Friday, August 28, 2009

Rock Band 2 DLC and Being Careful What You Wish For

Over the past year Harmonix has released two DLC tracks for Rock Band 2 that I’ve desperately wanted to see on the platform. The first was Journey’s Don’t Stop Believ’n. Yeah, I know, but it’s such a great song. The thing with that one is that I never really gave it a second thought until an October evening in 2006 when a buddy of mine (Mike In The D in the comments) scored me and a couple other guys tickets to the series clinching Game 4 of the Tigers’ opening round playoff series against the Yankees. Single best sporting experience I’ve seen first hand. And, of course they played that song as the celebration took place on the field. Yeah, I know, almost every sports venue trots that song out these days, but dammit, when it’s 40,000 jubilant Detroiters singing the line “Just a city boy, born in raised in south Detroit” in unison, it’s so much cooler. 

Anyway, the other DLC track is Tom Petty’s Running Down a Dream, which Harmonix just made available this week, along with another Full Moon Fever track, I Won’t Back Down. (Full Moon Fever, btw, is on my Top 5 list of CDs I’d need with me if stranded on a desert island.) I have been wanting some Tom Petty for my fake plastic guitaring experience since I played the first Guitar Hero, Running Down a Dream in particular. I can’t believe it took this long, and sure it’s only two tracks, but I’ll definitely take it.

So what’s the problem? 

It’s the shame. I can play about 90-95% of RB’s (1 and 2) tracks on expert. Maybe not well, but well enough to muddle through with judicious use of Overdrive. But not these two; not my two favorite songs in the game. So humiliating.

With Journey I can’t get through that first burst of notes that lead off the guitar track. With Petty I can’t survive the solo at the end. I spent an hour on that solo in practice mode last night and there are two parts to it where I can’t even get the sequence down when playing at 70% speed, let alone full speed. So sad. So maddening. Normally I would just pretend these songs don’t exist in the game, their penance for exposing my feebleness on a plastic axe, but I cannot let this injustice stand. I will play this track until my fingers bleed (like Bryan Adams!) before I give it up.

Or I suppose you could say, “I wont’ back down.” (Yes, if you don’t already, you’re allowed to hate me for that pun.)