Sometimes you can't yell.
May 29, 2008 5:34 AM   Subscribe

Is this real? How can this be? What just happened?
posted by farishta at 5:39 AM on May 29, 2008

The cheese is obviously intended ironically, but it goes on and on and on and on until even the irony turns to cheese.
posted by DU at 5:42 AM on May 29, 2008

(Metafilter: it goes on and on and on and on until even the irony turns to cheese.)
posted by DU at 5:42 AM on May 29, 2008

that really was awesomely horrible.

It's even worse than the fiiiyyarr!
posted by schyler523 at 5:45 AM on May 29, 2008

Gloriously horrible until insufficient comedic timing.
posted by Mblue at 5:49 AM on May 29, 2008 [2 favorites]

I couldn't watch until the end. Does that annoying singer get punched in the face?
posted by chillmost at 5:49 AM on May 29, 2008

posted by Nattie at 5:52 AM on May 29, 2008

I thought it was funny. It's not a 'trailer' it's an instructional video. It's long because it explains how to play the game (which doesn't look like that much fun, but who knows)
posted by delmoi at 5:56 AM on May 29, 2008

I enjoyed this much more than I expected to. Almost makes me want to buy the game so I can play at work. Or while I'm driving.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:03 AM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Real Men of Genius, they ain't.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:03 AM on May 29, 2008 [2 favorites]

I can't stop laughing. I am so afraid.
posted by False Jesii Inc. at 6:10 AM on May 29, 2008

I wondered what Scott Weiland was up to.
posted by fire&wings at 6:11 AM on May 29, 2008 [11 favorites]

Well, it's true. Sometimes you can't yell.
posted by Pecinpah at 6:25 AM on May 29, 2008 [5 favorites]

I loved it; as delmoi pointed out, it's meant as an in-store promotion. The target audience of the video aren't the players Guitar Hero, nor even the Nintendo DS, but rather the parents or friends of the aforementioned, along with anyone seeking to complete their collection of tie-in merchandise.
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:35 AM on May 29, 2008

At least it was honest about it's intent.
posted by BeerFilter at 6:55 AM on May 29, 2008

Wow, that was hilarious, but someone really needs to pull the huge plastic guitar out of neustile's butt.
posted by thanotopsis at 6:59 AM on May 29, 2008

omeone really needs to pull the huge plastic guitar out of neustile's butt.

No. It's making him/her write wonderfully long sentences!
posted by Drexen at 7:04 AM on May 29, 2008

I had to stop halfway through.
posted by LSK at 7:07 AM on May 29, 2008

...but I'd actually play this game. Maybe not for $50, but I'd play if it I cuold.
posted by LSK at 7:08 AM on May 29, 2008

MetaFilter: Sometimes you can't yell.
posted by furtive at 7:17 AM on May 29, 2008

I want to actually see someone in public shouting "Rock out!" into the DS that's strapped to his or her hand.
posted by chococat at 7:25 AM on May 29, 2008

This video needs some slash fanfic to go with it. The blond boy is so wholesome, pure, cute and the rocker guy is such a badboy. Such frisson. They may have dueled their guitars, but you just know when the camera was turned off those boys reconciled in each others arms.

"Stroke the touch screen". "Wiggle wiggle wiggle yeah".
posted by Nelson at 7:38 AM on May 29, 2008 [3 favorites]

I lol'ed
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:44 AM on May 29, 2008

I had to stop halfway through.
posted by LSK at 10:07 AM on May 29 [+] [!]

The video, or neustile's wonderfully long sentence? Cause the latter is worth the effort for the O. Henry twist ending in the sandwich shop.
posted by The Bellman at 7:45 AM on May 29, 2008

God, I would love to have some wannabe rock star singer do background vocals for me like this. Just day to day stuff, like being in a meeting:

Me: Yeah, I think if we implement these changes, we will cut our call volume considerably.

Röck Dude: ♫ Cut down those calls through ♪chan-gezzz♪ Woo!♫

Me: We are going to need to establish a some new training classes for some of the existing employees.

Röck Dude: ♫ Gotta teach these guys what to doooo! ♪

Me: I think that should about cover it.

Röck Dude: ♪ NOW ROCK OUT!!!♫
posted by quin at 7:45 AM on May 29, 2008 [32 favorites]

After reading the comments on this video on some other sites, the big-time Guitar Hero fans are pissed that the video seems to make a mockery of their favorite fake-guitar-playing video game.
posted by BeerFilter at 7:56 AM on May 29, 2008

I felt downright embarrassed watching that video, like if someone noticed me watching I'd have to explain myself all red-faced. Yugh... that guy was like Scott Weiland as voiced by Dr. Rockzo, the Rock and Roll Clown.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:19 AM on May 29, 2008

"Wiggle it like a madman", she said...
posted by fairmettle at 8:20 AM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

fairmettle, that's nearly poundian.
posted by drezdn at 8:39 AM on May 29, 2008

The cheese is obviously intended ironically

I don't think that's an obvious conclusion to make. there are a lot of very cheesy commercials out there signed off by middle marketing managers who don't see the unintentional humor at all. I've personally sat in meetings with people wearing teddie-bear ties who wanted to tell me what was cool, fresh, hip and awesome. the results were telling.

as far as I am concerned this may very well have been a team of clients from the procter and gamble school of advertising who met an agency that was only too willing to give them whatever they wanted. there may have been high-fives exchanged over this marketing message being executed so clearly and so on strategy and there may actually a team or two who thought they had delivered a killer piece of work.

if this sounds frustrating... welcome to my life.
posted by krautland at 8:50 AM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Hoo-boy, I'd hate to be the guys who made this viral video when Activision finds out that everyone on the internet is linking to it and passing it around! How embarrassing!
posted by designbot at 8:55 AM on May 29, 2008 [2 favorites]

I don't think that's an obvious conclusion to make

At the very least, I think it's safe to say that the director of the video had that in mind; if you watch the kid's face when the singer appears from behind him, he has a look which sits somewhere between amusement and fear.

That's when I knew that the absurdness was intended.

Now whether or not the marketing department realized that this was intentionally ridiculous, I leave to your best guess.
posted by quin at 8:58 AM on May 29, 2008

Replace Weiland-alike with Jack Black and you have comedy gold!
posted by itchylick at 9:24 AM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Metafilter: Unleash the glory of Star Power by completing Star Gem sequences!
posted by beaucoupkevin at 9:29 AM on May 29, 2008

I want to like this game but it looks like a crippling hand position.
posted by Lord_Pall at 9:29 AM on May 29, 2008

designbot: especially when people decide not to, you know, buy the game because the ad makes it look like crap.
posted by boo_radley at 9:33 AM on May 29, 2008

Yeah, now who do I make it out to? To yo' momma?
posted by owtytrof at 9:44 AM on May 29, 2008

Wow, that was hilarious, but someone really needs to pull the huge plastic guitar out of neustile's butt.

Besides, they're probably using 4-bit ADPCM streams, having regressed in project scope due to "size concerns". It's sad when the hyperbole is being generous.
posted by jake at 9:54 AM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

I haven't played these games directly, I'm not much for colors flying at me quickly, err, but, I found the video cheeky/campy/amusing... isn't the whole point of the genre to ROWYCO?
posted by cavalier at 9:55 AM on May 29, 2008

How quickly a franchise can fall into disarray when the original creative minds behind it move on.

A little history lesson:

Konami pioneered the Music/Rhythm game market through its Bemani division and the series of games it produced: Beatmania, Dance Dance Revolution, GuitarFreaks, DrumMania and more. The trademarks of the series were its emphasis on the reproduction of music and its use of non-standard inputs as a way of playing the game: a DJ's mixing board for Beatmania, a dancepad for Dance Dance Revolution, a guitar for GuitarFreaks, etc. The games were primarily designed for the arcades (although most subsequently saw console release) and, perhaps most importantly to our story, mainly featured the music of Japanese artists.

RedOctane, originally founded as an online game rental company, had found more success designing high-quality aftermarket peripherals for the console versions of Konami's Bemani games: the success of items like their $200 Afterburner Metal Dance Pad for use with the Dance Dance Revolution series and its countless clones showed that the hardcore market for such games was barely being tapped. They began publishing original games starting with a Playstation 2 version of the arcade game In the Groove, itself a variation on the Dance Dance Revolution concept designed by Roxor Games. Konami sued, claiming In the Groove infringed on its intellectual property and eventually obtained the intellectual property rights to the In the Groove series as part of the lawsuit's settlement.

Undeterred by Konami's litigous ways when it came to their rhythm games, RedOctane designed an original guitar controller inspired by Konami's GuitarFreaks which, at this point, had not been released in the US. Controller in hand, they approached Harmonix to design a game for it.

Harmonix Music Systems was best known at the time for the Dualshock controller-based rhythm games Frequency & Amplitude (seen here & here, respectively) and had been in talks to collaborate with RedOctane for a while. They built upon the lessons learned from their previous games and Guitar Hero was born.

The original Guitar Hero was a surprise hit for Harmonix and RedOctane, both commercially (1.5 million units sold to date) and critically. The game featured 30 songs in its main Career mode, all cover versions of popular rock songs, and a straightforward game mechanic that helped the game cross the gamer/non-gamer divide and even made it a fairly entertaining game to watch other people play. Unlike the often brutal gameplay required of games like Konami's DDR, Guitar Hero featured a fairly gentle learning curve, each set of songs preparing you for the next set by slowly introducing more complicated techniques. Most people could complete Joan Jett's I Love Rock n Roll on Easy, if not on their first try, fairly quickly with a little practice.

A sequel was a foregone conclusion and Guitar Hero II improved upon the original concept, featuring 40 songs, most still covers but with a few master recordings, and expanding upon its multiplayer functionality so that the Expert rocker can still play against their friends plugging away on Easy. Other minor tweaks to an already solid formula got it an even better critical reception than the original, and led to double the sales: 3.1 million units sold to date.

The Harmonix/RedOctane partnership had been wildly successful and others wanted their share. There was money to be made, lots of it, in the greatly expanded Rhythm game market and the big boys wanted in. The easiest way in? Buy out the little guys.

Activision bought RedOctane.

MTV bought Harmonix.

The rights to the Guitar Hero series remained with RedOctane and Activision moved its development over to Neversoft, best known for their work on the insanely successful Tony Hawk series of games. They produced Guitar Hero III which made many changes to the series that were met with a mixed reception The game's straightforward UI was given an "Extreme" makeover which made most of the game's previously readable gauges more aesthetically pleasing but also pretty much undecipherable. They also added a battle mode to multiplayer and Bosses to the single player experience. On the plus side, most of the 73 songs in the game are original recordings, it's the first in the series to include downloadable content so the playlist can be expanded for those willing to open their wallets and the guitar included with the game was wireless, a first for the series. The shakeup led to a critical reception markedly lower in enthusiasm than its predecessors (a metacritic score of 85, as opposed to the other games' 91 & 92) but it still proved a sales juggernaut: $1 billion in sales in 2007.

Harmonix went on to make Rock Band which expanded the Guitar Hero concept to include two guitars (Lead and Bass), a drumset and a microphone for vocals. More pricey than Guitar Hero III ($170 for Rock Band vs. $70 for Guitar Hero) due to the extra peripherals required, the game moved from a one- to two-player experience to a group experience, intended to be played with a band of four people rocking out together. The interface for Rock Band mimics the original Guitar Hero interface (with the vocals interface taken from Karaoke Revolution). The game's main setlist is comprised of 45 songs, mostly original recordings. It also focuses on downloadable content, with an in-game store and full album downloads to play to (and you'll need them. The original setlist gets old quick). Rock Band is the most critically acclaimed yet, getting a 93 on Metacritic and, while its sales lag behind Guitar Hero III, has been massively successful, selling 3 million units to date.

This brings us up to date.

You may have thought you had bought enough plastic instruments for a lifetime's worth of pretend rocking. You're wrong.

Activision/RedOctane have announced Guitar Hero IV: World Tour, which introduces a new guitar, a drumkit (complete with cymbals) and a microphone. It also includes a first for the series: song creation.

Activision also announced that it plans to triple the current number of SKUs of Guitar Hero in the coming year. There are currently 5 SKUs: Guitar Hero III on Xbox 360, PS3, PC, PS2 and Wii. The DS game (whose good-will squandering training video is featured in this hijacked post) represents an entirely new SKU, but there are 9 more still to come, apparently.

MTV/Harmonix haven't yet revealed their plans for Rock Band 2, but details have begun to slip out and it seems you'll be spending your peripheral money on downloadable content instead.

And what of Konami? The pioneers of the Rhythm game market have been notably absent from the console rhythm market. Until now. Konami announced their entry, Rock Revolution, whose drum set features, not 4 pads and a kick pedal like Rock Band, not 5 pads and a kick pedal like Guitar Hero IV, but *6* pads and a kick pedal! Eat that shit, other fake drum kits.

Keep in mind, none of these peripherals will work with the other games, so start I'd freeing up storage space.

Maybe get rid of those Donkey Konga bongos?
posted by unsupervised at 10:18 AM on May 29, 2008 [48 favorites]

Don't get rid of the Donkey Konga bongos!!! Then how would you play Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat??? Pure genius by the same folks that made Super Mario Galaxy.
posted by BaxterG4 at 11:25 AM on May 29, 2008

Pretty awesome history, unsupervised, but I have two small quibbles.

Guitar Hero II on Xbox 360 was the first to have downloadable content. Sure, most of it was rehashed from the original GH, but there were a few new songs, too.

Also, it's not very fair to quote the "next gen" price for Rock Band and the "last gen" price for Guitar Hero III. PS2 prices are more like $150/$70 and Xbox 360/PS3 prices are about $170/$90, for the bundles.
posted by owtytrof at 11:36 AM on May 29, 2008

So, I watched the whole video.

Now what am I supposed to do with this newly instilled lack of respect for human life, particularly for marketers? Stabbing out my own eyes with a fork is not an option. I tried that once before, and besides, now I only have one fork and I need it for making ramen.

Seriously, that was about 1000x worse than the Power Glove commercial. They really should show that commercial at the start of every video game marketing brainstorming session, along with public in-meeting floggings with a proper bullwhip and stern admonishments of "DON'T EVER DO THIS".
posted by loquacious at 11:45 AM on May 29, 2008

owtytrof: You're right about the Guitar Hero 2 DLC. I had completely forgotten about them. They were criticized by many (myself included) for being both expensive (2 bucks a song), inconvenient (you had to buy them in 3 packs, so if you really wanted to play a song by Queen, you also had to buy something from The Donnas and The Edgar Winter Group) and, as you already mentioned, old (anyone who had played the first Guitar Hero had already paid for them and played them a million times).

A little later on they added a My Chemical Romance pack and a few Indie Label packs, but you still had to buy those in three packs.

All that said, they were extremely successful so that shows what I know.

Guitar Hero III is selling for $70 on Amazon, which is where I got my price, but I neglected to look up what they're selling Rock Band for since I remembered parting with that $170 when it first came out. They're selling it for $150. Both prices are for the Xbox 360 version.
posted by unsupervised at 12:12 PM on May 29, 2008

If I had known they were "gems" I wouldn't have wanted any of the Guitar Hero games. Gems? I've already got GemFighter, thank you very much.

Ick and double ick.
posted by Gucky at 12:22 PM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Fair enough on the price issue. Still an awesome write-up, especially with the expanded information on the GHII DLC. Excellent posts.
posted by owtytrof at 12:30 PM on May 29, 2008

posted by bicyclefish at 1:24 PM on May 29, 2008

More pricey than Guitar Hero III
Yeah, especially if you live in Europe. I thought Guitar Hero III was great, and I'll wait for Guitar Hero IV (with hopefully better quality instruments than Rock Band as well).
posted by davar at 1:33 PM on May 29, 2008

Unsupervised, do you happen to remember a PC game from the mid-1990s that allowed you to play rhythm on songs using a pick peripheral? I have this really vague memory, and I can't figure out whether it's real or make-believe...
posted by Old Man Wilson at 1:55 PM on May 29, 2008

They said "stylus" a lot.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 2:21 PM on May 29, 2008

Old Man Wilson, I think you're talking about Quest for Fame, the game that dared to show you what you actually looked like playing it.

It's the second of the Aerosmith games, the first of which was the spectacularly awful Revolution X.

There's a third Aerosmith game coming out and, coincidentally, it's Guitar Hero: Aerosmith.
posted by unsupervised at 2:44 PM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

i could not watch the whole thing. its like the 80s but not.
posted by figTree at 4:14 PM on May 29, 2008

the spectacularly awful Revolution X

The arcade version was a pretty decent gun game, it was no House Of The Dead or Time Crisis, but it wasn't that bad. It was the excreable home versions that give it its bad reputation.

its like the 80s but not.

Seriously. I felt like they were trying to sell me a Super Soaker or possibly something involving the Ninja Turtles. This is what happens when terminally uncool suits try to create something with IN YOUR FACE ATTITUDE! They might as well have called it "Guitar Hero: Poochie".
posted by DecemberBoy at 4:48 PM on May 29, 2008

(which doesn't look like that much fun, but who knows)

From my experience the big one is not much fun so I'll freely extrapolate that to the little one.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 5:19 PM on May 29, 2008

Just because it didn't really work at all is no reason to forget about AntiGrav!
posted by aubilenon at 6:53 PM on May 29, 2008

I love rockband. Although my foot pedal is cracked in half right now and my yellow pad doesn't register hits half the time :(
posted by empath at 8:33 PM on May 29, 2008

the spectacularly awful Revolution X

Stupid easy, but I was desperately in love with that game. I think I still have the PC version around here somewhere.

Who doesn't love "liberating" women in bikinis chained up to lava lights by shooting CDs at them?

The social nature of Rock Band (and Singstar and Karaoke Revolution) make buying tracks for it more compelling. If it's just me playing, I'm fine with getting my butt kicked by what I've got. If it's the family (or friends) playing Rock Band, "We NEED The Monkees." or "OMG, Pixies!" makes sense.

What I don't know is why MTV-owned Rock Band hasn't released a kids-version for MTV Films title "School of Rock." If I've got equipment that takes up a quarter of my living room, it better have some diversity to it. And it's really hard to convince an 8 year old that "Mississippi Queen" is cool.
posted by Gucky at 7:03 AM on May 30, 2008

I don't know what is wrong with you people.

This video was perfectly enjoyable and fit in with the aesthetic just fine.

It was obviously meant to be campy, not ironic.

You people are too cynical for your own good. Sometimes stuff is just meant to be cute/amusing. They are Japanese FFS.

And I think the Guitar Hero experience will translate well to the DS. I'm sure hoping so, as I intend to buy this.

I currently own Guitar Hero II and III and Rock Band. I've enjoyed all of them immensely.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:49 AM on May 30, 2008

Agreed with Ynoxas. If you think this is "bad", you haven't been on the Internet long enough. The linked video wasn't good, but it was *trying* to be funny, not hip and cool like you guys seem to think.
posted by BaxterG4 at 9:10 AM on May 30, 2008

Gucky -- I agree completely. When I heard about the idea of boss battles for GH 3, my first thought was dueling banjos. What a great song to use for a music fight, right? But it's not rock, so it's crap appears to be the designers oppinion. One of the making of Rock Band videos had the designers talking about how the included all the genres: punk rock, grunge rock, indie rock, alternative rock and southern rock. There's other music out there! And hey, when you take a song from boston with an organ solo, it wouldn't be sacrilidge for us to use our guitar controller to play along with it.
posted by garlic at 8:31 AM on June 2, 2008

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