This is Boston, Not LA

So I'm sure everyone has had their fill of E3 coverage by now. All the big stories have been broken, all the tiny throw away comments have been blown out of proportion, all the video clips have been watched and re watched, and there's not much more we could possibly tell you about Rock Band 2. So I'm going to use this Rock Blog to tell you even more about Rock Band 2!

The big stories were, of course, the massively star studded track list, the backwards compatibility for DLC, the RB1 disc export feature, and new features like online band world tour, drum trainer, and Battle Of The Bands. But there are plenty of juicy little tidbits that we dropped that even the most eagle eyed Rockers may have missed amidst the overwhelming roar of feedback like "WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU HAVE A NEW GUNS 'N ROSES TRACK FROM CHINESE DEMOCRACY!?!?!" So I thought I'd run down my list of Ten Things About RB2 That You May Have Missed At E3.

  1. The RB2 drum kit ships with ports in the back that you can use for cymbal attachments (which you probably know about) but there's also a port that allows you to plug in a second kick pedal. Double bass is now a viable option for all the hardcore drummers out there.
  2. The new RB2 guitar peripheral has a small microphone in the body by the effect switch that syncs with your television and automatically calibrates for optimum rocking on your home system. This takes a lot of the frustration out of finding the "sweet spot" in manual calibration.
  3. Though the backing vocals aren't charted in Kids In America, the WHOA OHs can now be counted among the most fun sing along parts in the game.
  4. Everlong is very hard on drums. Okay, no shocker there. It may not be the hardest drum track in RB2 (I'm looking at you Panic Attack) but I saw no fewer than 5 different drummers lose their sticks at our demo station at E3. No one dropped their sticks during any other song, so I'm led to believe that Everlong has some mystical power that activates the sweat glands in your palms, thus destroying any hope of FC'ing that sucker.
  5. We've got a few new Game Modifier options in RB2. Most notable are No Fail Mode (for those not quite playing at Easy, and for those who may find themselves too sauced at RB parties to keep up) and Breakneck Speed (for those few speed mutants not content with tackling Thrasher on Expert).
  6. There's a metal plate on the RB2 kick pedal. You wanted it, you got it. 'Nuff said.
  7. Singing Journey's Any Way You Want It more than 3 times in an hour may cause you to become lightheaded and fall down. HMXJohnlok, through a combination of long hours, lack of hydration, and repeated Journey-ing, fell down at our floor demo at one point and was promptly mounted by two other members of our floor crew. So you may want to watch out for that.
  8. We touched on the fact that RB2 will have a sweet custom set list feature in quickplay, so you'll be able to queue up all your favorite party tracks in advance or power through full albums in one sitting. What many people didn't pick up on was the fact that our custom set list is big enough to accommodate more songs than will appear on the RB2 disc. That's pretty massive.
  9. The much discussed RB2 drum trainer will include a kind of free play mode where you'll be able to play over MP3 tracks that you have saved to your hard drive. A far cry better than drumming on your car dashboard to songs from the radio.
  10. In addition to being able to choose the RB1 pre fabricated characters as band members, you'll also find that these familiar characters actually have names. For example, that "lumberjack looking dude" is actually Moosejaw Boudreau. You'll see recognizable characters with new names, some awesome new prefab characters, and even an HMX dev or two available as an in game character.

So there's all that. As if you didn't have enough to digest. I figured I'd recap on some of the smaller (but still VERY cool) pieces of news that came out of the bog RB2 reveal at E3. Be on the lookout for even more amazing info!