Yesterday I slept in – YAY! – and played lots of Quake 4. And then went up to the Stanford mall to meet up with Abe and his girlfriend Pam. Abe I met at Julius’ going-away dinner a while back. So that was nice – it was a beautiful day, and the Stanford mall – while not really a mall, more a handful of clothes stores and some nice almost-cafes – is nice.
After that I caught up with F1 & Ross for dinner at B.J.’s, since Ross was craving a Pizookie… I have decided the choc-chip ones are better than the full-chocolate ones, which came as a rather unsettling realisation.. ;) … anyway, that was good, and the sandwich I had was actually really tasty, which is somewhat unusual for there as the food’s never bad, but doesn’t usually knock you out.
I’m even more convinced that F1 and Ross are married. Our discussions always follow the same general script, with F1 & Ross pushing each other’s buttons so predictably. It’s very funny. :) But it was really good, actually, and great to catch up with them again… I can’t recall how long it’s been, but they were busy last weekend almost doing something :P.
Afterwards we went back to their place, where Tom & his girlfriend Anne were eating Chinese take-away and watching Shrek 3… no comment :)… which I watched the end of with them. As did Ross, though F1 buggered off upstairs and wasn’t seen again that night. Workaholics. :)
But after the movie Tom broke out the Fischer-price guitar, part of their Rockband set, and so he, Anne & I went at that for, as it turned out, several hours. [[ also, shows how long it’s been since I’ve actually been inside their place; apparently they bought Rockband in March or something, but this is the first time I’ve seen it, that I recall ]] It was surprisingly entertaining, though the drums make loud but flat, cheap noises when you hit them, which without the volume on the TV at unreasonable levels is really noticeable and makes the whole cheap affair seem all the cheaper. :/ Also, apparently I suck as a drummer. Though that Tom said I didn’t need to run the foot pedal on Easy/Medium, which is patently untrue, screwed me completely for the first half hour, ’till I saw him playing them and realised.
I didn’t sing, for the sake of everyone involved, though I did play guitar a bit. I found the guitar way easier – it’s really not hard to hold down a couple of buttons and tap another in time. Maybe too easy even. But I never went beyond Medium, so, I’m sure I could get my arse served back to me if I’d dived into deeper waters.
Anne can actually sing pretty darn well, which I guess I have no reason to be surprised about, but, I like to believe very very few people in the world can sing, to placate myself re. my own lack of ability there. :) Tom also did reasonably well, though very quietly.
So yes, I have now actually played the game that the rest of the world has been at for years already. And ’twas fun. I must reiterate though, that it really wouldn’t kill them to make the guitar out of actual wood, and to scale. Also, we found I think all of three songs with female vocals, which kinda sucked since our best singer was quite evidently not male. And the list of songs is short and full of ones nobody has ever heard of, which seems kinda stupid as just while listening to some music today I found half a dozen solid classics that have excellent guitar, drum and vocal parts.
It’d be quite interesting to see a game in this genre that relies on real instruments – get a midi guitar, keyboard, drums etc… I mean, of course playing with a whole band accompaniment is much more entertaining and better practice than solo, but you could also then progressively turn off the game’s synthesised parts of the song, and graduate to a full natural sound.
One downside of Rockband’s approach of simply not playing notes you miss, is that if the drummer really sucks (*coughcough*) it throws off everyone else, since you loose your rhythm. And on the flip side, if the guitarist gets a real cool progression, that also throws some drummers off. ;)
In sum, a surprisingly good day and night for what was going to just be work. I slept in even more this morning – first time I’ve woken up after midday in longer than I can remember – finished Quake 4 – the ending is flat and really easy and leaves you hollow and empty – and cleaned my bathroom, which took at least two hours and still needs work. :/ I need some industrial strength cleaners, apparently… the shower defeated my meagre general-purpose cleaner and towels. :(
And I went and saw ‘What Happens in Vegas’, which was predictable, but funny.