Title: Start your own band already!
Posted: July 08, 2007 (11:59 PM)
Is it just me, or is Rock Band going to be an epic failure? I only ask because the hype on this game is titanic (today, I read an article about the possibility of RB being a 360 exclusive that ended with the claim that even if RB were on all platforms, it would still sell as many copies on 360 as Halo 3), but I can't see any of the people I know shelling out a few hundred bucks for what is essentially a plastic band.
The great casual appeal of GH is that for less than 100 bucks, you and friends can jam out to some fun, popular songs, test your rhythm skills, and feel like a rockstar in a silly way. Once you add the drums, the mic, a few hundred dollars to the package...you're taking it pretty seriously. I've never witnessed a negative reaction to Guitar Hero. Plenty of amused smirks, but everyone wants to give it a try, and they never regret it.
But imagine explaining Rock Band to Madden Gamer, who probably has GH: "Okay, here's my little plastic drum set, you use that, I'll get on the guitar, my buddy here'll sing, and we'll hook up with our bassist on Live." I just think many people who bought GH and had a great time with it will think, "With this much time, money, and effort, why the fuck don't you just start a band?!" I think that, and I am a rhythm game junkie--I have my Taiko Drum, my Donkey Kongas, and several DDR mats (and oh what I'd do for a pair of Samba maracas), but getting together with friends and pretending to play More Than A Feeling at this high a level strikes me as absurd.
I think RB is too much of a commitment for 90% of the people who bought Guitar Hero.
I know the RB feature set is intense--like, you and three buddies could each buy one of the instruments and hook up together online. And you can use your old Guitar Hero guitars, so you could buy Rock Band, no huge instrumental investment required. But who are the people jizzing their pants over this? Oh, right, the game journalists who'll have a complete, free Rock Band set the week before it comes out, and a crew of officemates and people at other websites and magazines to play it with.
It would be like guys at a gadget website claiming that the awesome $6,000 laptop they get for free is going to be the most popular computer on the market, and that everyone is going to be so blown away that they'll have to run to the store and pick up a copy.
Nick at Segabastard often rails in this vein, and he's often right--game journalists can really be blinded to and unconcerned with the plight of the people who don't have full access to every aspect of every game.
Posted: July 09, 2007 (09:44 AM)
I definitely think it can succeed, because you are not required to play all of the instruments. You could do one guitar and the drums, or a guitar and vocals. You can mix it up and not worry about how many friends you have over, or how much money the rest of the instruments cost. I can't tell you how many parents have told me that they wish they could mix Guitar Hero with Karaoke Revolution so their kids with different interests could play together. Soon they can.
Posted: July 09, 2007 (12:01 PM)
GH never really interested me, but the idea of showing off my mad drum skillz does a little.
Just not enough to put down that much capital.
Posted: July 09, 2007 (08:53 PM)
I hadn't thought about the angle of parents buying a RB set for a younger kid and his buddies, but I still don't see much of the 18-29 set jumping on the bandwagon.