliff Hangers... on account of the yodeling. -- edgeofblade
Best Price is Right game, that's tough. Plinko is way more classic but Cliff Hangers is much more entertaining. I think I choose Cliff Hangers, gotta love the yodeling! -- Jpeterson
Plinko > Cliff Hangers. With Plinko you are nearly guaranteed to win something, which will get you out of that first slot when spinning the big wheel. The later you spin, the better! -- Vyyk78
These two are my favorite pricing games -- the one’s I’d like to draw when one day I appear on The Price is Right (it’s on the list). The odds of winning at least sometihng in Plinko seem to be much higher: you get one chip automatically, and if you stay away from the middle of the board, you might be able to avoid the $0 slots.
In terms of excitement factor, it’s got to be a draw -- especially if you’re going for the $5000 slot on Plinko. Sure, the climber getting perilously close to the summit is a thrill (even freaked me out as a kid, don’t laugh), but when that happens, it’s because the price guessing is really bad. And if the contestant is hitting the prices, the game’s really boring. With Plinko, every drop is an exciting possibility.
But Cliff Hangers does have yodeling…
This is a tough one.
Everywhere I go, people seem to despise Sonic's friends, which is ironic because Mario has a large cast of friends as well, especially when you consider Donkey Kong, Yoshi, and Wario, each of whom having their own game franchises. So if Mario is allowed to have friends, why not Sonic? Why does everyone hate Sonic's friends and just want Sonic and only Sonic? -- kakkarot
I reckon that people would be far more tolerant of Sonic’s friends if the modern Sonic the Hedgehog games weren’t complete junk. But because they are, Shadow, Big, Cream, and Blaze serve as scapegoats until Sega can get their act together. Every time we see that lackluster supporting cast, they’re reminding us that they’re not focusing on the right things (i.e., running really fast). The recent rumors and teasing for “Project Needlemouse” are somewhat encouraging that we’ll really, truly go back to the traditional Sonic formula, but that’s how the Sonic Cycle always starts, isn’t it?
But I will say that Waluigi and Bowser Jr. should be wiped off the face of the Earth.
So me and some friends were thinking up some of the most badass ways to kill someone. While beating someone to death with their own arms ranks pretty high, I have to go with catching an archers arrow out of the air turning it around and shooting them with it. Any that you would like to add?
Also we got on the discussion of the fairness of hunting elk/deer and decided that the only fair way is to wait in a tree until one wandered underneath you, leaping down on its back grabbing it by the antlers and either snapping its neck or breaking them off and beating it to death with them...what do you think of Heavy Rain? And since they're coming out in the same month, if you could only get one would you choose Heavy Rain or BioShock 2 (or what games are you looking forward to most)? -- Stefan
I would take your idea and tweak it just a bit. Instead of shooting the arrow back at them, just grab it out of mid-air and throw it back through their neck in one continuous motion. You cut down on a step, and they won’t be expecting such a quick turnaround.
The first part of your deer/elk combat strategy makes sense to me, but it’s no longer a fair fight when you arm yourself -- even if it’s with detached antlers. If you waste the element of surprise and can’t seal the deal on the initial drop & neck twist, you don’t deserve to win.
How this is related to Heavy Rain and/or BioShock 2, I cannot tell. But I’ll answer regardless: Heavy Rain. This isn’t a purchasing decision, but I already roughly know what I’m going to get with BioShock 2. Heavy Rain is the wild card, and I’m intensely curious to see if David Cage can follow through on the vision and promises. The critical expectations are high, so if it doesn’t pan out, the next time someone starts talking about “serious and mature” games for adults, we’re all going to be that much more skeptical.
But here I am, trying to be all serious and mature when we’re talking about elk wrestling.
WEBMASTER HATES YOU
do you play WoWZ -- joey
Yes. All of them. -- Webmaster
* * *