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Rock Band 2

Endless Setlist 2 in Rock Band 2!!, originally uploaded by punquin.

I've never been much of a gamer, until Rock Band came along. I worked my way up from medium to expert vocals. It's been a great way for me to relax and de-stress myself.

In Rock Band 1, there was a solo tour mode (where you played each song in order of easiest to hardest on any given difficulty) which I completed on medium and then expert (skipped hard - figured I'd just go balls-out!). There was also a "world tour" mode where you had a band (2 to 4 players) and played the songs at various "venues" in a format that emulated a band's career. When we first got the game, Danny and I played together in a band. Eventually, he lost interest, so I could only play in my solo tour, or go online with random players and just play one song at a time (called "quick play").

The huge improvement they made in Rock Band 2 was that they got rid of the solo tour, and instead made it so you can do the world tour with 1 to 4 players. They also changed it so you can have band members via Xbox Live. So, the first thing I did when we got it was set up my solo band, "Images of Broken Light". I was really excited to get to experience world tour all the way through, including the infamous "Endless Set List", where you play every on-disc song (84!) from start to finish in one long (7 hour) set!

My first task was to unlock all 84 songs in the month before our Halloween party so they'd all be available. They had made a "challenges" section which replaced the solo tour's method of unlocking the songs in order. That is the fastest way to unlock them, but I chose to do it in my world tour so that I could earn "stars". Every song you preform, you earn stars based on your score and how long you are able to hold a combo (a streak of perfect playing/singing). You get up to 5 stars, and on expert you can get 5 gold stars if you go way beyond the score needed for 5. All the stars you get in world tour are added up into a tally which unlocked new venues and sets. You also earn "fans" and "money" (to be spent on clothing, hair styles, piercings or instruments - tattoos are free, I believe).

So I went the slow way of unlocking all the songs in my world tour, but managed to rack up nearly 400 stars by our Halloween party. I remembered that in RB1, you needed 600 stars to unlock the Endless Set list, so I went online to see if it was the same in RB2. Uh, no. You needed 900! So, I spent a week doing a bunch of challenges and getting their achievements, and started accepting invitations to be a substitute vocalist in other people's bands.

Vocalists are hard to find online - especially ones who will do all songs on expert level. I have a friend's band I play in, "Five Day Forecast", but with a big wave of new Xbox games, he wasn't available much. I was accepting invites from a band of amazing expert players (we did a Battle of the Bands together and placed 3rd in the world, and I believe we got 1st place on a Metallica song at one point). They had a better vocalist than me, but she was never available. Right before the band leader went away on a 3-week trip, they asked if I'd like to be a permanent member of their Wednesday night practices. I was very honored, because I still remember my days back on medium.

I kept chugging along at my solo world tour. Danny got back into the game and we started a band together called "Stunt Puppies". He recently traded in Amazon gift cards for the premium Ion drums. I'm glad too, because the old ones were so loud I couldn't hear the music!

Before I knew it, I'd gotten 900 stars and unlocked the Endless Setlist! The weekend was coming up, and Danny planned on going to a show in Baltimore Saturday night, so I decided to go for it. I didn't get started until 8:45 pm, so I knew I'd be at it until nearly 4 am! If you play right through without pausing the game or failing any songs, you get an extra achievement aptly named the "Bladder of Steel". As I needed 2 water bottles and three mugs of tea to sing for 7 hours straight, I did not have a bladder of steel. Not a big deal to me. I had to walk the dogs halfway through anyway. I had a laptop and webcam set up so people could watch the game screen and hear me singing live thoughout the who thing. Some fellow RB addicts from the official forums kept me company until the end.

And, I made it! Hot. Malted. Chihuahua pants. I got no less than 5 stars on every song - gold stars on about 90%. I started the set with about 20 million fans and earned nearly 28 million more! The part I was most excited about (yes, I'm a dork) is that from now on, my character's symbol will be platinum. Ooo, shiny!

That puts me up to today. I've been working to improve on the songs I can't get gold stars on yet ("Tangled up in Blue" by Dylan I've only gotten 97% on so far, and "Uncontrollable Urge" by Devo I'm at 96-97% as well). Danny and I have been playing in our band. Tonight, the expert band I was asked to join is supposed to start back up it's practicing, but while the band leader was away, his house was robbed at gun point. All of his game consoles, tv's, stereo system, etc... were taken. They left one tv, but he discovered it is broken. So, chances are slim that we'll play tonight. If we do, we have to start all over with a brand new band, as all the data was on the stolen Xbox. Huge bummer, but more importantly, no one was hurt in the robbery.

So, that is my Rock Band adventure to date. If you have it on Xbox and need a vocalist, my gamer tag is "punquin". Just send a message so I know who you are.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 3rd, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC)
I can't figure out their difficulty ratings - I have yet to fail a song on Medium Guitar, but as soon as I switch to Hard I might as well duct tape my fingers together. It's just one more dang button!

I got the RB2 guitar for my birthday so maybe I will try again with that and see if it helps somehow.

What songs do you have to unlock? I went into Quick Play and there were a whole bunch of songs in there that I haven't been assigned in World Tour... or do you just have to unlock stuff so you can play it with a "real" band? Please don't make me, you know, read the manual.
Dec. 3rd, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC)
On guitar, medium is only 4 buttons: green, red, yellow, and blue. That's as high as I can go - my fingers are tiny and uncoordinated. On hard, you add the orange key after the blue, forcing you to learn to slide your hand back and forth to hit all 5 buttons with four fingers. You'll also have up to twice as many notes to hit. You'll need to learn hammer-ons and pull-offs at that point (take the tutorial in practice mode). On expert, you are playing just about every note you hear.

I think there are about 20+ songs that start out unlocked in the RB2 section (sort by song location). You unlock them by playing them (in the challenges, you can unlock them in chunks - fastest is by doing the decade challenges, I think). There are 84 total in RB2.
Dec. 3rd, 2008 08:17 pm (UTC)
I've done a few of the challenges but I guess I have to dive back into them. Sad that I'm balking at teeny little 5 song setlists while you're probably having an extra bathroom built nearer the TV ;)
Dec. 3rd, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC)
In the challenges, you can hit pause (the start button, I think) and choose to save and quit. So you don't have to do all 6 at once...
Dec. 3rd, 2008 09:42 pm (UTC)
"(in the challenges, you can unlock them in chunks - fastest is by doing the decade challenges, I think)"

I was wondering how to unlock all of the songs in RB2. Not in world tour, but playing "challenges", right?
Dec. 3rd, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC)
Yep. Play a challenge and unlock the 60's decade set. Play that and you should start unlocking the other decade sets. I've been told that is the fastest way. Once songs are available in a challenge, they are unlocked in Quickplay.
Dec. 3rd, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
I find it the guitar hero guitar is easier to play than the rock band guitar.

I felt the same when I was only playing medium songs on my guitar. Because hey, that orange button was scary (it was for me lol). If you have RB1, I suggest you play Orange Crush on hard for practice. It gives you most of the "medium playing" but also gives you that orange button every once in a while. It's a good song to play when you are starting off hard.

Best of luck!
Dec. 3rd, 2008 09:34 pm (UTC)
I've been playing Rockband 2 a lot this past week. My band name is The Dead Flowers. I know, stupid name but when I was 15, I was wanting to start a band and name it that. heh

I didn't know there was that achievement. Congratulations! I wonder if there's one for the bass, guitar, and drums? Probably. How was your voice after that 7 hour singing session?

With your new platinum, do you get anything special from RB2?
Dec. 3rd, 2008 10:01 pm (UTC)
Not a stupid name at all! If you ever want a singer, just open your band through the Live tour option and send me an invite. (Well, maybe msg me first! ;)

The achievements are for completing the Endless Setlist on each difficulty (medium through expert). If you do it on hard, you get both the hard and medium achievements. If you do expert, you get all three. There is an added achievement (Bladder of Steel) for if you don't pause or fail (the Xbox button counts as a pause). Any instrument or group of instruments can do it, but your gamertag only gets the achievements once.

In the game, you get a fancy icon for that character when they are on that instrument. Platinum for expert, gold for hard, inverted for medium. If you want the icon on multiple instruments, you'd have to do the set list multiple times.

You also get a fancy $$ ring (which I bought ahead of time for about $20,000 to count towards my "Clothes to the Edge" achievement - buying $100k in clothes or instruments.)

In the challenges, if you do the instrument-related ones and make it through the "impossible" level, your character will get an Ultimate outfit. For a female vocalist, I got the Ultimate Metal outfit white involves nothing but a live snake up top!

I could go on forever...

Forgot to answer your other question. My throat start to HURT halfway through at midnight, but then I realized I was due for my allergy pill. By 1 am I felt great again. No problems at all for the last half, nor the next day.

Edited at 2008-12-03 10:08 pm (UTC)
Dec. 4th, 2008 05:31 am (UTC)
That's pretty freakin' awesome. While I don't play RB, I must say, I've seen it and what you're saying here sounds like quite the accomplishment. Congrats!
Dec. 4th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC)

I just read about about your awesome singing BUT THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT.

there is a huge sale at figleaves.com They have all size, but a lot of nice things in smaller sizes. The store is usually $$$ but now they have a huge sale. Bras, sleepwear, etc. up to 90% off. Some great bras for under $10. I got 9 items for $40
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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