Music From Tom Petty Appearing Rock Band 3

A number of eagle-eyed viewers sent me a link to this video featuring Abbie Heppe at X-Play showing off more in-game footage from Rock Band 3. In addition to the return of a higher-res looking Duke of Gravity, we can also see from the lyrics at 0:14 that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – I Need to Know will indeed be included on the Rock Band 3 setlist. Definitely check out the full video; there is some very smooth looking in-game footage that is the most impressive I’ve seen yet!

Looks like the rumored “Gamefaqs list” scores another direct hit!

[Thanks Deku, Alex!]

DLC Playthrough – 8/17 (Black Keys & Neon Trees)

This week had a three-pack each from the Black Keys and the Neon Trees coming out as DLC today. Check out playthrough videos of them below, from HeyRiley! Definitely check out and subscribe to his YouTube channel! Links to purchase DLC songs online at Xbox.com are included below for each track. All tracks are 160 MSP ($1.99), or grab the Black Keys or Neon Trees three-packs for 440 MSP ($5.49) each.

Check out the videos after the jump…

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Rock Band 3 Keys Preview

Looks like the embargo to discuss serious hands-on time with the new Keyboard peripheral has ended, as Joystiq and Kotaku both came out with some quick analysis of the latest peripheral to join the ranks of Rock Band 3 instruments. The biggest takeaway from this is the details behind the Keys trainer in Rock Band 3, and included below is some of the discussion about what they each experienced.

Apparently, Rock Band 3 will unveil a very intense trainer module within the game. After reading the detail built into the trainer, it’s obvious that Harmonix has a clear goal of actually teaching you how to play music, rather than “simply” giving you a real instrument and letting you “color-code” your way through a song. Joystiq tells us that Harmonix has created nearly a whole game’s worth of original songs (according to Dan Sussman, “there’s probably another like 60-80 songs in there…”) specifically designed to teach you how to play. The trainer presents a series of lessons from simply playing certain finger patterns to actually learning scales and chord structures, and each one has its own original song, designed and recorded specifically by Harmonix to teach interactively. The trainer music runs the gamut from rock to metal to jazz, and apparently is pretty good. “We’ve talked about putting that stuff up through the Rock Band Network,” said Sussman, “but right now it’s only in the trainer.”

An example of the types of lessons available: you’re given a goal (of playing five or six notes in sequence), and then that pattern runs down the screen towards you. Play it right and you’re rewarded; play it wrong and you get some extra hints and the chance to play it again. “We really approached it from a mechanical perspective,” Sussman told Joystiq, “where these are the things we’re trying to teach, now come up with a riff and an orchestration that’s towards that riff. The music really pushes the gameplay, and it’s written to support the gameplay.”

Kotaku notes that there is no difficulty level in Rock Band 3’s training mode. The lessons require precise, realistic timing. You can slow the lesson down, making the required note sequences cascade down the game’s central note highway more slowly, but you can’t ask the game to be more forgiving or to throw fewer notes at you.

The trainer was developed in conjunction with Harmonix’s music staff (many of whom have actually taught these instruments before). Aside from simply teaching you to play the game better, it will even teach you some music theory. Off to the side of the trainer screen, there are little boxes that will tell you how the notes you’re playing correspond to middle C, or what a whole or a half note is. In addition to slowing the trainer down, you can even add a metronome to get the timing right.

There’s another reason you’ll want to go into the trainer as well: finishing the trainer levels give you rewards that unlock items in other areas of the game. Harmonix wasn’t completely clear about this (and promised more details on the Career mode soon), but Sussman gave the example of “a player who’s obsessed with making characters and they desperately need that cowboy hat for their character. And the only way to get that cowboy hat is to do the Pro Keys trainer, so they’re doing that. And doing that, we’re hopefully pushing them into an experience that we hope will be compelling.”

The only reservation brought up was that Kotaku had a valid complaint when playing on Pro mode using all four instruments. For guitar or drums, those highways can be between four and six lanes wide, but the keyboard highway is 10 lanes wide. The keyboardist legitimately complained he was struggling to discern which notes were coming down his note highway in which lane. Add in the need to hit sharps and flats, which are denoted by black notes in the highway instead of white ones, and you’ve got music gaming’s most eyesight-taxing feature yet. Sounds like you if you have a full party playing on Pro-mode, you’ll definitely be needing a big TV. If you’re playing on “normal” mode, you’ll still have the same five lane highway for Keys, though.

[Joystiq and Kotaku]

No Linkin Park DLC For You!

For the same source that sprouted the Linkin Park DLC rumor comes word this morning that they will not be featured on any upcoming Rock Band DLC after all. The same moderator commented that he had received confirmation specifically that Rock Band DLC was out, but expected the same on all other rhythm gaming titles, as well.

[LPAssociation.com via @GetStarstrukk, Thanks!]

RBN DLC for 8/16

FYI, “Broke Down on the Brazos” is Billy Gibbons’ (of ZZ Top) first second appearance in Rock Band (and a completely kick ass song… listen below).

UPDATE: Tthe throbbing brain of the internet (mostly @alex_weiner) has informed me that he actually had some vocals on Nickelback’s Rock Star DLC track. D’oh!

  • Cold Steel – Forgotten Tragedy (80 MSP)
  • Gov’t Mule – Broke Down on the Brazos (160 MSP)
  • Inkubus Sukkubus – Belladonna & Aconite 2010 (80 MSP)
  • Red Jacket Mine – The Pose (80 MSP)
  • SexTon – Echo (My Only Regret) (80 MSP)
  • Surfer Blood – Swim (80 MSP)

Country Track Pack 2 Coming Out August 31?

While checking out Rock Band 3 and Dance Central at E3 this past June, I noticed an interesting poster in the booth (above) that most people seemed to walk by and not think about. I posted it on the site later that night, and when I asked people at Harmonix for details about the future Country Track Pack, I was unable to get additional details. Thanks to a Country Music Television fan on the RockBand.com forums, it looks like this may be coming on the last day of August. I had assumed that this would be another disc-based track pack, but I’m not so sure that will be the case any longer.

Teon24133 from the RockBand.com forums also noticed a mention of a Lady Antebellum song featured on the televised banner for the track pack. We’ll wait for more details on this from Harmonix, but it looks like we won’t have to wait much longer to get our additional country music fix!

[Thanks @blademaster2k7, @toymachinesh]