Mar 252011
Rock Band DLC

Great, fun stuff this week, including another theme pack and something that should satisfy the challenge-hounds, at least for a little while.

Days of Peace Pack 01
Jefferson Airplane – “Somebody to Love
Blood, Sweat & Tears – “Spinning Wheel
Santana – “Black Magic Woman+

DragonForce – “Through the Fire and Flames+
DragonForce – “Operation Ground and Pound

+ = pro-guitar/bass chart available

Yes, that is a pro-guitar chart for “Through the Fire and Flames”. HAVE FUN, Y’ALL.

I’ll begin with “Somebody to Love”, a quintessential counterculture song by Jefferson Airplane. This song is power, spearheaded by Grace Slick’s amazing vocals. I truly can’t think of a single good reason that absolutely everyone wouldn’t add this to their Rock Band library. It’s not going to be the most challenging thing you could play, but it has a purity that that will make it amazing for every position. (Excepting keys as I don’t think they’re present.)

“Spinning Wheel” by Blood, Sweat & Tears is my least favourite of the Peace Pack, but it’s still an awesome addition. Everybody – including keys this time! – will have their moments here. Bassists especially I think, you’ve got some fun riffs going on throughout the song. Mostly what I think is great about adding this song to the game is that it’s very different from most everything else in it. It’s a slower tempo, but makes up for that by pack more into each beat. I don’t think that I’ll ever go out of my way to pick the song, but I think I’ll enjoy playing it whenever it comes up.

Closing out the Days of Peace is “Black Magic Woman” by Santana which I was just so incredibly excited to see. I adore this song (Santana’s version specifically). Probably of no surprise, it’s the guitar I always focus on, but make no mistake, this is so much more than “just” a guitar song. The drums have an amazing latin beat, the bass groove is constant but cool, and the keys should be just challenging enough to keep you on your toes. The vocals are probably the least of all the parts, but they’re nice and smooth. I am of course assuming we’ll get “Gypsy Queen” with it; I refuse to believe HMX would cut it out. And once we hit that … oh man, just a plastic band frenzy. I can’t wait to play this with a full ensemble. And you best believe that pro-guitar chart will be mine, oh yes.

Moving now to DragonForce, with “Through the Fire and Flames” and “Operation Ground and Pound”. I’m not going to bother to split them. If you’ve heard one DragonForce song you’ve essentially heard them all, and I say that as someone who kinda likes DragonForce. Even now I can’t remember which bit goes with which song and I just finished listening to them not twenty seconds ago. As I said, I like DragonForce. It’s a little difficult for me to not like a group of guys who are just so unabashedly enthusiastic about the idea of being awesome that they fail to ever quite reach it. Oh they can play. Nobody can take that away from them. But it’s almost like they’re aliens who watched a lot of MTV in the 80s and that is the entirety of their scope of the human race. They’re adorable. But their song writing? It’s like it’s Metal MadLibs.

As for their songs in Rock Band. Well my first instinct is to say “I want it!” because as I said, all joking aside I do like DragonForce in limited doses. But then I think about it a second and say to myself, “Would I ever actually want to play these?” And I think my answer has to be “no”. I’m pretty hardcore about my Rock Band, that’s probably no secret by now, but only to a point. I’m not out to crush people or obsess over leaderboard spots or squeeze out every last point I possibly can. I play to have fun, and I just can’t see any time at which I would have fun with either of these songs, except possibly for vocals. So would I pay $2 just to sing these songs? By myself, knowing that if they ever came up in group play, everybody else would be groaning and no one would want to play with me? No, I don’t think I would. I’m glad DragonForce is in the game, and I know that having these two in the library will appeal to a particular type of player, but that player is not me.

In summary, no DragonForce for me I don’t think, but it’s perhaps a nice welcome mat for Guitar Hero refugees. Also if you’re screaming for a challenge, then you already know those are the songs for you. And if you’re getting the pro chart for TTFAF, may your god(s) of choice be with you. The Day of Peace Pack though, I’m all about that. If you’re only want one song this week though? Tough as it is to split it, I think I’d say vocalists should go for “Somebody to Love” and everybody else needs “Black Magic Woman”.

  • Novareinna

    Never heard of DragonForce, but that Days of Peace Pack is something of a treasure. No “duds” included in that trio. “Black Magic Woman” is probably my top pick of the three, but the other two are no shirkers.

    • Jet Wolf

      You may want to consider giving a listen to those two DragonForce songs I linked. It’s speed metal, which is a little different from the metal you tend to like, but for what it is it’s not bad. I have the album both of these come from, so if you liked it at all I can put it on your iPod when you’re up here.

      And yes, that Peace Pack is awesome. I so can’t wait for “Black Magic Woman”.

  • queuemark

    Really exciting week. I’m stoked to get the Day of Peace pack. Like you, BS&T excites me the list, but it’s still a good song that will be a blast to play.

    It’s high time we got the other well-known Jefferson Airplane song; White Rabbit is one of my wife and my favorite (drums are a blast and she loves singing it).

    DragonForce is stupid, but pleasantly so, and it’s pretty exciting to have it in the game. I probably won’t get it, as it looks like murder on the drums (and I know that without double-bass it’s one of the more gimped songs on the platform). I barely played GH3 (mostly because I was so dismayed at the change in art direction from GH2), so I never wasted much time trying to pass it.

  • Stephanie