Red Planet Forecast

According to NASA's Phoenix lander, it's snowing on Mars.

Obviously, the snow was brought to Mars by Santa, who moved there after global warming sank his previous workshop.


Live and On Stage

After much debating and uncertainty, the opportunity of playing Rock Band 2 with friends online finally spurred me to get an actual XBox Live Account. That's why many of you may have received friend requests from FZbang - and if you haven't then you should toss a friend request my way!

Last night saw my housemate and I playing out main band, Vröck & Tröll with a couple friends over as guest artists, heroically struggling through Metallica's "Battery" and Dream Theater's "Panic Attack" on Hard. For those who haven't experienced them, Battery is one of the toughest songs on the game in its own right, and then Panic Attack makes Metallica look like a garage band.

Over our several attempts at the song, we not only improved our instrumental skills, but we refined our overall strategy of how and when to deploy star power, how long to wait before saving members, and other attempts to eke out a way through the 7-and-a-half-minute onslaught. It felt every bit as tense and challenging as any raid in Warcraft, and completing it felt every bit as rewarding. That's the sort of team experience that the best co-player games can elicit.

I'm looking forward to playing much more with full groups, on- or off-line. Mostly for the team experience, of course, but also to show off my character and his post-apocalyptic drumming outfit. As always, Barbie-Dress-Up is one of my favorite parts of any game, and until RockBand.com updates to include RB2 characters, this is the only way to show him off.

And maybe I'll get around to playing my other band: the all Lincoln-impersonator band, Fourscore and the Seven Years.