It was a little frustrating to pop in "Rock Band 2" and have most of the music locked away.

Thankfully, there's a way around that.

Harmonix has introduced "game modifiers" into "Rock Band 2," which includes such options as a long-needed no fail mode -- and a secret song-unlock code.

The catch? You need to know the code! But we've already figured that out for you. You simply input the original "Rock Band" unlock code -- Red, Yellow, Blue, Red, Red, Blue, Blue, Red, Yellow, Blue -- in the game modifier screen.

Once the code is entered, the unlock song modifier will be unlocked. Voila! You have just unlocked all of the songs available in "Rock Band 2."

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[Update: Turns out there are 13 songs, not 10!]

One reason gamers might be interested in picking up both "Rock Band 2" and "Guitar Hero: World Tour" is simply to have more songs to play.

For the most part, that will end up true, but in just the primary set list alone, there are ten songs that virtual musicians will find in both games.

The tracks that will be found on both games are as follows:

* The Allman Brothers Band - “Ramblin' Man”
* Blondie - “One Way or Another”
* Bon Jovi “Livin’ on a Prayer”
* Dinosaur Jr. "Feel the Pain"
* Foo Fighters - “Everlong”
* Fleetwood Mac "Go Your Own Way"
* Jane’s Addiction “Mountain Song”
* Jimmy Eat World “The Middle”
* Lacuna Coil "Our Truth"
* Modest Mouse “Float On”
* Silversun Pickups - “Lazy Eye”
* Smashing Pumpkins “Today”
* Survivor “Eye of the Tiger”

There are 84 tracks on the "Rock Band 2" disc, compared to "Guitar Hero: World Tour"'s 86 songs. Some crossover is expected. But can someone explain how "Eye of the Tiger" managed to end up in both games? Maybe the last "Rocky" movie was a big hit at Harmonix and Neversoft.

Of course, in a dream world, there's just one big game with all these songs…

"Green Grass And High Tides" by The Outlaws is my ultimate enemy in "Rock Band."

I do not enjoy it as music, and I loathe its ridiculous difficulty.

This is why I've deleted it from my hard drive before popping in the disc for "Rock Band 2," which showed up this morning.

While I can't talk about "Rock Band 2" until Sunday, I can tell you which songs I've decided won't make the cut to "Rock Band 2."

As of a few minutes ago, I will never (virtually) play these songs ever again:

* "Green Grass And High Tides" by The Outlaws
* "Flirtin' With Disaster" by Molly Hatchet
* "Train Kept A-Rollin'" by Aerosmith
* "Mississippi Queen" by Mountain

There are others that might get cut later, too. I doubt I'll ever play "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" by The Clash or "Ballroom Blitz" by Sweet ever again, but both of those could prove entertaining with a crowd. For now, they're safe.

I'm also considering deleting all of the bonus tracks from "Rock Band," but outside of "Pleasure (Pleasure)" by Bang Camaro, I never really gave them a chance. I'll have to give them a few spins in the weeks to come.

Are you removing any "Rock Band" songs from your "Rock Band 2" setlist?

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We can't talk about our impressions of "Rock Band 2" until next weekend, but we can show you the instruments accompanying the release of the music sequel.

Both the "Rock Band 2" and original "Rock Band" instruments are now taking up valuable space in my apartment, but that made it convenient to shoot some comparison shots between the sets.

Check out the pictorial below, and if there's anything you want answered about "Rock Band 2," leave a comment, and we'll make sure to address it soon.

Read More...

'Rock Band 2'With a new "Rock Band" and new "Guitar Hero" coming out this fall, gamers may find themselves faced with a choice of which music game to buy. Which bullet points on the games' boxes will sway them?

  • Both new games have drums and guitars.
  • "Rock Band 2" has compatibility with hundreds of already-released songs and an aggressive plan for daily online competitions (and yes it's made by Harmonix, the studio owned by my employer, MTV.)
  • "Guitar Hero: World Tour" has a music creation tool that allows users to create their own vocals-free playable tracks that can be uploaded and shared. (We've tried it but can't tell you more until an embargo lifts on the details next month.)

At a "Rock Band 2" demo earlier this week I asked Harmonix public relations man John Drake what he would say to people who, in trying to decide between the two games, felt swayed by the music creation mode in "Guitar Hero."

Here's what Drake told me he'd say about music-creation options in music games and to hint at what Harmonix is doing next: Read More...

'Rock Band 2'Earlier this week I had another one of my personally disturbing "Rock Band 2" demos, where I learned some new details about the upcoming MTV-made game.

Note that the "RB2" demos don't disturb me because the game is unsettling, but because the powers that be at MTV stage these events on a floor in the VH1 offices where I used to work. Oh, the joy of returning to an old office. Why not set the next demo in my old middle school, MTV people? I'm sensitive about revisiting my past. OK. My fault, not theirs.

Anyway, here are some key things I learned about the game:

The kick-pedal doesn't fall off -- Not only are the new "Rock Band 2" drums wireless, but when you lift them off the floor, the kick-pedal doesn't fall off. As "RB2" public relations man John Drake noted, this is an advance that will be appreciated by people who don't have a permanent spot for their video game drums in their place of residence and need to move them a lot. Read More...

'Rock Band 2'

"Rock Band 2" developers at Harmonix have been promising that all the songs on the first game's disc will be playable for owners of this fall's sequel. Until yesterday, the only theory I had heard about how this would work was Joystiq honcho Chris Grant's (hopefully joking) suggestion that owners of the first game send their game discs to Harmonix and get a new combo disc. How else, he wondered, would Harmonix and publisher MTV Games get around the licensing issues involved in moving songs from one game to the next?

Well, it's going to cost any gamer who wants to transport their "RB" 1 songs to "RB2" a little money and it will require two discs -- just once. Harmonix PR man John Drake broke it down for me on Tuesday: Read More...

The plastic instrument compatibility war appear to be almost over.

Reading between the lines this morning, however, it seemed Konami's "Rock Revolution" wouldn't feature its own guitar peripheral.

When asked, "Rock Revolution" associate producer Keith Matejka kept things vague. "Konami hasn't announced a guitar peripheral for 'Rock Revolution' at this point," he said.

Either Matejka is subtly hinting to us Konami isn't producing a guitar for "Rock Revolution" or the publisher has an ace up its sleeve. Regardless, your "Guitar Hero" and "Rock Band" guitars will work just fine in "Rock Revolution." "We are compatible with all major guitar peripherals on the market," confirmed Matejka.

Having one less instrument around the house wouldn't be the end of the world.

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'Rock Band'Music game fans can rejoice that the incompatibility wars of "Rock Band" and "Guitar Hero" are already... over?

We broke the news last month that "Rock Band 2" and "Guitar Hero: World Tour" instruments will be cross-compatible on the Xbox 360, at least according to Activision.

Today, Sony's official U.S. PlayStation blog reports that all drums, guitars and mics for "Rock Band 2," "Guitar Hero: World Tour," Konami's "Rock Revolution" and "SingStar" will all work with each other.

This comes after a year of incompatible instruments and allegations that the makers of these games were preventing the previous version of these games' guitars from working with each other. The announcement is progress all around, considering, among other things, that even "SingStar" wasn't mic-compatible with any games until this announcement.)

Michael Shorrock, director of third-party relations for Sony Computer Entertainment America added to that news by stating that legacy titles are being looked at as well: "We’re still working hard to ensure compatibility between the Guitar Hero and Rock Band titles currently on the market, and we hope to have an announcement on that shortly."

Read the full report on Sony's official blog: PS3 Music Peripheral Compatibility Update

You don't have to wait until Friday to buy tickets for "Rock Band Live" the concert tied into the MTV-made music game.

Our colleagues at MTV Buzzworthy have the details on how to purchase tickets for the nationwide tour tomorrow (Thursday), ahead of everyone else.

"Rock Band Live" is headlined by Panic at the Disco!, Dashboard Confessional, Plain White T's and The Cab. The tour kicks off in San Diego on October 5 and concludes in Houston, Texas on November 14.

You even have a chance to compete in "Rock Band" tournaments, where the winners are asked to play on stage in-between sets.

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