Students take the stage with MTV’s Rock Band

By Christa Collins

Students got a shot at their 15 seconds of fame last Thursday
when MTV Rock Band invaded Cal Poly. A stage with five separate
stations folded out of the trailer and had a crowd forming around
it in no time. Some were there to watch, but many were eager to get
on stage and simulate either guitar, bass, drums or singing on the
Guitar Hero-like game.

Several groups of friends negotiated who would be playing which
instrument as they waited for a chance to be filmed performing on
the main stage. For anyone who had ever dreamed of becoming a rock
star, it was definitely a fun opportunity.

“It’s a fun game and I’m probably going to buy it. I thought I
had a better singing voice, but oh well,” said Alan Perez,
second-year mechanical engineering student.

Rock Band, which hits stores Nov. 20, seems similar to Guitar
Hero, however Rock Band features a whole band of instruments. One
can still play guitar, but can also hop on the drums, vocals or on
the bass guitar.

“It’s fun. It makes it interesting because there are different
instruments to choose from,” said Akiko Moritake, a third-year
music business student.

Harmonix, the company who made the first Guitar Hero, developed
the game. Hence the two games are similar. The game is also
sponsored by MTV Games and guitar giant Fender.

“I’m a fan of Guitar Hero, and Rock Band is from the same
makers. Rock Band is bringing more music and the band experience to
video gaming,” said Christina Pham, a third-year electrical
engineering student.

The game was put on tour to raise hype for its release in true
rock band fashion. Players were excited to see how it would feel to
take a step up from Guitar Hero and play with a whole band.

“It [Rock Band] is the next step,” said Mitch Jaworski, the West
Coast tour manager, when speaking of Hamonix’s move to Rock Band
from their earlier creation of Guitar Hero.

Rock Band has revamped graphics and the instruments themselves
look more legit. With Fender putting their name in the mix, it’s no
surprise. The guitars themselves could almost be mistaken for
miniature Fenders themselves.

The drums are not a “picture of perfection,” but they are
functional. Everything is color coded like Guitar Hero, but it is
more discreet in Rock Band.

“You are able to jam with your friends. All of us don’t have to
be musically talented to jam out,” said David Geronaga, a
first-year hotel and restaurant management student.

This has been a main attraction for those who have always wanted
to play an instrument but cannot master the skill.

“Both of my uncles are drummers, and I can’t play the drums to
save my life, but up on stage I was playing the drums and singing
at the same time. I think that is the draw for a lot of people,”
said Jaworski.

Some players favor the team – oriented aspect of the game.

“It is a good group game,” said Mychel Jonathan, a second-year
management and human resources student.

The game, which runs $169.99 standard, is already sold out on
the official Web site.

“Everyone is going to expect their product to be the best, but I
think it is going to be like Guitar Hero. It’s going to slowly
build a following, and it is probably going to take away from
Guitar Hero’s following because people like that you can also play
the drums and sing,” said Jaworski.

Students take the stage with MTV

Lenny Cardona, Brian Bachman, Ben Phan and Thomas Mendez try out MTV’s new video game Rock Band.

Students take the stage with MTV’s Rock Band

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