Well, no I’m not. Indeed, according to Score Hero’s Rock Band Section, I seem to be only the 350th best (As of this writing) fake cover band singer ever. But really, I’m writing because last night, I score my first “legitimate” 100% on Expert vocals. What does “legitimate” mean? Does it mean I’ve gotten previous 100%s by cheating? Well no, but let me explain. In the original Rock Band, there were two types of phrases–singing phrases, and what have come to be known as “talkies”. The singing phrases are self-explanatory: The game detects your pitch (It doesn’t care about pronunciation) and compares it to the correct pitch, and awards you points accordingly. Talkies are essentially the opposite: The game it looking to see how well you pronounce the words, and doesn’t care what pitch you’re pronouncing them at. You see a lot of these in rap songs, and some of the metal tracks that aren’t “sung” so much as “growled” or “shrieked” or what have you.
Thing was, the talkie pronunciation system was pretty much broken on certain phrases–it became impossible, even on easier difficulties, to figure out just what in the heck kind of diction the game wanted on certain phrases. So for Rock Band 2, Harmonix tried to compensate for this…and went way too far in the other direction, to the point where the talkies no longer care about pitch or pronunciation. As long as you’re doing anything at all with your voice during talkie sections, you’ll get credit for it, even on Expert. This is best illustrated by this video of someone getting a full combo on the Beastie Boys’s “So Whatcha Want”….via reciting the Declaration of Independence. So I had gotten a couple 100%s on songs like this, but last night I actually sang my way to a Full Combo on Nirvana’s “Drain You”. It’s a pretty easy song to sing, but it still felt good to exhibit something resembling actual skill in the game, as opposed to just reciting stuff and getting rewarded for it.