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Monday, December 22, 2008

Rock Band 2: The Stars

Given my "slow" run-throughs of Creep, it's not hard, just a lot of memorization and finger placement (explaining the last post about the wrist strain), more on that for the update.

Anyway, what I WANTED to post about today was Rock Band 2: The Stars. Remember that?

I ate humble pie (but only a sliver) when I saw the Rock Band Stage Kit in action. Am I wrong again? Thanks to the magic of Cable On Demand, you can read my play-by-play and find out for yourself! (Times are BY NO MEANS ACCURATE)

Episode 1
0:00- All right, 5 minute run-time, this might not be so bad.
0:50- "Rock Band is the pop culture phenomenon that changed the face of music gaming for decades". Yeah, something tells me this is nothing more than shilling.
1:00- Rules given: Sebastian Bach and Alice Cooper will front two bands comprised of the best players in A ROCK BAND 2 SHOWOFF THAT WILL CHANGE THE FACE OF HISTORY FOREVER. LIKE ROCK BAND 2.
6:66- I say "Screw on Demand!" and look up the episodes on Youtube for time codes that are somewhat accurate.

0:00- Hmm... Intro's kind of interesting, going down a black road, like the notes. All right.
0:09- "ROCK BAND 2 THE STAAAAAAAAAARS!!!" Wait what was that? They got Phil from accounting to do his best Rock Star voice. At least we now know that it's said like "Rock Band to the stars", as opposed to "Rock Band 2: The Stars"
0:11- Stryker from... stuff... will be the host.
0:16 to 0:28- Some guys talk. I see they actually went with people who look like they play Rock Band insteasd of the beautiful people.
0:34- Sebastian Bach looks excited... Would now be a bad time to mention I haveno idea who Sebastian Bach is?
0:45- Alice Cooper doesn't look excited.
1:05- First shill: "With 84 BRAND NEW songs added to the setlist, you're going to play songs you've never played before!"
1:11- AC/DC's "Let There Be Rock!"
1:37- Bach- "You're face looks cool!" Trust me, look this shit up for yourself. I'm not gonna link it, for exclusivity sake, but imagine a heavy, nerdy, asian guy try to put on his best rage face.
1:57- HOLY SHIT IT'S JEWPHIN!!!
2:10- HOLY SHIT JEWPHIN STUDIES PHYSICS!!! AT UCLA!!!
2:30- Bach shouts encouragement.
2:36- Some ICP wannabe does a wicked backflip off the stage.
2:56- 5 people get booted off.
3:08- NOOOOOO JEWWWWWWWWWWWPHINNNNNN!!!! (IS IT A MEME YET?)
3:18- Three people off, just like that. Wow.
3:37- Sebastian Bach is concerned about accuracy turns out, and boots off that guy from Balls Of Fury.

FINAL VERDICT: Eh. It's not painful to watch, but it's like, why bother? A. YOu only get to see a few individual performances, and B. Wow, open Dashboard Confessional and Panic at the Disco with fake instruments. There are a couple good things that I wish more reality shows would do:
1. Cut the bullshit. They took out a lot of potential drama (how they interact), which is why there aren't a lot of The Soup worthy moments, and why everything is infinitely more tolerable. Since it's a commercial, there are no commercials to dramatically cut away to, and that's all right.
2. Mix the nerds and the beautiful people. You have a diverse group with obsessive players, sexy people and rock star wannabes who try their hand at the real thing and chronicle all their exploits in a blog. Heh. Losers.

Episode 2
Sebastian Bach was the frontman of Skid Row. I don't listen to 80s hair metal, so that excuses my ignorance.
0:00-0:30- Same BS as before, recap of last episode
0:38-ROCK BAND TO THE STAAAAAAAAARS!!!
0:45- ICP man does another sweet flip and reinstates what I said earlier.
1:04- "Wow, WE GET TO PLAY FOR SEBASTIAN BACH AND ALICE COOPER. You play guitar and your mom's walkin' in and she's like, you want some lasagna?" Man I wish The Soup got on this.
1:10-1:20- 2nd challenge: Two teams of five. One can see, the rest blindfolded, the rest have to make their way to each platform representing a city and play "Go Your Own Way".
1:30- One of the chicks is wearing a bra as a top like that lady in Seinfeld.
1:35- THIS CHALLENGE REPRESENTS THE ONLINE TOUR MODE, A BRAND NEW FEATURE OF ROCK BAND 2.
1:50- AND YOU'RE GOING TO PLAY YOUR BRAND NEW WIRELESS INSTRUMENTS
3:46- One team rocked, the other sucked.
4:18- Asian girl kicked off (she didn't really get the challenge in the first place) and Sebastian Bach smashes her "guitar"

FINAL VERDICT: More shilling. Bach seems more into it than Cooper. Again, more, "Bitch, you out". The premise can't even fill half-hour slots, so the five minute

Episode 3
0:38- ROCK BAND 2 THE STAAAAARS!!! Thank you, Phil from Accounting. By the way, those licensing budgets need to be on my desk by 4.
0:44- I love how everyone just "happens" to be playing when Stryker walks in.
1:16- 3rd challenge- 3 teams. They team up with OLD PEOPLE!!!
1:45- LUCKILY THEY'RE PLAYING ON ROCK BAND 2'S NO FAIL MODE!!
2:36- Old person #1 does pretty well, actually
2:59- Old person #2 inaudibly mumbles the song
3:29- Old person #3 doesn't even sing, just kind of bounces. In other words, it took a reality show to tell us that really old people suck at video games.
4:20- Bach: "Cab Calloway, today it's Cab GoAway" Aw, did he come up with that all by himself.
4:29- And Cab smashes his own guitar.

FINAL VERDICT: HA HA OLD PEOPLE!!! I'm surprised part of the challenge was to listen to their Depression Era stories. But they're keepin' it quick and painless.

Episode 4
0:36- PHIL FROM ACCOUNTING DID WE SECURE THE COCA COLA DEAL YEEEEEEEEET? I mean, ROCK BAND 2 THE STAAAAAARS!!!
0:58- Two teams of 4, playing Ace Of Spades.
1:05- ICP Man has an Ace Of Spades on his face. Clever
1:11- Stryker: "There's a catch, with ROCK BAND 2's BATTLE OF THE BANDS MODE YOU CAN PLAY ANY BAND IN THE WORLD!!!" Seriously, The Soup, get on this.
1:27- HOLY CRAP, HAL SPARKS! Speak of the devil! (Hal Sparks used to host The Soup's predecesseor, Talk Soup)
1:58- Douche.
2:48- Nerdy, Heavy and Asian sings and actually does well.
2:59- "Is it pleasing to listen to him? No"
3:23-Both bands blow away Hal.
4:25- Hot girl goes home, face paint guy stays

FINAL VERDICT: I CAN PLAY AGAINST ANYONE IN THE WORLD? EVEN HAL SPARKS? WOW... Phhbt...

Episode 5
0:35- ROCK BAND 2 THE STAAAAARS!!! Thanks Phil. Say, did you sign up for the company basketball league? Accounting could really use you as a point guard.
0:41- I can't tell the difference between Stryker's voice when talking normally, and when it's being dubbed over.
1:01- They don't have the Rock N' Roll Look? They do have a point, as I see a distinct lack of skinny jeans and messenger hats.
1:13- YOU'RE GONNA FLIP THROUGH THE ROCK BAND 2 OFFICIAL ROCK SHOP, THEY GOT MORE ACCESORIES AND CLOTHES THEN EVER!!
1:29- They play dress up.
1:30- "They do have fishnets!" THANK GOD!!
1:43- Facepaint Guy is the first to go after the skinny jeans, and I quote "Almost castrated [himself] on them."
1:45- "I'm not going to be able to have kids after this" Darwin? Is that you?
2:17- Cooper and Bach pick the bands. Jewphin doesn't need a band. His solo carrer as a physicist thank God this is almost over.
2:24- Facepaint guy on bass for Coop- WOW that wig is ridiculous.
2:33- Hot chicks on drums and guitar
2:50- Down to the two nerds. How will they decide?
3:03- A HEAD TO HEAD SCORE DUEL COURTESY OF THE ROCK BAND 2s COMPLETELY ORIGINAL SCORE DUEL MULTIPLAYER MODE.
3:04- Judas Priest's "Painkiller", the only hard song all competition.
4:02- Nerd that used to have glasses wins.
4:13- "Even though I got eliminated, I'm still gonna play Rock Band. I'm gonna go home and keep on doing Rock Band 2, and HAVE FUN WITH IT." BECAUSE ROCK BAND 2 IS A FUN GAME.

FINAL VERDICT: Eh, kinda pointless. Again, if they wanted the focus to be on the game, then show more footage of them playing the game, but then again, reality show.

Finale
FINALLY
0:21- Watch as the two bands COLLIDE IN AN EPIC BATTLE OF ROCK BAND 2 FOR ROCK BAND 2 SUPREMACY.
0:33- ROCK BAND 2 THE STAAAAARS! Phil, you've been stealing office supplies? No, I don't care if you're wife left you, YOU'RE FIRRRRED!
1:08- Whichever bands performs the best in ROCK BAND 2 at THE WORLD FAMOUS VIPER ROOM gets open on the ROCK BAND LIVE TOUR for DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL AND PANIC AT THE DISCO.
1:21- The judges: Some DJ I've never heard of, some writer I've never heard of, and DIO!!! How'd they rope him into this?
1:49- Sebastian Bach With A Vengence is up first with "Hello There".
3:03- DJ I've never heard of: "Your singer could really make a living out of this!" Reality TV or singing?
3:15- Alice Cooper's First Blood with "Pinball Wizard"
3:47- Alice Cooper cannot look anymore bored
4:06- NO! HIS WIIIIG!
4:25- Judges deliberate. Looks scripted. Dio says nothing.
5:00- Sebastian Bach wins.
5:13- "I'm opening for Dashboard, I'm opening for Panic! I'm so stoked"
5:46- ROCK BAND 2 AVAILBLE NOW.

FINAL VERDICT: I feel sorry for Alice Cooper. He looked like he didn't want to be there. But Sebastian was kinda getting into it. Maybe because he's been in less commercials and cameos and stuff, he has more energy to do it.

FINAL FINAL VERDICT: While not being an entire show (i.e. 30-60 min ecah episode), it was kept quick and (almost) painless, but it could have filled an hour special and be a bit more satisfying, showing more people kicking ass at the game. However, by keeping it so short, it isn't focused on gameplay, just the game. This is every episode of RB2:TS in a nutshell.

-Recap of last episode
-ROCK BAND 2 THE STAAAARS! (Courtesy of Phil from Accounting)
-Stryker: You're going to do some challenge based on COMPLETELY ZOMG AMAZING NEW FEATURE FROM ROCK BAND 2, THE VIDEO GAME.
-*30 seconds of gameplay*
-Alice and Sebash kick a guy off.

I think the difference is that with the Rock Band Mockumentary, the premise didn't lend itself to "Hey guys, we're going to play Rock Band", it was a parody with a band that played Rock Band and everyone treated them like a real band. It was an ad, but it was still a complete show. Not that it was very good, but other than the pre-commercial cuts, it wasn't a blatant advertisement.

TL;DR: Prize sucked, premise whatever, Phil from Accounting is trying to jump of a ledge outside my house. (runs)

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