This Throwback Thursday piece is dedicated to Darren Korb and his love for Rock Band 2. Darren is the Audio Director for Supergiant Games and provides all the amazing audio effects for Bastion, and Transistor. He also directs and edits any voiceover narrations. His passion for music dates back to his childhood and was a big influence during his 2010 reign as Rock Band 2’s national champion. This year, Darren won the SXSWGaming Award for Excellence in Musical Score. In his free time, he performs with his band, Control Group and dedicates his energy to being a dad.
Thank you for your time, Darren. Let us dive into his Rock Band 2 history:
“I played the first Rock Band over Christmas break shortly after it came out. My friends and I were all back in town from our respective new cities. For about two weeks straight, we all got together at my buddy’s mom’s house after we had dinner with our families, and played Rock Band for 8 hours. I was instantly in love with Rock Band. Having had some experience with the Harmonix-made Guitar Hero games, I knew I was going to like it, but what I couldn’t predict was exactly how much it would feel like being in a real band. All of the camaraderie and amazing feelings of shared achievement, along with the bickering and tension of an actual band! Everyone pressured each other to play on higher difficulties so we could gain more fans and tour bigger and better venues. I had never experienced anything like that from a video game before.
My platform of choice was the Xbox 360. Rock Band was actually the REASON I bought one in the first place (and it looks like it’s going to be the reason I buy an Xbox One). I always created my own characters (along with my friends). Our band consisted of T.J. Lazer (guitar), Andariel Nuñez (bass), Yuri Starkiller (vocals), and Boom Boom Dunham (drums). Rock Band 2’s set list was sizable but it wasn’t as consistently enjoyable for me as RB1 or RB3 (or TB:RB). Still, it had a lot of variety and was a blast to play. In general, through playing Rock Band, I can definitely say that I now appreciate a lot of music that I didn’t before. When left to my own devices, I was able to finish the tour modes pretty quickly. Basically as fast as I could. The endless setlists, I actually never played any of them! I just never felt like I had a 7 hour chunk of time that I could commit to. 😦
The accidental pause was always a bummer. That eventually got addressed in Beatles and RB3, but that was unfortunate whenever it happened. When my band was performing in the TRTR 2010 finals, in our very last performance, our guitar player had an accidental pause! We were pretty mortified but he fixed it before too many people noticed…. (I had had nightmares about that exact thing happening before the competition). We ended up going on to win the whole thing! It was a pretty incredible experience overall. We had practiced about 40 hours/week for an entire month in preparation and made some pretty elaborate costumes. It was worth it for the experience! We got to meet Ringo Starr and got a giant check! Pretty surreal.
I think Rock Band really did something that other games haven’t done before or since. I’ve played and had some fun with Rocksmith, I’ve enjoyed Harmonix’s other rhythm games (Dance Central, Fantasia), but nothing has captured me so completely as Rock Band.
Every Rock Band game is great and Rock Band 3 is spectacular. It’s certainly different. It has a lot more bells and whistles, maybe at the expense of some of the things I loved about RB 1 and 2, but I’ve probably played it the most of all of them. The Beatles Rock Band is pretty amazing. The visuals are absolutely stunning and the songs can’t get any better. The introduction of Harmonies was awesome and it quickly became one of my favorite things to play.
If I had to rate the game, it would be a 10/10, of course! Rock Band 2 is one of my favorite games of all time. The ONLY thing I’d change about it, if I could go back in time, is that I wish I was never forced to play Visions…But I would never trade my experience and memories of Rock Band 2 for anything in the world.”
Thank you again for your time, Darren and thanks for stopping by! If you want to know more about Darren, you can follow him on Twitter: @DarrenKorb or follow his fan page on Facebook: @DarrenKorb. If you want to stay updated on more Gamer Compatible reviews, you can follow us on Twitter: @gamercompatible or on Facebook: @gamercompatible.
Game on! And signing out.