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mrshotgun This is my blog. Welcome.

In keeping with traditional Internet Blogging standards, I'll use this page to keep no one who cares informed about the progress of my own pointless, boring life. This will largely pertain to new additions to my library, as well as information concerning the status of my guides, past, present and future.

Title: An Open Letter to the Rock Band Community
Posted: March 04, 2008 (11:45 PM)
Dear Rock Band Community,

I have been playing this fine game extensively for the past few weeks, and I couldn't help but notice how so many of you are ruining the game's primary online component, Band Quickplay, with your asshattery. The following is a general outline of suggestions for improvement which you can easily follow, and overall improve the experience for everyone involved.

Firstly, I would like to address the subject of difficulty choice. Too many players (Guitarists especially) are choosing a difficulty which is well beyond them. There is no acceptable reason for the rest of the band to be constantly pulling your ass back onto stage just because you have too much pride to play on an appropriate difficulty level. We have far more important things to be doing with our Overdrive (which I will get to in a moment).

There is no shame in playing on the correct difficultly level; Band Quickplay is not for practicing songs you're terrible at. There's a mode, appropriately enough, called "Practice Mode" which is made for that. If you can't get through a song competently on one difficulty level, then you should be playing on the level below it. And for god sakes, guitarists, don't even think about touching Green Grass & High Tides on Expert until AFTER you've reached Lord of the Strings status.

Now, onto another seriously annoying issue - headset abuse. Rock Band is a music game. No one will hate you for playing it loudly (well, except for your neighbors and others sharing your living space). But frankly, it's less fun hearing the game over the headsets; especially when it's delayed by half-a-second, played over the top of your own sound system, and turned into static and feedback by low-quality mics. For this reason, Guitarists, and especially Drummers, TURN OFF YOUR BLOODY HEADSETS WHILE PLAYING A SONG. As for Vocalists, KEEP YOUR STUPID FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER BUTTONS. We don't need to hear your terrible singing voice delayed half a second behind everything else. It's distracting.

Now, onto Overdrive Etiquette. As I've already explained, at no time should we be consistently using our Overdrive to pull your stupid ass back onto stage. Play at an appropriate difficulty. In addition to that, use your Overdrive at the appropriate time. Once again, I'm speaking primarily to the guitarists out there. Too many of you are turning on your Overdrive just because you have it - foolish thing to do. Ideally, you should wait for the tell-tale sign of the Drummer's pending Overdrive, the Drum-Fill Bars. After these have filled, activate your Overdrive. Voila, instant x4, x6, or even x8, instead of the lousy x2 we would've had if you just activated it immediately after earning it.

Drummers should therefore, obviously, strive to save their Overdrive, and only activate their Drum Fills when all other members of the band have their Overdrive Meters as full as possible.

There are, of of course, exceptions to this rule. Notable examples include when your Overdrive Meter is already full, and more Overdrive Notes are coming up, and when you're near the end of the song. But otherwise, Freestyling on your Overdrive wastes an awful lot of points. Lastly, of course, is when there is no Drummer, in which case players should verbally communicate with eachother, and strive to activate their Overdrive simultaneously at a point where all concerned have a high number of notes in succession.

As a last note on the usage of Overdrive, you should never be saving it for long periods of time, even if it's to bail out an obviously sub-standard bandmate. By purposefully saving your Overdrive to rescue your bandmates, you're only enabling those foolish souls who pick difficulties beyond their capacity, and you also severely damage the entire band's score.

Next, let's cover connection issues. Once again, I find myself largely speaking to the Guitarists out there. Leaving in the middle of a song is not cool. It doesn't matter what the reason is. If you don't like the song the band is playing, tough; you are given ample opportunity before the song begins to drop out. If you don't like the fact that you have to play Bass, tough; the other guy has to play the Bass just as much as you do. If you chose the wrong difficulty, tough; you should be more in control of your own ego. And you shouldn't even be playing online at all if you may have to leave soon or unexpectedly. As a last note, when you disconnect after the song is over, but before the band results screen comes up, a bug will trap everyone else at the Victory Celebration Montage; kindly don't do this. It's annoying.

Now, let's move onto the subject of song selection. Band Leaders, you're taking far too long to pick a god damn song, and once you do pick one, it's always one from the same few. There's almost sixty songs in this game, more with DLC, so there's absolutely no reason we should all be playing the same ten over and over again (seriously, ask yourself, "When was the last time I played Maps in Band Quickplay?"). Here's a quick tip: simply by pressing the "Change Filter" button, the list instantly jumps to Random Song - there you go, you've quickly picked the next song, and we can get on with it. Even better, nobody can complain about the song selection, because as it's random, there can be no accusations of favoritism or bias in terms of genre or instrument.

Let me touch briefly on DLC, as well; too few of you have it, and those of you who do, only seem to have the Metallica Pack. The songs are only 1.99 each; quit being so cheap. And there are far more bands represented through the DLC then just Metallica; you should try discovering them.

Just by keeping these simple facts in mind, we can, as a community, significantly improve our enjoyment of Band Quickplay. More importantly, as individuals, we will be far better prepared to act as a responsible, valuable, and important member of a band when Band World Tour finally goes online.
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Recent Contributions

Users with accounts on the HonestGamers site are able to contribute reviews and occasionally other types of content. Below, you'll find excerpts from as many as 20 of the most recent articles posted by mrshotgun. Be sure to leave some feedback if you find anything interesting!

Type: Review
Game: Secret of Mana (SNES)
Posted: March 21, 2007 (02:42 PM)
Most people do not realize it, but the now-hallowed Mana series did not begin with the seminal title which this review describes. It far started as Seiken Dentetsu - or as we here in the western hemisphere better know it, Final Fantasy Adventure. This landmark Gasmeboy title had its title altered to bank off Final Fantasy's recent success on the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was the first, but not the last time that Mana would play second fiddle to the more recognized Final Fantasy brand....

Type: Review
Game: Gauntlet: Dark Legacy (GameCube)
Posted: March 21, 2007 (02:41 PM)
Let me begin this review with a heart-rending performance of that most famous of arcade theme songs: Gauntlet.
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Type: Review
Game: Beyond Good & Evil (PlayStation 2)
Posted: March 21, 2007 (02:40 PM)
In recent years, storytelling in our video games has grown somewhat stagnant. Some of the best selling titles of the previous generation of consoles were the products of ego-driven artists, producing shoddy action titles to fulfill their action hero wet-dreams. Am I the only one surprised by the fact that people who write "music" that consists mostly of "uh" and "yeah" are incapable of stringing together a decent story?

Type: Review
Game: Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES)
Posted: March 15, 2007 (09:07 PM)
As has been so aptly put, genius comes only rarely and unexpectedly, like a bolt of lightning out of a clear sky. It's rare that a game comes along which is so original, so creative, and so bizarre, that only the word "genius" can be sufficiently applied. Zombies Ate My Neighbors is one of those rare, unexpected works of genius.
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Type: Review
Game: World of Warcraft (Miscellaneous)
Posted: March 15, 2007 (12:45 PM)
When I originally set out to review World of Warcraft, one of the most critically and commercially successful games of all time, I reconsidered. Despite being a regular on the GameFAQs World of Warcraft forum for almost a year, and a regular visitor of that website for almost four years, I had never before reviewed a game. I decided to wait, build my chops by reviewing a few other games first. That was two months ago as I write this (January '06). Though admittedly I didn't exactly challenge mys...
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Type: Review
Game: Star Wars Bounty Hunter (GameCube)
Posted: March 15, 2007 (12:42 PM)
Let's face it - the Star Wars video game franchise didn't get the best start when they first began to appear in arcades and later made the transition to the NES. But like a fine wine, they got better with age. The unplayable travesties of the original Star Wars games on the NES and Gameboy were replaced by the Super Star Wars Trilogy, decent action games which were weighed down by tedious and difficult 'speeder chase' levels. The franchise finally came into its own on the Nintendo 64, thanks in ...
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Type: Review
Game: Resident Evil 4 (GameCube)
Posted: March 15, 2007 (12:41 PM)
It has been a few years since the last Resident Evil game was released. Capcom had reportedly sold the franchise's rights exclusively to Nintendo (but that went out the window when RE4 mysteriously appeared on the PS2 a year or so after its GCN release), and the latest Resident Evil game, RE0, had somehow managed to go almost completely under the radar. Only diehard Resident Evil fans seemed to be playing it. Only time would tell if RE4 would get the same treatment.
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Type: Review
Game: Resident Evil (GameCube)
Posted: March 15, 2007 (12:40 PM)
Before the release of the original Resident Evil in the mid1990s, the Survival Horror genre was an obscure, struggling subset of the Action genre. With sub par, little known games like Alone in the Dark and Clock Tower, Survival Horror was barely staying afloat. All that changed when Capcom, already a well established company with the legendary Megaman series under its banner, released a little game called Biohazard. It was an unexpected hit in Japan, and it was quickly released in the States, i...
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Type: Review
Game: Resident Evil Zero (GameCube)
Posted: March 15, 2007 (12:39 PM)
There was a fullblown coup in the latest generation of video gaming consoles. Developers who had stood steadfastly with Nintendo over the years, particularly Rare, were jumping ship to produce titles on the Playstation 2 or the XBox. At the time, it seemed like the end of Nintendo. But there was one shining ray of hope: Capcom announced their intentions to not only continue developing games for Nintendo, but their flagship Resident Evil games would be available exclusively on the system. Ultimat...
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Type: Review
Game: Chrono Trigger (SNES)
Posted: March 15, 2007 (12:37 PM)
The year was 1995. The Super Nintendo Entertainment System, after putting up a valiant, and arguably successful, fight against the competition put forth by the Sega Genesis, was getting ready to retire and make way for the next generation of video gaming consoles. The SNES had had a good run. Its library included some of the greatest games ever, and even to this day is considered the preferred console for the RPG gamer.
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Type: Review
Game: Metroid Prime: Hunters (DS)
Posted: March 15, 2007 (12:36 PM)
I get a call in the morning. Metroid Prime: Hunters is in stock. Well, that doesn't seem right - a whole day early? Deciding not to curse my good fortune, I set out to pick up the game and see what all the fuss is about. I was rather put off by the fact that I managed to blow through the entire game in a mere four hours, but the game was quickly redeemed in my eyes once I logged onto the Wi-Fi deathmatches for the first time. Though the wait was long (since few people had the game at this point)...
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Type: Review
Game: Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (GameCube)
Posted: March 15, 2007 (12:35 PM)
When Metroid Prime was released in November of 2002, there was no doubt in anyone's mind that a sequel would eventually arrive. The game's huge popularity practically demanded it. But it had been eight years since Super Metroid was released - the last Metroid game released prior to Metroid Prime. Fortunately, it wasn't long before it was announced that a sequel titled Metroid Prime 2: Echoes would be released in November of 2004, roughly two years to the day that we got the original. Everyone wa...
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Type: Review
Game: Metroid Prime (GameCube)
Posted: March 15, 2007 (12:34 PM)
Let's just say - it's about damn time. Metroid, long the ignored bastard red head of the Nintendo all-stars, has finally been redone for the next generation of video gaming. The Mario Brothers, the Legend of Zelda and Donkey Kong had been getting next-gen titles for years. Sonic the Hedgehog and Final Fantasy had gone on to huge success in the next-gen systems of the Nintendo 64, Playstation and Dreamcast. Metroid, Metroid II: The Return of Samus and Super Metroid had long been considered among ...
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Type: Review
Game: LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game (GameCube)
Posted: March 15, 2007 (12:33 PM)
Lego. Star Wars. Two franchises which have seen their ups and downs (mostly downs) in the video gaming industry. What would one expect to get if the two were mixed? Death, pain, misery. In a word, a recipe for disaster. Well, every so often one's expectations are surprisingly proven completely wrong. Lego Star Wars is a perfect example of when this happens.
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Type: Review
Game: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GameCube)
Posted: March 15, 2007 (12:32 PM)
I shouldn't even have to point out the notoriety that goes with a Legend of Zelda game. When someone plays a Zelda title for the first time, they go in expecting an impressive and engaging adventure. The Zelda series has earned this respect, obtained in games like the original Legend of Zelda and The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, and reinforced in timeless classics like A Link to the Past and The Ocarina of Time. So, does the Wind Waker live up to its predecessors? In many ways, it does. Bu...
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Type: Review
Game: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time / Master Quest (GameCube)
Posted: March 15, 2007 (12:31 PM)
Zelda has long been Nintendo's flagship title, being universally loved by just about everyone. Though new installments have traditionally been few and far between, each has been a timeless classic which has far surpassed most other games in longevity and enjoyment. When the Ocarina of Time was released in 1997, it brought about a renaissance in the art of video game design, setting new standards for the adventure and action genres. It is nearly impossible to find a game which is not affected in ...
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Type: Review
Game: Kirby Air Ride (GameCube)
Posted: March 15, 2007 (12:30 PM)
Ever since his first appearance on the NES in Kirby's Adventure, Kirby has been seen traveling to distant lands on a flying star known as the "Warp Star." It was a mode of transportation seen regularly in nearly every Kirby title following, but it took over a decade for the idea of a Warp Star to be applied to a racing game. And luckily, the developers who chose to take up the job of creating a racing game based on the Warp Star was Hal Laboratories, the original creators of Kirby. But Hal is...
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Type: Review
Game: Killer 7 (GameCube)
Posted: March 15, 2007 (12:29 PM)
When one refers to video games as an art form, it usually does not go over well. The intellectuals scoff, the religious right start beating their bibles, and the ESRB draws up another misleading "age rating system." But, the same was once said of the film industry. And slowly but surely, television and video games are turning from "entertainment for the masses" to the preferred art medium of the digital age. And while Killer7 may not necessarily be remembered as a great game, it should be re...
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Type: Review
Game: Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles (GameCube)
Posted: March 15, 2007 (12:28 PM)
About a decade ago, tragedy struck. After a long tradition of excellence on the Super Nintendo, ultimately culiminating in the digital masterpiece commonly known as 'Chrono Trigger,' Squaresoft was jumping ship. They would no longer be producing games for Nintendo. They were moving onto Sony's brainchild Playstation. Needless to say, people were furious. A schism was cut straight down the middle of Square fans, a scar which persists to this day. Those who chose to remain loyal to Nintendo bitter...
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