Monday, December 13, 2010

A Noob's Guide to Using the Rock Band 3 Keyboard as a MIDI Instrument

One of the key selling points for me on the Rock Band 3 keyboard was the fact that it could also be used as a MIDI device (read: real instrument). For 80 euros ($105, yeah they like to overcharge us on stuff in Europe because they give us the US price and tack the euro symbol on it), I got not only a game controller, but something potentially more. This functionality was touted by Harmonix and game reviewer alike.

The keyboard has even been reviewed as a MIDI instrument and has been given good ratings. Articles such as this one: Hands-on: Rock Band 3′s Keytar, a Surprisingly Serious $80 MIDI Keyboard go into more specific details about the specs of the keyboard itself (a good read and a good place to find some needed information if you dig), but all these articles lack something.. something really important that the average music noob like me doesn't know or understand. I guess I falsely got the impression that the MIDI option for the keyboard was a great thing for beginners, boy was I wrong. That's where this blog comes in.

Thanks for the Birthday Wishes & Videos!

You know the Rhythm Gaming community gets a lot of crap recently about how they are "ruining the game" or "take everything too seriously" etc. Honestly it really depends on what part of the "community" you are looking at. If you focus on the noisy troll-y bunch, or the "in your face" ones, this might often be the case, but it's not true about everyone.

The community is awesome and there are lots of good people and players who belong to it. We think about each other, speak often on via twitter, various forums and other social networks. The reputation is ill-deserved.

Anyway, my 26th birthday was on December 8th last week (I'm old D:)... I was really surprised and touched by the amount of birthday wishes I received not only from the Rhythm Gaming community, but by the gaming community in general.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Importance of Calibration in Rock Band 3 Vocals

Overall I love Rock Band 3, but it seems every day or so I find something else that I either hate about it, am annoyed by, or wish there was a patch to correct. I could get into that long list of things (and I will eventually) but right now I'm going to talk about one of them: calibration.

You may remember last week's post: Video of the Week: Song of the Damned (Army of the Damned). Despite all my best efforts I kept getting a 99% FC. I say "FC" because I had managed to keep my combo throughout the entire song (getting "awesome" at the end of every phrase and never seeing a visual break in combo) but ending with a percentage of 99%. Never having encountered such an issue in the other Rock Band games I played, I assumed this was a bug. I wasn't sure if it was a bug with the song itself or with the game, but I assumed it was a random issue with the game because the scores on the leaderboard for this song showed SOMEONE had FCed it.

So I posted my videos and my blog and I got A LOT of responses, help and feedback. My issue wasn't a bug at all, in fact this problem had been encountered in other Rock Band games I never purchased (Rock Band: Beatles & Rock Band: Green Day), so it's been around for a while actually, but being that I wasn't a fan of band-specific games, nor those particular bands, I was afforded the luxury of being ignorant to its existence. Those were happier times.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Video of the Week: Song of the Damned (Army of the Damned)

First off let me start by saying "don't let the title mislead you".

Army of the Damned is a song available on the RBN though Rock Gamer Studios (yes, I plug them a lot. I like them as people, I like their songs & I think they do good work.. so deal with it!), by a band called Pythia.

Pythia's sound has been described as Gothic Metal, Power Metal & Symphonic Metal. Pythia has also supported two of my favorite bands/singers: Amberian Dawn and Tarja Turunen. They have their own little forum topic on Amberian Dawn's forum where we discuss the band.Overall it's a sound and style I can get behind. I like the song.

So yes, this song is a bit easier than stuff from Amberian Dawn and certainly less high. I expected it to be an easy FC but I was mistaken. I've spent some time learning the song (I never heard of the band before the topic on AD's forum & the song in the game) so that created a bit of learning curve... I also always ended up sick whenever I actually had time to get around to recording it.

With the upcoming release of Rock Band 3, I decided it was just better to wait and FC it on Rock Band 3. Looks like that might not have been the best idea...

It would seem I'm damned to never FC the song. (see what I did there? title makes sense now in 3, 2, 1..) I FCed the song, not once, but TWICE and was credited with 99%. Twice on video and despite never breaking combo I got a 99% when the song was over. I was disgusted.

Surely, I must have missed and not seen. I went back through both videos, nope. It was an FC alright but damned if the thing is bugged. Is it only this song that is bugged? I don't know.. I doubt it, I think it's kind of random (I'll get to why in a bit).

This is the first encounter I have ever had with the 99% bug. Poking at the scorehero vocal forums I found that it seems to have existed in other games like The Beatles: Rock Band. I wouldn't know about that as I didn't buy the game because I don't like the Beatles.

After the first recording I went back and tried to FC it again to only have the same result. I didn't activate intentionally on a part I seemed to have difficulty with the first time to see if that yielded different results, it didn't.

My first run ended with a pretty good score (because I activated where I didn't in the second run) which put me at 2nd place on the leaderboard, behind first by 3,744 pointsish (you can see it in my video anyway).

Now.. that makes me wonder, did the 1st place player (I need to look who it is to ask them) manage to get credit for FCing the song (be given 100%)? Because that would put them at about 4 thousand more points than me (for not breaking combo where I apparently broke it [but didn't]). Which would technically land me in 1st place, but that's only assuming that this bug that gave me 99% actually docked my score for it. I can't say if it did or not. I have no way of knowing.

I'm honestly not a super great squeezer, so it's possible the other person had a better path (I don't look up optimal paths out of sheer laziness and lack of care), or squeezed better than I did. Yet, it is soooo close to 4 thousand points difference that is does make me wonder.

Score isn't that big a deal (though it'd be awesome to have a 1st place score on something) but not getting 100% on the song irks the crap out of me. It's disgusting, I feel a little ripped off.

And I'm left wondering: Is this just a bug? Am I doing something wrong? Perhaps I'm not sufficient enough? How do I consider this in my personal goals? Is it an "FC"? It is a bare miss?

Blah either way I'm rather disheartened about it...

In order to actually manage an FC I couldn't sing this in my FULL voice. It was too over powering on the microphone. Expect a vocal cover on my new channel in the future... it's too fun a song to NOT sing properly.

Here are the 2 videos I did. I seemed to have some sort of sound issue in both where I came out really quiet despite eating the mic or being really loud. I think I didn't have something plugged in all the way somewhere. Next time I record I will also lower the band a bit to help with that like I used to with my purple microphone.

BTW the guitarist.. that is my Anex character. My "me" character is the vocalist.. whenever Harmonix decides to patch Rock Band 3 (if ever) to fix the female hairstyles, I will have curly long hair. For now it's dreads in a pony tail because it sort of simulates curly hair in a ponytail.

UPDATE: I've been told that this has to do with the little pie-filling thing. Apparently there are a few places I didn't fill it completely. I'm going to have to try harder and poke at calibration to see if that will help and I can get a "true" FC.

Army of the Damned- 99% FC Best Score Run

Army of the Damned- 99% FC Attempt to Duplicate Bug or FC

Saturday, November 20, 2010

An Update Regarding Youtube and Rock Band Videos

Hey everybody! I know, I know, it's been ages since I last posted an update. Today I hope to make up a little bit for it though, or at least explain my absence.

After starting to blog for (blogging under my first name, Heather) I kind of decided that was a better platform for all my game related blogs. It's neater, nicer and definitely more awesome being wordpress and all and with its own domain etc. So this blog has become a bit more of my own personal sanctuary I guess. It's where I can express myself in a "less professional" manner if I choose to do so, be a little more personal and in the first person.

Today I posted a video on youtube (I'll include it at the end of this entry) to explain my lack of videos lately. I wanted to express many things, but I was rushed, the quality was crap and I kind of lost my train of thought to where I ended up rambling at some point.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Blogging on 2GuysGaming.Com!

Yup, that's right! I'm now a blogger for I know you're saying to yourself "um, I thought you were a girl?". I am, I am... but who cares? :p

2 GuysGaming was the brainchild of two awesome guys: Cena from Cena's Corner and Ryan from It's a place for reviews, and pretty much anything gaming related. You can also check out the 2GuysGaming youtube channel which already has some reviews on it along with game play footage, including some funny footage of a game of Blur that I am also a part of.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New Female Worgen Models Are Here!

So I've been impatiently awaiting the female worgen models ever since I got into the World of Warcraft Cataclysm Beta. There have been a few picture floating around out there of the Worgen models but it was not yet in the final stages. Here's the wolf barbie-esque image.

Today I logged into the Beta (with a bug of character models not loading) and noticed the icon for female worgen modification changed. (previously it was a symbol of the picture above). After clearing game cache (both cache folders for anyone else with the problem) I re-logged into the game and was greeted with the new female worgen model.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Video of the Week: Evil Inside Me (RBN)

This week's video is another Amberian Dawn song. What can I say? They are probably the songs that are the most fun on vocals. Plus it is nice to have music you like in one of your favorite games. ;)

I really like to listen to this song, but sadly (and oddly) it wasn't as fun for me to sing as LionHeart or Kokko (which I didn't really like to listen to as much as some others). I think my main problem is I just don't like the way I sing it.

Also I think it is charted weird.. generally I don't have issue with anything Rock Gamer Studios has charted, everything is pretty good and rather accurate. I've noticed that often the lyrics are slightly off on the Amberian Dawn songs, but it's generally really minor.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Video of the Week: Lionheart (RBN)

This week saw the release of TWO Amberian Dawn songs, Lionheart and Evil Inside Me.

I had intended to do both today but I ran out of time, so you only get one :p

Like Kokko, this song really wasn't one of my favorites to listen to.. again, not that I hated it.. just there were other songs I liked more. However, Lionheart has grown on me.. BIG TIME. I REALLY like it.. vocally it is fun, lyrically it is awesome.

I never pay too much attention to lyrics, I generally read through them once when I get the album and then they end up forgotten. However playing the songs on Rock Band

Video of Last Week: Kokko- Eagle of Fire (RBN)

I was bad last week and let this one slip by without blogging about it.. naughty me.

Honestly I didn't really have too much to say about this video anyway other than MORE AMBERIAN DAWN (insert fan-girl squeal)!

Kokko has never really been one of my favorite songs, it's not that I hate it.. I just like other songs more, but ya know.. Kokko is really fun to sing.

So this song earns 5 stars on my "fun on vocals" scale.

I think it came out pretty well other than the mic distortion and am happy with it. It got good ratings

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Video of the Week: I Will Not Bow (DLC), nor will I scream or growl.

This week's video is Breaking Benjamin- I Will Not Bow. This song is actually fun to play in game even if it's not my favorite.

Difficulty wise this song isn't hard at all, so I can't really offer any tips or major problems I had with it.

The song does however contain screaming and growling which honestly is not something I'm good at, nor do I enjoy doing or listening to it. So the "talkie" parts of the song are meh. I didn't scream or growl for those parts.. I just can't and when I try it sounds like ultra crap in a can.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Video of the Week: Shallow Waters (RBN), Eating My Oxygen

This week's video is more Amberian Dawn! This time, Shallow Waters and as you can guess from the title it isn't an easy one.

Hardest problem I had was managing to sing that fast and high without that many chances to get a breath. Really really hard on that level. If you're doing the song in a lower octave though, it's a piece of cake. I played it in a lower octave the day it came out because I was a bit congested and I just didn't have it in me to try to sing it in a higher octave physically.

I did this song over and OVER and OVER again trying to make my struggle to breathe sound less obvious and it did indeed become easier the more I did it (yes, yes, I know practicing helps!) but still it's a killer.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Video of the Week: Incubus (RBN), I sense and know its presence yet I'm asleep.

 Incubus is out for purchase today via the Rock Band Network on Xbox 360, yay! I was starting to get impatient for some new Amberian Dawn songs, so it's about time another makes it out of Peer Review.

This song took me a few tries before I managed an FC. I guess most of it is I'm really out of practice with singing. I didn't have a mic for a long time and I've been having a hard time FCing any Amberian Dawn songs when it used to be so easy in the past. :/ I also did this song as soon as I got up so my voice wasn't really awake yet.. but I was so impatient to play it that I tried anyway.

Anyway after I got the FC my new problem was "How to FC this and not sound like crap?". I hate to say it, but it's something I didn't find the answer to.

My voice is weak in the song. It's especially noticeable in the phrase: ".. to take over me and choke me!"

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Video of the Week: Wytches 2010.. (Isis Astarte Diana Hecate Demeter Kali Inanna...)

So in other non-WoW related news I have acquired a new microphone! Yay! I actually got this while visiting a friend in Amsterdam for cheaper than what it would have cost online (double yay!)

It's basically the one I had before (previous to the purple one): The Logitech Vantage.. you'll notice though that this one is black. It is in fact the one for the PS2/3 (it was all they had) but clearly it works with the xbox 360 as well.

Anyway this week's video is Wytches 2010 by Inkubus Sukkubus.

"31 Point" Talent Trees are Here!

When I heard about how these were coming the other day I first thought to myself, "Noes! That last blog I just wrote was a lie then!". Luckily I wasn't entirely off and now I can give a more accurate description.


The new talents trees are smaller, you have less points to spend, so this makes sense. I am unsure of the rate at which you gain talents points to spend. After spending my 36 points I had at level 80, I had a message at the top of my tree informing me that my next talent point would be "earned at level 81". (Yeah I still haven't leveled yet) The new trees also force a "primary spec". By that I mean it is no longer possible to be classified as "Hybrid" (take a look at some WoW Armory profiles).


I put the 31 in quotes simply because you do not only have 31 points to spend at the max level. However the 31 points are what you MUST spend in a tree before you are even allowed to think about putting points into another tree. (Personally, that is going to force me have to re-think my dual wield tanking). The other trees will remain grayed out until you have spent 31 talent points in the tree you chose from the first talent menu.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Stat Changes on Items and How it Affects Tanking

This blog is mostly for the lovely Demeternoth to better explain/show how the stats on items will affect tanking. (Be sure to check out her blog as well and she should have some more detailed information coming from the Beta soon!)

Basically I noticed after doing a couple quests (and already replacing my heroic and and non-heroic tier gear with greens) that there has been an overall change in item stats. Overall I think the change can be good albeit being extremely annoying on another level.

Before I go on I'd like to mention a small detail

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Effect of Cataclysm on my Death Knight Tank Thus Far

I know that most people are probably hoping for (and expecting) specific details about high-end etc when they look up information on Cataclysm, let me just say right now that this isn't where I'm going with these blogs.

While I may include some specific details about items etc, my blogs will generally be from the perspective of a casual player (keep in mind I'm the mother of a 2 year old and have various other online duties I attend to in my gaming communities) to give and overall opinion on things.
Sadly I haven't had the opportunity so far to play as much as I would like due to time constraints and server stability issues for the EU server but I have already formed some thoughts an opinions.

After a lot of problems even copying my character into the Beta (due to language selection affecting account and DNS cache issues for a reloading transfer page that did nothing), I logged in eager to explore what I could right away.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

WoW Cataclysm Beta!

I've actually been away for a week in Amsterdam.. so I'm getting to this late.

The other day I was checkin' my email. "checkin mah email, checkin' mah email, checkin' checkin'.." (ok enough of that for now, reference) when I saw I had something that said: World of Warcraft(r): Cataclysm(TM) Beta Test Invitation, I got a little excited until I considered that it was probably one of those phishing scams that I receive in my e-mail on a daily basis.. except this one was different.. it actually came to the e-mail that I have connected to my WoW account (I forward a lot of email addresses to one address, but my wow email is special) not like the ones I usually receive the scams at.

I read it and figured it was pretty legit

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Video of the Week: Valkyries (RBN), choosers of slain!

Just what I've been waiting for, more Amberian Dawn in Rock Band! Yay!

If you don't know already (shame on you) I am a HUGE Amberian Dawn fan and helped bring them to the RBN for the enjoyment of all.

Valkyries is actually one of my favorite AD songs so I was really happy when this went for sale yesterday on the RBN.

This song SHOULD be hard to sing, but since you don't have to sing it as high as Heidi does, it's not really as hard as it sounds. I managed to sight-read FC this yesterday but didn't get a video up as I had planned because my monitor died during the recording. I was forced to hurry my butt to the stores before they closed to buy another.

I chose to sing it as close to the original version as possible, for me that's the fun of AD's songs on vocals anyway so why ruin it?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Video of the Week: Paralyzer (RBN)

This week's video is Paralyzer by Finger Eleven available for purchase on the Rock Band Network from the fine folks over at Rock Gamer Studios.

I think the last time I heard this song was when I was in the US.. so it gives me memories of home.

The song was pretty easy for vocals. My sight read of the song resulted in a 99%.. which I think was a bare miss even.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Videos of the Week: Head Over Feet & Bonus Guitar Vid: They Say

This week is a twofer. Reason being is I really felt my vocal video was so poor that I had to make up for it somehow.

So my first video is a expert vocal video as usual. That would be Alanis Morissette's Head Over Feet. I really like this song and have always liked Alanis. I love her songs, I like her personality and she seems like a person I could probably relate to. So naturally when this was out as DLC for Rock Band I jumped all over it. Thing is this particular song is NOT easy for me to FC (full clear/100%).. I have tried so many times to capture an FC on camera but I just can't do it. I've FCed it before but fate is against me getting it on camera. My reason for not FCing it is pure choke. The end of the song has some ad-lib parts in it. You know when singers sing stuff that isn't really words, like "dee dee" "daa ya" or whatever? These OWN me. I had a friend who owned this album and I just don't ever remember hearing that part of the song as all so it's all guess work for me and I guess incorrectly and ruin my run.

It's really irritating. I HATE these ad-libby parts in songs.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Death Knight Tanking: Frost Dual Wield Spec à la Raevn

(I'm aware that Blood is the main spec for raid tanking nowadays and will be the standard in the next expansion, however I'm doing this with the immediate future in mind)


A couple weeks ago I decided that my "alt" (Landriana, Elemental Shaman) had quite surpassed my main (Raevn, Frost Death Knight) to the point of humiliation and shame in regards to gear and instances completed. To where technically Raevn should have been considered as my alt.

I'll admit that it was easy to let myself slide. It's not that I didn't like tanking or my Death Knight, it was just that it's WAY easier to come along in instances as a DPS. When something goes wrong it's not the DPS that is blamed (rarely, even when it IS their fault) and I basically get to sit back, shut up and just follow along killing things. It's much more pleasant than running ahead marking mobs (which I'm really slow to do because of the drop down menu and my inability to move my mouse in a straight line, along with the fact that I keep forgetting to keybind the "skull" mark) while having some asshole keep yelling "Go! go!" at you.

So one day I decided to at least do my daily heroic to get some frost & triumph emblems, my gear wasn't (nor is it currently) the best, and didn't even include full tier 9. I felt pretty comfortable with tanking, the day I stopped playing my tank so much I was considered as "up there in gear"... however, the day I decided to resume gearing  I found out just how much I was in everyone's dust.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Video of the Week: I Wanna Be Your Man (or WOman... in a hat)

Lucky for me I was thinking ahead and recorded TWO videos last week with the intention to save one for release this week because I'm SICK!

As if I haven't had a crappy last two weeks with the headaches etc (CAT scan came out normal by the way, they say my brain just needs time to recover) I now have a really bad cold. If not for recording last week I'd have no video to release today, so yay for thinking ahead.

This video features the famous "hat" that I'm wearing in my new twitter pic etc. My good old fedora that I bought many years ago and thought would be fun to wear in this video. I missed it, don't get enough chances to wear it and took advantage to take that picture. I've also gone ahead and used the picture for a new youtube avatar since people liked it so much.

Other than that the song itself again wasn't hard (headaches don't motivate me to try harder stuff),

Friday, April 16, 2010

Update & Video of the Week: Come Out And Play (Keep 'Em Separated)

Before I get on to this week's video I wanted to apologize for the lack of videos and blog entries these last 2 weeks. (And sadly the video before that was blocked by youtube in the US :/)

The first week of April was busy with Easter and my house rampage cleaning for a friend to come visit from another country. Unfortunately that didn't come to pass and at the same I ended up hitting myself head pretty hard on a shelf while cleaning (I'm a klutz).
Two days later I was dizzy and nauseous and had to go to the hospital. I was put under surveillance and told that I should avoid television, video games and computers for at least 48 hours so that put my videos off another week.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Real (low level) Tanks of Genius: Mr. I Don't Need Mail To Tank Guy

Unnecessary Blogage Presents
Real (low level) Tanks of Genius: Mr. I Don't Need Mail To Tank Warrior Guy
(Real [low level] Tanks of Genius)
Today we salute you, Mr. I Don't Need Mail To Tank warrior guy.
( Mr. I Don't Need Mail To Tank warrior guy)
Some would say that you shouldn't tank in leather, but for you it's all about the stamina.
(I got more HPs now!)
Those leather DPS classes in the group complaining about your new leathery loot? They're just jealous!
(They were plus crit legs)
While people try to explain to you why mail is better for tanking you cough up some phony mathematical equation to prove why you're right and they are wrong.
(Look at me with my numbers!)
So crack open an ice cold Bud Light, Mr. Leather Tanking warrior. You may not have good armor for tanking, but you sure got a lot of HPs now.
( Mr. I Don't Need Mail To Tank warrior guy)
So recently I've been guilty of leveling up another alt. With the new LFG system I've heard from lots of the other WoW Bloggers I talk to that it's pretty fun to do.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Video of the Week: He Sleeps in a Grove (RBN)

This week's video is He Sleeps in a Grove by Amberian Dawn available for sale on the Rock Band Network, authored by the awesome people over at Rock Gamer Studios.

This is actually the first time I have ever FCed (full cleared) the song in expert. I had issues where I was stuck on a certain point and once I figured that out I managed to mess up on a part I usually make.

The song is difficult because it is high for a long period of time with little to no breathing room between phrases. In order for me to hold a high note I need a good amount of oxygen and I just wasn't getting must space to breathe. After a bit of practice (or should I say 10+ 99% runs) I got a little better at it although my voice is still a bit weak.

I feel like it has to be said that I am not a real singer, I have no training in classical singing (it's something I'm interested in though)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Video of the Week: Forever

This week's video is actually a re-do video.

I was working on this video last week when I got tired of getting 99% right at the end (I think I was slightly off pitch on the last "be" scream every time.) and was lured by the appeal of the Rock Band Network and the Amberian Dawn songs.

This week I MADE myself do it. I actually had a bit of a problem though.. my first run resulted in an FC (full clear, 100%) but my digital camera (for the picture in picture view) died during the song... I was ever so mad and tried over and over again to FC it unsuccessfully.

So as I was saying this video is in fact a re-do video

Giving Away: Blur Beta Tokens!

Due to positive feed back from the beta multiplayer demo of Blur, Blur has sent me tokens to give away.

I have TWO tokens that I will be giving away today at about 7pm GMT +1.

Choosing who to give them to will be hard but you can help make it easier!

What I want you to do is post a comment on my Blur Multiplayer Demo: A Promising Outlook blog entry and tell me why you would be interested in playing Blur. What features interest you and your expectations for the game.

I will then decide who is more "deserving" of the tokens based on reason and creativity.

Please leave me a way to contact you in case you are chosen, twitter is preferred if possible, or log in with an account in the comment section that has a way for me to contact you.

Sadly no one expressed interest in this contest, therefore I have given the tokens to some of my friends, maybe another time and another contest

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Blur Multiplayer Beta Demo: A Promising Outlook

(This blog is based on the beta demo and is not representative of the final quality/product as the game is still in development)

So today I received a beta key for the Blur Multiplayer Beta Demo on xbox live. (you can still try to get beta keys!) I actually didn't know anything about this game until I received an e-mail from my local gaming store offering me one a week ago. I checked out the site and thought the game looked interesting enough to give it a shot.

Blur is a racing game by Bizarre Creations and Activision. I wouldn't limit it so much to a "racing game" as there is a bit more to it than that but this is the easiest genre I can find to label this game with.

At first glance (and even after playing it) I'm reminded of some old games I loved to play with my brothers: Extreme G racing (1 and 2), San Fransisco Rush 2049 battle mode (both N64 games) with a mix of Burn Out Revenge. This is actually a good thing as I have a lot of fond memories of multiplayer mode on these games and probably why I'm already looking forward to the full release of Blur.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

OMG RBN! Video of the Week: River of Tuoni

I totally had intended to remake my first ever youtube video but I had a change of plans.

It just so happened that while I was failing at FCing Forever by only getting a strong on the last note Dpritch sent me a message on xbox live talking about the ever spreading rumor that the RBN was coming TODAY!

I immediately decided it wasn't worth continuing to kill my voice for In This Moment- Forever and hovered over twitter watching for the latest news..

And then it came... Rock Band Network was listed under the Music Store and I instantly downloaded the 2 available Amberian Dawn songs (Hey! I helped get them in the RBN ok?) Naturally I went straight for River of Tuoni.. I mean I love Amberian Dawn but He Sleeps in a Grove is not one of my favorite songs of theirs. (I can't wait for the incoming 5 new ones)

I'm actually EXTREMELY lucky I got to play these songs at all because the RBN was not available everywhere.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tanks! You're Welcome.

No it's not a typo.. it's a play on words, you'll get it later :p

I'm pretty sure it is clear from my one of my previous entries: WoW Players of Honor: Join, Aggro Everything and Leave Guy that I play World of Warcraft.

I don't believe however, that I have ever gone into more detail than this silly parody I wrote after a bad experience in a PuG. So before I get to my main point of this blog I'll go ahead and throw some background information out there.

My current main character in World of Warcraft is a Death Knight Tank by the name of Raevn (Terenas EU). I had played every raid role except a tank previous to this character (previous mains included a Combat Rogue and a Holy Priest) and created her with the intention to tank. Things went well and I felt as if I picked up fast on tanking (being that I had tanked before in Ever Quest it wasn't totally new to me). I had a lot of fun raiding in a guild alliance of three guilds. However, that alliance eventually fell apart due to drama in one of the guilds and that left me with not much of anything left to do on my tank so I started leveling up an alt, a caster dps (something I hadn't played before), Landriana (Terenas EU).

I played this character a lot and basically focused on her until she was 80.. I did so many PuGs (as DPS was much easier than tanking) and once I reached full Tier 9 had nothing else to do on her being that I play casually and am not in a REAL guild (my guild is just for friends and my alts). That left me with only one thing to do: go back to farming heroics for Emblems of Triumph to get my DK in full tier 9.

But there was one problem.. I was rusty.

Anex has found The Lost Cake

Recently I was approached by fellow Team Cena member dpritch in regards to contributing to a blog he was putting together called The Lost Cake.

The Lost Cake is a video game blog with many bloggers and therefore many points of view. There are guys and girls on the team, teenagers and twenty-somethings, sponsored and non-sponsored players and even non-players (more on that in a moment).

The majority of it will be video game reviews (both recent and older games) along with other stories and just about anything video game related.

What I think that will set this blog most apart from the rest will probably be the blogs from KayLove. She is actually going to be blogging from the spectator point of view as she often watches others playing without playing much herself.

I will still be blogging here on Unnecessary Blogage while contributing some of my entries to The Lost Cake. However, some things will remain exclusive to Unnecessary Blogage (such as my weekly Rock Band videos).

So be sure to check out The Lost Cake. It's sure to offer something for every body's tastes.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Video of the Week: Interstate Love Song

This week's video is Stone Temple Pilot's Interstate Love Song.

I've always liked this song and it is short and sweet (like this entry about it will be) so that was definitely incentive to choose it for my video this week. The song is a bit on the low end and this is where I tend to have more trouble as I just fail so much musically that I can not find out how to make myself sing it in a higher octave.. I managed to make 100% anyway so I guess it doesn't really matter.

As before I have included external audio along with the capture for volume reasons. It does seem though that since filming this video I have found a solution that will allow me to use full direct audio for next week.. yay! ^^

Sadly I also had my camera too zoomed in and cut off part of my head.. ooops.

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe: Tits and More Tits (PG- 13+)

So the other day while I was out and about I happened to find Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe for only 15 euros.

I'm actually a HUGE Mortal Kombat fan and have been playing the series ever since I had a Super Nintendo when I was little (that's a lie, actually I did play it on the 1st Gen Gameboy and in arcades).. I've pretty much rented every MK there was while growing up (my parents wouldn't let us buy it because they didn't like how violent it was) and have slowly grown disappointed with the series as the years went on. I honestly believe that MK3 was probably MK's high point.

Anyway I wasn't interested in MK vs DCU because I didn't like the cross over (still don't), it's as bad as Soul Calibur and the Star Wars mix (another topic for another time).. but for 15 euros I wasn't going to complain especially if it let me have MK on my xbox 360.

So the other day I popped it in my 360 and decided to check it out. First thing I did was head over to the arcade game mode and check out the character select screen. Kitana was there (my favorite MK character) and so was Sonya Blade but Mileena, Sindel and Jade were missing.. no doubt replaced by the crap that DC had to offer.

I decided to play through arcade mode, chose Kitana and selected only MK opponents. (I'm really not interested in the DC ones) I start working my way to the top of the ladder and come across Sonya Blade. I actually didn't mind Sonya too much.. her and Kitana were the 2 character's I used to play the most and my brothers came to loathe Sonya's upward bicycle kick ;).

Well it seems Sonya has changed since those years. She's apparently hit the gym and come across a good sum of money to "enhance" herself a bit. As soon as the fight started I was taken a back by her ripped abs and her watermelon breasts.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Video of the Week: Just A Girl (who spied ass-chaps)

We're going to pretend I wasn't bad and totally forgot to blog about my last 2 videos ok? :p (So Cold and Call Me When You're Sober).

This week's video was "Just A girl" by No Doubt, the good Ol' Tragic Kingdom No Doubt that was the one of the first CDs I had ever purchased (which was a big deal at the time because cassette tapes were still used and around).

Overall I found this (as with most old No Doubt songs) easy for me. My real problem was actually preventing myself from "over-singing" the song. By that I mean singing it so enthusiastically that the game was not happy with my singing. Sadly because of my enthusiasm it took a few takes, but it wasn't because it was difficult.

I kind of took this song in full stride, I mean I am indeed a girl and when I was 13 it was a great "motto" song of sorts. I sported my "Things you learn from video games" t-shirt so show my female gamer spirit.

One thing though that I did NOT expect in the entire recording of this video was a male character in a pair off ass-chaps.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Vocal Covers? Do I dare?

Hey guys. I know this really doesn't have a whole lot to do with gaming but I don't have much other place to write about this so I'll blame this on the sexy microphone I received from the Team Cena sponsors.

I've been singing/playing vocals on Rock Band for sometime now, I also (as you know) have been posting videos of myself playing the game for a while too. I know that being good at the game on vocals doesn't make you a good singer. It's more or less like an advanced karaoke where you have a pitch line to follow that hopefully prevents you from sounding less bad than a tone deaf monkey.

I've kind of hid behind the game, this was a way I could post videos of myself playing it and having fun knowing that I wasn't really trying to impress anyone with my singing or anything. I know covers are a whole other world and open to more criticism and possibly rude comments.

Another reason I've never attempted covers is the kind of music I like generally has a classically trained soprano vocalist. Being that my only experience involves singing in a car or when I'm by myself this hasn't exactly been a welcoming domain to enter. I'm not into pop music too much (which would be much easier to sing) and the vocalists I like are just jaw-droppingly impressive. On the other hand this mic is so awesome that I HAD to test it out especially knowing that such vocals were too overpowering for the microphone I had previously.

So this is a partial cover of Amberian Dawn's Passing Bells. I just was singing it for fun and thought I was recording the whole thing to compare mic quality when I realized for some reason I had only a partial recording (hence why this is "partial"). I guess it is a good way to see if I should even bother trying covers of such music and/or if my youtube subscribers are even interested.

Either way whether you think it is bad or not, bet your ass I'm doing ALL of Amberian Dawn's DLC from the Rock Band Network for my youtube Rock Band videos. And if I DO do more covers in the future know that they won't all be Amberian Dawn and they will probably be much less frequent.

Should I bother pursuing covers? I know for sure I need more practice, but would you be interested?

OSP DL-340 Dynamic Vocal Microphone, a Sexy Beast.

Photobucket Monday I received a little surprise in the form of a package. It was my new microphone sent to me by two of Team Cena's new sponsors: Rock Band Parts and ROADIE Music Game Gear.

This gesture really touched me as we in Team Cena never really expected to receive anything, but not too long after the announcement of the acquisition of these sponsors was made we were told to be expecting something from them. This is what I was sent, and yes.. IT IS PURPLE! ^^

It is a professional grade microphone and has been compared to shure microphones. As it is a "real" microphone a special cable is needed to make it work with my xbox which was also sent to me along with a clip for my mic stand. Sadly the mic clip I was sent was not compatible with my mic stand. Luckily though I live literally across the street from a music store. I took my mic with me to be sure that I'd get a clip that would fit and when the owner of the store saw it he was impressed (that says a lot right there). "Where did you get such a microphone? The internet? It's really nice and I've never seen one in that color before".

I could be really redundant and tell you everything I have already said in a video but I'm going to just leave my video to tell you.

I have actually (since this video) managed to find a way to activate by cupping my hands around the mic and "whoo!"ing into it.

This is the exact microphone and cable available for purchase here:

The XLR to PC, Mac, PS2, Wii, PS3, XBOX 360 cable (only):

The Rhythm Game reviewer (and Owner of Team Cena) Cena has reviewed this cable here:
RBP Premium Mic and Cord Kit Review

There is a mini-version of this microphone which is available in 1 extra color than the larger ones (pink):
OSP DL-310 Mini Mic w/Cable (not the XLR to console cable)

If you're wondering whether or not a professional microphone is really better than the standard Guitar Hero/Rock band microphone you can also check this comparison by Cena out:
Professional Mic Vs. Rock Band/Guitar Hero Mic

My beloved 360, is that really you?

I apologize once again for the extremely late update.. I've had a lot of things going on with wedding anniversaries, and the return of my 360! Though I'm not sure it is mine.. but more on that in a bit.

So as you may remember Thursday, February 4, 2010 I posted that my xbox was only 20 miles away.. I did in fact receive my xbox that day. Total it took less than 1 week from ship date to return date. I'm throughly impressed.

I was curious how that box I sent out would come back to me, but it didn't. They actually sent me a new box with proper Styrofoam holders in it for the 360. You can bet I am holding on to this box in case (heaven forbid) I should need it again.

Microsoft sent me the standard letter apologizing for the inconvenience and thanking me for being a member of the xbox community (aww). They also included a 1 month xbox gold subscription. I worried a bit that this may be a European redeem code being that I live in Europe. The only problem is that my xbox live account is American (as I'm American and had purchased the subscription in the US). The card however is written in English and Spanish, while typical in the US the standard in Europe is generally French and English so I have a smidgen of hope it is either not region specific or a US one.

After checking out the paper contents of the box (with no sign of that infamous pink slip saying they replaced my xbox with a refurbished one) I took out my xbox and checked the serial. Still the same. Good. Except the whole label was different. No longer did it have a manufacture date but a "service date". While it makes sense it meant that the ENTIRE label on the back of the xbox was not the original one and could indeed hide that it was replaced. I removed the xbox from it's box and put it back in its home in my entertainment center.

First thing I noticed was the faceplate. My old one was broken. The door that hid the USB ports when not in use had lost it's springy-ness ages ago and was always stuck in the down position. I didn't mind having a pretty new one, maybe they replaced my old broken one?

My suspicions about possibly receiving a refurbished 360 started to become more firm as I plugged in and turned on my xbox.

I had to update lots of things with my xbox as soon as I turned it on which had me more and more convinced this was not my xbox. I had a method to check easily if the console was considered as mine. All my DLC that I have for Rock Band is divided across 2 xbox live accounts. One my US one that is gold and I play on and my silver French account that I needed in order to buy more points since I could not put a French credit card on my US account. As I popped in Rock Band I noticed right away it was playing from the disc and not the HDD where I had it installed. As you can see in the message above I was told that this game could only be played on the HDD and console it was originally installed on. My heart sank.

However once I started Rock Band up all my DLC played normally without me having to log both my accounts to have access to all of it (as I had to do on my friend's console when I stuck my HDD on it). That meant that either it WAS my 360 (albeit "brainwashed") or that at least Microsoft had taken the liberty to handle my licenses.

That wasn't all though. I USED to be able to listen to the mp3s on my computer in another room on my xbox in the living room (which is connected to a stereo). I can no longer do that. I was forced to reinstall the windows media center and link my xbox to my computer but it never works, just freezes and every time I try to access my computer from my xbox I am told to verify I have registered my console on my computer (I have). This problem is still unresolved. I'm afraid I'm going to have to call someone and try to get some assistance, hopefully it is someone who speaks English clearly and fluently? ;)

For now I have an xbox, it works I can play my games.. but is it really the one I sent off earlier? I think I'll never know..

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Xbox 360 Repairs: A German Vacation

I've been a bit bad about keeping up with my xbox's trip to Microsoft for repairs. I honestly thought I'd have a lot of time to write it, but surprisingly (in the good way) it seems my time is ticking.

As I mentioned previously due to hang ups with Microsoft (getting a shipping label) and UPS, my xbox actually began it's journey to the Microsoft repair center in Frankfurt, Germany on Friday January 29th.

I did my best to pack her well for the trip (my xbox has suddenly become a "she"). My most difficult task actually was finding a box to send it in. Microsoft no longer sends "coffins", so I was left to my own devices which included harassing every store in town for an empty box and weird, empty stares as I tried to explain I just wanted an empty box in broken French. When I finally found my words (I kept asking for a "boite vide" but it turned out I needed to ask for "carton vide") I learned much to my disappointment that most the stores had already threw out their boxes to a recycle company that morning. I was sure I was screwed to wait another week before I could send my xbox, but I pressed on.

I eventually came to a book store where a woman seemed really kind and not annoyed to help me find a box (the other stores/employees must of thought I was insane). She helped me find a decent sized box that was pretty sturdy (it was made for shipping books). The only downside was that the box had been opened strangely.. instead of opening it from a constructed flap, they had just cut a "door" on one side of the box. I wasn't sure, but I knew I had to make it work.

To pack my xbox up I used some bubble wrap I had lying around. It was actually the kind with HUGE bubbles that I had used in the past to ship my PC from the US to France so I was pretty confident that it was trustworthy. I wrapped my xbox with the bubble wrap which was long enough to reach two opposing ends of the box, making a snug fit. There was some empty space that I filled with Styrofoam peanuts that my husband had brought from work.

The tricky part was sealing the box and making sure when Microsoft received it that they opened it the way it had been sealed. I managed to scribble "do not open here" on every part that you THOUGHT would be logical to open it from, and "open this side" on the one place that didn't make sense. I wrote in English and hoped that would suffice. I also needed to make sure that UPS did not handle the box with the "door" side on bottom as it wasn't strong enough. So I drew an "up" arrow and once again hoped.

UPS came and took her away on Friday January 25th. I was sure I'd never see her again.. I had heard horror stories of waiting months and how you always get back someone else's refurbished xbox, but the repair process had been started and I had to follow it through. I wrote down her serial number and will verify whether or not I get MY xbox back or some impostor.

I followed her journey to Germany via UPS's tracking system. I was pleasantly surprised to see she arrived at her destination the next Monday (Feb. 1). The next day I received a confirmation e-mail from Microsoft saying that had my xbox and that repairs had been started. Wednesday I looked again to see how she was doing and nearly wet myself when I read "console shipped back". Seeing as how I started to realize how much I took my xbox for granted and have been struggling with Rock Band withdrawal I had to hold myself back from being too overjoyed. Maybe it was so fast because they just sent me another xbox?

Today I checked on the status (Feb. 4) and checked the tracking number after poking from my Dutch friend of win who reminded me it had one, and noticed that it had actually moved and at 8:30am this morning is only 20 something miles away. I can't help but feel anxious that perhaps I will receive my xbox today but at the same time I am trying to be realistic and not allow myself to hope too much that it comes today as it may not and it may not even be MY xbox..

I'm wondering how that box I sent it in worked out.. did they manage to figure out how to open it and reseal it back? The site said they sent it back in the box you send it in.. we will see.. I'm hoping "in transit" means it is in the truck on its daily route.

Customer Service/Support: Native Language PLEASE!

This blog is a bit of a rant with all that I had to put up with to send in my xbox for repairs..

So to recap:

I had called to get my xbox 360 repaired for the E74 error. I had a representative whom I could barely understand. She must of been from some African country.. she was VERY nice but the process took forever because I had to keep making her repeat and she wasn't understanding all I was saying either. I ended up having to call back right after because the e-mail I received gave me a number to UPS in the UK (I live in France) and I got another woman who was equally difficult to understand who gave me the French UPS number and told me I should receive my shipping label in 24 hours.

48 hours later and STILL no shipping label (with it already being Monday Jan. 25th now) I had to call back customer support. This time Lo' and Behold I got a guy from the UK who was clear and easy to understand. He canceled my previous repair ticket and opened a new one. He got me a new shipping label sent that I IMMEDIATELY received after the phone call.

Time wasted with outsourced customer support: 48 hours
Time spent with native customer support: 10 minutes

Once I got the label my next order of business was to call UPS and schedule a pick up. My French is a bit iffy and making people have to deal with talking to me after I just saw how it was to talk to non-native English speakers was not something I was interested in. So I asked my husband (who is French) to call and handle it for me.

He informed me that like me, he had called and gotten some random African country too.. they said that they would pick up my xbox on Thursday anywhere from 9am to 6pm. I dragged my ass out of bed early on Thursday and as 5:45pm rolled around I was pissed. My husband was at work but I called him to ask him to call UPS and make sure they were coming.

He called me back and informed me that THIS time he managed to get a hold of a native French speaker who told him that there was no such request for a scheduled pick up and went ahead and scheduled one for the next day for anytime from 2pm- 5pm.

3pm On Friday rolled around and at 3pm UPS was at my door to take my xbox.

Time wasted with outsourced customer service:
48 hours
Time spent with native customer service: 21 hours

The lesson here is simple. I have nothing against people who don't speak a language natively or fluently (I'm one to talk as my French is HORRIBLE) but for fuck's sake companies.. please STOP outsourcing your customer service to other doesn't seem to accomplish anything and you you waste my time by doing it.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Weekly Video: GH5 Smells Like Teen Spirit

So this week's video for youtube is something a bit different. After people asked me to do some Guitar Hero ones I borrowed the game from a friend and decided to do one.

I had intended to record several of them and release them little by little but as my former entry stated, GH kind of indirectly killed my xbox.

Being that I mostly play Rock Band I really had quite a few bones to pick with Guitar Hero..

So here is my list of issues I had with GH5.

1. I had to play the game in PAL-60, not only did this irritate me because I couldn't capture in color with my Dazzle, but it indirectly gave me the E74 error with my xbox
2. I could not for the life of me find a place to turn off the vocal track while playing. I found sound options and turned down vocals as much as it would go and the mic all the way up but it didn't seem to change anything. It MUST exist somewhere but I didn't find it in GH's messy interface (albeit less bad than GH:WT)
3. Guitar Hero is way quieter than Rock Band. I have to crank up my stereo volume just to hear it and then get blown away when I put RB in. I again looked for sound options to help with this and didn't find anything relevant to what I was trying to do.
4. The other default band players are ALWAYS the same.. I really HATE Judy Nails with a passion and want her poser ass the fuck out of my band.

As with all these kind of games I enjoyed making my character. In this song I use my "Anex" character.
My only beef with GH character creation is the women are still too skinny. If you increase the weight it actually just stretches the model horizontally which looks really stupid and not so much that they aren't anorexic. The game also tries to be too realistic. I kind of find all the character models rather creepy and they all seem a bit edgy.. there is just something about it I don't like. I DO like the color customization and outift choices, I also like that choosing a hat doesn't make me change my hair cut.

But anyway back to the actual song:


Smells Like Teen Spirit on GH (or even RB for that matter) is not all that hard. The only hard part I found personally was the "Hello Hello Hello How Low" parts. They were a bit low but there isn't much room to breathe in there to go straight to the next part after.

Bonus tid-bit for the week:
This week's intro/outro features Nightwish- Devil and the Deep Dark Ocean. I really love this song and the album is quickly becoming one of my favorites (I had lacked 4 of Nightwish's Tarja-Era Albums, but recently found them online Nightwish: 1997-2001 BOX.) I love Tarja's scream in this song. It's like an uncontrolled hauntingly powerful operatic wail.. I dunno I just love it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Real Life Internet Losers: Mr. 1-Star Rating Youtube Troll Guy

In the spirit of one of my previous blogs: WoW Players of Honor: Mr. Join, Aggro Everything and Leave Guy, I bring you another "Real Men of Genius" parody: Mr. 1-Star Rating YouTube Troll Guy.

I actually had the idea while having a night of some minor insomnia because of an over active brain. I figured the only way to solve the problem so I could sleep was to decide to act on it and write down my thoughts.

You're probably wondering how this ties into gaming, well for me it does because each week I upload one gaming video to youtube. I have about 200 subscribers, it's not a huge feat (though I'm grateful for all my subscribers and anyone who stops by) but my little Rock band videos are apparently a big deal enough to attract a troll who likes to come and rate them one star. In so doing, my rating goes from 5 star average to 4.5 stars. I was a little annoyed at first but the more I think about it the more I start to be flattered by it.

There are a lot of really great and awesome players out there in the Guitar Hero/Rock band youtube video making world. You got some who have 10,000 or so subscribers! Most for their skill, others for their look (or friendly co-hosts *cough*) but there are so many interesting people out there that I wouldn't even think for a second that my little videos warrant a troll but he/she has proven me wrong.

Seeing as I don't really have an xbox right now (UPS will come to pick it up tomorrow), I have other side projects (like this one) that I have time to work on. So with that I dedicate this parody to my troll:

Unnecessary Blogage Presets: Real Life Internet Losers
(Real Life Internet Losers)

Today we salute you, Mr. 1-Star Rating YouTube Troll Guy,
(Mr. 1-Star Rating YouTube Troll Guy)
Every community needs its troll and here you’ve found your niche,
With 10 different accounts you can knock down a 5 star rating all by yourself.
(They’re subbed to each other)
Angry at the world for not having any friends or a girlfriend to otherwise occupy you,
You take all that rejection and turn it into a low rating YouTube apocalypse.
(It’s LinkinPark time!)
You’re there to prevent a 5 star rating and if someone dares to vote down one of your comments, you log another account and vote it right back up.
(Cower in ph34rof my l33t skillz!)
So crack open an ice cold Bud Light Mr. 1-Star Rating YouTube Troll Guy,
This 1 star rating is on me.
(Mr. 1-Star Rating YouTube Troll Guy)

I took this parody a step further than just writing it though.. I actually found the background music and did the narration and singing (albeit horribly) by myself.

If you're curious where I got the music from you can find it here: Make Your Own 'Real Men of Genius' Commercial. If you do one please mention it in the comments with a link, I'd love to hear it!

Also if you're just a fan of these hilarious commercials you can find all the mp3s for listening, along with lyrics here:

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Change of Plans: Thank You E74

Today I had intended to write an entry about how much I hate Guitar Hero 5... well while I still intend to tell you the original reasons why I hate Guitar Hero 5 (though not in today's entry), I have a larger one to add to the list to tell you about unfortunately.

Today I got the dreaded E74 xbox error. I'm going to partially blame Guitar Hero 5 on this one. As far as I know (and this seems specific to my case)this error is related to video/graphical hardware problem.

It happened that I was actually working on a video for next week, a Guitar Hero vocal video, just to switch it up a bit. I use a dazzle to capture the in-game footage, but my dazzle seems to be compatible with PAL only. As I live in Europe this normally isn't an issue. With my xbox I have the display options of PAL-60 and PAL-50. For my dazzle to record in color I have to have my xbox on PAL-50, being that you can't really see the difference I've always just left it there. I've never had to worry about changing it except to play Guitar Hero 5 actually.
The game was purchased in France (where I live) and clearly states "PAL" on the back but for some reason it tells me it is not compatible with PAL-50, so I had to put my xbox in PAL-60 (a fake NTSC if you will) to be able to play it. This kind of rather sucked as my dazzle would only record in black in white, but I went ahead and did it anyway.

After I got a video recorded, I decided to work on a Rock Band project I had planned to do with fellow Team Cena member dpritch. Well since Rock Band actually lets me play in PAL-50 with no complaints I decided to switch back my display settings so I could record in color at least. I went ahead and changed my settings back to PAL-50 and headed through the xbox panes over to "Play Rock Band 2". As I was passing through the frames I noticed that my xbox avatar looked weird.. she had all kinds of lines going through her and she wasn't whole. She was rather graphically messed up. I figured it might be because I had just changed my settings and decided to give my xbox a nice restart...

When I turned it on it sounded strange, nothing was on the screen and then suddenly I see:

I tried everything I could think of, praying that this wasn't really happening.. but nothing worked. I took the HDD off, I tried a HDMI cable instead of the furnished component one.. but no luck, I was left with no choice but to call Microsoft.

Calling Microsoft was a pain though, luckily you're given the option to speak to someone in English (despite the fact I called the French number), but I guess they outsource their tech support to some country where the people don't speak English natively. Don't get me wrong the twice I called (yeah I had to call twice for something not their fault) I spoke to two very nice and helpful women but it was so hard for me to understand them, we had awkward moments of silence and misunderstandings.

Anyway the good news is that for E-74 the repairs will be covered, so I won't have to pay for anything. The bad news is that I need to find a box at a store. All the stores had already closed for the day when this happened and things in France are always closed on Sunday so I have to wait till Monday. Then I got to schedule a pick up and after that it is about 2 weeks wait. Knowing my luck RBN will be released and I won't get to pounce on the Amberian Dawn songs like I've been dying to do for months now.. -sigh-.

Here's my short explanation on youtube:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Weekly Rock Band Video: Superbeast (DLC)

As a member of Team Cena I post gameplay videos of Rock Band 2 every week on youtube. My sponsored instrument is vocals, so that is what my videos mostly consist of. The videos I post are split screen (meaning you can see me AND the gameplay at the same time). I decided to do this after asking my subscribers what they would like to see and looking for something to make my videos a bit more entertaining. I also play with the original vocal track turned all the way down just because it is more fun that way.

What I would like to do (and intend to do) is post here every week with a bit more insight into my video for that week. I generally record them on Thursdays and upload them shortly after. It really depends on the amount of time/work I have involved.

So this week I did Rob Zombie- Superbeast (DLC). I found this song to be REALLY fun for my last 2 videos (I had done a bonus guitar one). It may just be that this is a genre of music I enjoy (outside of my usual symphonic metal) whereas usually there aren't too many songs on Rock Band I actually like (that will change with the RBN).

For my guitar video, skill wise it wasn't too hard. Expert guitar isn't my primary instrument, but it is what I started Rock Band on (from previously playing Guitar Hero). My main difficulty was actually a physical issue: my finger nails. As I tried to slide down to catch the yellow/orange "chords" my finger nails would actually catch the raised frets on the guitar and I'd end up missing. I'm pretty sure that if I worked at it (and cut my finger nails) I would probably FC (full clear) it without a problem.
Overall fun song and honestly not hard at all on expert guitar.

Vocally I would say this song wasn't too challenging either. It mostly consisted of talkies that were pretty easy to manage. The hard part for me I would say, was the " a ragged they come and a ragged they kill" phrase.
I really struggle with low marked stuff, so I didn't sing it in original octave. It came out a bit higher (and stranger) sounding than the original. Even in doing this I barely made the phrases. Looking back at the video I honestly don't know how I did. The pitch marker was so often in the red. One of the mysteries of the game I guess.
I also didn't manage to activate overdrive at minute mark 2:47.. I don't know if it's an early window or what.. I honestly hate that though, especially when I'm recording my weekly video, but I'm honestly not the kind of person who looking up optimal paths as I personally hate score whoring songs.

Slightly off topic I did happily wear my Knights of the Ebon Blade shirt for this video. If you play World of Warcraft you know what I'm talkin' about. Being that my main is a Death Knight tank, I really am attached to my shirt :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

WoW Players of Honor: Join, Aggro Everything and Leave Guy

Yesterday was just one of those days on WoW.. you know those days? The ones where you sit in the LFG queue for 5 hours waiting to get a group while the queue time of lies tell you "Average queue time 46 seconds" just to mock you?

Yeah that was yesterday, but it was worse... we only lacked 1 person, a dps. A DPS! The ONE group role that is the easiest to fill because everyone and their dog plays dps. We had been waiting a good 20 minutes before we finally got one and when we finally did we were eager to get moving. The instance was Pit of Sauron Saron, I asked if anyone needed the quest and when everyone confirmed they didn't we decided to skip the Jaina blah blah and get going.

We decided to take that little sneaky path to the right to skip mobs that we didn't care about. All was lookin' good until our newly acquired dps decided he wanted to be the subject of one of my blogs.

First, I got to give credit where it's due... I read some of these over on Psynister's Notebook who had actually gotten the idea from Darraxus and his Real Azeroth Heroes posts, who probably over heard something similar from the Keebler elves while walking outside..

Anyway, if you're familiar with (and enjoy) the "Real Men of Genius" radio commercials by a famous alcoholic beverage maker then you'll probably find this right up your alley:

Unnecessary Blogage Presents: WoW Players of Honor
(WoW Players of Hooonnnoor)

Today we salute you: Mr. Join, Aggro Everything and Leave guy.
(Mr. Join, Aggro Everything and Leeeeaaave guuuy.)

After 20 minutes waiting for a dps in the queue,
The group can finally get going thanks to you.
(I had just clicked "fiiiind dungeon")

Nimbly, you skip mobs and take a stealthier route around them
Just like a skilled player.
(I know what I'm dooing!)

As the suckers pull the first pack
You aggro everything you can and bring it to them
Making sure to say "lol" before they wipe and you leave.
(I can just port ooout!)

So crack open an ice cold Bud Light, train and wipe guy.
You know how to put the Ugh in PuG while making ignore lists across servers.
(Mr. Join, Aggro Everything and Leeeeaaave guuuy.)

Unnecessary Blogage: New Game

Today I woke up and had something running through my head that sounded like a good idea: post a little witty blog related to anything and everything involving my gaming. (I had a funny little thing I wanted to post about World of Warcraft).
I'll admit that this probably only sounded good to me this morning because my brain wasn't awake enough to fully comprehend the task at hand. I expected to just sign up on any ol' blogging site and start writing my silly little WoW story and be off to a great and easy start.. but man this blogging game sure is hard to start.
The first part was finding a blog site. I went straight to where I had read other blogs some of my friends had and tried to start there. Only problem is I'm one of those people who can't stand to play a game that has crappy graphics. I found one that seemed nice at first glance but once you started playing the thing it demanded you PAY a yearly subscription to have access to all their shiny fancy graphics. I was really annoyed it wasn't written on the box before I wasted my time with it but there was just no way I could even stand it with their few (and not very interesting) pre-made themes. I quickly decided this game just wasn't worth it. I had spent far too much time for something that was just supposed to be something I could jump right into. Lucky for me though I know other gamers who have played these blogging games before and was pointed to by PMS BangBang
So I'm here, a nice little blog that allows me to have pretty graphics and is free (we like free). Let's see if this game is as entertaining as my brain in a sleep deprived state thought it would be.