Rumor Killers: Oct. 7

 

Does Rock Band 2 Contain a Game-Killing Glitch?

Just a few weeks ago rhythm-game fanatics were finally able to get the next hit of their drug of choice with the release of Rock Band 2 on the Xbox 360. The game’s been a long time coming, and fans have eagerly lapped up the 85 new licensed tracks and weekly DLC. At least, they were until a bug started going around, one which has struck with with a terrible vengeance.

According to a large number of folks on the Rock Band forums, the game is deleting band leaders, thereby forcing players to lose all progress and start completely from scratch. A user who goes by the name of Justin B. offers the best explanation of what’s happening, so here’s the glitch in his own words:

"A number of Rock Band 2 players are experiencing an error in tour mode where at some point through the game (it seems people most often make substantial progress and are just prior to the airplane award) they start the game and find they cannot access their band. Your character and your band do not show up in the selection screen, but unlocked songs are still available. If you enter quickplay mode your character is deleted. For some reason your band will show up in online mode, but when you access it you get a message stating "looking for band leader" that never resolves and you have to back out. In the game options screen, when you try to load your band, or modify it in any way, you can still see the band but your only option is to delete it. This error seems to becoming more and more common, and its incredibly frustrating because your only option is to create a brand new band and start your tour all over again.

The common threads seem to be the use of an Xbox Live Enabled primary account and a non-Xbox Live Enabled secondary account [to form your band]. This makes me believe this will be an Xbox 360 error and not anything that would effect the Wii or PS3 versions."

So from the sounds of things, this particular bug lies in wait for quite a while, and then strikes at a specific moment. The forum users seem to believe that the glitch is the result of one player’s profile/band data saving over the other and thus causing all the problems. The only workaround so far seems to be to save all band members on one profile, thus preventing the issue from arising. You may not get any Achievements, but at least your band will remain intact. Several sources have been awaiting an official response from Harmonix, but so far the company has not commented on the issue.

While we all want to believe this is a bad dream and that this isn’t really happening, that doesn’t appear to be the case. While no one on the TGR staff has yet experienced the killer bug, we find it hard to believe that this is just some well-orchestrated hoax originating from the Rock Band 2 forums either. The thread on the issue has now stretched to 17 pages with no relief in sight, and even our skeptical minds believe that there’s something up. In the meantime, be very, very careful when playing the game, lest you lose everything you worked for.

TGR Verdict: Rumor Confirmed

Is Spore Set to Release an Expansion?

Spore, Will Wright’s ambitious take on critter evolution was heavily hyped in the months leading up to its release. However, things took a turn for the worse when the game began receiveing mixed  review scores as well as enraging consumers with its "draconian" DRM. Now, it looks like EA might be dipping its toe back into Spore’s cash-printing primordial pool, as it seems as though the company is planning to launch an expansion disc.

According to a recent Amazon listing, the game is set to receive the "Cute and Creepy Parts Pack" on November 18 for a price of $20. Gamestop also had a page devoted to the expansion, but it has been pulled just like the Amazon listing. When asked for a comment, EA chose to reply with the now pat "we don’t comment on rumors and speculation."

In this case, EA can’t cover their tracks though, as Google’s cache shows all for both the Amazon and GameStop listings. It’s not like this is an unexpected move either, as EA obviously wants to capitalize on Spore’s popularity this holiday season and squeeze every penny out of the game they can get. No doubt about it, this expansion is coming, and I get the feeling we’ll be seeing it in less than six weeks.

TGR Verdict: Rumor Confirmed

 

Are Disney Characters Coming to LittleBigPlanet?

There’s just no rumor quite like a magazine rumor. Unlike all us poor online saps who have to quote (at least dubious) sources every time we print up the latest juicy gossip, our print brothers can easily get away with making claims without any evidence simply because they’re more famous than the rest of us. At least, that’s the case with our latest rumor, coming by way of EGM, that Disney characters are set to appear in the PS3 exclusive LittleBigPlanet.

EGM’s original story, as retold by plenty of other outlets, states that Sony has an agreement to allow plenty of third-party game mascots and other characters to get in on the Sackboy fun, and that among this motley crew will be a number of Disney characters. While EGM didn’t specifically state which characters would make an appearance, you can bet that mainstays like Mickey, Donald and Goofy will show up, likely along with other friends from the House of Mouse.

Sony has chosen not to comment on the rumor, but that’s no surprise as companies almost never do. My job would be a lot easier if they did, but alas, that’s not how the world works. So instead we’ll look at things from this angle… We already know that third-party game characters such as Nariko (Heavenly Sword) and Kratos (God of War) will make an appearance in LBP, so it’s not much of a stretch to imagine that non-gaming mascots would show up either. Also, Nariko and Kratos are also both characters that have shown up in PlayStation exclusive games, as have certain Disney characters with the Kingdom Hearts franchise (yes, Chain of Memories came out on the GBA, but that’s really just splitting hairs). Still, this all seems to be coming a bit out of left field, but I suppose when you’re trying to turn a game like this into a hit that transcends the lines typically dividing hardcore and casual gamers, such a move would be quite appealing. We won’t confirm this yet, since it still seems a bit strange, but it’s a rumor that’s also far from dead.

TGR Verdict: Possible

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