Greetings geeks, gamers, and those who like to discuss the minutiae of software patches and DLC: welcome to Patch Notes. In this bi-weekly column I will be discussing one of the least-covered areas of videogames; patches and DLC.
Every week games are released, and most of them get reviewed as per usual; but then what happens? As reviewers we tend to play all (or at least the majority) of a game, write our review, and then move on to the next one. I aim to change that! It's no surprise that many games are supported by their publisher and developer long after that first week of sales. This normally takes the form of paid DLC, post-release patches, or even sometimes free DLC. Patch Notes will be a place where you can you can read about some of the finer pieces of additional content available to gamers, and you can even join the conversation by commenting on each edition of this column. So without further ado, let's get on with the first edition.
This week's column: Five Must-Have Songs for Rock Band
Hello and welcome to the first edition of Patch Notes! This week I'm going to be talking about one of the best supported games of all time: Rock Band. Well, specifically Rock Band 3, which is the dominant platform for the series. I thought it was very fitting to start this column on DLC by talking about one of the most well-supported games ever. Rock Band first came on the scene in 2007 and since then there's been a few iterations (Rock Band 2, 3, Beatles Rock Band and more) but there's also been a steady stream of DLC available on an almost weekly basis. It's now 2012 and there are over 3000 songs available for Rock Band—now I'll fill you in on the best of the best.
I've been playing music rhythm games for many years now, and this genre goes all the way back to the days when Guitar Hero was king. But with that series on hiatus it's pretty clear that Rock Band has become the place to rock out with your buddies. In my time I have played many, many, many songs and now I’ve compiled a list of the ones that every Rock Band player should have. These songs are in no particular order, and have been chosen for several reasons which would be too numerous to list.
“My Sharona” – The Knack
Whether you're a fan of one-hit wonders or really into the film Reality Bites, it's hard to deny the power of this classic pop-rock groove. Fun lyrics and a slick bass line are just a few of the reasons that make this classic by The Knack a must have.
“Gay Bar” – Electric Six
This was the first (and still is) the only Electric Six I’ve ever heard, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Yes, I'm sure the band is awesome and this single entry is a testament to that fact. It's a silly song with excellent surf guitar riffs and if you do things right, your performance will either have the audience cheering for more or falling off their chairs with laughter.
“Don't Stop Believing” – Journey
“Don't Stop Believing” has been a karaoke staple for years; it also gained a comedy quotient when it was done expertly by Peter, Cleveland, Joe, and Quagmire on Fox's animated series Family Guy. It's really easy to butcher, but if done right this anthem by Journey can bring any house down (or empty the room).
“Mr Crowley” – Ozzy Osbourne
Ozzy in his prime, Zakk Wyld on guitar, and one of the most fun-yet-challenging drum parts make this my favorite of the Blizzard's many many tunes. This track features a nice long bass intro, so as the song begins it's real easy for the drummer and guitar player to go and grab a drink or snack because, trust me, they'll need the energy. Once this nearly six-minute epic grabs you it doesn't let go until you're about ready to collapse with your fingers bleeding. I wouldn't have it any other way.
“You Should Be Dancing” – Bee Gees
I know what you're thinking, “Who the hell wants to sing the Bee Gees?” and yeah I would agree with you. However, vocals aside this tune is a testament to disco musicianship. “You Should Be Dancing” features one of the best bass parts available. The drums are equally fun, but offer a good deal of challenge even to the most seasoned drummer. It's also one of the few songs that features an actual drum solo, and if you remember the 70s at all, disco drums were some of the most technical around. If you can get past the high, high, high vocals of the brothers Gibb, you won't regret paying for this fine piece of funk.
If you don't have these tunes, that's okay, but trust me: if you like to play Rock Band with your friends, then these purchases are worth the money and then some. It's not just playing the song that provides the entertainment, it's also the performances they allow. So grab some friends, buy some songs, and ham it up, because with these tracks you'll be sure to please any crowd.
Tim is a contributor for Comics & Gaming Magazine and an avid Rock Band player. His latest quest is for him and his friends to master Rush's epic masterpiece “2112” on expert difficulty.
Have an idea for an issue of Patch Notes? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and you may see your topic discussed in an upcoming column.