RIP, Fake Instrument Games?


Around 2007, I’d gotten an XBOX and a copy of Halo 3. I couldn’t help myself. I had a ton of credit at the local game store and decided to splurge. I think at this point in time, music games were just a year from reaching the apex of their popularity. I always thought fake guitar games were the dumbest thing since the Nintendo Power Glove. Something happened that changed all that.

Rock Band and the drum controller.

As soon as I could, I got the Rock Band kit with the drumset and guitar. I remember how excited the kids were when I hooked it up. I think my kids are probably smarter than me because they got bored with it after like 4 months. I on the other hand, always loved the drums and I remember destroying three drumsets before getting the Ion drumset with my tax return. I even installed the most badass sound system in my garage. Yes, I converted my garage into a drum studio with massive sound system, 42-inch TV and two drumsets with real drum thrones.
ION Drum Rocker
This thing was awesome because it was made by a company that makes real electronic drumsets. Over the course of the next few years, I always tried to be first in line for all the new versions of Rock Band and Guitar Hero, with Guitar hero Metallica and Rock Band 3 being my all time favorites. I e-mailed Harmonix countless times for Bohemian Rhapsody over the years but it wasn’t until Rock Band 3 with the Keyboard controller that it finally arrived.
It was about this time, though I refused to notice, that the music game was in decline. Guitar Hero 5 came out, (meh), along with all these other games that promised to actually teach you guitar. You know something is on the way out when GameStop refuses to even take it for free. I was seeing drumsets in peoples garbage, game stores were using guitars as christmas trees, and you were lucky to even have one of those stores give you $2 store credit for said games.
Over the course of three or so years, I spent upwards of $400 on DLC songs for Rock Band 3 as they were releasing new music every week. A lot of it actually didn’t suck. Tons of 70’s and 80’s classics including Siouxie and the Banshees, Big Country, and Tears for Fears. Besides the kids, downloading new music was what I looked forward to every week.
However, a few weeks ago, Harmonix announced there would be no more DLC for Rock Band. Not sure how I feel about it now, though I haven’t downloaded anything in well over a year. I did suffer a hard drive crash and have yet to re-download everything. I really should get on that, as I’ve just recently heard that soon, some if not all of the DLC would be disappearing from the Rock Band store as the licensing agreements expire. Half of me is sad that I won’t get any more new music and the other half is kicking myself for spending so much time and money on this monster.
Believe it or not, I did learn to play real drums from playing so much Rock Band, and realized that a lot of the music I actually hated in the 70’s, isn’t that bad after all.
Though Harmonix chugs on as a company with That Dance Central abomination…
R.I.P. Rock Band, if was fun while it lasted.
Guitar Hero, I never really liked you (except for Metallica)
P.S. I’ll still kick your ass playing drums on Fuel.