Pin It
Favorite

The Player 

by MARTY DEMAREST & r & & r & Rock Band & r & Rated Teen; PSP, PS3, 360, Wii & r & 5 Stars & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & "O & lt;/span & K if you write a review of this," Jeff said, plugging cords into his Xbox 360, "you can say the sign-in basically sucks."





I found Rock Band where most videogame sleeper hits are located: at a friend's house. Jeff and Jozey (who run a superb burrito shop) had sprung for the $160 game that comes with a plastic guitar (which I was holding), drum set (where Skylar sat spinning sticks) and microphone (held by Jeff as he stretched out its cord).





Jozey, who was playing bass in Rock Band using a compatible Guitar Hero II guitar, signed in to her Xbox account, clicking through what seemed like half a dozen menu screens on the TV. Then Skylar signed in using the drums. Then Jeff signed in. Then me. After a sign-in process that basically sucks, we were ready to rock.





"Don't Fear the Reaper" was the first song that I ever heard Jeff sing. I was concentrating on pressing my guitar's color-coded frets, so I couldn't fully appreciate his performance. But his voice ranged from a holler to something actually soulful. I was able to find the song's groove as much by watching him cock his hips as by watching the TV screen. Glancing at Skylar, I saw his sticks flying up and down on the colored plastic drum pads in a synchronized flurry with my strumming.





Jeff tapped his microphone like a tambourine. Jozey and I rocked our guitars back simultaneously, unleashing a flurry of psychedelia on the widescreen. We fled through "Run to the Hills." (Did we get four stars? Five stars? Details are hazy.)





Jeff and Skylar got in a minor argument between sets about costumes. Skylar wanted to wear a new T-shirt he had picked up after a concert. "It takes too much f***ing time," Jeff whined, turning towards the screen. Our onscreen rocker personas waited -- a group of lingerie-clad, trashy girls. "We spent the first day just customizing them," said Jeff. "Getting them tattoos and s***."





I flipped through the game's playlist, selecting a song. "No, not that one," Jeff said. I explained that if I was going to write a review, I was going to have to mess around and see Rock Band's weirder corners. Jeff rolled his eyes. "OK, close the f***ing door." He didn't want anyone to know he covered Jon Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive."





"Should I get out my jeans jacket?" he asked as I started to noodle through the opening guitar riff. Skylar and Jozey joined in.





"I'm a cowboy," Jeff droned flatly, obviously not feeling the Bon Jovi. "On a steel horse I ride...."





THE GOOD: Rock Band offers a degree of humiliation that only karaoke can provide.





THE BAD: Redgy, who's an excellent bassist in a real rock band, sat on the sofa watching with disdain. We were all playing a videogame that made lame people look like rock stars, without the work, sacrifice or skill. Posers, yes we were. But we rocked.





THE BOTTOM LINE: Rock Band is a slick, rock-rules videogame that gets better the more you practice, the more people show up for practice, and the more fun you try to have.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Between Love and the Law
  • Between Love and the Law

    He was a criminal. She was a crime fighter. Their relationship would cost them both dearly
    • Feb 25, 2015
  • 'All Lives Matter'
  • 'All Lives Matter'

    A deeper look at Pasco as it grapples with the police shooting of a vulnerable man
    • Feb 25, 2015
  • Promise Keepers?
  • Promise Keepers?

    The city of Spokane tries to keep its promise not to raise taxes; plus, the fight against public nudity
    • Feb 25, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Family Dance & Potluck

Family Dance & Potluck @ St. John's Cathedral

Fri., March 6, 6:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Marty Demarest

  • The Cowboy's Cowboy
  • The Cowboy's Cowboy

    A Canadian sings about the life —  not just the lifestyle — of the new West
    • May 15, 2013
  • Completing the Trilogy
  • Completing the Trilogy

    Mass Effect has finally arrived
    • May 23, 2012
  • Minecraft
  • Minecraft

    Adventure and survival too often give way to mindless crafts in this building-block simulator.
    • Feb 8, 2012
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • 'I Do Not Trust Muzlims'

    Comments by the wife of Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell have raised questions about his office's impartiality
    • Feb 25, 2015
  • Fagan's World

    City councilman Mike Fagan has unconventional views on vaccinations. So, what else does he think?
    • Feb 18, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation