Rock Band VR Next Best Thing To Having Actual Shitty Band

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Why only suck at music in real life when you can suck at it in VR, too?

The ultimate party game is back, in VR form! Harmonix has recently released the latest entry in its hugely popular Rock Band franchise that you’ll quickly tire of after a couple months once you realize you’re thirty four years old and have a pile of plastic toy instruments in your living room.

Tim Bindle, Harmonix Marketing Lead, says “Rock Band and Oculus are a match made in heaven! Gamers can experience the most realistic depiction of being in a shitty band ever created: hours spent in a dark room working on perfecting pointless minutiae that only you will appreciate, while your relationships wither around you because all you want to talk about is your new favorite string gauge. The isolation and discomfort of using an Oculus headset perfectly mirrors the ennui of writing and rehearsing original material, plus the friendly, candy-colored game graphics help to fuel that persistent childlike delusion that people will show up to cheer you on, no matter what 90s pop-punk band you stole your style from.”

“This is the SECOND chorus, THE SECOND ONE!” –a virtual band member sick of your shit

27 yr old Jed Fischer, Subway Sandwich Artist, received a copy on launch day and has been playing it every day since. “I have a couple friends in gigging bands and they’ve all said my apartment feels like a real practice space now: the embedded body odor, fast food bags, lack of daylight, matted carpet… it’s all there. I always wanted to join a band so this has been an incredibly lifelike experience for me; I can feel my youth slowly draining away on a fruitless endeavor that nobody will give a shit about. It’s awesome!”

In addition to boasting Bluetooth compatibility, live streaming via Twitch and looking like a total wiener with that goofy contraption strapped to your skull, Rock Band VR has added another layer of realism with ten new ‘Rock Star Moves’ you can execute while you play:

  • Check Bank Account: find out exactly how much money you’re losing on new effect pedals each week. [Press O] to realize you won’t make rent this month because Earthquaker released something called the Orc Fart.
  • Pushy Friend: he really, really would like you to use his lyrics in a song sometime, and oh by the way did you get his latest Facebook message? [Press B] to duck behind the huge dude at the bar with the Tsjuder back patch.
  • Lead Singer Syndrome: The venue manager says you gotta cut two songs, maybe three. [Press → → ← ← ] to insult him from the stage because you don’t alter your message for anyo…*mic turned off*
  • Where’s The Drummer?: when you’re going on in two minutes and nobody has seen Jeremy for an hour, [Press Δ Repeatedly] to frantically text him while checking the nearest Steak & Shake.
  • Hello Darkness: you can’t see your pedalboard through the glare of the spotlight. [Press L1 + Look Down] to awkwardly switch on every effect except the one you need.
  • Scummy Randos: a leathery dude in a faded Jimmy Buffett hat is hanging around the loading door, asking if you guys need help watching your stuff and if he can bum a smoke. [Raise Hand] to indicate that guy over there *points vaguely* might have one for him.
  • Breakdown!: Kevin’s F-150 is dead. Again. Can your sedan fit him, his amp, his girlfriend and that big box of stuff your mom gave you? [Rotate Joystick] to pepper the drive with passive-aggressive comments.
  • Roadie Rage: your freshman year college roommate and his brother aren’t exactly pros at moving expensive gear. [Press X + O] to lose your goddamned mind when they drop your macbook.
  • Shirt Stained: the illustrator you found on Craigslist turned your logo idea into wet shit and your merch ends up in a Toilet Ov Hell article. [Press Δ → ↑← ↓] to complain about it on ReverbNation.
  • Flip Fail: Blur the line between fantasy and reality! [Throw Guitar] to botch a spontaneous guitar flip in the game, and also break the controller against your ceiling fan in real life.

DISCLAIMER: game not actually this cool

Rock Band VR is available now through Amazon and wherever video games are sold*.

* Shirtless Sweaty Guy©, Sticky Beer Stain©, Who Took My Cables© and Racist Bartender© DLC packs sold separately.

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  • Lacertilian

    Can’t wait to grind this until level 76 and finally unlock hologram Dio.

    • Doc Torluv

      That’s tough to reach – level 69, for instance, is a GnR song and your job is to make sure Steven Adler, from the audience, doesn’t ruin the song by yelling “Freebird!” the whole time.

  • Sid Vicious Promos

    How does this work? How will you press the buttons when you’re looking at a VR screen?

    • CyberneticOrganism

      I thought the same thing. It’s almost as if this is a poorly-thought out idea designed to jump on the VR trend.

      • Wet W’s Whistle

        Back in undergrad, I enjoyed playing Guitar Hero with friends in the dorms. It was a fun party game that quickly lost its luster.

        This… this just seems sad.

        • CyberneticOrganism

          Same, whenever Guitar Hero II came out there was a period of 3-4 months where we played almost every weekend and made stupid dares/bets on what the losing player would have to do. Good times, but easy to burn out.

          • CyberneticOrganism

            Did they trash that old one in favor of the VR thing?

          • Guitar Hero and Rock Band are separate still, right? I assume the one from two years ago was released and died almost immediately

          • CyberneticOrganism

            Ah right, two different things, I can’t read apparently.

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            Sold more than 5 or Warriors of Rock, but missed expectations’ mark. Led into 50 employees being cut, and despite still producing content for GHL – Activision has no plans to produce another game.

          • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guitar_Hero_Live#Reception

            “Chris Carter of Destructoid considered the change a reinvention of the series, and though he had to relearn how to play the controller, enjoyed the experience and “the increased emphasis on chords and fancy finger-work”

            Idk maybe spend time learning how to actually play a guitar

          • KJM, Dr. Disco

            I read a review of Rocksmith by a non-musician. The funniest part of the review was when they complained about having spent 3 whole months playing the “game” and making very little progress.(facepalm)

          • I actually really dig Rocksmith, I still ocassionally use it to learn particularly difficult songs (spent a few weeks working on a dream theater song on bass, dramatically improved)

          • KJM, Dr. Disco

            I have it. It’s how I learned a bunch of stuff.

          • gacharicmeatspin

            If you already know how to play, then I guess. I gave it away when I tried just strumming it randomly and it still counted half of the notes as correct. Seemed like just a collection of tabs that are really awkward to read.

          • Igor Javutich

            Really? Whenever I did the “learn a song” thing or the lessons, I’d have to nail it dead on or it wouldn’t count. In fact, I got frustrated at one point from the difficulty. Now that I have an amp I hardly ever use it except to play around with the tone designer.

          • gacharicmeatspin

            That was my experience. Or looks at this clown, Sounds like absolute garbage, but the game still counts his “combo” of terrible notes: https://youtu.be/E4eXuIU894g?t=1m1s

          • GoatForest

            Rocksmith is great.

      • KJM, Dr. Disco

        I was convinced this was a joke until I clicked on the Amazon link.

  • Sir Ukkometso The Based
    • Sid Vicious Promos

      Wait a minute, this isn’t a cover of the Iggy Pop song Kill City!

      • Sir Ukkometso The Based

        Thank you, Sherlock.

        • Sid Vicious Promos

          Ukkomseto plz! I was making a joke!

    • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

      Eyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

      • Sir Ukkometso The Based

        That new promo pic suuuure expanded my dong(s)

        • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

          Purple spandex is movin’ mah juices.

          • Sir Ukkometso The Based

            Pre-orders are open at ektro

  • Wet W’s Whistle

    Harmonix are actually introducing a new multilevel marketing program to recruit associates if you can’t afford a VR set to live out your battle of the bands glory days. Simply recruit three others into the Harmonix fold, and that first VR effects pedal is all yours.

  • “hours spent in a dark room working on perfecting pointless minutiae that only you will appreciate”

    this is way too real

  • Let’s Scram: the whole venue is packed with dudes! This isn’t why you got into music.. Throw the controller down to head to the venue across town where Tame Impala is playing.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Dorks Paint: uh oh, your lo-fi “Metal Zone & casio keyboard” sound has attracted a following of chalk-faced old school black metal nerds. [Press O 666 times] to disappoint them by not ranting incoherently about SJWs or religious beliefs.

  • Drug Fiend Bandmate: Oh no! One of your bandmates has developed a crippling opiate addiction! Pull the R trigger to cuss him out and fire him or the L trigger to send him to therapy and send occasional encouraging texts!

    • GoatForest

      Combo Breaker: Lesson Learned/ Drug Fiend Bandmate: your drug addicted bandmate steals your gear to buy narcotics. (This has actually happened to me).

  • KJM, Dr. Disco

    Which button combo do you press to get penicillin shots at the free clinic after screwing groupies that even the roadies won’t touch?

  • KJM, Dr. Disco

    And, for those who don’t have Oculus, there’s the TellTale game version!

  • Doc Torluv

    JEALOUS GIRLFRIEND: Your S.O. throws her drink at you (and all over your ’59 goldtop) when you avert your eyes for 13 milliseconds to the trashy-hot skank gyrating in front of the singer.

  • KJM, Dr. Disco

    Lesson Learned: All of your ridiculously expensive vintage gear is stolen on the 3rd night of the tour because you’re too damned cheap to pay someone to watch the van.

    • Ha, jokes on you I’m not bringing my nice bass on tour

      • Wet W’s Whistle

        Imma steal it from your house while you’re on tour.

        • Actually if you could hang out with Albus that’d be great

    • The Tetrachord of Archytas

      Lesson Learned is also titled “Gig in St Louis”

  • KJM, Dr. Disco
    • CyberneticOrganism

      Oh shit that amp says it’s a hovercraft

      • KJM, Dr. Disco

        If I pay that much for an amp it better fly. Those things are expensive!

  • Pentagram Sam

    It’s kinda funny cos this is something Ive been thinking about alot recently. Prioritizing. Gonna have a good flush it friday, but for now I’ll say that learning to play guitar was the worst mistake of my life.

    Spent ten years and thousands of dollars to wind up playing two Iron Maiden songs with a guitarist, a bassist, and no drummer. That’s only two out of the 150 plus songs learned, none of which were ever played with anyone but myself and Guitar Pro.

    And someone verbalized a thought that had been tickling my head for awhile but it was like, “musicians just accept being broke.”

    And that was the big dildo to the face on how much life I’d wasted trying to do music. Shit, I don’t know any well off musicians, everyone just accepts being a broke ass musician cos that’s “just how it is.”

    Fuck that, I’ll play music for fun, for me, and for a companion who likes music, but FUCK trying to be in a band. I’d rather work a real job, make money, treat people I care about right, go to nice restaurants, go to cool ass concerts and not sit in the Stevie Wonder section and go play some fuckin caaaaarrrrds!!

    • Maybe make new friends who don’t suck at life and don’t suck at being musicians?

      • Pentagram Sam

        Well, basically tried that and learned that alot of the metal community is actually pretty selfish. Everyone’s out to use someone to further their music “goals” to “make it.” Prob has to do with there’s no money in metal music so everyone squabbles over crumbs. Talking shit about every band that’s not theirs, talking about how they’re gonna have ______ city eating out of their palm of their hands with their <500 sales and < 50 people attending shows. People calling me on the phone to tell me how "great" their music "career" is going and when I start to talk about one thing at all I'm trying to do , "oh yeahh… uhhh gottagobyecallyoulater"

        Again, saving it kinda for a big flush it friday, but in the ten years of doing music, not one person actively tried to help in any way shape or form. Oh wait, someone did tell me to use a metronome.

        Take that as opposed to eleven years ago when a group of non musicians let me into their world and were so open with advice and help that I didn't even recognize how amazing this was.

        Anyways, it doesn't bother me anymore. Done with music, done with it in every way except for fun hobby playing.

    • ah, the great decision: passion or moneys. (some may scoff, but LaLa Land did a good jerb tackling this particular quandary.)
      it’s why i have so much respect for musicians like Paul Ryan, who plays the music he loves even though it’ll never make him wealthy.

      • Pentagram Sam

        I think there’s just alot of dickheads in metal. Remember that this blog is a shining beacon of goodness in a sea of buttsludge. TovH 5 eva

        • TovH: where nice metalheads congregate

          • CyberneticOrganism

            Toilet Ov Good Dudes

          • Dumpster Lung

            Looks like whatever you were replying to was something good, but it’s still deleted. Hmmm, snooze you lose, I suppose.

          • Oh wow. It wasn’t anything cray cray, in fact I think it was a TovH regular just talkin’ music. Maybe he had a change of heart.

    • KJM, Dr. Disco

      Imo if you’re getting into playing Rock/Metal hoping it’ll pay off, you’re doing it wrong.

      • Pentagram Sam

        Not even. Got into it because I thought I could never play guitar, learned I could and wanted to play music with people. But like I said, could never find people to jam even. Go over to a “friend’s” pad who we used to go see concerts with and liked the same music.

        Asked to jam some Judas Priest. “No, I’m not a copyist like you are. I play my own music only.” Then as I’d try to show him the song, he’d walk over, turn down the amp, walk over to his keyboards and turn them up so loud they drown out the amp.

        Didn’t get into this to make money. Got into this to play music with people. But when I realized how selfish the metal community is, especially musicans because there is no money and they’re living at home, never worked a real job cos they’re so “special” and how much money and time has been wasted on this endeavor and people that I care about I left behind to try and do this music shit…

        Well, enough is enough.

    • Doc Torluv

      I’ve played bass for years and have had the same things happen, especially in the metal scene. Top-shelf equipment, no nasty habits other than maybe the occasional stage fart, great work ethic, yet could never keep anything together for more than a year or so. Finally decided to branch out into other music that I never listen to yet have fun playing nonetheless. Still broke enough to have a day job, but have opened for national acts and continue to have fun. Hang in there, Sam.

  • The Tetrachord of Archytas

    Orc fart sounds a bit more like dwarfcraft

  • Waynecro

    Fantastic article, Cybro.