"I knew the bass line to the song, of course, but I couldn't quite master this new, different way of playing it," writes Krist Novoselic, bassist for Nirvana, of his encounter with Rock Band 2.
Novoselic wrote about confronting a song he'd played hundreds of time — in studio, live, you name it — on Rock Band 2. But first, he's not a gaming luddite: "Rock has found new life with video games, and the phenomenon is leading to a revival of bands that have been around for a long time," he wrote in the Seattle Weekly.
But he never had any exposure to Rock Band or Guitar Hero until recently in a mall store, where he was literally beaten at his own game.
I know about Rock Band, because Nirvana has some songs on it. I had never tried the game before, so I gave it a go. I worked through the menu and found the song "In Bloom." I picked up the little guitar-shaped controller and hit the stage.
I knew the bass line to the song, of course, but I couldn't quite master this new, different way of playing it.
The game reminded me of Space Invaders. I tried to hit the notes cascading down the screen, but could barely keep up.
Meanwhile, this kid was watching me fumble with the game. I became self-conscious and took the controller off. I handed it to him, and he proceeded to jam on the song—and was really good! He had no idea that I was the musician he was emulating on the game, and I didn't tell him.
But Krist's final analysis? Thumbs up:
Regardless of my first experience with the game as a player, I'm loving Rock Band. Instead of file sharing, people are actually buying music again! HA!!!
Putting that issue aside, I like how the game makes the player focus on certain components of the music. When I listen to songs, I'll usually tune my ear to the bass line. With Rock Band, you can do that, but also see the procession of notes.