Previews: Rock Band 2 Will Cure Cancer! - Part One: The Game

Placing the paddles away, he welcomes the revival of his long dead weblog...

So, it's finally hit me. Rock Band 2 fever. I only recently learned of the new edition of my favorite game on the 360 (based on play time) and I'm already almost peeing in my pants over it. Not only will you have 84 master-recording songs on the disc (more on that later); not only will you be able to play the over 200 downloadable tracks that are already out there; not ONLY will you be able to download all the tracks from the first Rock Band (accursed disc-switching is a thing of the past!); NOT ONLY will they provide a library of 500 songs by years end; NOT ONLY WILL THEY.... wait, let me slow down. I'm gonna have to divide this massive iceberg of awesome into a few parts to make it less... massive.

Starting with the lifeblood of a good rythm game, the songs. There will be 84 tracks on the Rock Band 2 disc. The selection is probably the best ever, or the best as long as I have been playing rhythm games. Here we go!

1. AC/DC “Let There Be Rock” 1970s - [Pure WIN]
2. AFI “Girl’s Gone Grey” 2000’s - [Good to laugh at.]
3. Alanis Morissette “You Oughta Know” 1990’s - [A little Lillith Fair homage]
4. Alice in Chains “Man in the Box” 1990’s - [Awesome.]
5. Allman Brothers “Ramblin’ Man” 1970’s
- [Awesome.]
6. Avenged Sevenfold “Almost Easy” 2000’s - [Awesome.]
7. Bad Company “Shooting Star” 1970’s
8. Beastie Boys “So Whatcha Want” 1990’s - [This is "Rock Band" right?]
9. Beck “E-Pro” 2000’s
- [Awesome.]
10. Bikini Kill “Rebel Girl” 1990’s
11. Billy Idol “White Wedding Pt. I” 1980’s
- [Awesome.]
12. Blondie “One Way or Another” 1970’s - [Awesome.]
13. Bob Dylan “Tangled Up in Blue” 1970’s- [ Mega Awesome. The Dylan!]
14. Bon Jovi “Livin’ on a Prayer” 1980’s - [Tell me you haven't always wanted to feaux-play it.]
15. Cheap Trick “Hello There” 1970’s
16. Devo “Uncontrollable Urge” 1980’s
17. Dinosaur Jr. “Feel the Pain” 1990’s
18. Disturbed “Down with the Sickness” 2000’s
19. Dream Theater “Panic Attack” 2000’s
20. Duran Duran “Hungry Like the Wolf” 1980’s
- [Mega Awesome.]
21. Elvis Costello “Pump It Up” 1970’s
22. Fleetwood Mac “Go Your Own Way” 1970’s
- [Awesome.]
23. Foo Fighters “Everlong” 1990’s - [Only one of the 3 best Foo songs ever!]
24. Guns N’ Roses “Shackler’s Revenge” 2000’s - [Awesome.]
25. Interpol “PDA” 2000’s
26. Jane’s Addiction “Mountain Song” 1980’s
- [Awesome.]
27. Jethro Tull “Aqualung” 1970’s - [Awesome.]
28. Jimmy Eat World “The Middle” 2000’s - [Awesome. I've always wanted to be "cool emo".]
29. Joan Jett “Bad Reputation” 1980’s
30. Journey “Anyway You Want It” 1970’s
- [Awesome. Although a little cheesy.]
31. Judas Priest “Painkiller” 1990’s - [Awesome.]
32. Kansas “Carry On Wayward Son” 1970’s - [Awesome. The second song I'm gonna play to death.]
33. L7 “Pretend We’re Dead” 1990’s
34. Lacuna Coil “Our Truth” 2000’s
- [Awesome.]
35. Linkin Park “One Step Closer” 2000’s - [Awesome.]
36. Lit “My Own Worst Enemy” 1990’s - [Awesome.]
37. Lush “De-Luxe” 1990’s
38. Mastodon “Colony of Birchmen” 2000’s
- [Awesome.]
39. Megadeth “Peace Sells” 1980’s - [Awesome.]
40. Metallica “Battery” 1980’s - [Awesome.]
41. Mighty Mighty Bosstones “Where’d You Go” 1990’s - [Awesome.]
42. Modest Mouse “Float On” 2000’s
43. Motorhead “Ace of Spades” 1980’s
44. Nirvana “Drain You” 1990’s
- [Awesome.]
45. Norman Greenbaum “Spirit in the Sky” 1960’s
46. Panic at the Disco “Nine in the Afternoon” 2000’s
47. Paramore “That’s What You Get” 2000’s
- [Mega Awesome.]
48. Pearl Jam “Alive” 1990’s - [Awesome. And even better, you finally will know what he's saying!]
49. Presidents of the USA “Lump” 1990’s
50. Rage Against the Machine “Testify” 1990’s
- [Awesome.]
51. Ratt “Round & Round” 1980’s - [Awesome.]
52. Red Hot Chili Peppers “Give it Away” 1990’s - [Awesome.]
53. Rise Against “Give it All” 2000’s - [Awesome.]
54. Rush “The Trees” 1970’s - [Awesome.]
55. Silversun Pickups “Lazy Eye” 2000’s
56. Smashing Pumpkins “Today” 1990’s
- [Awesome.]
57. Social Distortion “I Was Wrong” 1990’s
58. Sonic Youth “Teenage Riot” 1980’s
59. Soundgarden “Spoonman” 1990’s
- [Awesome.]
60. Squeeze “Cool for Cats” 1970’s
61. Steely Dan “Bodhitsattva” 1970’s
- [Awesome.]
62. Steve Miller Band “Rock’n Me” 1970’s
63. Survivor “Eye of the Tiger” 1980’s
- [Awesome. Wow. YES!]
64. System of a Down “Chop Suey” 2000’s - [Awesome. Wake up!]
65. Talking Heads “Psycho Killer” 1970’s
66. Tenacious D “Master Exploder” 2000’s
- [Awesome.]
67. Testament “Souls of Black” 1990’s
68. The Donnas “New Kid in School” 2000’s
- [Awesome.]
69. The Go-Go’s “We Got the Beat” 1980’s - [Awesome.]
70. The Grateful Dead “Alabama Getaway” 1980’s - [Awesome.]
71. The Guess Who “American Woman” 1970’s - [Awesome. Thank God it's not Lenny's version.]
72. The Muffs “Kids in America” 1990’s - [Awesome.]
73. The Offspring “Come Out & Play (Keep ‘em Separated)” 1990’s - [Awesome.]
74. The Replacements “Alex Chilton” 1980’s
75. The Who “Pinball Wizard” 1960’s
- [Awesome.]
Bonus Artist Bonus Song Title Decade
76. Abnormality “Visions” 2000’s
77. Anarchy Club “Get Clean” 2000’s
78. Bang Camaro “Night Lies” 2000’s
- [Awesome.]
79. Breaking Wheel “Shoulder to the Plow” 2000’s
80. The Libyans “Neighborhood” 2000’s
81. The Main Drag “A Jagged Gorgeous Winter” 2000’s
82. Speck “Conventional Lover” 2000’s
83. The Sterns “Supreme Girl” 2000’s
84. That Handsome Devil “Rob the Prez-O-Dent” 2000’s
Now tell me that's not amazing. On top of that, all the songs available for download now are compatible. All you have to do is fire up the game. No re-downloading, they will automatically load just like they do in Rock Band. It's also been revealed that for a nominal "licsence extender" (or something like that) of less than $5, owners of Rock Band will be able to download the tracks from the first game's disc. No more swapping! Praise Jeebus! I despise having to switch discs when I get a craving for a certain song.

Harmonix has kept their word on the new DLC every week, and full album downloads. They're continuing that tradition, and promising a library of over 500 songs by year's end. Amazing. Hard to wrap my head around the sheer variety of songs we're gonna have!

Another choice improvement is the addition of band world tour online! Now you don't have to take up little black books to schedule band play times. If you're home, you're world touring! "But what if the band leader isn't there?" Whatever! Band leaders are a thing of the past. Now you all have an equal share in the band. And what's more, band members can switch up instruments using ONE character. So if your band gets tired of the same-'ol same-'ol, you can just switch up. This makes playing those long, grueling tours much more exciting. I know after my band(s) and I played all the songs a few times over, it got a little old. We had to either make a new band or play as each other's characters (which doesn't really "work" when your bandmates are of the opposite sex).

Aside from that, the overall interface has been tweaked and improved. The song selection screen now looks like the store's interface; with options to filter by title, artist, genre, decade, and difficulty. Quick Play is even quicker to jump into this time around. Character selection/creation is even more robust, with all categories seeing more choices. There is a new online "band battle" element where you and your mates play your best to reach the top of your friends list, and global charts. There are even "band challenges" that will test your band's skills. Harmonix is promising new challenges every week as well, so you'll always have a challenge waiting for you to conquer. No, Rock Band 2 isn't going to be a glorified track pack. Things are lookin' up.

Harmonix is actually listening to the fans, something that adds to Rock Band's overall appeal. I think that is what sets them apart from their old flame, Guitar Hero. They try their hardest to provide a variety of fun songs (not just guitar-heavy tunes) all bandmates can enjoy. The key charts feel "accurate", something Guitar Hero is lacking to an extreme degree. Harmonix's focus is on having a good time with music. From these new improvements it's obvious they're still working hard to bring that experience to us, and listening to what their fanbase wants. And I can't wait until September when the new hotness comes out.

Still not convinced? Hang on! I still have to talk about the new instruments! But you're going to have to wait for Part 2...

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