Rock Band Summer Showcase Update

All you Pixies fans can rest easy; they've made it into Harmonix's towering rhythm game, which we played at EA's summer event.


Rock Band

Rock Band is going to be awesome. We think that's been established by now. We're sold on the whole multiple-instruments thing, the full downloadable albums, the online play...and the list goes on. All that's really left at this point is for us to uncover the game's tracklist song by song as it's revealed by the Harmonix/MTV/EA PR machine and observe how it continues to shape up as its release draws nearer. Luckily, we got to do both of those things at EA's sprawling Redwood City, CA campus.

The two new songs on show here at the event are Hole's "Celebrity Skin" and the Pixies' "Wave of Mutilation," both of which further round out the game's increasingly eclectic lineup of songs. The former adds its crunchy, guitar-driven grrl rock, while the latter brings Frank Black's characteristically unique, pre-alterna-rock songwriting to the mix (and for the record, it's the album version, not the surf-rock B-side).

On the game and design side, the artists at Harmonix have really polished up the visuals in the past few weeks. The fret boards that bear the game's note patterns are much cleaner now, with more defined lines and a nice light-up effect that will travel up the board when you pull off top performance. Notably, the notes on the fret board have changed from the more traditional, Guitar Hero-like circular shape to a rectangular design that both blends better with the game's overall design aesthetic and also seems a little easier to interpret visually.

We're still as stoked as ever to get our hands on this rhythmic monstrosity, and we'll continue to bring you our impressions of it whenever we get the chance to see it. Stay tuned for more on Rock Band.

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