The Day The Music Died...Then Someone Buried It In A Pet Sematary And It Came Back. Sometimes Dead Is Better.

Happy Weekend TAY and Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian brothers and sisters.

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I’ve got to make this brief as we are away for the long weekend and I didn’t have time to prepare something before I left. Also, I’ll likely not be able to reply until Monday or Tuesday, so my apologies for the lack of engagement ahead of time.

Why didn’t I prepare something ahead of time? Because all my free time was spent this last week pulling my hair out trying to make Rock Band 4 work on Xbox One...and I can’t do it.

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I’m one of the many people experiencing terrible vocal lag with the singers voice coming very delayed from the speakers. It is so delayed that it is impossible to sing as the delay in hearing your own voice screws you up (and everyone else playing with you). We play Rock Band 4 with the volume rather loud, so it is extremely important to hear the singers voice coming from the speakers. I can’t imagine having to play without hearing the players vocals, so right now, the game simply isn’t playable for us.

I’ve probably spent 8 hours so far just messing around with calibrations and nothing works. The auto calibration with the guitar sensor doesn’t give a playable result and the auto calibration using the controller doesn’t work either. I’ve spent hours playing with the -300ms to +300ms range of manual delay settings and...nothing. There is no audio delay setting available in game that will correct the issue for me.

I haven’t even gotten around to the drums and guitar since the vocal delay was the most glaring issue. There are certainly loads of posts on the support forums with issues for both instruments, but they initially felt alright with me with the limited time I spent with them.

Right now, the way it stands, the “Band In A Box” set has to go back within 30 days; it simply doesn’t work for us and I don’t want to be stuck with potentially useless equipment. Thankfully the manager at EB Games (where we made our pre-order) seems to be very sympathetic so far.

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I can’t tell you how sad this makes my whole family. We play Rock Band 3 all the time, but our poor old instruments are on desperate life support and I’ve repaired the drums more times than I can count. We were so excited for new equipment.

On the upside, the new instruments are drool worthy to be sure. The new guitar is the best part, it is so slick and smooth to play and is very light to hold. The new drums are about the same as the old drums, but all the connecting bits are of better quality and the whole thing feels more solid. I would point out though that the kick pedal response is awful too. This is apparently a game issue and not a hardware issue if the Harmonix forums are to be believed. The mic is still crappy for us and doesn’t seem improved over the last mics. We use the Wii U Sing Party mic which is a far superior mic to use (in our opinion of course).

At $400 (CDN) with taxes I simply can’t afford to sit on all this equipment and wait for a possible fix from Harmonix. They wore away any goodwill I had towards them with Dance Central Spotlight, which I love, but they left it in a mess. They’ve seemingly abandoned Dance Central Spotlight without fixing any of the major issues (game stopping issues for some people) and song support dried up not long after launch. So much for the promise of more songs more quickly with the new bare bones game model. If I had to speculate, I think Harmonix is just too small to deal with these complex games. I imagine it comes down to an issue of money and not having enough of it to throw at a problem. But the way they just left the Dance Central community twisting in the wind with not so much as a word speaks volumes. I’m simply not going to trust that Harmonix is going to be able to fix the problems with Rock Band 4 and for the price of admission at the cost of a new console, I am not waiting around to see what happens.

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I imagine we’ll be able to pick up instruments at a later date if the whole project doesn’t implode. I’ll return everything in a couple weeks and keep an eye on the forums. If they fix stuff, I can start off with the digital version of the game since we have mics and see if we can, at the very least, sing properly.

Needless to say, it has been a stressful and very sad week for something that should have been so joyous.

Other than Rock Band 4 aging me horribly, I didn’t have time to play anything else most of the week. I did manage to play a single session of Alien: Isolation prior to Rock Band 4’s release last week and I am still in awe of that game. Currently, I'm at a section that I am not able to pass after about 10 attempts. This of course was my concern in my post last week, when I spoke about foolishly starting to play the game on the Nightmare difficulty mode. I imagine I’ll be able to pass the section when I get some time to devote to the game with undivided attention, but boy is it a tough game at times. Still, I’d rather too tough than too easy I think.

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So, this weekend likely won’t have any gaming for me. I did bring along the kid’s Vita and maybe I’ll be able to finally finish off Uncharted: Golden Abyss, if I can sneak in a few hours.

Have a yummy time with the turkey and stuffing to all the Canadians and for those not eating pumpkin pie this weekend, what are you playing?