This post is about a video game, but I implore even the non-gamers among us to pay attention, because The Shivah, though it first came out in 2006, is still in a class of its own. You can see right on the cover art that it’s a “rabbinical adventure of mourning and mystery”, which you generally won’t find at your local game dealer. The Shivah is normally a scant $4.99, and is of such a high caliber that it almost feels wrong to take it for free, but Lincolns can be hard to come by these days, and the man (developer Dave Gilbert) is just giving it away. Go here before midnight tonight and use the coupon code “FreeShivah” to obtain one of the more notable indie games of the past few years.
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The appeal of music games, from PaRappa the Rappa to Rock Band, has never been tied to how close they simulate making actual music, but to the challenge of memory and dexterity, the excitement of trying to keep up with the flow of notes, and the euphoria of being in sync with the rhythm.
Activision’s DJ Hero, hitting North America on October 27th, provides another interface to that tried-and-true experience. The turntable controller has a crossfader and three color-coded buttons for the player to scratch and mash as they scramble to keep pace with the music. A number of artists (e.g. DJ Shadow, Grand Master Flash, Jay-Z) will be playable avatars in the game, and Daft Punk, in addition to their virtual likenesses, have offered some of their stage sets and the following new, exclusive mashups:
Daft Punk “Around the World” vs. Young MC “Bust A Move”
Daft Punk “Da Funk” vs. NASA “Strange Enough ft. Karen O, ODB and Fatlip”
Daft Punk “Da Funk” vs. Queen “Another One Bites the Dust”
Daft Punk “Robot Rock” vs. Hashim “Al-Naafiysh (The Soul)”
Daft Punk “Robot Rock” vs. Queen “We Will Rock You”
Daft Punk “Short Circuit” vs. Boogie Down Productions “Jack Of Spades”
Daft Punk “Technologic” vs. Gary Numan “Cars”
Daft Punk “Television Rules The Nation” vs. No Doubt “Hella Good”
There are three more unannounced mixes. Check the video below for some prerendered footage and brief glimpses of the gameplay.
Dhani Harrison, son of Beatles’ guitarist George Harrison, appeared on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien on Tuesday 8 September, to discuss The Beatles: Rock Band video game. Harrison, a musician and video game designer, helped develop and create the newest sensation for Beatlemania. He was also responsible for getting Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr on board. Wrapping up Tuesday’s show, Conan, along with Tonight Show staff member Aaron Bleyaert, and Tonight Show band member Mark Pender, joined Harrison on Rock Band‘s version of “Birthday”.
The game was officially released on Wednesday, 9 September, along with the complete remastered Beatles catalog. The new digitally remastered albums have been dominating Amazon.com’s best-seller list. The game has been ranking first for Playstation 3, and second in sales for both Wii and XBOX360.
Because not enough of the world’s music has Timbaland’s stamp on it, he teamed up with Rockstar Games to create a music mixer based on this Flash toy. The result is Beaterator, and it’s coming out for the PSP on September 29th, replete with beats, loops, and a veritable smorgasbord of sounds meticulously crafted by the hit machine himself.
Between this, the utilitarian KORG DS-10, and the inimitable Electroplankton, developers are carving out an interesting niche for music production on handheld video game consoles. Check out this video to see Timbaland in action, Beaterator in hand.
The Beatles: Rock Band
Platform: PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360
Releasing: 9 September 2009
I Want to Hold Your Hand
I Feel Fine
Don’t Let Me Down
Please Please Me
I Saw Her Standing There
Do You Want to Know a Secret
Twist and Shout
With the Beatles
I Wanna Be Your Man
A Hard Day’s Night
A Hard Day’s Night
Can’t Buy Me Love
Beatles For Sale
Eight Days a Week
Ticket to Ride
Drive My Car
I’m Looking Through You
If I Needed Someone
And Your Bird Can Sing
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band/With a Little Help From My Friends
Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds
Good Morning Good Morning
Magical Mystery Tour
I Am the Walrus
The Beatles (White Album)
Back in the U.S.S.R.
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
Here Comes the Sun
Let It Be
Dig a Pony
I Me Mine
I Got a Feeling
Within You Without You/Tomorrow Never Knows
(via Rolling Stone)