Tagged: Rock Band

The random Big Rock Endings of Rock Band – 10th Anniversary Edition.

2017 marks the tenth anniversary of the best damn music game franchise in video game history. I’m talking about the most awesome fake plastic rock game around: Rock Band. Screw your DDRs, your Beatmanias, and all that. Rock Band is where it’s at.

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And thus, a franchise was born.

Sadly I didn’t get into the instrument rhythm genre until 2009, the year Activision totally thought releasing six Guitar Hero games at $60 a pop was a sound business decision. GameStop was already giving away excess Guitar Hero II 360 guitars when bought with Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, which was on sale for $10. Needless to say, this gave me an easy way to get into the genre proper, after my previous experience of sucking on Even Flow on Easy in Guitar Hero III. I later snagged the then-recent Rock Band 2 a few months later. Alongside getting The Beatles: Rock Band set for Christmas that year, that was when my Rock Band journey truly started.

The first Rock Band is 10 years old, and I’m gonna celebrate it by pointing out how proud Harmonix was of its new features.

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Oh Harmonix, you cheeky little goobers. (This is probably using a fake song as this doesn’t match any song in the game.)

Rock Band was the first western game to implement not just guitar and bass, but drums and vocals as well. Using their experiences from making tons of Karaoke Revolution games, as well as making drums simple and complex, they made a game that became one of the best damn party games around. Provided you had the room and space to hold all the plastic instruments.

But there was another feature that they were particularly proud of: The Big Rock Ending.

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Ram on those buttons! Slam those drums! Annoy your neighbors!

 

In older Guitar Hero games, a fair share of songs ended up with a ridiculous flurry of notes, which was an annoying shift after playing something like “Smoke on the Water”. To counter this, Harmonix introduced the Big Rock Ending. In this, you just strum any note, and bang on any drum to amass points, then hit a specific set of notes at the end. Hit them all, you successfully bank the bonus. A single miss, and it goes up in smoke. Literally.

This solved the problem Harmonix had with the Guitar Hero games at this point. Give them the chance to be a rock star while not making a song harder than it needed to be. They were very, very proud of this new feature. Naturally they had to pad part of the 58-song setlist with them.

In some places, this works out. Stuff like “Flirtin’ with Disaster”, “Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld” or the cover of “Green Grass and High Tides” fits it perfectly considering how the song is. In others, well… Not so much.

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Snoop Dogg’s video game hizzistory.

I found out recently that Snoop Dogg has a new game out called Way of the Dogg. It looks to be a brawler featuring his likeness. This got me thinking about previous games that Snoop has been in. While it’s not a metric ton of games, it is more than the game history of other rappers like Dr. Dre and 50 Cent. So let’s check out Snoop’s history in video games, because why the hell not?

Note this may not be a complete list. I likely have left out a game or three, so if I did, let me know through the usual channels. That being said, let’s get started.

Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec (PS2 – 2001)

I never really enjoyed the Gran Turismo games. Sim driving games never were my thing, I don’t want to maintain my cars by changing the oil and tires, I just want to pick a car and drive on a track. It’s why I kinda enjoyed Forza Horizon more, they straddled the line from being a sim racing game and a fun racing game. Gran Turismo 3 was one of my first PS2 games I got, along with such wonderful games like NBA Hoopz and Contra: Legacy of War.

Snoop contributed a song to the game’s soundtrack, called “Dogg’s Turismo 3.” It’s… something alright. He needs to make another one for the next Gran Turismo. Let’s make it a tradition.

True Crime: Streets of LA (Xbox, GameCube, PS2, Windows – 2003)

Developed by Luxoflux and published by Activision, True Crime: Streets of LA was a decent free-roaming action game that mixed gun play, driving and fighting in a facsimile of Los Angeles, CA. Released during the boom of Grand Theft Auto clones, it boasted big stars like Russell Wong, Christopher Walken, Gary Oldman and James Hong. It got a sub-par sequel, True Crime: New York City, and a spiritual successor in Sleeping Dogs. Highly recommend Sleeping Dogs by the way, it’s an awesome game.

Not pictured: His ride, which is pretty gangsta.

Snoop Dogg is a playable character in a bonus game mode. To unlock it, you have to find 30 Dogg Bones scattered around the city. Once you find them all, you unlock “Dogg Patrol,” which features Snoop stopping criminals around LA, much like Nick Kang does in the main game. You’re given an hour to stop crimes until you die or time runs out, whichever comes first. It’s little more than a score attack, but the novelty of playing as Snoop is worth a look.

Some of his music is also in the game, along with a bevvy of other west coast rap artists. The soundtrack itself got a CD release, and I bet the soundtrack is pretty good.

Need for Speed: Underground 2 (Xbox, GameCube, PS2, PC — 2004)

Snoop really likes making songs for video games, doesn’t he? He contributed another song to a driving game, this time a Need for Speed title. Except this is probably the most bizarre thing I’ve heard.

It’s a mashup of The Doors “Riders on the Storm”, with Snoop contributing rap vocals. This is the second time I’ve heard “Riders on the Storm” mixed with another song or artist. I wonder what the surviving Doors thought of this creation…

(Thanks to andlabs and LanceBoyle for pointing this one out! I missed this in the original article’s publication.

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