Rock Band 4 Compatibility Page – PS4 and Xbox One

Since I am playing Rock Band 4 on a PS4 using instruments from PS3 versions, I looked up compatibility and instructions while I was trying to set it up. I didn’t find any complete reference. Harmonix has a compatibility chart, but there’s more to it than that.  I thought I’d start a page here on Nerd Report where people can share their experiences and help in the comments. I will share how I got it to work, but that may only part of the story. (Feel free also to share Xbox One experiences.)

My equipment: Rock Band guitar, drums and microphone, Rock Band 2 guitar, Playstation 4.

You’ll notice that’s four instruments. Playstation 4 now only has two controller jacks. Some design genius figured that with wireless controllers, there was no more need for four or more jacks.

Luckily, one of the Rock Band guitar dongles has extra jacks. A dongle, I learned, is the name for the wireless receiver you plug into the control jack to connect with a wireless guitar. Back on PS3, each instrument came with its own paired dongle.

Rock Band dongles

Rock Band dongles

So the messy plug situation was: two guitar dongles, with a microphone and drums plugged into one of the dongles.

It seems new instruments are simply paired via PS4 bluetooth, but PS3 equipment still requires the dongles, so here we are.

Guitar Hero instruments are now compatible with Rock Band 4, and I had some of those to try out too, but each had problems. My oldest guitar for Guitar Hero III connected and activated fine. I even found it a bit more responsive than Rock Band guitars, explaining why I was always a little better at Guitar Hero. But, the colored frets would go dead at random. In mid-song, I’d lose the green, orange or blue fret, which makes finishing the song impossible.

Could that be the age of the guitar? It’s the oldest piece of equipment in this equation so maybe it’s just going bad. It did have fresh new batteries in, and the randomization of the dead frets suggests it’s not just wear and tear.

However, my second guitar, which came with Guitar Hero World Tour, was completely dead. The dongle would not even light up red to connect, although the guitar it should have paired with was still blinking. Do dongles go bad? That’s a tad less old than the guitar that works with missing fret buttons.

RockBand4_HUD_CedarwoodRoad_1443603713On the vocal front, since I still have the old microphone, am I able to use the vocal improv feature? It seems like any time I stray from the notes, it counts as a miss. Do you need the new Rock Band 4 mic to vary the notes? Or am I just not good enough to improv?

I will update this page as I find more information. Please share answers or further questions in the comments.

Franchise Fred Game Review: Guitar Hero Live (PS4)

As far as I was concerned, all the Guitar Hero franchise ever had to do was keep coming out with new songs. It would be forever playable as long as songs were added after we’d gotten perfect scores on the previous songs. But Guitar Hero kept reinventing, adding a full band for World Tour, and now a whole new guitar for Guitar Hero Live.

Exclusive Activision brand cat bed!

Exclusive Activision brand cat bed!

The best part about Guitar Hero Live is that it comes with a free cat bed. Once I put together the guitar, which is a very easy assembly, I didn’t throw the cardboard box away, and I never will. Tippi loves it!

The most significant change in the new guitar is there are six notes, but it’s not a sixth note added to the end. It’s redesigned so that two sets of three buttons lay atop each other on the neck. This is a tad more like a real guitar, but nothing like Rocksmith so it’s still just for fun.

Gameplay in Guitar Hero Live

Gameplay in Guitar Hero Live

Just like I learned the original guitar, I was amazed to feel my hands learning how to recognize up and down notes. The tutorial teaches you the new guitar fairly quickly, but it’s really hands on experience more than anything. I stopped shaking my pinky within an hour as I got used to using my three middle fingers only.

Once you get the hang of it, you can tell when the note tracks are going to move your fingers from upper to lower notes and vice versa. Sometimes it feels like it’s just random, but that just means you have to develop a more sophisticated musical ear. While the game notes are only an interpretation of the music, it still makes sense how they make chords that fluctuate with the songs.

Gameplay in Guitar Hero Live

Gameplay in Guitar Hero Live

It means that if there are any songs that were in the old Guitar Hero games, you have to learn them completely differently. Even though it’s a new live version, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” is a wildly different note track. “Cult of Personality” is significantly adapted too, because now there are exponentially more combinations of notes to make.

You eventually just feel your fingers dancing along the new guitar. I step one finger down, then the other joins it for a different chord. My biggest mistake is holding both upper and lower notes down unintentionally, and then of course missing it when it is a double note, but I still make the same old mistake of hitting notes too early too. Some things never change. Just like that familiar clicking of the strum bar along with the music.

I used to play Guitar Hero on Hard, but not Expert level. Guitar Hero Live defaults to Regular, and it’s a satisfying game for now. I’m sure I’ll work up to advanced. I have two completely new games to look forward to once I master Regular, because Advanced and Expert will have all new notes. On Regular, I actually haven’t failed out of a song just yet. I came close once.

Hero Power in Guitar Hero Live

Hero Power in Guitar Hero Live

The new game also accounts for earning rewards. You can use earnings in career mode to buy single plays of catalog songs. You also have to earn Hero Powers with experience points. Double multiplier doesn’t even become available until level 13. Otherwise, why would you use any other Hero Power? 2X will earn you more coins and experience points, but until I get there, the bomb is neat.

The songs are a good mix, but I’d always take more classic rock. Like previous Guitar Hero and Rock Band games, Guitar Hero Live is introducing me to music I wouldn’t otherwise listen to, although I haven’t discovered any new music I love because of the game yet. The Kongos got me into a good rhythm though.

Guitar Hero TV might become more of a draw when there are more channels available. For now it seems like something I’d only use as a break if I’m stuck somewhere in career mode, but more channels will come. A snafu in the catalog list, bands with names starting with The are listed under T. That’ll make them harder to find when the catalog grows overwhelmingly.

The live-action footage during career mode is actually a little distracting to me. I mean, I’m zeroed in on the “highway” with the notes pouring down anyway, so I’m not trying to watch a live-action concert. The footage can be distracting, and time consuming as it follows you on stage in real time, but I suppose it’s not any more down time than in the animated version.

I don't like my video games staring back at me!

I don’t like my video games staring back at me!

I always joked that they should make a game called Groupie Hero. This is what I get as they captured footage of backstage flirts giving you the eye. The point of view camera when you jump into the mosh pit is impressive cinematography, and the quality of the footage is better than Blu-ray, but I just find it creepy when they look directly in the camera. Especially you, Ms. Portland Cloud.

Guitar Hero Live is going to be an ongoing project. I am going to continue getting better at the game and finding new aspects about it, earning more rewards to experience and trying more difficult levels. There will be new songs added so I’ll want to review the latest additions more specifically. Check back for future Guitar Hero Live reviews at Nerd Report.

E3 2015: ATTRACTIO Hands-on Demo Recap

Last week at E3 2015 in L.A., I got to get my hands on some awesome and interesting games. While in the Bandai Namco game room, where there were all kinds of games at my disposal, I picked up the controller to a game called Attractio. Here’s my recap of the hands on demo.


First let me explain what Attractio is with the help from the game developers themselves:

Attractio is the new mind-bending single-player game from indie developer GameCoder Studios. This fresh and innovative game will change your perception of physics and reality.

In the year 3275, humankind inhabits a big part of the Solar System and looks forward to the new season of the famous reality show: Attractio. This program broadcasts live from the Entertainment Space Station (ESS)—an artificial satellite orbiting Mars—created specifically for Attractio. It is the only place that meets the requirements to host experiments with gravity manipulation. Deadly challenges and puzzles await those willing to change their lives on live television to win a better life.

Choose from three participating contestants—Keir, Dalek, or Mia—each with unique abilities and storylines. Some puzzles can be solved alone while others require teamwork, where you’ll need to combine two characters’ abilities and switch between the contestants. To survive, you’ll need to use different gadgets to manipulate gravity and play as a team in this exciting reality show.

In Attractio, each object has its own gravitational direction you can change and manipulate. Interactions between objects, combined with different gravity directions, create a range of possibilities. Solve deadly physics-based puzzles using never-before-seen gadgets with gravity-manipulation capacity, all the while creating unexpected mechanics. Each puzzle across the game can be solved in many different ways!

Now that that’s out of the way, Attractio (published by Bandai Namco) reminded me a lot of the popular video game Portal and I was told by Alfonso Cabrera Ibarra, Chief Commercial Officer at GameCoder Team who is one of the creators of this game, that a lot of people also told him that it was similar to Portal. The game is a first-person puzzle strategy game. As I made my way through different areas of the stage, I quickly learned that I really needed to put my brain to work when it came to things like opening doors and jumping from one area to the next. I had to use different boxes, which all had their different gravitational directions, and put them onto a platform which would then open the door. The controls were pretty easy to get used to which makes it easier to focus on the tasks.


To be honest, I’m not one for puzzle strategy games but what had me interested in this game was the story and the fact that you get switch between three different characters, who all have different abilities and weapons. Alfonso explained to me that each character has their own story and secrets. Reasons why they are in this reality game. Knowing that, I think people will want to keep playing Attractio to find out all the secrets of these characters.

The graphics were pretty good and you can tell that the creative team spent a lot of time on this game based on all the details in every object you see on the screen. Take a look at some of the key art and screen shots from Attractio, below:







Attractio will be released some time in September-October for PS4 (Digital), PS Vita (Digital), STEAM (Win/Linux/Mac).

Check out the trailer below:


    “Mortal Kombat X is the newest installment in the “Mortal Kombat” franchise. The franchise started back in 1992 with the original “Mortal Kombat” being released for arcade. The game became so popular in the arcade, that later it would make its way into home gaming with new releases of further iterations. Most notably, many people note Mortal Kombat as a main reason the ESRB came to be.

mortol copy

     With the release of “Mortal Kombat X, and being a huge fan myself, it is only right that I played through the game about 3 times now so I can learn every piece of the story that I could, and now here is the anticipated review.

There will be spoilers from here on out, but i will try to keep them to a minimum.

     The story of Mortal Kombat X picks up a few years after you defeat Shao Kahn in Mortal Kombat (9). Shinnok decides to attack Earthrealm using an army of Netherrealm forces including those who were defeated and now serve as resurrected servants under Quan Chi’s control. After fighting their former comrades, Johnny, Sonya and Kenshi open a portal to the sky temple and head to the jinsei chamber which is the source of Earthrealms life force. They come to find that Raiden is fighting Shinnok alongside Fujin. Johnny, Sonya and Kenshi managed to distract shinnok long enough for Raiden to steal Shinnok’s amulet and imprison him inside it, but Quan Chi managed to escape. Johnny and Sonya tracked him down to his lair and managed to temporarily defeat him, returning Scorpion, Sub-Zero and Jax back to their human form.

     Moving forwards twenty years, Johnny Cage assembles a team consisting of his daughter Cassie, Jax’s daughter Jacqui, Kenshi’s son Takeda, and Kung Lao’s cousin Kung-jin. After training with sub-zero, they are dispatched to Outworld to resolve a civil war between Mileena who is in possession of Shinnok’s amulet, and the Outworld emperor Kotal Kahn. Cassie’s team ends up helping Kotal Kahn in capturing Meleena and retrieving the amulet. Right as they are about to leave, Kotal Kahn ends up betraying them to keep the amulet in Outworld. Little did Kahn know, D’Vorah was a double agent, working for Quan Chi. She steals the amulet and ends up putting the blame on Cassie’s team.

Spoilers Over!

     Thats as far as I am going to go into the story, as it gets a little confusing unless you are playing the game. Now then, lets get on to the thoughts about the game. Being a die hard Mortal Kombat fan, this is a breath of fresh air for the series. The interactive environments are a very nice touch for a fighting franchise that was starting to put out the same old thing. X-Rays have seem to been balanced a little batter than the last Mortal Kombat game was, although, it is still evident that some characters have more devastating X-Rays than other characters, so it will be interesting to see if that will be incorporated into competitive play.


     Brutalities have made a return which makes me happy. The krypt is still here and creepier than ever. Watch out for those jump scares. The living towers make a great additionk. Say you wanna go and see how well you stack against other people. Well, you can go to the living towers to do one of the three towers that are avalible. An hourly one, a daily one, and a premiere one, which i believe changes every week. It is a great thing that you have the potential to do a new tower every hour if that is your thing.


     Other than that, the only major change is the Faction system which is kinda spotty at best right now. Sometimes I am able to see my factions progress and sometimes I can’t. In the coming weeks, maybe one or two, I will be writing about the faction system. I wanna see how it works before I judge it too harshly like what kind of rewards will be given out and what kind of battles will come from it. If I had to rate this game, I would give Mortal Kombat X an 8 out of 10. I strongly recommend this game to anyone who is a fighting game fan. If you liked fighting games before and have been burned on a fighting game before, I suggest you play this one and see if it can persuade you other wise. If you wanna pick up the game, you can grab it right here.

     Before we go, there is a scene that plays after the credits. If you have not seen it yet, check it out here. Future DLC? New game? What do you think?


DESTINY’S HOUSE OF WOLVES Expansion Date Revealed!

Is anyone still playing Destiny?


I know I am. Personally, I’m not a big fan of online FPS console games, but this game seemed to hook me with its unique take on the FPS genre. Are you a solo player? You can play solo (except of course for certain missions and raids), you can just do all multiplayer if you want, you can do a combination of both. It’s pretty flexible.


The first expansion, The Dark Below, hit the online market on December 9, just 4 months after the release of the game. Now its second expansion, House of Wolves, has been announced to drop on Tuesday May 19th.


The odd thing is that there doesn’t seem to be a raid in this expansion.


Regardless, fans of Destiny agree that Bungie will have to start speeding up their new content as players are hitting level cap fairly fast. With 4 months from the release to the first expansion and 5 months from the first to the second expansion, the quality of content vs. speed of release is starting to tax on players.


Still, expect nothing but quality in this new expansion. Bungie has made it no secret that they’re learning as they go along, but will fans follow?

Only time will tell.

Are We Going To See A New ROCK BAND Game? Check Inside!

Rock Band fans listen up!



What a lot of you may not know is that you can STILL purchase download songs from the Rock Band store, even though it’s been years since the last Rock Band came out. Their latest offering has the new Foo Fighters song “Something From Nothing”, Avenged Sevenfold’s “Shepherd of Fire” and Arctic Monkey’s “R U Mine”.


The Foo Fighters’ latest hit song “Something From Nothing” is now in the Rock Band DLC Store!


From this latest DLC, there was a HUGE response…apparently huge enough for Harmonix to reach out to its fans in an attempt to “feel” us out.


Questions were really pointed, including “Which functional Rock Band instruments do you currently own?”, “If you bought a new Rock Band, how would you buy it?” (game only, game with instrument, game will full set, etc.), “Which next-gen consoles do you own?” and a priority list asking what features you used  and loved when you played Rock Band.


Face it, you missed this.


These kinds of “feelers” aren’t just fly-by-night surveys, I believe this is Harmonix’s way of saying, “We are developing a new Rock Band and it’s going to be on the newest consoles!”


And who didn’t love Rock Band?

New PLAYSTATION 4 Bundle Comes With Free Game!

If you’re looking for a PS4, but the extra cost of a good title is just beyond the budget, you can check out the new bundle! With the news coming straight from the Playstation Blog, you can get a PS4 for $399.99 and comes with a choice of either Far Cry 4, Destiny, NBA 2K15, or Little Big Planet 3. They’re quite possibly the best game for every age range. If you don’t have a PS4, now’s the time to get one!


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