So I appear to have bought a bass guitar. This is an unexpected development for the year. I wasn’t planning on it at all, although I’d started to have favourable feelings about the idea of trying to learn bass guitar a little while ago after I discovered that I preferred following basslines to lead guitar on Rock Band et al. It was a thought that clearly lingered with me.
And now I’ve gone past 40, and seen the only Olympics I’m ever likely to see in my country, I think my mid-life crisis has started and forced me to buy it. I have planned for said crisis, I’ve thought through the possible routes:
Affair – costly, too much organisation
Leather trousers – stumpy legs
Ponytail – not with my hair. I’m holding back the Hulk Hogan haircut for late 50s
Tattoo – this was the one I was planning on doing, I have a design in mind, have done for ages. Think I can handle the pain, all good. Just don’t seem to have got round to it yet
So my brain and my credit card skipped through the plan and went with bass guitar instead. The actual persuading factor was the release of a new game, Rocksmith. It’s the same sort of logic as Rockband, except you have to use an actual guitar or bass, and it’s designed more as guitar tutor through gaming. Exactly the sort of thing I can get behind. Although I’m going to try and do non-game learning and practice too. It arrives tomorrow, and I can’t wait to start.
Beatles rock band. Absolutely blown away by the trailer for this. It isn’t an original game. It isn’t an innovative game. It is a license game, which the vast majority of suck incredibly hard. So why has it impressed me?
It has been done right. It oozes the source material. Right outfits, right look and feel, even the right sideburns for the characters. Little side comments at the end of songs. It just feels so accurate. And it sold me. It also doesn’t hurt that I know all the songs. I was brought up on them, these are some of the first songs I was taught to sing. Blame a liberal education in the seventies for that if you like. This is how you make a licensed game, you basically pay a load of attention, and then make it right. Should be fairly obvious, but in a lot of cases people just don’t bother
I’m not going to shell out for the fancy instruments, but I’m definitely getting the game fairly early on.
This clip of Super Mario was brought to my attention by gaming blog Kotaku.
The style may be familiar, especially if you remember the clip from a few years ago of a table-tennis game as if it was filmed in the style of The Matrix. Both came from a Japanese TV show called Kinchan no Kasoh Taisho, which I believe is an annual event celebrating this form of performance. It’s well worth looking at the related videos on youtube, as there are many more to watch, performed by seasoned teams and talented kids alike, and they can be a joy to watch.
A little oddity this, flotsville. You don’t even sign up for it, you just enter where you want your city, and the name of it. Then as people visit it, it expands. A little like the Sims, obviously, except the only thing that promotes growth is vistors. Every visitor each day adds inhabitants and makes it grown. Have a look, have a go, and if you start your own city, let me know in the comments so I can come visit too.
I’m currently playing Super Mario Galaxy, which is a gorgeous game to watch and play, Puzzlequest, which is an RPG meets a Bejewelled-style puzzle game, and the expansion version of Phantasy Star Universe.
I’m watching Heroes of course, the new series of Curb Your Enthusiasm (which is compulsory, it’s very good), the Mighty Boosh, and I’ve just watched my first episode of Flight of the Conchords, which I’d heard was a very marmite show, but I got it straight away, stupid in a great way.