Really, the main focus of Rock Band 3 development was finding new ways to experience the music and actually doubling down, if you will, on our investment in compelling game play.

“We are adding a new instrument (a 25-key, fully functioning MIDI keyboard) and we’re adding a whole new mode, which is designed basically to answer that staleness factor.”

The result, he says, is “an experience that is both accessible to players who are just getting into this thing, and builds something for the hard-core player who is maybe a little bored with where music games are.”

This is one of the weirdest places I can think of for this news to be broken, but this has me so re-excited about music games. Stuff to look out for:

  • Drop-in, drop-out game play, change instruments or difficulty levels without having to back out to a menu.
  • A way to filter the songs in your library (which is getting huge in the Markel household).
  • Three-part harmonies.
  • 25-key keyboard instrument added.
  • Pro mode, with new guitar controllers with actual strings, drums where the cymbals are different hits than the drum pads, and two-octave keyboard tracks.

That screaming sound you heard was my wallet, begging for mercy.

(via ‘Rock Band 3’: What’s new, what’s notable – USATODAY.com.)

Rock Band setlist for 3/26:

(Most weeks, my buddy Ken and I get together and on about half of those, fake plastic rocking ensues. Here’s what we played tonight. I was on Expert Guitar, he on Expert Drums.)

  • Counting Crows: “Accidentally in Love”
  • Pearl Jam: “Alive”
  • AC/DC: “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (Live)”
  • The Jimi Hendrix Experience: “Fire”
  • Foo Fighters: “My Hero”
  • Jethro Tull: “Aqualung”
  • Judas Priest: “The Hellion/Electric Eye”
  • Muse: “Hysteria”
  • The Offspring: “Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)”
  • Rascal Flatts: “Life Is a Highway”
  • Pearl Jam: “Even Flow”
  • Silversun Pickups: “Well Thought Out Twinkles”
  • Journey: “Any Way You Want It”

I would make a horrendous DJ.

I’m very much enjoying the challenge of playing the “Road to the Show” mode in MLB10. This is my first experience with the Sony-developed baseball game, and it’s a really polished sim.

It’s basically baseball crossed with an RPG, like the similar modes in EA’s games (which I also enjoyed in NHL10). You create a position player, and play as that player through an entire career. I chose to play as a starting pitcher—but of course, I began in middle/late relief and had to work my way into the pitching rotation in AA ball to start.

As I posted before, you can take captures of plays in the game. Here’s a highlight reel of my strikeouts from a few games ago:

And one of a single play where I took one for the team:

(There are a few things in there that break the illusion, like the background music going across clips in the highlight reel, but it’s a neat feature anyway. It helps people who don’t have capture rigs.)

I’m a couple of months into the season and pitching late in the rotation (still in AA). It’s fun to learn how to pitch around people and how to work with relatively low velocity and bad control (I’m a rookie, after all). I’ve got four pitches: a 4-seam, a 2-seam, a change, and a slider. My strikeouts are all based on speed changes and pitch location. No CGs yet, but three quality starts to my name. I can make it about 7 innings, and then the coach takes me out if I get a single dude on base.

Yes, it’s really fun. The presentation is amazing, but I’ve seen a few bugs in the lower-thirds displayed and even in the commentary. I’m willing to deal with that for the sake of playing a pretty realistic baseball sim.

This is a strong review of Final Fantasy XIII, and it’s chock full of harsh language, but if half of this is true, I’ll be waiting for FFXIII to get cheaper before I buy it.

​You guys know my love of Final Fantasy. You know how excited I was when Final Fantasy XIII came out on March 9th. I’ve probably mentioned my ridiculous college thesis on TR a dozen or so times. As nerdy as I am, there’s not a lot of things I consider myself a total lunatic for, but Final Fantasy is definitely one of them.

And yet, although it pains me, I must admit hate Final Fantasy XIII. Hate it. Hate it hate it hate it hate it hate it.

Oh, I tried to deny it. Tried to tell myself I was enjoying it. That it would pick up. That I could finish the main story even if I decided to skip the side quests this time. But I can’t. I’ve played through 25 hours (and completed Chapter 9, FYI) and I cannot subject myself to another minute of “playing” this horrible, horrible game.

The whole review is here at Topless Robot. (via Jenn Cutter.)