Lego Rock Band: The Best On DS

7 11 2009

I’ve spent a good amount of time with the diminutive DS release of Lego Rock Band and came away thoroughly impressed. It’s a nice return to form of the Amplitude/Frequency style of music game and as such it’s probably the best of the multi-platform attack.

Few licensed games make as good a use of their source material as Lego Rock Band. The Danish toy line may at first seem like a bizarre match for the series, but it’s a charming fit that those who have ever built a plastic pirate ship can’t help but smile over.

Sound too gushing? Check out my full review for why.


David Bowie Goes Minifig

7 10 2009


Bowie has had a lot of looks over his long and fabled career, so it’s no surprise to see that he’s got yet another one in the pipes.


The man who defies definition will be joining Iggy Pop in the upcoming family-friendly Lego Rock Band as a playable little guy  during his included track “Let’s Dance,” fittingly decked out in period-correct attire.

Yet another reason to look forward to this one.

Review: Anamanaguchi – Dawn Metropolis

7 10 2009


Chiptune music, video game-inspired music in general, has always been faced with the stigma of its seemingly nerdy origins; even its name sounds cold and alien to those who fear the large amount of buttons on a Wii remote. Telling your friends that you hop on YouTube and listen to the Duck Tales NES music or YMCK’s Pictobits remixes has never fallen inside the realm of mainstream understanding; it’s more of a clique thing, really, something that only appeals to those who’ve spent all too much of their time conquering Dr. Wiley’s nefarious bots.

If none of these references are making any sense to you, I’d like to welcome you to my point.

But retro and 8-bit, like so many other relics of the 80s, are making a comeback, one whose impact can be felt all throughout gaming’s digital download services and brings with it a little bleed-over into popular art and music. Enter Anamanaguchi. Read the rest of this entry »

WET: The case against innovation

3 10 2009


Style over substance is a dangerous choice in game development; Grasshopper Manufacture’s GC/PS2 release Killer 7 had some wild design elements and a certainly unique aesthetic, but it couldn’t save the somewhat murky rails-not-rails gameplay. No More Heroes, also a Grasshopper game, suffered some of the same pitfalls.

Enter WET. Full of style but without the new ideas of a Grasshopper title, it’s easy to brush it off as a Croft-meets-Max Payne knockoff with a healthy dash of Grindhouse thrown in. And that’s pretty much all it is. But so what? Read the rest of this entry »