Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Documenting my future arthritis

As I've probably mentioned, for her birthday this year I got Jen an Xbox 360 with Rock Band, and if you know me in real life, you've probably heard me talking about Rock Band, maybe watched a video on my phone or Nintendo DS showing the game in action.

Well, now you can follow my future progress on the game through ScoreHero. This site lets you record your score data for any song at any difficulty level with any number of players. 1-player means I got the score all on my own. 2-player (and up) would mean I had help, and the scoring doesn't tell who carried who and who stood on their own, so the data is not as revealing as to any one person's true skill.

That's not to say I'm good, by any means. Rock Band is clearly Jen's game, and she can whip my ass at it on any instrument. I can give her a run for her money on bass, but only because that's what I do. She can do all four - bass, lead guitar, drums, and vocals, and she's good at all four. My best song, by far - Say it Ain't So by Weezer. I am very close to getting... Well, I'd better explain Rock Band scoring.

Rock Band actually has four scores. First, a numeric score as any puzzle game does, usually this gets up in the thousands. The note highway has five tracks, each represented by a color. Green, red, yellow, blue, orange. Each track can contain a short note, just a light brick in the color of the track, or a long note, the same but with a glowing tail behind it (the tail can be real short or it can be a few screens long). I don't know the scoring of each brick, or if they're even worth the same amounts. Every ten, you get a higher multiplier. 2X means you get double the points, and it goes up to 4X for the vocalist, the drummer, and the lead guitarist - and 6X for the bassist. This means the bassist (that's me) can make each brick worth six times its normal value if I don't miss any. Sometimes, to throw you off a little, they'll give you a sequence of white bricks. You still hit them based on the road they're in and they give you Energy - but only if you hit every single one. The amount of Energy you get from a sequence depends, on both the song and the length of the sequence. Once you fill your energy tank up to half, you can deploy "Star Power" which doubles your multiplier. So a bassist can go up to 12X multiplier. Every 100 points becomes worth 1200 points. That's the points.

The second score is far simpler. It's a rating, five stars total. You start at zero and your points directly influence the rising through the ranks. If you do exceptionally well (99% and up) you can get five gold stars, often referred to as the six star rating. The third score is the percentage of notes you hit. A 100% score is referred to as a FC (Full Combo). In perspective, I can get the gold stars playing with a much better drummer (Jen, or her brother) but not on my own. My highest score at the time of this writing is 99%, on "Say it Ain't So". And the fourth score is the number of notes you hit in a row (your longest streak).

That said, here are JEN's ScoreHero songs...

The link will take you to her vocal solo career on Expert. If you look at the choices at the top, you can get it to show her other accomplishments. She has some of her drumming up there, and maybe one song on lead guitar. She mostly documents her vocalist stuff though.

Now here is MY ScoreHero page.

And this is me, on bass, on Expert. I only have Expert bass songs on ScoreHero for now. I'm only really interested in playing the bass, though I might try lead guitar. The drums are fun, but they're not really for me, and I'm worse than a cheap hack when it comes to the mic.

"Graciously documenting our future arthritis" is ScoreHero's motto, which is where I got the article title. Yeah, it's about right - after doing six or seven songs on bass, man, my wrist hurts.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Say what you will about Walmart, but...

Jen left me $10 and (later) told me I was to get milk, butter, cat food, and TP. I knew it wasn't enough, but I went to Walmart, and got all of it for $9.77.

While you can get some things on sale cheaper, overall I know it would have been more. For example, a 4-pack of Angel Soft single-roll. $1.18 at Walmart. At Food Lion, it's $1.49 and you can't get plain, it's only the kind with girly prints. (Which I don't mind, but it's rather silly they don't have plain.) Harris-Teeter, $1.79 (and I think they have plain).

I'm usually among the first to criticize Walmart for certain things, but when you're in a bind, they can be really helpful. (Granted, I may have actually spent more considering gas prices, but I don't have to fill up until we get paid again. None of the groceries could really be put off until we get paid.)

Wow, it's been almost 5 weeks since I've wrote anything up here. Damn... I'm gonna have to work on that.