The Rabies Blog

Xbox 360 community-friendly blog

Top 5 reasons Rock Band 2 should be on your Christmas list

As we head into the final 2 weeks before the holidays, I felt it was imperative to pass along this one bit of advice for gamers everywhere; if Rock Band 2 isn’t currently on your Christmas wish list, you need to get an amended letter sent out to Santa posthaste!!

While I’ve never officially reviewed Rock Band 2, I’ve put countless hours of quality playtime in with the game and can tell you it’s awesome! With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of the top 5 reasons why every gamer should hope to find it under their tree when they wake up Christmas morning.

5) Gameplay: Multiple career options, the ability to form (and compete against) bands over Xbox LIVE, new “Tour Challenges” and “Battle of the Bands” features along with the all new “Drum Trainer” mode add a replayability factor that few other games offer.

4) Appeal: Rock Band 2 is addictive because it’s fun! It’s as much fun playing through a tune you know and love as it is eeking out a 5 star rating on a song you’ve never heard before in your life. Plus, the game lets you experience all the coolness of being a true rock star without any of the downsides like negotiating tour contracts, long bus rides and those inconvenient trips to rehab.

3) (Almost) Anyone can play: Whether you’re young, old, experienced or just getting into console gaming, Rock Band 2 is a game that nearly everyone can play. The game features a great tutorial which walks newcomers through basic and advanced skills quickly and simply. Plus, the game’s tiered skill levels (Beginner through Expert) help inexperienced players get a comfortable feel for the game while steadily improving their playing abilities. Those who invest the time in the simpler levels will soon find their skills improving in spite of themselves!

2) The Music: There are now more than 500 songs available for the game. Rock Band 2 ships with 80 tunes, plus an additional 20 that can be downloaded for free. For a small fee, those who own the original can export all but a few of the songs within that game and make them available in Rock Band 2 as well. Plus, any DLC music purchased for the original Rock Band is automatically imported into Rock Band 2. Speaking of DLC, Harmonix offers a ton of great tracks in Marketplace covering a wide range of music genres ensuring “something for everyone”.

1) It’s just plain cool: The adrenaline rush from cranking out a stellar “Big Rock Ending” while thrashing around alone in front of your TV still beats the anxiety of someone walking in and catching you doing it!


December 14, 2008 Posted by | Games, Review | 4 Comments

Hands on – Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock

I’ve spent a good deal of time with GH III one over the past few weeks and I’m happy to say that the game possesses the same obsessive, addictive traits as the earlier Guitar Hero titles.

The new wireless Gibson Les Paul controller performs perfectly, the new Guitar Battle and Battle Mode features are a fantastic addition and the tunes they included with the game cover several decades and genres of rock.

The only real criticism I have is the online feature. There seems to be a real connectivity issue going on when trying to get into player and ranked matches that proves to be extememly frustrating. The matches that I have been able to play were great, but the amount of time spent to get into a match just isn’t worth it. Hopefully, Neversoft will get this problem addressed sooner than later so the game can reach its full potential.

If you’d like to read my full review of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, just head over to Totally360 and check it out.

November 22, 2007 Posted by | Games, Review | 2 Comments

Hands on – Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action

This past weekend, my family and I spent some quality gaming time with the new Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action (Microsoft Game Studios) and I have to say that, although it’s certainly not perfect, it is a very good game.

To start with, the game features an impressive amount of media – in the form of video, audio and stills – from a wide variety of movies spanning more than 5 decades. Movies like The Wild One, Saving Private Ryan, Footloose, The Devil Wears Prada and more offer a true test of your film trivia skills. Not all of the questions posed in Scene It? are based on clips however, as the game is broken down into several different puzzle types including Credit Role (guess the film from the movie credits), Anagrams (unscramble the movie title) Pictograms (figure out the answer from clues within the picture) and more. Each puzzle type contains only 5 questions and each round of gameplay features 3 to 5 puzzles each, which really keeps the game feeling fresh throughout the match.

Scene It? offers 3 game modes to choose from: Short Play (3 puzzles per round), Long Play (5 puzzles per round) and Party Play (never ending). Both the Short and Long Play modes are great for small groups who want to determine a winner at the end of each match – and unlock some Achievements along the way – while Party Play is really designed for players to jump in and out of the game with no true winner. Regardless of which mode you choose, players need to answer trivia questions in order to score. A countdown points-timer begins as soon as a question is presented so, the sooner a player enters their answer, the more points they earn if they’re correct. Being quick can result in some impressive scores early but can work against you in later rounds since incorrect answers will cost you those same high points.

Packaged with Scene It? are 4 of the new Xbox 360 Big Button Pads, the tool with which players submit their answers and, without a doubt, the most conversation-generating aspect of the game…

The new Big Button Pad controllers utilize infrared wireless communication similar to most television remote controls. Included in the package is a USB infrared receiver which plugs into the Xbox 360 and delivers the signal. Once placed in a good line-of-site area, such as on top of your television or monitor, the receiver delivers the signal without a problem. Each controller has its own unique Big Button color to keep them from getting mixed up during play, as well as A, B, X, Y ,Start, Back and Guide buttons. While the layout certainly isn’t ideal for a frag-fest evening, it feels very comfortable for Scene It?

On the downside, I did notice some questions repeated after only a few matches. I’ve no doubt that this is due to the true random nature of the way the game generates questions, but I still was surprised to see it happen so soon. One other thing to take note of is the age group of potential players. The game carries a “T” rating due to the nature of some of the material contained within the movie clips. The disclaimer should also include the “I won’t be too interested” descriptor as well. As an example, my kids are 8 and 12 years old. The good majority of questions that we faced were from movies that they had never even seen. It didn’t take too long before me and my wife were looking at two abandoned controllers as our kids left the room discouraged and grumpy. Of course, my wife also left the room discouraged and grumpy but this was due to my having totally dominated in the game. She just can’t accept the fact that I’m a genius! Anyway….back to point… Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action is a great game for adults and older teens, but will probably bore the younger ones in the family.

With its wide variety of trivia and the cool new Big Button Pad, Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action is an ideal activity addition for your next house party.

GAME RATING: 8 out of 10

November 13, 2007 Posted by | Games, Review | 5 Comments