Less than amusing ramblings from a jaded former gamer.

Tag Archives: Harmonix

My Biggest Surprises and Disappointments of the Last Gaming Generation Pleasant Surprise: The Beatles Rock Band

Rock and roll all night! ...what? I'm not obliged to make Beatles references. =P

(Insert obligatory Beatles reference here!)

Seeing as we’re in a new year and possibly a new gaming generation, I figured now is a good time to look back on what games from the last few years really defied my expectations. Either because they went above and beyond what I was expecting of them or because they were horrible letdowns that made me feel stupid for buying them. My final surprise for this series is The Beatles: Rock Band, the rock band game born out of a cooperative effort between Harmonix and the Beatles’ music studio, Apple Corps.

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Pointless Achievements: Party at Your Place

Another achievement with the word party in it?
And it’s also a picture of a balloon? Fuck.

So, another “party” achievement. Wonderful. This one comes to us from Rock Band Blitz, which was basically a watered down version of the traditional Rock Band game because Harmonix has fallen on hard times and can’t really afford to release full retail games unless it’s a part of Microsoft’s portfolio of copy cat nonsense.

Anyways, here’s another annoying aspect of achievements I haven’t really touched on yet, which is using them as a hook to sell more shit. A lot of gamers are fairly compulsive people. If they weren’t, achievements never would have caught on in the first place. So how can companies make money off that? Simple, sell add-ons, then create achievements for playing said add-ons!

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How Microsoft Hijacked A Generation

If you can’t just buy out the competition, you can still rip them off.


Come the end of this week, I’ll be taking an incredibly long hiatus from 0verhyped, but more on that later. For now I want to talk about Microsoft and how in a lot ways they basically did “win” this console generation, despite never selling the most consoles or really inventing anything all that new or different.

Microsoft has never had the best reputation. Even by giant conglomerate standards they tend to be less well liked than other companies who invade your privacy, sell you defective shit and rip you off for every little thing. But over the last few years they have seemed to harbor at least some good will with gamers with the XBOX 360. What with their “amazing” online service and the “high” standards they set for games or something.

But not me. Oh no, definitely not me. Mostly because I’m a grouchy prick who feels compelled to piss on everyone else’s good times. I tend to do that, as old men filled with bitter regret often do. But I have my reasons, which I’m more than happy to share, even when there’s no one around to share them with.

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Pointless Achievements: The Bladder of Steel Award

Need to use the bathroom? Or just want to take a break?
Well too fucking bad! Because you’re not going anywhere!

What is it with me and the Rock Band series? I don’t think there’s even been a game series that I both genuinely love and utterly despise more at the same time. Part of it is I’m just an ill-tempered idiot with obsessive compulsive tendencies and poor self-control. But I still can’t help think that Harmonix are just kinda sadistic assholes as well.

It seems like every Rock Band game comes with a shitload of a dumb arbitrary goals that require mechanical like precision on cheap plastic instruments. The first Rock Band had a terrible drum controller, but they still expected you to fairly accurately duplicate intense drum beats like Run to the Hills. I remember there being a lot of posts about how to jury rig the drums to stop counting extra notes you didn’t hit and how to make the pedal stronger.

It’s pretty fucked up they put goals into the game that the crappy fake instruments they sell you can just barely handle. I know they’re just one company trying to make a buck, so they can’t really afford to make exceptional midi instruments and still sell us to them at a reasonable price. But they surely could have eased the fuck up on some of their actual goals they stick in the game. It’s a fucking game where you pretend you’re Rock Stars in front of your TV with plastic instruments and a USB microphone. Why such brutal achievements?

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Øverhyped Rock Band Giveaway Winner!

Hooray for stock photos!

For my 20th post on 0verhyped I decided to start a contest. Now on my 40th post I’ve realized that trying to bribe people to visit your site doesn’t work if no one knows about the bribe in the first place. Oops. But one person did actually enter my contest, and apparently I’m a man of my word or something, so that one person wins.

Since I don’t like giving away people’s personal information on the internet, certain details in the winning post may have been changed to protect the winner’s identity. Also typos have been kept intact because I find them amusing. Here’s the winning (and only) entry in the 0verhyped Rock Band Giveaway.

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Rock Band 3 Giveaway Update

Picture on loan from Zentastic.com until such time they realize I took it.

Over a week ago I started a contest for anyone living in North America to try and win a new copy of Rock Band 3 off me. Since then literally no one has entered. Normally I’d just chalk that up to the fact that almost no one reads my crappy blog and the one person who does lives in the Netherlands and the game I’m giving away isn’t PAL compatible. (Hi John Weeren. Thanks for commenting. Sorry I don’t have any PAL region games to give away at the moment.)

But I noticed yesterday that even if someone wanted to enter the contest they probably can’t. In my original post I told people to get my e-mail address from my profile, which I assumed anyone could see by clicking my name that appears at the top of every post I write. Only yesterday I realized that clicking a person’s name on WordPress apparently just shows you everything they wrote, instead of the author’s profile.

Which seems pretty dumb to me, but whatever. Point is, if you want to enter the contest you can E-mail me at JadedXGamer@gmail.com. Sorry to the one or two people who actually did want to enter but couldn’t. If you haven’t heard about my giveaway, you can find out all about it by reading this post where I’m offering an XBOX 360 copy of Rock Band 3 to the first person who manages to talk me into it. Remember, literally no one has entered yet, so your odds might actually be pretty good to win. But you still have to impress me first.

Øverhyped Rock Band Giveaway

Hope you have a big enough T.V. to read all this crap.



It’s my 20th post according to WordPress, and I’m inclined to believe them, seeing as they track pretty everything in every way possible. Even which countries anyone who clicks on this site are from. Bet they know where in that country too, but I think I have to pay for WordPress pro to get that horribly invasive feature.

I’m surprised I’ve actually gone an entire twenty posts without killing myself, killing someone else, or deleting my whole website in some petty temper tantrum. But I haven’t done those things (yet), and I did all this without ever once having an audience. Hooray for celebrating arbitrary milestones!

Now if my experiences with Bing have taught me anything, it’s people will respond to free crap, even if what you produce is otherwise horrible. So in a thinly veiled attempt to con people into coming to this crappy blog on the ass end of the internet, I’ve decided to host my own poorly thought out reader’s (not a typo, I’m pretty sure I only have one) contest. Remember how highly I spoke of The Beatles: Rock Band? Well I happen to have an extra XBOX 360 copy I’m willing to part with, just one little catch…

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How The Beatles: Rock Band Changed My Life

Shine on you crazy diamonds… What? I can like more than one band.


With a title like that I’ve got some explaining to do. I’ve actually been wanting to write this post all week, but every post this week just seemed to be a huge rant that eventually morphs into a different rant, which I’d then use for tomorrow’s post. And in writing that, another different rant seems to crop up. Almost like some sort of cancerous growth filled with ranting that I’d have to regularly excise to prevent it from getting too big and killing me.

Just this morning, when I thought it was decided I’d write about The Beatles: Rock Band, I suddenly realized that the game company Valve is basically the George Lucas of the gaming industry. A once small and inspired independent artist who has since slowly become a fat greedy sell-out of a corporation, who milks people for all their worth, takes credit for other people’s genius and yet still have an entire legion of deluded Fanboys ready to rush to their defense. The only difference is they haven’t been selling out as long as Lucas. I could easily go on about that for several pages…

But fuck that. It’s almost the weekend, so I want to talk about something I actually really like for a change. Besides who wants to talk about Valve? Everyone (in my head) already knows their the George Lucas of the gaming industry. I want to talk about The Beatles: Rock Band, and a little bit about music in general, which I’m ashamed to admit, I didn’t really appreciate enough until I played this game. So even though this may sound crazy, The Beatles: Rock Band really did change my life…

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What Exactly Is The Gaming Industry’s Plan?

Ever feel like the whole damn universe is playing a joke on you?


Or me for that matter… This is turning into a long week, seems like I can’t ramble on about any one thing without getting sidetracked by another. I blame my various attention disorders, whatever they are. (Always seem to tune my doctor out when she tries to explain them to me.)

I don’t think I’m the only one who doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing or where the hell they’re going. I think most of the major players in the mainstream gaming industry are pretty clueless as where to go from here. Like none of them really got any big ideas, so they’re just going to keep doing what they’ve already been doing. Actually, most of them have already been doing that for years now. Notice how every “new” game is usually announced as trilogy or a franchise? Probably why I find most new games so familiar and uninteresting.

I sure as shit know that “hardcore” gaming fans don’t know where to go. All they ever seem to want is the same crap with different names attached. If you ever hang around gaming forums (don’t), you’d notice they always say they want new “IP’s”. IP meaning Intellectual Properties. Ever hear movie or music fans want new intellectual properties? Gaming fans are so conditioned to accept that most of the industry has already declared creative bankruptcy that they specifically ask for new intellectual properties. Not new games, not new ideas, but just new brand names that can be attached to already existing games so they can be sold back to them at full price again. Sorta like recycling. They reuse ideas and save money, while taking your money.

But I don’t despair. I see a ray of hope and confident that there’s still a bright future ahead…no, wait, no I’m not. Sorry, anti-depressants sometimes make me optimistic. I actually don’t see anything particularly hopeful for the future, and I don’t have any ideas myself either. I guess I’ll just spend several pages pointing out the obvious and bitching about whatever pisses me off. You know, the same thing I always do…

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Remembering the Rhythm: Mourning the Loss of the Music Game Genre

Hopefully all the plastic guitars they buried here won’t contaminate the ground water.


In case you hadn’t heard, the rhythm music game genre has been declared mostly deadish. There are no more Guitar Heroes, and the only new stuff outta Rock Band is an iPad version of the already released iPhone version of Rock Band, some new songs you can buy for Rock Band 3, and Rock Band the board game. The only music software selling now is either dancing games or actual educational software on how to learn to play guitar.

Between me spending the last two days bitching about how Rock Band and Guitar Hero drove me and someone I know up the god damn wall with their bullshit and the fact that this place is called 0verhyped, you might think I’m happy that these easily exploited cash cows have meet a sudden and untimely demise brought on upon their own insistence on flooding the market with their mass produced brands of cheaply made corporate approved plastic crap.

But I’m not. In fact, I’m pretty bummed out about. Sorry to let you down, but I don’t actually hate everything or regularly take pleasure in other people’s failure. Unless someone I already hate is suffering, then I find their pain hilarious. But this isn’t one of those cases. Even though I got frustrated at the two big players in the rhythm game genre for a number of reasons, I didn’t want to see the whole genre fold. But I’m not bummed out just because the genre is gone, but what it means for the whole mainstream gaming industry. But I’ll get to that some other time. For now, I just want to reminisce.

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