Rock Band Blitz Announced for Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network

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Posted by Alex (2168 posts) -

Harmonix has been teasing for what feels like pretty much the last nine months that there are new games in the works at the studio, including stuff related to the Rock Band franchise. Of course, whenever asked, studio PR flack and all-around nice guy John Tiberius Drake was usually quick to make it clear that this would not be a full-blown sequel to Rock Band 3, but rather, something else.

Hey Drake, are we allowed to at least post this logo? Let me know when you get a chance.

That something else turned out to be Rock Band Blitz, an Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network title scheduled for release this summer. The game can probably be most closely compared to Rock Band Unplugged, a PSP title from a few years back that featured on-the-fly instrument switching and was played with buttons, as opposed to plastic instruments you'd plug into your PSP. Because that would just be stupid.

That game had its roots in some early Harmonix music games, namely the beloved PlayStation 2 games Frequency and Amplitude. The look of Rock Band Blitz definitely seems like a hearkening back to the chaotic yet cool visual style of those games.

The most intriguing detail of Rock Band Blitz is that it uses your existing Rock Band music library. The game comes with 25 songs of its own, including the likes of Rick Springfield's "Jesse's Girl," Quiet Riot's "Bang Your Head," and Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks." Those songs will join whatever Rock Band proper songs you have previously downloaded as playable tracks in the game, and once you have Blitz downloaded, the 25 exclusive songs will work as playable tracks in Rock Band 3.

We have a few screenshots and a trailer for Rock Band Blitz just sitting around, waiting to be posted, but tragically we cannot do so until tomorrow afternoon. So take solace instead from this below clip of the game being announced on X-Play, and marvel at Eric Pope's delicious mutton chops as he plays through a couple of tracks.

Staff
#1 Posted by Alex (2168 posts) -

Harmonix has been teasing for what feels like pretty much the last nine months that there are new games in the works at the studio, including stuff related to the Rock Band franchise. Of course, whenever asked, studio PR flack and all-around nice guy John Tiberius Drake was usually quick to make it clear that this would not be a full-blown sequel to Rock Band 3, but rather, something else.

Hey Drake, are we allowed to at least post this logo? Let me know when you get a chance.

That something else turned out to be Rock Band Blitz, an Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network title scheduled for release this summer. The game can probably be most closely compared to Rock Band Unplugged, a PSP title from a few years back that featured on-the-fly instrument switching and was played with buttons, as opposed to plastic instruments you'd plug into your PSP. Because that would just be stupid.

That game had its roots in some early Harmonix music games, namely the beloved PlayStation 2 games Frequency and Amplitude. The look of Rock Band Blitz definitely seems like a hearkening back to the chaotic yet cool visual style of those games.

The most intriguing detail of Rock Band Blitz is that it uses your existing Rock Band music library. The game comes with 25 songs of its own, including the likes of Rick Springfield's "Jesse's Girl," Quiet Riot's "Bang Your Head," and Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks." Those songs will join whatever Rock Band proper songs you have previously downloaded as playable tracks in the game, and once you have Blitz downloaded, the 25 exclusive songs will work as playable tracks in Rock Band 3.

We have a few screenshots and a trailer for Rock Band Blitz just sitting around, waiting to be posted, but tragically we cannot do so until tomorrow afternoon. So take solace instead from this below clip of the game being announced on X-Play, and marvel at Eric Pope's delicious mutton chops as he plays through a couple of tracks.

Staff
#2 Posted by SamFo (1529 posts) -

Pretty impressive it works with all DLC

#3 Posted by Young_Scott (85 posts) -

Ball-room blitz!

#4 Posted by iAmJohn (6120 posts) -

Done. How much do you want, Harmonix? A million dollars? Okay, let's do this.

#5 Posted by Hot_Karl (3309 posts) -

Love the idea that it works with the DLC (and that you can use the songs as DLC for RB3)! I'm not very interested in playing RB3 anytime soon, but I have so much music to use that I'd love to explore in a different game. This is just that.

#6 Posted by patrick (563 posts) -

Nifty, they could easily get away with >$10 since the songs work back in RB3.

#7 Posted by Cyrisaurus (455 posts) -

I'm liking the Audiosurf vibe

#8 Posted by onan (1286 posts) -

X-Play still exists? ...Does that mean G4 still exists? ...and they're still covering games in some capacity and not just 24-hour marathons of Cheaters?

#9 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11009 posts) -

Wait, his middle name is Tiberius?

Moderator
#10 Posted by MolluskLingers (109 posts) -

I don't really think this is Amp/Freq at all, but that's just from judging from a 2:50 video.The two buttons really worry me, but I am willing to give this game a chance. I WANT to love it but I just don't know. 2 buttons looks very weird, and i'm guessing they're auto-generating from the tracks using some kind of method like this:

Drum Auto generation:

1 button is the kick beats

2 would be the three other lanes mixed into one

I just don't know. Atleast in this games favor it's being developed by Harmonix unlike Rock Band: Unplugged (but I love that game in a DJ Max not Amp/Freq way). Hopefully what was shown was just the easy mode or what not. But there are some core fundamental features of Frequency and Amplitude that this game seems to be lacking from this short preview.

For one, a HUGE part of Freq and Amp where lane clearing. This would not only make the game highly competitive and lots of theorycrafting the best attack of lanes, but it provided a challenge in that you could actually fail out of the song.

The second one, which is the biggest in my humble opinion that I hope this game has, was that the tracks audio would cut out when the lane wasn't "cleared". This meant that each time you played through a song you got a different sounding song and could kind of "customize" it to your way. It felt great and added alot. If this is just hitting buttons to a MP3 then...I don't know. I just hope Harmonix have thought about this as much as I can sperg about it.

Either way, thank you Harmonix for trying. I am ready to eat years of crow if you pull this off.

#11 Posted by IAmNotBatman (644 posts) -

Mutton chops?

#12 Posted by ShaggE (6453 posts) -

"Learn a real controller, nub! ... wait..."

#13 Posted by ProperKROE (14 posts) -

Looks interesting. If it`s priced right the game could pay for itself just from the 25 songs being playable in RB3.

#14 Edited by SSully (4185 posts) -

Hey, those chops belong to Eric Pope in that video

Oh hey, Alex already pointed that out in the article. Whoops

#15 Posted by Kevin_Cogneto (1074 posts) -

It works with existing Rock Band tracks, really? Does that include Beatles Rock Band? Legally speaking, how can they get away with using all these tracks? Unless they actually paid to re-license them for this new game, which I can't imagine would be feasible for an XBLA game... Color me suspicious.

#16 Posted by RoyaleWifCheese (550 posts) -

This looks pretty promising and, in true Harmonix style, very forward-thinking making ALL the DLC compatible with it. Those that invested all that money on downloadable songs have something new to do with it all.

#17 Posted by InflectionPixel (14 posts) -
#18 Posted by ma_rc_01 (364 posts) -

Interview guy said ''This is a huge departure from what you guys did before'' ha!

#19 Posted by onan (1286 posts) -

@patrick said:

Nifty, they could easily get away with >$10 since the songs work back in RB3.

Pretty positive it'll be the next game after Minecraft to be released for $20. They're bundling 25 songs in there. Based on the math of previous releases, where in RB3 you had 83 tracks being included in a $60 game, that would make the most sense as far as profitability goes.

#20 Posted by louiedog (2335 posts) -

I'm looking forward to this. I love Rock Band but I usually only want to play one or two songs if I'm alone. Unfortunately I'm massively lazy and don't want to drag out the guitar/drums in addition to swapping discs for 8-10 minutes of gameplay. I've even thought about rebuying the game on Games on Demand just to cut out that last part. Being able to play my music library from a game on my hard drive with a controller sounds like exactly what I want.

#21 Posted by Oni (2098 posts) -

@Kevin_Cogneto said:

It works with existing Rock Band tracks, really? Does that include Beatles Rock Band? Legally speaking, how can they get away with using all these tracks? Unless they actually paid to re-license them for this new game, which I can't imagine would be feasible for an XBLA game... Color me suspicious.

Pretty sure that from Rock Band 2 onwards they licensed all songs to be used in all future RB titles for a specified amount of time, if probably not in perpetuity, because they wanted to avoid the nightmare of having to renegotiating licensing deals every time they put out a new game. Like what happened between RB 1 and 2, where some songs couldn't transfer over because they couldn't negotiate a new deal (like with MEtallica because they signed up with Activision for GH).

I doubt it covers the Beatles stuff though. Probably just songs that already work in Rock Band 3.

#22 Posted by HellBound (1114 posts) -

How do you use no hands?

Sorry, but this just looks terrible. Also...ballroom blitz and Jessie's Girl? Come on man.

#23 Posted by Slow_pC (245 posts) -

Im kinda interested in this since Freq. was a great game back then. Loved it.

#24 Posted by Kevin_Cogneto (1074 posts) -

@Oni said:

@Kevin_Cogneto said:

It works with existing Rock Band tracks, really? Does that include Beatles Rock Band? Legally speaking, how can they get away with using all these tracks? Unless they actually paid to re-license them for this new game, which I can't imagine would be feasible for an XBLA game... Color me suspicious.

Pretty sure that from Rock Band 2 onwards they licensed all songs to be used in all future RB titles for a specified amount of time, if probably not in perpetuity, because they wanted to avoid the nightmare of having to renegotiating licensing deals every time they put out a new game. Like what happened between RB 1 and 2, where some songs couldn't transfer over because they couldn't negotiate a new deal (like with MEtallica because they signed up with Activision for GH).

I doubt it covers the Beatles stuff though. Probably just songs that already work in Rock Band 3.

Then why did I have to pay ten dollars to transfer my RB2 songs to RB3, if it wasn't to pay for the licensing?

#25 Posted by Alex (2168 posts) -

@Kevin_Cogneto: Songs licensed for Rock Band disc games were licensed differently than songs for DLC. It's why they had to do the license export on both those games, and also why all the DLC has pretty much worked in every game with only a couple of exceptions. Knowing how insanely careful they are about licensing stuff over the last few years, I've no reason to doubt their claim that pretty much everything should work.

Staff
#26 Posted by fox01313 (5072 posts) -

Not sure it matches the fun of pulling just about any song I have in my music library for Audiosurf but could be fun so I'll give the demo a try & go from there.

#27 Posted by avidwriter (667 posts) -

Seriously? So they took the Bejeweled route?

#28 Posted by FreakAche (2953 posts) -

Eh. Sure. I'll probably buy that.

#29 Posted by PLWolf (926 posts) -

So it's an upgrade to RB Unplugged? I'm down with that. Looks more like what everyone thought RB unplugged was going to be. Would love to have this for the Vita too.

Online
#30 Posted by Ozone (104 posts) -

I can confirm that "Found Me the Bomb" will be playable in both the PSN and XBLA versions of the game on Day 1. So none of you have an excuse not to buy this game.

#31 Posted by louiedog (2335 posts) -

@avidwriter said:

Seriously? So they took the Bejeweled route?

No. They took the The League route.

#32 Posted by Artea (6 posts) -

So wait, this is basically amplitude?

#33 Posted by AlwaysBeClothing (1469 posts) -

They're shooting for Summer.

IT BEGINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also, reminds me of Rock Band unplugged

#34 Posted by m2cks (586 posts) -

@Alex: Wasn't there a situation with some of the RB1-RB2 songs not crossing over? I know that recently they were able to work out some deal later for some of the songs, but are their licensing agreements different for every song or something?

#35 Posted by Kevin_Cogneto (1074 posts) -

@Alex said:

@Kevin_Cogneto: Songs licensed for Rock Band disc games were licensed differently than songs for DLC. It's why they had to do the license export on both those games, and also why all the DLC has pretty much worked in every game with only a couple of exceptions. Knowing how insanely careful they are about licensing stuff over the last few years, I've no reason to doubt their claim that pretty much everything should work.

Thanks for the clarification Alex. I don't think their announcement video makes that 100% clear, the way the project director put it, it almost sounded like we could count on every RB track to work. "It works with all the songs we've already released" is, at the very least, a bit ambiguous. I thought that included all the disc-based tracks, but oh well.

#36 Posted by Redbullet685 (6044 posts) -

I'll say it'll be $15 but I'd by it even at $20. It works with all DLC and the 25 are imported to RB3. Totally worth it to me.

#37 Posted by Gaspar (53 posts) -

Also Great White: The Band Whose Concert Caught On Fire And Then Deep Purple Wrote About It

#38 Posted by eccentrix (1553 posts) -

That moment when you realise an article is written by Alex is really weird.

#39 Posted by GreggD (4505 posts) -

@Redbullet685 said:

I'll say it'll be $15 but I'd by it even at $20. It works with all DLC and the 25 are imported to RB3. Totally worth it to me.

Pretty much.

#40 Posted by Babylonian (837 posts) -

Some goofballs totally broke the embargo and posted the trailer early. Whoops!

#41 Posted by GunstarRed (5182 posts) -

Oh man, this is so cool. This would be great even without being able to play all your old songs.

Online
#42 Posted by Babylonian (837 posts) -

@Redbullet685 said:

I'll say it'll be $15 but I'd by it even at $20. It works with all DLC and the 25 are imported to RB3. Totally worth it to me.

I'm with you, I'll pay whatever they ask, but I'm betting $10, maybe even $5. I mean, 25 songs in a rhythm game is kind of smallish, and they want to get this into as many hands as possible to get people hooked on the DLC, which that Suggestions feature seems built to do. But yeah. Since $10 is practically the new $5 for downloadable games these days, I'm guessing that's where it'll land.

But man! Woo! This fucking game, y'all! I hope to god there's Rock Band Network support!

#43 Posted by Mikewrestler5 (602 posts) -

Stupid.

#44 Posted by csl316 (8669 posts) -

I AM EXCITED!!!

As a fan of the old games and Audiosurf, this is exactly the type of rhythm game I need at this point in my life.

And the whole DLC situation is just awesome.

#45 Posted by ProfessorEss (7371 posts) -

They're a clever bunch. Reading the article I wasn't feeling it (never played Unplugged) but seeing the video served to pique my interest.

The only problem for me is the stiff competition they're facing. Harmonix's Dance Central 2 still has me by the balls.

#46 Posted by ThreePi (61 posts) -

Looks like Audiosurf... minus the fun.

#47 Posted by RE_Player1 (7560 posts) -

It working with my previous dlc makes this a day 1 buy.

#48 Posted by TonicBH (271 posts) -

So this is Frequency 3, then? I'm okay with this.

#49 Posted by Lite951 (5 posts) -

Can't compete with Lumines. This will flop badly.

#50 Posted by EmuLeader (558 posts) -

So when is this out........."Summer."

Figures.

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