Rock Band 3 changes everything with Pro mode.

I bought the keytar RockBand3 bundle. I bought the cymbals to upgrade my beatle’s Ringo drum kit. I have three mics (but only one mic stand). I have the old original rockband guitar (plus the original red PS2 guitar hero[GH] guitar, white xbox GH2 guitar, wireless black gibson GH guitar). I’ve purchased almost every Harmonix game (but stopped buying GH titles after the Aerosmith tie in).

Last night I received my madcatz “Mustang pro guitar” and played with it for a couple hours. BLEW MY FUCKING MIND. I couldn’t be more excited about the music game genre right now.
So here are my ranting comments, in response to a Gamasutra article about why music games are over. SIGH)

This sounds like negative forecasting to me, purely for people who care more about their stock gambling than the realities of game development? (it seems to say “without taking the latest products and innovations into account, lets forecast why this genre is dead”).

I’m very curious whether Viacom’s decision to dump harmonix is just a safe bet (“we’re getting out at a guaranteed high water mark, because the waters look choppy from here on out”) or actually a wise informed bet (“we know for a fact that harmonix has no other ideas”).

Isn’t it lame to prognosticate based on “people are tired of buying cheap plastic” instead of “people will always enjoy playing with music.” I think Harmonix has shown that they really understand how to cater to people’s fantasies, as well as the nitty gritty tricks of addictive/layered rewards-based game design.

Would be very curious to see just Harmonix’s sales numbers (with guitar hero 3+, and the other spam removed). Will reserve my judgments until after the dust settles on JUST RELEASED Dance Central and RockBand3 (including the sales of Pro Guitar, and the upcoming sales of the “Fender Squier Stratocaster”)

I wouldn’t give up on the public’s ability to smell quality. Activision can pay to market crap down their throats quickly, But nothing beats the slow spread of quality word of mouth (which I’m now convinced Pro Guitar will elicit). I think it’s sad that right now, when Rock Band3 needs a strong marketing push, they’re being dumped.

* I enjoyed the bundled keytar enough to feel Rock Band3 was something new and worthy. Played “normal” mode once before trying out Pro keys, and will never go back.

* Last night I received my “pro guitar”, and : found it was astonishing. Again, I will never go back.

Played through the first 5 “goals” in Rock Band3 with it. Transformed me from kind of afraid and flustered (just as I was years back with the first Rock Band guitar), to thrilled and grinning as I completed beloved songs on ProEasy (white stripes and faith no more, ftw!).

It’s really a perfect “real-guitar” tutor (I think real world guitar training, via tutor or DVD, is infinitely worse actually, because they’re so boring and usually locked to one style.).
I’m convinced this will move me towards my fantasy of learning to play music on a real guitar. (so that’s priceless?)

– My girlfriend balked at the number of buttons (102), and claimed she’d never touch it. Then I reminded her that it doubles as a bass guitar trainer (which she’s fantasized about learning), and I could see that she’s hooked. (We have an electric guitar and bass sitting on stands in our living room, each next to its amp- just gathering dust each month. because good tabs are hard to find online, and because it’s such a huge un-fun learning curve. Until now?)

– I’d complain that this week’s “mustang” Pro Guitar is actually harder than a normal guitar, due to its uniform squishy fret buttons (Harder to tell if my fingers on the same “string”). So while I dig it, they can definitely improve on it…

– I now plan to buy a second RB3 Pro guitar (for girlfriend at least). And I see that the upcoming fender strat will be an actual stringed guitar which I can go plug into an amp. And will cost less than a brand new real guitar.

So… A really amazing value proposition/progression innovation. Currently about halfway through playing itself out. I don’t see the value in projecting it’s failure based on Activision’s market flooding. !!!

(* to be fair, I was also impressed with the DJ hero investment. fun game, and unique quality peripheral. But I only had to pay 20 bucks to pick it up, and don’t yet plan to get the sequel. sooo. a confused example?)

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