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Rock Band Premium Drum Set


Ion has put up the web site for their new premium electric drum set for Rock Band.


This looks like a virtual drummer’s dream: very high end materials and everything is fully adjustable. Wow. The standard Rock Band drum kit is still very nice and much more affordable, but if you take drums seriously, and don’t mind the price ($300), this is perfect.


With the first Rock Band, Drums really took over as the most polished and realistic of the three instrument types. Now, they are really taking the drum experience up a notch.

Other instruments are harder to adapt to the Amplitude/Guitar Hero style formula, but I hope we see some high quality efforts like this.

Published on July 12th, 2008 under ,

Rocketmen Demo


Last night I had my friend Steve over to play some videogames, and before we started in earnest (we finally finished Baldur’s Gate II) we gave the new Rocketmen: Axis of Evil demo a whirl.

While not exactly the worst top-down shooter I’ve played, it’s far from the best. Which is really a shame because this game could have been so much better. It has a fun cartoony look to it and some interesting characters, but this game falls down in several areas:

  1. The cutscenes are too often and too long.
    The cutscenes were fun at first. But after a while we just starting skipping them. They just kept us away from the action, and it was quite annoying. It wouldn’t be so bad if the developers made fewer of them and kept them a lot shorter.
  2. Did I mention the stupid camera?
    Say you and your buddy go left. Both of your characters will end up on the far left of the screen, desperately trying to get the screen to follow. So that when you encounter some baddies, you and the baddies are on the far left of the screen with a large swath of unused real-estate to the right. Quite stupid, and this totally wrecks the game.
  3. Bad graphics.
    I know that this is a budget title and I shouldn’t expect too much, but man, this game looks literally like it could have been on the PS2. Literally.

Ah well, better luck next time.

Rocketmen: Axis of Evil

Published on March 7th, 2008 under ,

Rocketmen: Axis of Evil


Capcom is releasing an arcade game Rocketmen: Axis of Evil onto PSN today. How come I never heard of it? It has 4 player co-op action, so I hope there’s a demo. Co-Optimus had this to say:

Capcom’s newest addition to their arcade lineup is called Rocketmen: Axis of Evil. The game is based on a popular WizKids product line. The game is a dual analog shooter with RPG elements. Think of an RPG version of Smash TV. You can create and customize a male or female character based on one of three classes (Fighter, Engineer, Outcast), as well as one of three races (Human, Mercurian or Venusian).

The game launches today on PSN for $9.99. (It’s on XLA too, BTW.)

Rocketmen: Axis of Evil Now Live

Published on March 6th, 2008 under ,

Army of Two or R6 Vegas 2?


I’m in a pickle.

This month I have enough moola to spend on one game. I can buy Army of Two, releasing this week, or I can buy Rainbow Six Vegas 2, due out in the middle of March. I would be buying either of these games primarily for the two player splitscreen co-op modes. I doubt that I would go online with Army of Two, but I might with R6V2, just because I think the game types in R6V2 seem to be more my style. Even then, I doubt that I’d spend much time online there either. (Might as well just pop in CoD4.)

Army of Two is totally built around the co-op experience. And while R6V2 has a co-op mode, it seems like the second is more along for the ride. On the other hand, it looks like R6V2 will probably be a much more polished game with some fun levelling-up to do.

So like I said, I’m in a pickle. Anyone have any thoughts?

Published on March 6th, 2008 under , , ,

Race Driver: GRID


I’m all for racing games, and my friends and I have had a lot of fun racing each other over the years. But now that I own a PS3, my enthusiasm has been quite tempered by the fact that nobody wants to release a next-gen (current-gen?) four-player splitscreen game. Will the new Race Driver: GRID be the one to fulfill that hope? Unfortunately, I don’t know yet. ( (Sorry for the build up!)

But we do know other things. Like the fact that CodeMasters is moving away from the more sim-style racing game like TOCA and moving towards a more arcadey experience like PGR. “We wanted to make a break away from our perception as a simulation game”, says Ralph Fulton, chief game designer on Race Driver: GRID. […] We felt that there was more that we could be doing to package the things that we were brilliant at – AI, damage, physics – in such a way that it appeals to a much broader market.

For some strange stupid reason, drifting is in style these days, and GRID will partake heavily. They plan to make the game world-spanning, and the Japanese events will be heavily into drifting. Yuck. That’s a mistake that I wish could be rectified with something like GRID’s new rewind feature, which lets you skip backwards in time over a crash or bad decision and gives you a do-over.

The game will only include 45 cars, but I don’t really care how many they have as long as they’re fun. I care more for a good variety of tracks to race on.

And splitscreen? Well, we can only hope…

Race Driver: Grid Preview

Other GRID Resources:

Eurogamer: GRID First Impressions
Eurogamer: GRID Screenshots
Eurogamer: GRID Designed to Break America

Published on February 14th, 2008 under ,

Resistance 2: Ted Price Interviews


I’m looking forward to Resistance 2 way more than Killzone 2. It was my most played game of 2007, especially online and I’m expecting big things from Resistance 2. Looking forward to 8 player online co-op the most though.

D.I.C.E. Ted Price Video Interview Interview with Insomniac’s Ted Price

Published on February 12th, 2008 under , ,

Rainbow Six Vegas 2 is Everywhere!


So IGN has a multiplayer preview of Rainbow Six Vegas 2. Gamer 2.0 does too. And other places I’ve forgotten about, like GameSpot.

Plus, this place has two videos about the game.

Then there’s this developer diary.

Gosh, you’d think this game was coming out soon or something…

Published on February 8th, 2008 under ,

More Resistance 2 Details

Source: has more info on Resistance 2. I don’t know for sure if any of this is new or not, but I found it interesting reading.

For one, there’s no narrative this time. The first game was narrated by Captain Rachel Parker, but this time around, you’ll be seeing it through the eyes instead. And your eyes will be seeing mates in your new unit – the Sentinels. All are resistant to the Chimeran virus, so you’re not alone anymore.

Not only that, but bosses will be bigger than ever, you’ll be seeing a lot of American real estate this time, and you’ll be doing it in style – vehicles will play a large part.

For more, read the article below.

Resistance 2 PS3 Preview, Resistance 2 Playstation 3 Preview

Published on February 7th, 2008 under ,

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed gameplay wrapped into one bundle of joy


Inside of me the hype I feel for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is slowly reaching a boiling point which hopefully will explode this summer. After so many subpar Star Wars games could this new title be a wonderful next-gen experience wrapped in Star Wars lore?

The only thing that could possibly worry me is could levitating enemies get a bit boring once the novelty has worn off?

-Michael “Thrills Killa” Pacheco-

Published on January 29th, 2008 under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rock Band Impressions


I’ve never had a game do me in like Rock Band. This morning I woke up with a sore back and aching wrists. Yesterday I was playing Rock Band. Drums, in particular. I thought I had a good chair and good posture, but my bad back betrayed me and now I’m quite sore.

I wasn’t planning on buying Rock Band until my basement was finished. But our basement finishing plans have been postponed indefinitely, so now on my wife’s prompting, Rock Band is in the house.

Now, I’ve played Guitar Hero I, II, Rocks the 80’s, and III. I have them all, and the two guitars to prove it. So that’s the background I’m coming from. I’m not going to post a full review of the game – others have done so much better than I can. So I’ll just give a couple impressions.


First off, I love the presentation. After four GH games that all look and play the same, it’s very refreshing to come into a similar style of game that has a totally different visual style to it. Maybe it’s just the fact that this is my first such game on the PS3 on my new 1080p television, but everything just looks so sweet and crisp. I love it.

I also like how they did the career mode. It’s a much less linear progression than the Guitar Hero games, and it’s fun. The only problem is that while you can do a solo career as a lead guitarist, singer, or drummer, there’s no option for bass guitar. Which really sucks, because bass with it’s “bass groove” perk quickly became my favourite instrument. I enjoyed playing a lot of bass songs on Hard difficulty, which is something I can’t do playing lead guitar – it’s just too difficult for me.

The ability to create your own rocker is a blast too. I enjoy tweeking the look of my characters.


I’ve heard the the Rock Band controller is a love-it or hate-it affair, and I fall firmly into the love-it category. It’s great. It duplicates the five coloured buttons much further up the neck, and I’ve been enjoying using those new buttons. I like the mushy strum bar, and I like the coloured buttons’ click. But there is a fly in the ointment. I am having one problem with the guitar – activating Overdrive (Rock Band’s version of Star Power). It just doesn’t work right. Sometimes it activates when I don’t want it to and other times it doesn’t activate when I do. I can lift up the guitar even past vertical, spin it in the air, flip it around, nothing. It’s very frustrating. I think I’ll put in for a new guitar.

The absolutely most stupid thing of all, though, is that I have no solution for playing two guitars. I have a rock band with a band member missing. What other guitar works with Rock Band for the PS3?

Which brings up another pet peave. In the Guitar Hero games, if you didn’t have an extra guitar, you could just use a controller instead. Not so in Rock Band. Quite frustrating.

Song Selection

Sony selection wise, I think that maybe Guitar Hero III has a better selection than Rock Band does, but I haven’t played all the Rock Band songs yet, so I’ll have to reserve final judgement for later.

I did download two songs – Buddy Holly and Juke Box Hero. But I don’t really like the prices, I think they’re a bit high. So I won’t be downloading too much. I heard that the prices will be increasing. I hope that’s not true.

I’m also ticked that the 360 will be getting some exclusive songs, including Sprode by Freezepop. I love Freezepop. I hope us PS3 gamers get some love from Harmonix too.


I just can’t get the hang of the kick drum. It was true at my friend’s place on the 360, and it’s true at my place on my PS3. I tried yesterday to start a career in medium mode on drums. I was doing fine until the song Seven came along, which I totally bombed at. So I entered practice mode and played at 60%, then 70% speed, then 80%. It took a lot of practicing, but I was starting to get it. I thought. At 90% I could muddle my way through. But at 100% speed, I totally blew it. My mind can not wrap around the use of the kick drum. It just can’t. There are certain neural pathways that are just not connecting. I wish they had an option for turning off the use of the kick drum. Before you attack me for this, remember that this is a game first, for your own personal enjoyment, and that I asked for the option. It’s not a drum instructor, though that may be a side product.

And speaking of wishes, I also wish Rock Band had a free style option to let you just play the drums as if it were a drumkit.


Normally I’d give a game like this something like a 9.5 out of 10. But because of the guitar problems, the lack of a controller option, the frustrating drumkit, and the over-priced songs, the game will get a 7.5 from me.

Published on January 21st, 2008 under ,

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