Of Exercise Videogames and Musical Rumours

rock-band.jpgNo RPG content here… but a few geeky lifestyle comments and a video game scoop.

All right, my stress is under control. Exercise helps a lot, but end of weeks are always easier. My big test for my new stress-control strategies is going to be tomorrow morning (i.e. returning to work).

Friday morning, before I left for my friend PM’s house for a Geek Movie day, I picked up my Gym things and went to do a short session of stress-busting Cardio.

I did my required 30 minutes and as I was walking toward the floor mats to do some abdominals and lumbar exercise (I have a weak back and those exercise are magical), I stopped beside the Dance Dance Revolution station (It’s a PS2 with 2 full-sized metal dance pads).

Since it was Good Friday and the gym was mostly empty I said ‘what the hell!’ and stepped on the machine.

After spending a few minutes learning to navigate the interface, I started the ‘workout’ option, entered how much I weigh (215 lbs, although the gym’s scale under weighs me by about 10 lbs) and entered the time (15 minutes).

I’m no swan, I move like a lot of nerdy white overweight guys. However, after 5 minutes, my geeky side took over my self-conscious neurotic one and my nerd side started analyzing movement patterns to make it easier. I failed, miserably, but boy was that fun!

I ended up doing a second 15 minute series of songs (bringing my cardio session to a never before reached 60 minutes!)

Being of the slightly obsessive-compulsive nerdism school, I had found me a new project!

While driving around with the kids on Saturday, I found an excuse to stop at a EBGames store, officially to buy Mama Cook Off (great family game!). While I was waiting to pay for the game, my eyes fell on the Disney Channel edition of Dance Dance Revolution game for the PS2 (I own a PS2 and a Wii ) …

I bought it for the kids, you know… Strictly for the kids. :)

Thing is, they do love it. My 6 year old is already quite good and my 4 year old is also learning the ropes at a blistering pace. My wife tried it and she’s looking forward to insert it in her own exercise routine.

As for me, after having done all the tutorial lessons repeatedly (to the tunes of High School Musical, Hannah Montana and Kim Possible… sigh) I finally got to grok the game… and I love it even more… this is going to be my ticket to sustained exercise…. and less stress!

Of course I still plan to go to the Gym from Monday to Thursday (playing some DDR over there when I don’t do weights) but now I have the game at home as an instant stress-buster and mental fatigue equalizer (i.e. when the mind is more tired than the body, which is almost all the time with nerds, emotional imbalance is more likely).

All right! Enough about dancing games. Let’s switch to a similar-themed physical game: Music ‘Playing’ games.

Having tried both Guitar Hero III and Rock Band, I really really dig the later. I played the XBox 360 version one evening at Math’s and I was sold!

Thing is, I don’t want to buy the feature-limited PS2 version and the XBox 360 is not on my list of impulse buys anytime soon.. I want it all.

But it hasn’t been announced by Electronic Arts yet…

Here’s my Scoop:

For those who have a Wii and would really like to play Rock Band, I was told by a friend of mine (not a friend of a friend mind you) who works at the company that sets up and hosts the servers for Rock Band (among other console online games) that they received the Rock Band Software Development Kits for the Wii! (Yay!)

Several questions remain, chief among those are:

  1. When? (The EB Games guys think it’s going to be in October)
  2. Downloadable content? (That is a deal maker/breaker). Our gang assumes that it will be possible to use the SD cards to download songs.

Needless to say I’m really looking forward to this!
All right, this week is our D&D game week. I’ll focus on prepping the game more than the blog. However, I’d like to post another Robin’s Rule of GMing post. We’ll see how my sanity holds up this week… :)

Have a great week!

Comments

  1. Here is my geeky exercise shame.

    http://www.lunastix.com/

    Trask

  2. I’m sure you already know this, since you have a Wii, but Nintendo’s marketplace is absolutely terrible. It’s utter crap. There’s a lot of things the Wii does well, but the marketplace is one place it fails miserably.

    What I’m trying to say is that if you’re holding out for a Wii version of Rock Band, which frankly does seem kind of likely, I wouldn’t pray for a lot of DLC. Hell, for that matter, I don’t think there ARE any games for the Wii which have DLC, 3rd party or otherwise.

    I think the best you could hope for is that EA would offer Rock Band DLC on a website which you could download onto an SD card, but I don’t see that happening since it would be too difficult for them to control.

    Also, good job on the DDR. I’m sure there’s some good ones for the PS2, though I’ve only owned it for the Xbox and Xbox 360 so I can’t make any recommendations on specific games. But I definitely recommend getting one of the “real” (i.e. non-licensed) ones as well, because the DDR-original tracks are one of the things that makes the series great. :) I’m a big fan of Kind Lady, for example. You should be able to get older ones used pretty cheap without the mat.

    Also, if you get a USB mat (e.g. an Xbox 360 mat), you can hook it up to your computer and use StepMania, a free open source clone of DDR and then you can download tons of songs for free, both tracks which were (not legally) ripped from other DDR games and songs which aren’t available on any retail game. You can even make your own, although it’s a pain.

  3. Asmor:

    - yes, Rock Band is coming out for Wii. It was also mentioned at a recent shareholder’s meeting, apparently, despite there being no official announcement yet.

    - as for DLC, Guitar Hero 3 is supposed to be releasing DLC soon. I expect that Rock Band will do so in the same way that GH3 will (though we don’t know how that will be yet).

  4. MarvinBishop says:

    You may have already heard about it, but later this year Wii is going to be releasing a device called WiiFit that will sense your weight distribution on a little step and let you play wii sports type games with it.
    Here’s the wikipedia article
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wii_Fit

  5. Ah just discovered it eh?
    About 5 years ago my cousins gave interdiction me and my sisters to it.
    And now we have one “Metal” pad, it’s wood inside but far better then foam.

    I really ought to play it some, Oh I will do it after I post this! :D
    I currently play Stepmania a DDR clone that runs on the computer, with a PS2 > USB adaption I can nearly play any darned song I want.
    (Although the level enjoy meant is more based on step charts… tiering things)

    But how many “Feet” can you do? or difficulty level?
    I haven’t played in a long while, but I ether can or more likely USED to be able to do 7-9 footers.
    (Let alone In the groove, a USA founded DDR clone, that many DDR fans prefer, me included, but with stepmaina I get get ITG songs on it too…)

    on a less blog related thing, it seems that the lay out is a bit too bright on the white back ground, maybe put a dot in front of each line but it probably doesn’t matter much.

    Also… DnD related comic thats slightly funny, by me! http://adalore.deviantart.com/art/Casters-are-AoO-bait-80704275 :D

  6. I found the gym to be unbearably boring, so I took up a non-competitive martial art. I hated Judo competitions as a kid. Now I practice Aikido.

  7. I followed somewhat of the same path as you (in fact, I wrote an article about it a long long time ago!) Unfortunately, I seem to drop out of it, and at the moment, I don’t have enough space in my room to play anymore. But maybe I’ll do some re-arranging soon…

  8. Trask: I will buy those for my kids soon that’s for sure… My personal Dex score is just too low to attempt this within 5 km of a pane of glass!

    Asmor: I noticed how bad the store was… I hope that they’ll work it out as Graham says. It’s true that anything on SD cards will be copyable and therefore not likely to be the solution EA will go with…. Also I realized that since the Wii is built of the same technological generation as the PS2… so chances are we might not get a full-featured version as we see in the Xbox 360 and PS3s… I’ll keep my eyes open and my XBox 360 friends close…

    Marvin: Welcome to the blog! Yeah, I’m really looking forward to Wii fitness (and so’s my wife). Thanks for the link!

    Alex: Much like Mr. Smith in the Matrix, I hated Judo (I did 3 years of it) mostly because of the Smell. :)

    Dave: Oh I know I’ll grow out of it… as all geeks do.. but right now I’m enjoying it immensely and I got my brother in law and his wife to go buy one! :) But it is an easy way to exercise at home…

    Oh and on a related note… things were quite all right this morning! Wee!

  9. Andalore: I’m still between the beginners and Basic part (although I can manage a difficult once in a while).

    As for the blog, I usually try to make shorter paragraphs, to ease readability. Those in this post were a bit longish, mostly because I didn’t spend much time editing it.

  10. This may be of some interest to you. Sounds like it’ll be closer to the PS2 version, sadly.

    (Then again, I own both a Wii and a 360, and am super happy with the 360 version)

  11. Good find, Dave.

    Grr… now to justify buying a 360…

  12. Ah good, like I said above too, about my current skill level.
    I found my self some how still able to do 8′ footers.

    Must be the 40 pound tubs of dishs I lift form the ground at work…

    Though on the idea of games for DDR/ITG what ever.
    Most brand titles. IE Mario DDR, Disny DDR, ect.
    Have a sad top difficulty, or at least in Mario’s case.
    The last songs only hard on “Very hard” as it’s long and quite a bit of stream.

    So once you get mid level, look into getting a full DDR game, for quite of few decent songs… I wounder if they have healing vision any more on those games.

    On the note of the lay out, I was talking about the stuff way down here, while commenting, my eyes keep attempting to focus on it, like the itty-bitty-little frame around the “Post comment” maybe it’s my screen setting though.

  13. shadow145 says:

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better, and getting healthier too! Keep it up!

    I played Rock Band on the PS3 (not mine…sigh) and very fun! A Wii version would be very cool. I do wonder about downloadable content. I think the best way to do it would to create a new “rock band channel” and avoid the existing marketplace altogether.

  14. Game is set to come out in June….

    The question of DLC remains unanswered, but I like Shadow 145′s take on it… a Rock band Channel… totally independent from the Wii Store.

  15. Heck, the store could even be run through the game itself.

    The bonus to running it through the Wii Shop, however? It remembers your downloads and lets you redownload them.

    That might not seem like much, but when you buy 50 songs, and are running out of SD card space, delete them and redownload them when you want to play them.

    Heck, DLC doesn’t even necessarily need to be downloadable to a disk or card. It shouldn’t be all that hard to make the songs just download on demand.

    My big question at this point is if it will be missing modes like the PS2 version. The mode it’s missing (World Tour) is apparently the most fun one, and missing it heavily detracts from the game. Hopefully it isn’t missing on the Wii version.

    (Thing is, I don’t know why it is missing on either. It’s not a case of data storage, as PS2, Wii, and 360 all use DVDs. It may have been a case of storage for same games on PS2, but that shouldn’t be a problem for Wii.)