After spending the last four years releasing a multitude of sequels and spin-offs for its popular Rock Band and Dance Central franchises, Cambridge-based Harmonix Music Systems is scaling things back a bit with its next release. The next Harmonix-developed title the world will get is still part of the Rock Band series, but it will arrive at some point this summer sans the band. On Tuesday the developer unveiled Rock Band Blitz — a single-player XBLA and PSN game that rocks out without rock instruments, instead requiring the use of a regular controller for solo-jamming along all five instrumental tracks at once.
The simplicity of the concept isn’t exactly in line with what fans have come to expect from the company that popularized plastic instruments, so it’s understandable if there is some hesitation from the community to accept this new direction. Project Director Matthew Nordhaus explanation during my trip to the developer’s studio that the team’s goal is to release a product that removes the series’ high barriers of entry through a more simplistic approach probably won’t have plastic rock stars pumped for the big show either. Read a few quick-and-dirty details on the internet and watch a quick clip of Blitz‘ gameplay and you might get the impression that this is just another case of a developer dumbing its game down for modern gamers who are, supposedly, unable to process complexity in their video games. Well, guess what? It’s not.
The following comes from a contributor who wishes to be simply known as Fatshady. Big thanks to Fatshady and the rest of the Trials HD community for all their hard work!
Every time I meet someone who has played or even heard of Trials HD, I mention the “Trials HD Riddle”. The entire story about it I find totally fascinating, largely due tot he fact that the riddle has remained so well hidden. If you have ever played Trials HD, ask yourself this: Did you know that there were 18 unique Easter Eggs hidden within the tracks? Did you know these all connect to form a riddle that has remained unsolved for over two years? You didn’t? Well read on my friend, you are in for an eye-opening experience.
When I reflect on just about any other game that has a large player base and numerous Easter Eggs, there are countless wiki’s, YouTube videos and walkthroughs on most websites. Trials HD was played by over two million people yet the smallest percentage of them even know that there are secrets hidden amongst the tracks. What is even more astounding is that an even smaller percentage know that all of these combine to form one of the most elusive riddles found within a video game. With the upcoming sequel, Trials Evolution due to be released on April 18, I thought it was appropriate to share this riddle story one final time to ensure that one of the most fascinating aspects of 2009’s ‘Best Overall Game’ is not forgotten about.
Most people simply don’t believe that these clues have remained hidden for so long. I find that it is much easier to show them all so here is a recap of what we have found to date. To bring you up to date with the investigations, let me now go through these one by one and explain what we believe they are. This is a summary of the nearly 50 pages over at the official RedLynx forums regarding the riddle. Read it here
No Todd this week, but myself, Perry, Andrew and special guest Shawn Saris get by without him. I talk briefly about Wrecked: Revenge Revisted, while we all talk for a good while about South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge. If that’s not enough, you can check out Andrew’s review for more in depth details.
Perry brings the news as always, which this week includes some high profile release dates. Andrew finishes things up with a twitter question and telling us about the new Remember the Days game, which is Gripshift. He won’t be here next week so you’ve got two weeks to play it and share your thoughts on twitter.
Please subscribe, rate and review the podcast on iTunes. We appreciate it! Check us out on twitter (@XBLAFans) where you can win codes for games, give us feedback or just ask a question. We are also now on Stitcher, so you can stream the show on your smartphone, give it a go!
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Josiah Renaudin from our sister site PSNFans recently had the chance to chat with MagicalTimeBean founder Ian Stocker. Ian is the man behind the hit Xbox Live Indie Games SoulCaster I & II and the recent success story Escape Goat.
Josiah talks to Ian about how he got into making games, how the process of making a game for XBLIG works and what might be in store for MagicalTimeBean in the future. If you want to keep up to date with what Ian is doing you can check out MagicalTimeBean’s website or follow him on twitter @MagicalTimeBean. If you haven’t checked out his games before then why not download the trials, SoulCaster, SoulCaster II and Escape Goat.
Please subscribe, rate and review the podcast on iTunes. We appreciate it! Check us out on twitter (@XBLAFans) where you can win codes for games, give us feedback or just ask a question. We are also now on Stitcher, so you can stream the show on your smartphone, give it a go![podcast]https://xblafans.com/xblafancast/XBLAFancastMagicalTimeBeanInterview.mp3[/podcast]