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Rock band 4 to come to PC via Fig

Posted on March 2, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

When I say Rock Band, it evokes in most people memories of playing the game in a crowded college common room, or home living room full of friends. So its a bit of a suprise to hear that Harmonix developer of the series has decided to port the game to PC. PC which is pretty much a 100% solo (at least in person) experience. I am even more confused because Harmonix has specifically said Rock Band 4 wasn’t coming to PC. Well that all meant nothing becuase yesterday Harmonix announced that Rockband was coming to the PC in the worst way possible. ok, not the worst that would like a Linux only port or something, but the second worst, crowd funding on FIG.

Harmonix is askign its fans for 1.5 million dollars to push their PC port out. Perhaps this has something to d with the fact the co-founder of Harmonix sits on Figs board of directors? If you arent aware of FIG at all its a smaller alternative to kickstarter, that basically allows you to “invest” in a project. Its an intresting take on crowd funding. This new PC version will at least have support for Steam workshop, so maybe we wont have to pay for all of our songs! Mouse and keyboard will be support (in case you just want a rythm game) and Harmonix has said they will support as many rock band instruments “as possible”. If you dont own any, the FIG campaign has several tiers which include them.

Important to note is that while Harmonix is doing the majority of the PR and crowd funding the game itself will come from Sumo Digital. Sumo has a good track record, so I am not expecting shovel ware, but 1.5 million dollars is a lot of money to ask your fans for a port to PC!

Will you be getting the new Rock Band port? Reach out to us on twitter @brokenjoysticks and tell us what you think of big companies doing crowd funding for games or PC ports!


Mad Catz Laying Off 37% of Their Workforce Shows What’s Wrong With AAA Publishers

Posted on February 9, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

Bad news for Mad Catz the folks behind last Fall’s Rock Band 4 peripherals as well as the Heavy Precision Control System which was aimed at the hardcore Farming Simulator crowd. President / CEO Darren Ridchardson resigned ahead of the company reporting a profit of $1.2million for the last quarter of 2014.

This quarter was reportedly one of the best that the company has seen with sales jumping 114% over the previous year. Despite these sales increases and profits the new board has decided to layoff 37% of their total worldwide work force amidst the board restructuring.  This massive reduction in workers will cost the company a $3 million “restructuring charge”.

The situation at Mad Catz perfectly encapsulates what is wrong with AAA publishers, despite making more money than their initial costs for new products like Rock Band 4 those steering the company have decided that because the game had a lower sell-through rate than initially expected reducing their workforce is the only recourse.  That’s bigtime gaming in 2016 folks, massive corporations can generate one of their biggest quarters in their history and then fire more than a quarter of their workforce as if it was nothing. How is this sustainable. again?

Regarding todays developments new CEO Karen McGinnis had this to say:

“These changes will allow us to operate more effectively and help create an organization that is more agile, able to pursue growth and regain share in our core markets by simplifying our processes and reducing our operating costs, thus increasing our competitiveness and profitability without compromising the quality of our product offering. This realignment of our resources will also enable us to better support strategic initiatives that will make our product slate more competitive, help us gain added consumer interest, and create sustainable shareholder value.”



3 New Tracks Join Rock Band 4’s Line Up Today

Posted on February 2, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

Harmonix has announced that they will be making available three new tracks on both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.  “Get Lucky” from Daft Punk, “Heartbreak Song” from Kelly Clarkson and Outcast’s “Hey Ya!” all join the optional downloadable content available for Rock Band 4.

New Tracks Launching Today On PS4 and Xbox One Include:

  •         Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams – “Get Lucky”
  •         Kelly Clarkson – “Heartbeat Song”
  •         Outkast – “Hey Ya!”

In addition to today’s new tracks Harmonix has released a bit of a brief tease for fans – a list of upcoming artists who will be added to the game via DLC this month. They include:

  •          Bruno Mars
  •          Five Finger Death Punch
  •          Generation X
  •          J. Geils Band
  •          Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
  •          masaya matsuura
  •          Motörhead
  •          Orleans
  •          Royal Blood
  •          Zac Brown Band

Finally, lest you think that Harmonix has simply been adding paid content to the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Marketplace, fear not.  This month’s free content update include various exploit fixes and minor features, new gear for your avatar & more. Here are some quick patch notes provided by Harmonix:

  •          Scores earned via Play a Show mode now post to the leaderboards;
  •          New Rock Shop items include Raz’s helmet from Double Fine’sPsychonauts as well as a Whispering Rock t-shirt;
  •          Puts the end to several scoring exploits, including the Band Overdrive issue;
  •          Several fixes that improve scoring issues with the Freestyle Guitar Solo system;
  •         Audio mix adjustments which result in a more “full” and “live” mix, as well as several minor bug updates.

We reviewed the base game last October on the PlayStation 4. In general we thought that it was a pretty solid set list worthy of your time.


Rock Band 4 Continues to add more songs and content

Posted on November 23, 2015 by Fionna Schweit

Live Life Like There’s No Tomorrow: Music from Van Halen Comes to Rock Band 4!

Harmonix is doing a good job supporting their newest rhythm product Rock Band 4. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legends Van Halen is coming to the Rock Band Music Store for Xbox One and PlayStation  4 tomorrow, November 24! With more than 80 Million records sold Van Halen is no doubt one of the greatest Rock bands of all time. Their addition to the newest Rock Band game in the long running, much beloved series from Harmonix, was all but assured. Now you too can pretend to be Eddie Van Halen, or David Lee Roth, and get the feeling of being a rock star!

Since the end of the rhythm games era, Rock Band 4 and Guitar Hero Live have been the only remaining competitors. Rock Band has elected to stick with a simpler DLC model, while Guitar Hero has decided to opt for a less traditional model of creation of a TV like service where songs simply play and you play along with them.  Personally I really like the ability to get DLC that I want or do not want. The flip side of this is that DLC obviously costs money, but at least with the choices of DLC you can decide what you want to pay for and what you don’t.

The full “Van Halen Hits Pack 01” can be purchased for $9.99, with singles available for download for $1.99 a track.
VIDEO: Van Halen Rock Band 4 DLC Available November 24th


Latest Rock Band 4 DLC Turns Back The Clock 15 Years

Posted on November 11, 2015 by Rae Michelle Richards

Harmonix has revealed the brand new DLC that is now available on both the PlayStation Store and the Xbox Live Marketplace. These brand new tracks take us back to the early 2000s with the likes of GodSmack, Linkin Park (who at least are still producing new music, and in all honesty The Hunting Party felt like a return to form for them) and the now defunct AudioSlave.

All three of these bands pretty much defined my teenage years, I can remember listening to Linkin Park in the early years of high school. Honestly – the most interesting is probably AudioSlave due to the fact they somehow blended Chris Cornell’s belting voice with the funk infused sounds of the remnants of Rage Against The Machine.

God I feel so old now, and I’m only 29! .. Full list of songs below

New Songs Available In Rock Band 4:
Audioslave – Like A Stone
Godsmack – Awake
Linkin Park – Lying From You


New Rock Band 4 DLC Takes Us Back To The 80s

Posted on October 26, 2015 by Rae Michelle Richards

Harmonix’s latest batch of downloadable content for the recently released Rock Band 4 transports players back in time to the 1980s.  First there is Depeche Mode’s 1985 track “People are people”, also to be added will be INXS’ “What you need” and finally rounding out this weeks’ new offerings is Naked Eye’s “There’s always something to remind me”.

Each track will be priced at $1.99 USD and will be available on The Rock Band store later this week when the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Marketplace are updated with new content.

I’m a huge music game fan but ill be skipping these latest additions simply due to the fact that most of these songs came out before I was born. It’s not that I can’t appreciate older music but having not really experienced 80’s culture it feels like there is a lot lost on me. Music is a product of the times in which it was composed, in my opinion at least.

Will you be downloading these new tracks? Let us know in the comments section.


Rock Band 4 Review – “Once More With Feeling”

Posted on October 13, 2015 by Rae Michelle Richards

There was a time when the Rock Band franchise was on top of the world and being played by millions of console owners worldwide. Like most celebrity stories an eventual decline in fame is to be expected after a string of successive hits. After nearly five years out of the limelight Harmonix returns with a brand new game for a new generation of consoles. For returning players – like myself – is it time to get the band back together? Or is Rock Band 4 a greatest hits album that you could easily skip over?Read More


Rock Band 4’s Opening Act

Posted on October 7, 2015 by Rae Michelle Richards

The lights dim down on the crowd as the neon lights come up on the stage and a lingering anxiousness hangs in the air as I begin to pluck at my guitar for the first time in seven years. Surely this is what my in-game avatar would have felt while playing her first set-list in over six years. She wasn’t playing with her old crew, in fact this show was probably just a guest spot, and she’s now rocking a brand new look complete with a side cut. After spending a night out living the rock star lift vicariously through my avatar with Rock Band 4 here are my first impressions.

Harmonix’s first Rock Band title on the new generation of consoles offers complete compatibility with their previous generation of instruments (as long as you are upgrading within the same console family) as well as compatibility with a select few Guitar Hero instruments. This meant that I was able to wield the dusty Fender Stratocaster that I had played with on the PlayStation 3 back in the Rock Band 2 heydays of ’08. Strumming away on the green, orange, yellow and red frets felt just as enjoyable as it did eight years ago.  Granted I was in my early 20s when Rock Band was in its prime and now I’m entering the end of my 20s, and just like any rocker who’s maybe past their partying prime I was a little rusty out of the gate. Where as in Rock Band 2 I could easily hammer out most of the songs on hard mode I was limited to medium for this opening act.


I chose the Play a Show option for my first foray into RB4  – this new mode allows you (and if you have them up to three friends) to begin playing what amounts to a near endless set list with the game making suggestions for your next track. After the successful completion of a song the game will ask you to vote on the next track by asking you examples like if you want “a nu-metal song” or “a song from the 1980s”or even “a song by Aerosmith”. Presumably the option with the most votes will win the voting round but because I was performing this show solo the only vote was my own. I’d imagine that when you have a living room full of folks ready to rock out the discussions before voting can get quite intense.

Last night’s show started with Aerosmith’s Toys In The Attic a song that I had until that point not even heard – my tastes in music aren’t really that broad to be honest. It helped set the mood perfectly for our set with its strong drum beat and fast paced. Despite this rocker’s lack of practise we wow’d the crowd with a four star performance. As the gig continued during voting I selected “a song from the 2000s” and the game had selected Disturbed Prayer as our second song. Disturbed is a band that I honestly haven’t really listened too in a long time – at least since high school – but their energy and chord progressions fit nicely with the lively night that Toys In The Attic helped establish. As things wound down and I played a few more songs I wanted to go out with a bang – the game prompted me with Avenged Sevenfold’s Hail To The King and I immediately lit up. Hail To The King was one of my favorite albums from 2013 and to see it included on the disc was a nice surprise. We wrapped up the night of fast metal-infused rock with a more modern take and as I selected quit the crowd begged for an encore – literally, in a new option available during Play a Show the crowd will chant “one more song”. Sadly I had to turn them down because my hands were starting to cramp.

Harmonix was nice enough to provide us with a review copy of Rock Band 4 for the PlayStation 4. I’ll be posting a full review of the game as soon as I get some quality time with the other instruments as well as make a dent in the career mode.


Rock Band 4 Makes Its Debut Tomorrow

Posted on October 5, 2015 by Rae Michelle Richards

Harmonix’s first attempt at a current generation Rock Band is about to make its debut at retail tomorrow morning with the release of Rock Band 4 and I thought it might be a good idea to review some of the game’s key features and set-list for those of you who are still on the fence about whether or not they want to get the VIP pass for this latest gig!
Not only is Rock Band 4 the first game to be released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One but it also promises to support all of your previously purchased DLC and previous instruments provided that you are playing within the same family of consoles (eg. PlayStation 3 –> PlayStation 4). This could be a huge selling point for fans like myself who haven’t really had the chance to indulge in the music genre on home console for over half a decade but also have vast digital libraries of songs from previous games and a full set of instruments collecting dust in their closets.

So, if you’ve decided that getting the band together is worth it and you’ve finally picked up your old axe what is your $74.99 CDN going to get you? Harmonix has made a few gameplay adjustments such as the inclusion of Guitar Solos which are aimed squarely at returning guitar players as well as a revamped career mode. Instead of playing pre-defined set lists or being asked to create your own you’ll play full on “shows” instead whole amassing cash and fans. It honestly sounds like Harmonix may not have skipped a beat and included a rather fun career experience.

In terms of songs the base game comes with
50 tracks (none of which are repeats from what I can tell) that run the gamut from Leonard Skynner to Avenged Sevenfold to Paramore. With some of the repeat acts already featuring their most famous songs in previous Rock Band titles or as DLC some of the tracks might be unfamiliar to all of those but the most dedicated of fans.

The full list of announced songs can be viewed on Harmonix’s website.


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