RB3 DLC: Lovin’ Every Minute Of It

EARLIER THIS WEEK, Harmonix released Loverboy’s party-rock classic “Working For The Weekend” as DLC, including support for Pro Keyboards. It’s my opinion that this song represents everything great about Pro Keys, and not because I was one of the first people to 100% it or that I currently sit in 2nd place on the XBL leaderboards. To explain why, it probably helps to point out where Pro Keys charts usually go bad:

  • Parts that sit so far back in the mix that you don’t even feel like you’re playing the song.
  • Complex parts with subtle changes from one measure to the next that demand both hours in practice mode to figure out and a fair amount of memorization.
  • Clusters of notes so fast and dense that lag calibration becomes an issue.
  • Glissandos that feel like a crapshoot to execute; it feels cheap to have a streak broken by something that, on real keyboards, isn’t meant to played with that much precision.

“Working For The Weekend” succeeds by avoiding all of the above. It’s got simple, recognizable, in-your-face keyboard parts that don’t take long to figure out. It doesn’t have quirky changes from one verse to the next that you have to memorize because the game’s interface is so hard to read on the fly. In no time at all, you can grasp what’s going on in the Expert Pro Keys chart, at which point you feel like you’re playing the song, because, well, you are. It’s the kind of song you can play all day.

On top of that, it’s a great chart for beginners, because it provides insight into what it’s like to be a real keyboard player. Sometimes there are big riffs, sometimes you’re adding little bits of flavor, and sometimes you need to drop out completely. It shows how keyboards are often used to create peaks and valleys within a song, building up to a crescendo at the end where the keyboards jump up an octave. By far, it’s one of the most enjoyable Pro Keys songs released to date.

Next week (5/10), Harmonix is releasing a bunch of Foo Fighters stuff in support of their new album, “Wasting Light.” There are four new tracks, “Rope,” “Walk,” “Stacked Actors” and “Long Road to Ruin,” as well as Pro Guitar upgrades for “The Pretender” and “Monkey Wrench.” Some people think there’s too much Dave Grohl in Rock Band, but if they keep offering upgrades for older Foo tracks, I might have to finally break down and buy a Squier to play Pro Guitar.