Monthly Archives: May 2010

Green Day: Rock Band Q&A

Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt talks to us about Rock Band and getting “pwned” when it comes to video games.

The influential band from Oakland, California, that spent its early years playing in Berkeley is exploring new ground with a Broadway adaption of its American Idiot album, as well a video game that will feature three of its most popular albums. Green Day: Rock Band will have the full tracklist from Dookie, American Idiot, and 21st Century Breakdown, as well select tracks from albums Warning, Nimrod, and Insomniac. The punk rock band is set to go on tour again this summer, and the game is set to come out on June 8 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and the Nintendo Wii. We spoke with bassist and backing vocalist Mike Dirnt over the phone to find out what it is like to see a younger animated self onscreen.

Mike Dirnt, bassist and backing vocalist.

GameSpot: So, how does it feel to have your own video game?

Mike Dirnt: It’s pretty trippy. They approached us a long time ago, but it really never came to fruition. And it’s not like we were chasing it down; they just kind of went on and did their own thing and then eventually came back. And by the time they came back, we had been obviously writing our own records and touring and everything. At that point, they had finished the Beatles video game, and it was like, “Wow, you’ve come a long way and look really great.” I think they’ve proven that this is a genre that’s here for a good amount of time.

GS: Can you tell us about the venues and why you decided to go with those?

MD: Well, one of them is kind of a nondescript warehouse sort of thing. It was either that or play in someone’s living room, or bathroom, or garage. [The warehouse is] basically nondescript and also represents a lot of the places we played in back in the day. We also did Milton Keynes, which was our first stadium show in London, which is pretty interesting. And last but not least is the Fox Theatre in Oakland, which is near and dear to us because it’s our hometown. They spent 30 years rebuilding that place and getting it up to what it is now, which is one of the most beautiful theatres, and they just reopened it in California. It’s pretty cool.

GS: Were there any specific songs that had to make it into the game?

MD: I think what we wanted to do was represent at least a few full albums. One of things that we’re really working on still and weren’t able to do is to get some of the earlier records in there only because those were recorded on old analog tape. And analog tape becomes real brittle after a while. And to really get the stems from that…from the individual tracks…in order to put them in the game, you have to record them from analog to digital. And you get one chance to do it once the tape is really old. It’s a really tedious process to not lose your entire history, so with that said, we are working on that diligently right now. But that’s something we’d like to see in there as well.

GS: Most of the tracklist is pulled from three of your albums. Do you feel like your other albums have been slighted?

MD: No, I don’t think so. There’s something to be said about an album having a representation of that period of time. It’s pretty cool. I explained earlier why we couldn’t get the earlier ones. And quite honestly, for a video game, I think we skipped through a couple years where maybe later on we’ll go back and we’ll do like, Green Day: The Fat Years, or something. They probably weren’t the most visually exciting years of our life. So who knows? The songs in and of themselves will be represented eventually. The cool thing is that you can keep adding to it.

Billie Joe, possibly 20 years ago.

GS: How much are you guys involved with the whole process in terms of the development of the game?

MD: That was the cool thing when they originally came to us. I think they were a lot more clueless, and we were completely clueless. Years have gone by, and their technology and their ability to get their heads wrapped around where they want to be have moved forward quite a bit. We’ve gone from completely clueless to only slightly clueless. We just knew that we wanted to represent different venues. We were like, “Look, you got to come out and see some of the live shows and watch some of these live concerts that we’ve played and documented so that you get an idea of what the energy of our shows are.”

GS: What is it like to see yourself animated onscreen?

MD: It’s pretty cool. I think they made us look a little younger than we are now. So, yeah, I’m not used to being an avatar. That’s for sure.

GS: Have you played Rock Band before?

MD: I have, yes, a couple of times. I’ve stumbled onto friends of mine playing. Actually, my friend’s kids, and they all let me jump in. I kind of made my way around all the different instruments. I’ve also stumbled in a room and literally stumbled in a room drunk. And other drunk friends of mine had a blast playing drunken Rock Band.

GS: Do you download your own songs?

MD: You know, it was kind of whatever they had going at the time.

GS: What do your kids think when they see you in the game?

Green Day fans can play through an entire album if they like.

MD: I showed my daughter one of the clips of the game, and she looked at it and goes, “You look cool,” which is the last thing you’d expect to hear out of your 13 year old. I don’t think I’ve heard her say that in the last year or two.

GS: There are some pretty crazy drum solos in the game. As actual musicians, how do you guys hold up on the drums?

MD: I certainly couldn’t. I’m sure Tre can hold his own. As close as the kits are, they aren’t actually real drum kits. If you can do that and you don’t have a real drum kit, then you’re blowing your time. If you can play the advanced mode of the drum solos and everything, you need to get a real kit.

GS: How does the guitar feel for you as a bassist?

MD: You know, I was never great at reading music, so the translation from hand-to-eye coordination is a little funky. That’s what makes it a different challenge. Otherwise, you’d have guitar players all over the world buying these things up and playing them. I think the fun thing is it’s for parties like that and for friends to get together and play with it. It’s like karaoke on steroids.

GS: What about other video games? Are you guys gamers?

MD: Nah, every few years, I’ll tap into video games. But I think at this point, it’s got to be a video game that’s easy enough for me to play. Because a lot of them…I just get…to quote the gaming industry, “I get pwned!” [laughs]

GS: Now, if you could star in any kind of video game, what would it be?

MD: I think they kind of answered it for me. You mean, what’s my second choice? I’d want to be Mario and Luigi’s brother Guiseppe. Because I know that game. I can get around. Love mushrooms!

GS: Now for something a little random. You guys had an interesting cameo on The Simpsons movie. How was that experience?

MD: I loved it. I’ve been a big Simpsons fan forever. It was kind of funny. Billy didn’t watch a lot of Simpsons growing up, but they actually made it kind of more than it was originally intended to be for us, which was kind of a bonus. If you’re into the Simpsons, you can’t help but feel kind of cool.

Green Day as they got older.

GS: Last year, the Berkeley Repertory Theatre adapted your album American Idiot into a one-act stage musical, and now it’s playing on Broadway in New York City. What’s it like seeing your work adapted into a Broadway musical?

MD: That’s completely surreal. You’re watching people on stage who are every bit as talented as anybody you’ve ever seen in your life. It’s flesh and blood on stage, and [at] some points, it’s voyeuristic. [At] the other points, you’re actually nervous for some of the things they’re physically doing. It’s breathtaking; it really is.

If you can see the Broadway play, you really should. What do they say? If theatre is life and movies are entertainment, then television is just furniture. We’ll be out on tour again this summer, so look for us in a shed near you.

GS: Will do. Thank you so much for your time!

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Green Day: Rock Band Q&A” was posted by Staff on Mon, 31 May 2010 08:44:26 -0700

NHL Slapshot winding up on Wii

Electronic Arts’ first hockey game for Nintendo’s console will include a miniature stick peripheral; gloves drop September 7 along with NHL 11 on 360 and PS3.

Take-Two Interactive’s NHL 2K hockey series is in a rebuilding year, skipping the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 editions to focus on the Wii, where it has yet to face any competition. That’s going to change this year, as is reporting that Electronic Arts is putting on the foil for an old-fashioned donnybrook on the Wii.

Shooting, passing, and crosschecking opponents in the teeth are now more intuitive than ever.

According to the site’s gaming blog, EA will be making its hockey debut on the Wii with NHL Slapshot. The game will launch September 7, alongside the Xbox 360 and PS3 debuts of NHL 11.

As might be expected, EA’s first hockey game on Nintendo’s system will use the motion-sensing functions of the Wii Remote controller. More surprising is the miniature hockey stick controller shell that the publisher will be including with each copy of the game. According to the report, the 21-inch stick will snap together from three separate pieces, and let players shoot, pass, stick handle, and poke check much as they would in real life.

The publisher is also bringing out the big guns to promote the game, as it has lined up hockey legend Wayne Gretzky to be the game’s cover athlete. “The Great One” will not only appear on the box art, but also in the game as a playable character and as a coach in the game’s career mode, which follows a created character from the peewee leagues through the juniors, CHL, AHL, and finally, the NHL itself.

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NHL Slapshot winding up on Wii” was posted by Brendan Sinclair on Sun, 30 May 2010 22:30:43 -0700

PCs to be doused with Heavy Rain?

Compatibility listing on Nvidia site points to PS3 thriller ditching its exclusivity and heading to computers.

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PCs to be doused with Heavy Rain?” was posted by Randolph Ramsay on Sun, 30 May 2010 22:00:49 -0700

Shippin’ Out May 30-June 5: Modern Warfare 2 Map Pack 2, Alpha Protocol

Resurgence DLC for Activision military shooter and Sega spy RPG debut highlight a week including EA’s Sims 3 Ambitions, 505 Games’ Backbreaker, and Ubisoft’s Pure Futbol.

Attempting to top a massive May’s worth of new releases sounds like a fool’s errand, but the lineup for the first week of June is nothing to shrug off. That’s thanks to new Sims and Call of Duty offerings combined with the launch of three new intellectual properties.

Nothing good ever happens in a “FunHaus.”

Perhaps the biggest release is the second map pack for Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Launching for Xbox 360, the Resurgence Map Pack ($15) is a collection of five multiplayer environments, which include three new maps and two remade Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare digs. Modern Warfare 2’s first batch of downloadable content, the Stimulus Package, drew criticism for its price point, but went on to sell over 2.5 million units. PlayStation 3 and PC versions of the map pack are set to launch at a later date.

Similarly significant in terms of scale is Electronic Arts’ Ambitions expansion to its PC hit The Sims 3. For the first time in a Sims game, players can control their Sim’s livelihood on the job at any of the game’s new professions. Ghost hunter, doctor, private investigator, and more are all possible career paths for each Sim included in Ambitions.

The first of the new intellectual properties launching this week mixes high-tech gadgetry and espionage with some time-tested role-playing-game character progression. Alpha Protocol is the first original project from Obsidian Entertainment, the studio behind some high-profile sequels like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II The Sith Lords, Neverwinter Nights 2, and the upcoming Fallout: New Vegas.

With just a couple weeks left before the World Cup kicks off in South Africa, Ubisoft will jump into the soccer genre with a new sim-minded effort. Due out for the Xbox 360 and PS3, Pure Futbol has Liverpool FC and England midfielder Steven Gerrard on its cover and aims to emphasize the physicality of the sport.

On the American football front, 505 Games is bringing Backbreaker to market. The PS3 and Xbox 360 gridiron simulator strays from the Madden formula in that it’s unlicensed (although it does include team customization tools). Backbreaker also features interactive tackles and takes advantage of developer NaturalMotion’s physics-based middleware technology (as featured in Grand Theft Auto IV and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed).

For further details on the week’s games, visit GameSpot’s New Releases page. The full list of downloadable games on the PlayStation Store, Xbox Live Marketplace, and Wii Shop Channel will be revealed later in the week. Release dates are based on retailer listings and are subject to change.


GundeadliGne–PS3–Rockin’ Android
Hitogata Happa–PS3–Rockin’ Android
Telegraph Sudoku & Kakuro–DS–Sanuk Games
Tropico 3: Absolute Power–PC–Kalypso

Alpha Protocol–X360, PC, PS3–Sega
America’s Next Top Model–Wii, DS–Crave
Backbreaker–X360, PS3–505 Game
Bass Pro Shops: The Hunt–Wii, X360–Griffin International
Diamond Trust of London–DS–Majesco Games
Farm Frenzy Animal Country–DS–City Interactive
Mind Over Matter–DS–505 Games
Pure Futbol–PS3, X360–Ubisoft
Sega Genesis Classics–PC–Sega
Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow–PS2–SCEA
The Sims 3 Ambitions–PC–Electronic Arts
Wizardology–Wii, DS, PC–Codemasters

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Resurgence Map Pack–X360–Activision

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Shippin’ Out May 30-June 5: Modern Warfare 2 Map Pack 2, Alpha Protocol” was posted by Eddie Makuch on Sun, 30 May 2010 20:49:05 -0700

New Releases: May 30th – June 5th, 2010

June kicks off with espionage, sports and the Sims getting jobs.

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New Releases: May 30th – June 5th, 2010” was posted by Jan on Sun, 30 May 2010 00:01:00 -0700

Today on the Spot – Backbreaker, CoD: Black Ops, Killzone 3

Today On The Spot! We’ve got a demos of Backbreaker and a new expansion for The Sims 3: Ambitions. We’ve also got interviews for Call of Duty: Black Ops and Killzone 3 and we crown the champion for the GameSpot UFC 2010 Tournament!

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Today on the Spot – Backbreaker, CoD: Black Ops, Killzone 3” was posted by DanM on Sat, 29 May 2010 16:00:00 -0700

The Last Word: May 24-28

Last week of May sees Video Game History Month draw to a close, reviews for ModNation Racers, Blur, Alpha Protocol, and UFC 2010, and early looks at Killzone 3 and Call of Duty: Black Ops.

The march to the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo continued at a fevered pace this week with almost no signs of letting up. GameSpot’s review team wrapped up a monster May with looks at Blur, ModNation Racers, Ultimate Fighting Championship 2010, and one of the first big games of June, next week’s Alpha Protocol.

Finally, a Call of Duty level inspired by the Adam West Batman TV show.

Video Game History Month wound down with looks at The Legend of Zelda, the original GameBoy, the coolest (and lamest) Collector’s Editions of the past, Shigeru Miyamoto, and in a nod to next month’s big show, E3. Speaking of E3, the previews team put up some pre-show looks at a handful of anticipated titles, including Killzone 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Crackdown 2.

The Last Word May 24-28

GameSpot concludes its inaugural observance of Video Game History Month with a look at the career of Shigeru Miyamoto, the arrival of the Game Boy, the timelessness of The Legend of Zelda, and the chaos of E3. There’s also one more photo feature, which includes a look at some of the best and most ridiculous collector’s editions of years past. Also, be sure to check out the latest feature on social network gaming–a growing phenomenon that has some major backing from companies like Electronic Arts.

Video Game History Month
Video Game History Month: Collector’s Editions

Social Gaming Feature

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Shippin’ Out May 23-29: Super Mario Galaxy 2
ModNation Racers PSP zooms to PSN
Jack the Ripper tears up DSiWare
Doom II, Green Day demo lead XBL releases

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With the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo just weeks away, some of the biggest news bits are being announced early to avoid a repeat of last year, when the surprise of Sony’s PSP Go unveiling was spoiled time and again by leaks. This week saw two E3-caliber headlines dropped, as longtime Sony supporter Insomniac Games partnered with Electronic Arts to make a game for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and Sony announced that Killzone 3 is in development and will support a stereoscopic 3D experience.

As if that weren’t enough, Harmonix all but confirmed keyboard support for Rock Band 3 with its demo for Rock Band: Green Day, Microsoft dated Bungie’s last planned game in the Halo universe, Halo: Reach, Ubisoft turned the keys of its the Splinter Cell franchise over to its Toronto studio, and Sega and Nintendo announced their next Sonic and Pokemon games, respectively.

Pokemon multiplying on Wii, DS
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock confirmed, detailed
Big in Japan May 17-23: Lost Planet 2
Alien Breed: Impact scaring up PS3 and PC this summer
Final Fantasy Heroes of Light battling to DS
Lufia II casts a spell on North America this fall
Need for Speed World green-flagged for July 20
Sledgehammer pounding out Call of Duty FPS
Hitman sequel gets first-time Hollywood director
Mafia II Collector’s Edition, preorder bonuses detailed
Sonic Colors bleeding onto Wii, DS
Natal shipping October 26 for $150?
Warner Bros. appoints head of digital gaming
Michael Jordan to front NBA 2K11 – ESPN
Mass Effect movie project now science fact
Insomniac goes multiplatform with EA Partners
Front Mission Evolved backpedals to Sept. 14
Rock Band 3 to tickle the ivories?
New Splinter Cell forming at Ubisoft Toronto
Next Guitar Hero due Sept. 19 – Retail Radar
Atari fiscal year ends $23.9 million in the red
Halo: Reach landing September 14
Killzone 3 shooting up PS3 in 3D
Dragon Ball: Origins sequel due June 22
Namco Bandai signs Knights Contract for PS3, 360
Splatterhouse hits the market for Halloween
Low PSP sales due to piracy – Sony

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It was a big week for the previews team, from Monday’s looks at Namco Bandai’s slate including Enslaved, Splatterhouse, and Knights Contract all the way through to Friday’s first look at Call of Duty: Black Ops. In between, the crew caught looks at everything from Killzone 3 to Kidz Bop Dance Party, and posted new previews of BioWare’s long-awaited Star Wars: The Old Republic, The Sims 3: Ambitions expansion, F.E.A.R. 3, and Crackdown 2.

Call of Duty: Black Ops First Look

The Sims 3: Ambitions Exclusive Hands-On

Star Wars: The Old Republic Exclusive Preview – The Sith Warrior In-Depth

Killzone 3 Hands-On Impressions
F.E.A.R. 3 First Look
Tom Clancy’s HAWX 2: First Look
Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2 First Look
Crackdown 2 Hands-On
Shaun White Skateboarding First Impressions
Clash of the Titans Hands-On
Puzzle Quest 2 Minigames Hands-On
Kidz Bop Dance Party Hands-On
Dragon Ball: Origins 2 Hands-On
Front Mission Evolved Q&A – More Story Details, More Gameplay Details
Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom Updated Impressions
Knights Contract First Look
Ace Combat: Joint Assault First Look
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 First Look
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West Updated Impressions
God Eater First Look
Splatterhouse First Look
Aion: Assault on Balaurea Q&A

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Last week was always going to be an impossible act to follow. After all, it’s not often that the GameSpot reviews team awards a 10, much less a 10 and a 9.5 in the same week. This week was no slouch though, and as copies of Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Red Dead Redemption flew off store shelves they were replaced with the likes of Blur, ModNation Racers, and UFC 2010 Undisputed. Alpha Protocol, the first of June’s big releases was also reviewed this week.

Alpha Protocol (PC, PS3, X360) Review
Aqua (X360) Review
Blur (PC, PS3, X360) Review
Guns of Icarus (PC) Review
Metal Slug XX (X360) Review
ModNation Racers (PS3) Review
UFC 2010 Undisputed (PS3, X360) Review

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As the GameSpot Live team started gearing up for E3 2010, things got a little crazy around the site. To start with, the week saw three new episodes of Today on the Spot featuring games like Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 on the Wii, Puzzle Quest 2, F.E.A.R. 3, UFC 2010 Undisputed, Backbreaker, and more.

In the Video Reviews department, GameSpot gave critical appraisals in video form for Blur, UFC 2010 Undisputed, ModNation Racers, and Alpha Protocol. Finally, GameSpot’s Video Game History Month came to a close with the Nintendo Game Boy, Zelda, E3 and Shigeru Miyamoto. Stay tuned, as GameSpot takes E3 head on in the next couple of weeks.

Today on the Spot – UFC 2010 Undisputed, F.E.A.R. 3
Blur Video Review
UFC 2010 Undisputed Video Review
ModNation Racers Video Review
Alpha Protocol Video Review
Video Game History Month: Nintendo Game Boy

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The Last Word: May 24-28” was posted by Staff on Fri, 28 May 2010 17:17:48 -0700

Little League World Series Baseball 2010 Screens

5 new shots posted.

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Little League World Series Baseball 2010 Screens” was posted on Fri, 28 May 2010 16:48:01 -0700

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock confirmed, detailed

Neversoft’s battle-worn rhythm franchise to heavily emphasize axe-shredding gameplay, Gene Simmons narrating story mode.

Earlier this week, it appeared as if retailers had shredded out the opening chords of Activision’s latest rhythm game, listing stand-alone and bundled versions of Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii. It hasn’t taken long for official confirmation of Neversoft’s next effort to come, courtesy of Nintendo Power magazine.

The Beast rocks with’the Pig?

While Sega’s just-announced Sonic Colors has taken the cover of Nintendo Power, the magazine’s online site has posted an image for the first two pages of a feature story on Warriors of Rock. According to Neversoft project lead Brian Bright, though little has changed as far as the standard note-matching gameplay, Warriors of Rock will return to the emphasis of the series to rock and roll.

“All of the cool features and things we did in GH5–the level of polish–[are] still there,” he told the magazine. “Party Play still exists. The ability to play with any instrument combination–all that stuff is still in the game. But what we strove do here is handpick all the songs’So many more people play Guitar Hero on guitar than any other instrument. We wanted to focus first and foremost on shredding kind of rock.”

Bright also briefly discussed the game’s story mode, which will be narrated by KISS frontman Gene Simmons, as the prodigiously tongued singer previously confirmed. The storyline will apparently center upon the Beast and the demigod of rock.

“The Beast defeats the demigod of rock, and the demigod of rock is entombed in stone, and his legendary guitar is banished,” Bright said. “[The guitar] is the source of his power. And so you are going through and assembling an army of warriors to be able to defeat the Beast. Along the way, you’ll have to recover the legendary guitar, but in the end, you’re defeating the Beast.”

Nintendo Power also noted that the Wii edition, which is in development at Vicarious Visions, will exclusively feature three “Roadie modes,” all of which integrate with the DS. In Roadie Set List Manager, gamers can build a custom setlist on the DS. In Roadie Quickplay+ and Roadie Battle modes, DS gamers will be able to assist Wii players by contributing beneficial and detrimental effects to their friends and foes.

The magazine’s two-page spread did not offer an expected release date for Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. However, according to retailers, the rhythm game will be available on September 19.

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Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock confirmed, detailed” was posted by Tom Magrino on Fri, 28 May 2010 14:47:18 -0700

Toy Story 3 Developer Diary #1

This developer diary takes a close look at the Toy Story movies in relation to the game.

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Toy Story 3 Developer Diary #1” was posted by DanM on Fri, 28 May 2010 13:36:33 -0700