Playing With My Weiner

Gaming at the mercy of miniature daschunds.

Peter Molyneux, Part VII October 23, 2008

Filed under: Araan,Games,Industry,Kotaku,Reviews — Gwyddia @ 2:52 pm
Tags: , , ,

As per Kotaku, Peter Molyneux is all verklempt at the Fable II reviews he’s read. He believes that Fable II is “one of the hardest games to review”, and thanked the critical community for their “patience and belief”. Not me, Petey-boy. I have no more patience in you, and I don’t believe in your game. That’s why I am making Araan review Fable II this weekend.

 

Review: Mother 3 translation October 20, 2008

Filed under: 5 weiners,Games,Reviews — Gwyddia @ 4:06 pm
Tags: , , ,

Excellent, excellent, excellent. This will be a short review because there is little more I can say without being repetitve or giving spoilers.

 

Simply put, the folks at Starmen.Net have put together an excellent translation of this game that captures all of the humor and joy of the original. The game looks and sounds just they way you remember it if you’ve played before. If you haven’t, you’re in for a treat. Bright sprites and warm, well-composed music are the order of the day. The story holds up a few years later, and you’ll want to make LBP sackboys out of your Mother 3 family.

 

The only snag potential players may have is the technical aspect. You need to have a Japanese copy of the ROM to use the translation patch, and you need a ROM player to play it on. It is only legal to download the ROM if you ever actually owned the game. (Though the translators are working on a fully legal patched hard copy that you can order from them.) Some of the more popular ROM players, such as VisualBoy Advance, have known problems with save states. Mac users, for example, have to jump through hoops to get the game to save.

 

That all being said, if you can get the game to play and save, you should do so. This could be considered the “mother” of all RPGs (pun fully intended).

 

For being an excellent translation of a game I’ve waited for years to play, I’m giving the Mother 3 fan translation 5 Weiners out of 5.

 

 

Review: Silent Hill: Homecoming October 13, 2008

Filed under: 4 weiners,Games,Reviews — Gwyddia @ 11:06 am
Tags: , , ,


Everybody run! The homecoming queen’s got a gun!

 

Well, if by “queen” you mean “zombie nurses”, and if by “gun”, you mean Pyramidhead and his giant sword, then yes. Silent Hill is back, and everything old and creepy is new and creepy again. This time your protagonist is Alex Shepherd, a young solider returning from war to the psychotic battlefield of his hometown of Shepherd’s Glen. The sleepy little town is, of course, overrun by the Silent Hill cult and overrun with the kind of creatures that would squick out H.P. Lovecraft.

Oh hai...

Oh hai...

 

Homecoming marks a change in guard for the series. Instead of being made in Japan, Silent Hill: Homecoming was to be the first in the series produced by a Western developer called The Collective. That was almost the case, except that The Collective had merged with Backbone Entertainment in 2005 to form Foundation 9 Entertainment, and Foundation 9 then merged The Collective with Shiny Entertainment to create Double Helix Games. Silent Hill: Homecoming is a Double Helix production.

 

Double Helix draws heavily on Silent Hill and Silent Hill 2 for this outing. Most of your classic terrors are there (i.e. Pyramidhead and his sexually abused nurses). In a twist that usually doesn’t work, however, Double Helix adapted some things from the Silent Hill movie. For example, the “tearing” sound when you slip between worlds is straight out of the film, as is the nurses’ reaction to light.

 

With all of these homages, it should come as no surprise that Silent Hill:Homecoming plays more like a Greatest Hits disc than a new game in the series. The visuals are sharp, the voice acting is reasonable, and the controls are a big improvement from Silent Hill IV: The Room. Silent Hill fans may find themselves playing through looking for a twist that never comes, however. The interactions with classic series antagonists are creepy, but don’t get under your skin the way they did the first time you saw them. And forget about save points. The save system is a ruthless checkpoint system married to a “find the glyph” save point. Prepare to lose time and effort here.

 

They kept the glyph, but not the title.

They kept the glyph, but not the title.

Silent Hill: Homecoming is a darn sight better than Silent Hill IV, and is a welcome addition to series fans who have ben waiting to get their Hill on for so long. It’s also not a bad entry point into the series for someone who has heard about Silent Hill, but never played. Just don’t expect anything revolutionary.

 

For being a solid, creepy game with good visuals, voice acting and controls, Silent Hill: Homecoming gets 4 Weiners out of 5

 

Review: Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood October 6, 2008

Filed under: 3 weiners,BioWare,DS,Games,Reviews — Gwyddia @ 2:15 pm
Tags: , , ,

The original Sonic design.

In the beginning there was a hedgehog. Well, maybe more in the post-beginning/pre-middle. Certainly in the early 16-bit era. Yes, by 1991 there was Sonic The Hedgehog. (Note: The “T” in “The” is properly capitalized. Sonic creator Naoto Ōshima registered Sonic with The as his middle name.) Over the last 17 years there have been over 30 Sonic and Sonic-related titles, including such highs as Sonic 2 and Sonic CD, and such lows as Sonic Heroes and Sonic and the Secret Rings.

 

Super speed also leads to jaundice.

Super speed also leads to jaundice.

 

Several of those games have had RPG elements. Chaos Emerald and chao collection could earn the Blue Blur extra powers or lives.  Most games post-Sonic Adventure featured a “Super Sonic” mode, giving the ‘hog even more speed after he collected 50 precious, precious rings.  In Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, BioWare has taken these power-ups several steps further in an attempt to turn Sonic into a “real live” role-playing game.

 

On a pure mechanics level, they succeeded.  Sonic forms a party, gets quests, earns experience, levels up and collects loot.  The party’s static skills increase automatically with each level, but the player can assign one bonus point to a stat of their choice each level. Every level also brings five more action points that you can either spend on a talent or save for higher levels of a talent.  Pretty standard fare, with the exception of Chaos – cute little creatures which you can collect, hatch, and bond with to add abilities to your team.

 

Say it COW, spell it CHAO!

Say it COW, spell it CHAO!

The real question is how this stop-and-go framework fits a game world that is all about speed.  The answer is that mostly, it doesn’t.  BioWare has a knack for making pause-and-play gameplay seem fluid (see KOTOR), but mere fluidity is not enough for Sonic The Hedgehog. The developers tried to include running puzzles and loop-de-loops aplenty, but the fact that you have to select Sonic then push a button to enter the loop then have no control whatsoever over where you land or what you do during the “speed boost” completely destroys the illusion of fast.

 

Whee!  Talking and button-pressing!

Whee! Talking and button-pressing!

Where BioWare does try to allow for real speed, it is a complicated mess.  It seems as if they tried to combine their own inimitable style of pause-and-play with the 2.5D action-RPG battles of Nintendo’s  Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. The problem is that Mario is all about good jumps and better timing, and Sonic is all about running like hell, which does not lend itself to drawn-out battles.  The stylus-controlled special abilities minigames are ill-explained and imprecise, and every special move requires a metric ton of minigame action to pull off.  It makes you want to just hit Attack over and over and over.

 

All of that being said, the game is not terrible.  The visuals are charming and do hold true to classic Sonic style.  The RPG format in and of itself is an interesting twist for an overused, yet beloved, video game character. And BioWare does bring the story.  For a Sonic game, this baby is deep.  A plot with turns, surprises and revelations, all adding to the Sonic “canon”.  I think the problem is that Sonic doesn’t really need a canon. Sonic needs another good 2D game full of speed and color.  I wish that Team Sonic would take a page from Mega Man 9 and go solidly retro the next time out.  Unfortunately, as the next few Sonic games include Sonic Unleashed (featuring a were-Sonic)  and a sequel to the super-odd Sonic and the Secret Rings, I don’t think I’m going to get my wish any time soon.

 

For being a colorful and often witty addition to the Sonic family while also being unfittingly slow and imprecise, I’m giving Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood 3 Weiners out of 5.

 

Review: World of Blood September 30, 2008

Filed under: 2 weiners,Games,Meta-Grinder,Other Folks,PC,Reviews — Gwyddia @ 7:05 am
Tags: , , ,

Originally posted by Leo on meta-grinder.com.

First, I must reveal a distinct bias -I loves me some soloing -so when I can’t solo a game most of the way through, I’m e’er so slightly pissed.

 

Second, I shouldn’t be disappointed that a RPG at a social networking site wind up being so friggin’ dependendent on society building.

 

But what really grinds my gears, and not in a good way, is the way the monetization of mana, or mana-tization, has messed up a perfectly good soloable set of games.

 

Anyways…

 

I got introduced to this group of web based games by a friend who is marrying another friend who played (in a stage play) the interest of a Latino thug who gets religion.  Note: I played the Latino thug.  (Leo pauses whilst those who know what he really looks like are ROFLing).

 

World of Blood [Elven Blood, Blood Lust, Skies of Blood, and City of Blood] is a group of Facebook RPG applications -thus requiring no additional software download.

 

Normal RPG concepts apply – a dashboard shows Life, Stamina, Character Level, XP, and Gold.

 

A horizontal navbar allows access to the main game functions:

 

Quests
Dog simple, fixed stamina cost, 1-click results (varying damages and gold gain). Too few artefact-only restricted quests, almost no user level restricted quests, far too many party size restricted quests.

 

Shop –
And I do mean shop. Not auction house. Fixed price sale of items, fixed price resale (50% of value)
potions are used instantly.

 

Group –
Here you can see your “party” and send invites to other FB people (read spamming) to increase your party’s size, which is critical to have access to quest above a certain level.  Can you do it without spamming your friends? Sure – but it’ll cost you some serious mana….

 

War –
PvP by any other name – fight directly, get XP and gold, but no mana….

 

Character –
Here’s where you allot your level up points (3 per level).  Stamina, Strength, and Dexterity level up at 1 point each.  Life only levels up at 5 points each.

 

Mana
Aye, here’s the rub….

 

If you want mana, (and you’ll need it to increase party size without spamming your friends)
you either buy mana directly [1 party member = 8 mana = $2.00 via Spare Change (via PayPal)]
or go the “win a free iPod” route by signing up for pay per lead offers or Netflix
for varying amounts of mana (the more the offer pays the app owners, the more mana you get).

That can get old really fast.

 

Scoreboard –
Self-explanatory. Really.

 

Other Weaknesses –
No game gold for mana (doesn’t fit the business model, I guess).

No auction house action.

 

But what do I want for free, right?  I’d give World of Blood 2 Gears, [or Weiners], out of 5.

 

 

Review: Mega Man 9 September 29, 2008

Filed under: 4 weiners,Games,Reviews,Uncategorized,Wii — Gwyddia @ 11:36 am
Tags: , , , ,

Ow, my most of me.


Welcome back, Blue Bomber.  Forget Mega Man X, Mega Man Tutu Adventures, Rush eXtREME, and the rest. Mega Man 9 is the real deal.  8-bit graphics, delightfully tinny rock music, and punishing gameplay. Authentic flicker options complete the thing, making Mega Man 9 a worthy and true sequel.

 

For those of you who weren’t around or paying attention in “the old days”, Mega Man is a little blue robot designed by the wonderful Dr. Light.  He starts out by shooting little power pellets at his enemies as he leaps and bounds through painfully difficult platforming levels.  At the end of each level is another robot, this one designed by the Evil Dr. Wily.  When Mega Man defeats these evil robots, he acquires their sweet, sweet power. There’s a dog, too.  Rush, Mega Man’s canine companion starts with the ability to spring you to new heights, but can gain the abilities to race you across spikes and more.

 

Exciting new "box art"!

Exciting new "box art"!

Mega Man has always been part shooter, part platformer, and part puzzler, and MM9 is no exception.There is a “best” way to make it through the game in that some powers are designed to make traversing other levels much easier.   I won’t give away too much here, but isn’t Galaxy Man’s board shiny?

 

All of this is not to say that there is nothing new under the pixellated sun. This time around, Mega Man can collect screws that he can trade to his buddies Auto and Roll for power ups, including Shock Guards and Beat Calls, which will allow you to avoid one spiky death and and pitfall per purchase.  There are also a number of challenges, ala XBox Achievements, such as “Complete the game in 90 minutes” and “Don’t miss with the Mega Buster and finish the game”.  Yes, its layering brutality on top of brutality, but isn’t it fun?

 

The first lady robot in the series and she's a mermaid.

The first lady robot in the series and she's a mermaid.

 

In general, MM9 lets you party like its 1989 for only 1000 Wii Points and all the hair you can yank out of your skull while playing.  If you have any left, that is.  Apparently I’m old, because when I started playing MM9 in front of some of my late 80s baby friends, they began to giggle and squeal that the graphics were so blocky and the music was so annoying, and why did I keep dying?  After I threw them out of my house, I continued to enjoy myself, and decided to give Mega Man 9 four weiners out of five.

 

Review: Alone In The Dark September 25, 2008

Filed under: 1 weiner,Games,PS3,Reviews — Gwyddia @ 7:40 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

The day has come, Weiner fans.  This is my first 1 Weiner out of 5.  I tell you up front because I believe in fair warning, accuracy and succinctness, concepts with which the developers of Alone in the Dark are obviously unfamiliar.

 

Cutscene Brand Cutscene(TM).

Cutscene Brand Cutscene(TM).

The original Alone in the Dark series is the scary godmother of the survival horror genre.  These PC-based thrillers drew on such diverse source material as H.P. Lovecraft, H.R. Giger, and the voodoun tradition.  The original games starred Edward Carnby, a private investigator with a habit of treading into darker paths than he would like due to his passing sensitivity to the parnormal.  The original Carnby is a fairly unassuming detective – a bit of the “everyman” with just enough skill and verve to live to spy another day.  The original games had everything a gamer could want from survival horror – good stories, decent visuals, okay voice acting, and enough terror to make you want a night light for a while.

 

In 2005, Uwe Boll released another one of his cinematic abortions, this one based on Alone in the Dark. The movie starred Christian Slater as an overwrought Carnby who was experimented on as a child, giving him the power to see paranormal phenomena.  (Shockingly, Boll had to replace Slater with Korean-American actor Rick Yune for the upcoming sequel, because Slater “declined” to return.).  Most of the plot points in the film directly contradict the game, and the entire thing is a vomitous heap of bad acting and terrible visual effects.

 

So, which version of AITD did Atari choose to emulate when they decided to revive the series?  You guessed it – Uwe’s baby. Today’s Edward Carnby is a grunting whiner who believes that fire is the answer to everything.  The “immersive” Central Park setting is a repetitive grove of dark (and flammable) trees.  Yes, you can pick up and interact with almost anything (when the nice buttons announce you can), but the limited “hey, wanna buy a watch” jacket inventory system and the fact that every single thing in the game appears to be completely incendiary makes the whole thing a moot point. 

 

Visually, AITD is a dud. I played the PS3 version of the game, and it looks passably grim. Light help you if you attempt to play the PS2 or Wii versions. Even on the PS3, the cutscenes look like they were rendered by first-year students working on Grape iMacs, and the in-game character modeling has two settings: “brooding” and “undead”.

 

Give me pouty!

Give me pouty!

OK, dead eyes, dead eyes!

OK, dead eyes, dead eyes!

The controls do not improve the situation.   AITD handles like Resident Evil 1’s mentally challenged younger brother. It’s a shame, too, because every time you die you are kicked back quite a ways, and have to relive each cutscene or listen to the exact same ambient noise or dialogue as you burn your way to the next checkpoint.  And burn you will, because fire is the answer to everything and if you try to take the time to cobble together some items to find a new way of dealing with a situation, you will be killed thanks to Atari’s “innovative real time action”.

 

I found myself wishing that Atari had taken a page from BioWare and allowed for pauses to experiment with the inventory. That would have gone a long way toward making this a playable game. As it stands, after five tries, I don’t care if you’re trapped in the elevator ma’am, I just want you to shut your mouth.  Permanently.

 

In the end, AITD’s developers managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of very possible victory. They had a strong series of games to use as source material, and adequate time and processing power to make something awesome happen. Instead, they took the road less traveled (at least by cinemagoers) and followed Uwe Boll down the road to damnation.

 

For being a terrible remake of an excellent series due to shoddy controls, adequate visuals, and the waste of what could have been an excellent inventory and interaction system, Alone in the Dark “earns” 1 Weiner out of 5.

 

Review: Casually Hardcore on WoW Radio September 24, 2008

Filed under: 5 weiners,Other Folks,Rumors,World of Warcraft — Gwyddia @ 10:34 am
Tags: , , ,

Raiding raiding raiding.  Is World of Warcraft all about the endgame?  The folks at Casually Hardcore don’t think so, and they tell us all about it every Sunday at 12pm EST, 9am PDT (their local time) at WCRadio.com.  

 

CH is more than just a WoW show, however. The current hosts, Gnomewise, Iolite and Grail are all parents and “real live grownups” with jobs and responsibilities. As a result, CH becomes as much a show about balancing geekdom and family as it is about 5-man instances and in-game events.

 

The show doesn’t skimp on WoW content, though. During their recent “Masters of 5” series, Gnome, Io and Grail provided comprehensive walkthroughs of every 5-man Outland instance, complete with loot tables. Other shows have discussed the beta at length or talked about professions in exhaustive detail.

 

Interesting fan-made music and a weekly in-game dance party round out the program. Each week Gnome starts a musical preshow at 11:00 EST, 8:00 PST, and there is a lengthy music break during the show. Listeners can expect to hear everything from death metal to game-related filk, and everything in between. If you want to dance, head over to Booty Bay, Ratchet, or wherever Io throws the weekly party. Prepare to suicide like lemmings off the nearest cliff after the show.

 

For being an excellent, funny, well-balanced WoW-related radio show and podcast, Casually Hardcore gets 5 Weiners out of 5.

 

 

 

 

Casually Hardcore is available on Sundays at WCRadio.com, or via iTunes as a Podcast soon after the broadcast.

 

Review: Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen September 22, 2008

Filed under: 4 weiners,DS,Games,Reviews,Square Enix — Gwyddia @ 7:46 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

I was fairly excited about this release.  I tore the box open this week, ready and willing to relive hours upon hours of my wasted youth.  I squeed with delight as the Dragon Quest theme began playing in all its tinny regal splendor.  And then the game began.

 

Let me say, first and foremost, that I did enjoy playing Dragon Quest IV.  Arte Piazza, the art directors from Dragon Quest VII, took the lead on this remake, and it shows. The refresh on the art is welcome, but not intrusive or overdone.  Akira Toriyama’s monster design is still charming and bright, including the bosses. The sound is a near-perfect translation of the original and still rings true after fifteen years.  The problem is that most of the mechanics are also still the same after fifteen years, and they don’t quite stand the test of time.

 

JRPGs are known for slow-paced combat, and DQ is the grandaddy of them all.  Twelve year-old me had no problem with this, probably because I didn’t know anything else.  DQIV is turn-based, and forces you to go through several menus to choose exactly what everyone wants to do, every time. Unlike the recent re-release of Final Fantasy IV, there is no Auto-Attack option.  This means is that early fights can take forever as you whittle down slime after slime.

OMG, 176 damage!

OMG, 176 damage!

 

Inventory is suboptimal.  When I didn’t know that only being able to hold eight items per person (plus one overflow bag) was an arbitrary difficulty modifier, it didn’t bother me. Today, trying to stock up on Medicinal Herbs that don’t stack and cannot be used except by the player who is holding them is nearly unforgiveable. This is particularly true in the early stages, when those herbs are your lifeline, and its a long way back to the save point.

 

Ah, yes, saving. Another “fun” DQ innovation. In DQ, you save by “confessing” at a church. That’s it. No save points in dungeons, no way to port out and port back in, nothing. This means that if you trudged all the way out to some Light forsaken tower and spent two hours grinding through it just to die on the final boss, you are out of luck. Do it all again. This time with feeling. And mana regeneration? Forget it, until you can obtain items that will do restore your juice. So make those spells last. They’re the only ones you’ve got.

Slime after slime.

Slime after slime.

 

Finally, level grinding. I’m a 4-year WoW player, so level grinding is nothing new to me. That being said, years of playing WoW and Final Fantasy games have conditioned me to expect that if I play through a game normally, entering dungeons and facing bosses in sequence as I meet them, I stand at least a fair chance of prevailing. Not so in DQ. Most of the time, if you try to take on a challenge as soon as you encounter it, you’re going to die. End of story. Expect to wander around aimlessly looking for fights for at least an extra level, better two, beyond the level you are when you first encounter The Next Big Thing. Oh well, at least you make lots of gold, right? Wrong. Forget being able to get the latest and greatest gear available from each new town, at least at first. DQ is stingy with the money, and dungeons drops are rare. Be prepared to wander.

 

I knew all of this going into the game, though. I knew that there were things that were going to bug the heck out of me because I’ve come to expect more from my RPGs since 1992. That’s why I still enjoyed DQIV so much.

 

The storyline is still fairly epic, even by today’s standards. The characters have life, and feeling, and the localization teams have done their best to make each Chapter feel like it takes place in a completely different part of the game world. Even if this does lead to some horribly funny Japanese-to-Russianesque-to-Rusjapenglish in Chapter 2, it gives you the feeling that you are a large world with varied ethnicities and real danger.

 

My favorite Chapter is still 3, the tale of Mara and Nara, the dancer and the fortuneteller.  As a kid, these ladies inspired me even more than warrior princess Alena.  That part hasn’t changed a bit.  Fighting with clubs and daggers is de rigeur, but using fans, claws and cards as weapons is a blast.  Grinding through the merchant quest still sucks, though.

 

The city of Townsville.

The city of Townsville.

I also have to give credit where credit is due.  What little new stuff there is here really works. The DS two-screen approach offers a lot of screen real estate for this game.  This is invaluable in dungeons because it lets you get a better sense of where you are going, and cuts down on the random lost roaming of the original.  The towns look lovely, almost on par with Dragon Quest VII. There is an online Chance Encounter mode that allows you to expand your own town through Nintendo WiFi play.  If you have other nostalgia-starved friends who pick this title up, you’ll enjoy sharing your own little piece of Heaven with them.

 

All in all, I think Arte Piazza did a good job updating this classic for the modern era. I hope this brings a new generation of proto-geeks to DQ, and to the appreciation of substance over style (I’m looking at you, Final Fantasy X-2). I’m looking forward to the ports of Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride and Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Reverie, the second and third titles in the so-called “Zenithia trilogy”. Most Americans (including me) have never had the chance to play DQV and VI. DQV was released in Japan in July, so hopefully the U.S. release isn’t far behind. Maybe they’ll even evolve out some of the rough parts this time.

 

For being an epic RPG that, despite its many flaws, is still playable and enjoyable fifteen years after its original release, I am giving Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen 4 weiners out of 5.

 

Review: Rock Band 2 September 16, 2008

Rock Band is back (as if it ever left). The new disc offers about 100 new songs, including Bob Dylan’s first foray into videogames and Harmonix in-house band Speck’s dork ode “Conventional Lover”. For folks who have been rocking out since last year, its more like a huge song pack than a sequel, and that’s just fine.

 

It’s getting better all the time.  The visuals are a bit shinier, the band members a bit more customizable, and the interface a little more streamlined. For example, you can switch between instruments with the same character without having to do a restart. For folks who want to just rock out and have fun, there is a “no fail” option.  For those who complain that the nerf bat was used too liberally in Rock Band 2, there are now options to speed up tracks or take out the visual lines entirely.

 

The updated instruments are the real coup here. The new drumset is a sea change from the day of release set I’ve been rocking since last year. It is solid where the original was flimsy, generally quiet where the original was loud, and provides a better, more satisfying play experience. I’ve been excited about these skins since we tried them at PAX, and I am glad to have them home.

 

The new hotness.

The new hotness.

The guitar is likewise excellent. Gone is the “mushy” strum bar of Rock Band 1. Here to stay is a great feel and wireless rock. An improved accelerometer picks up Overdrive cues nearly without fail. This is a great plastic instrument.

 

Faux woody

Faux woody

The microphone is much the same as the original. It does the job, and picks up as well as it should. Harmonix still hasn’t implemented phoneme recognition, though, so you can recite the Declaration of Independence and still get 100% on the Beastie Boys’ “So Whatcha Want”.

 

All in all, though, Rock Band 2 is a lot of fun. And, because the Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero World Tour instruments are now interoperable with their respective games, you can pick and choose whose sets you like best and enjoy the loads of content on the discs and beyond.

 

Now if you will excuse me, Gwyddia, The Stig, and the rest of Pathological Monsters! are playing for our airplane in a few minutes.

 

 

 

For listening to their fans and cleaning up what needed to be cleaned up, plus providing a ton of excellent songs to enjoy (500 by Christmas, they say), I am giving Rock Band 2 five weiners out of five.