Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Freestyle MC The Hip Hop Game

Guitar Hero and Rock Band are two of the biggest franchises in the music-game industry and it is only inevitable that a "Hip Hop Hero" is formed. Listening to the never aging, Dr Dre's The Chronic 2001, I came up with a game concept for the 50 Cent in all of us.

As with all video games, our Freestyle MC protagonist, starts as a lowly freestlyist trying to get into the rap/hip hop/battling scene. A practice session's are done with popular songs and beats but once you decide to venture into the game, a venue location is chosen within your urban area, and battle up and coming mcs from that area, leading into a boss battle with a major rapper. After defeating your first boss, you progress to other areas to "promote" yourself and album.

In each area your mc goes, one can enter the battle scene of another urban area or just perform hip hop songs at concert, radio or in a studio creating an "album." Of course there would be a trophy room, to view your "grammys, BET Awards, Soul Train awards, MTV popcorn awards, even oscars" including a garage of your "rides." With enough money and awards, the ending would be MTV doing a Cribs episode or VH1 "Behind the Music" based on your gameplay.
The Gameplay engine would borrow from different games, Guitar Hero, Singstar, and have a puzzle element.

The battling sequences would need to have voice recognition, to track rhymes, flow, pitch and street slang. The difficulty would increase with words populating on the screen, that need to be rhymed with and included in your battle rap. Creating albums would be more Guitar Hero, where you would perfect already released hip hop songs, and your album score would be base on how well you do in the "studio" perfecting the song. But remember, you get only a few tries, since "studio" time costs money.

When the game first starts, you create your avatar, like in Sony's Home, or Mass Effect and choose what City and State you reside in. Based on this criteria, you are placed within a city, ala Virtua Fighter 5, and go to a club (based on game difficulty) to start battling opponents. The boss battles would be against hip hop figures of the area, for SF, it could be E-40 or JT the BIGGA FIGGA, in LA, EAZY E or XZIBIT. To Detroit and NY, imagine, Insane Clown Posse, Ghetto Boyz, 3 6 Mafia, Eminem, Biggie Smalls and so on. There also could be thematic from era to era. We do not have to stay with the heavy hitters, we can find up and coming artists, or local veterans that never made it outside of their area. Also, if you choose to be a "white rapper" or "brown" one can choose to go that route and also battle the Kid Rocks, Cypress Hills of the rap world.

The hip hop beats can be a mixture of up and coming producers to classics, imagine freestyling over the famous "Hit em up" song that many freestylists have done. Album recording would be either from new unreleased or proven classics, and base on which songs you choose to record, song score, and how you advertise the "album" all takes into account how the public receives it. If you promote a gangsta image, and only Roots song, your album will flop.

The peripherals will include, Mics and.... only Mics. Why? All I need is one Mic...

For the first installment all the game will need is a mic, of course one can add a beat maker (to produce beats in the studio mode) or two turntables to do dj battles, but that can be added in the sequels.

Let me know what everyone thinks of this ambitious project, Actvision and EA here I come...

1 comment:

ColbyCheese said...

On the One Hand:

I think it's a pretty good idea. It might work, but I'm not sure the demographic is really there yet to make it really big.

To do-it-up the right way, like you detailed above, we're talking about tons of cash. Alot of people will want to be "compensated appropriately": clearing samples, permission to use songs, permission to use lyrics, compensation for "guest appearances" (You Snoop Dog wants to get PAID!) and who knows what else.

It would take a pretty large up front investment which means lots of copies need to be sold. More copies than the typical game release will normally support, which in turn means we need to get "Joe Sixpack" interested in the title in a BIG WAY (ala Halo 3 or "Rock Band").

I just don't think there's enough "regular people" who dream of being a rap star to move enough units to make it financially feasible.

On The Other Hand:

From a more high-minded perspective, I'm not sure how I feel about another videogame that panders to the stereotypes placed on Blacks and Latinos. Instead of having a gun or a ball in their hand, the list gets expanded to include a microphone. I kinda want more for us character wise in the game space.

All that aside, it IS an interesting idea and I think I'd at least be able to identify more with the set lists in you game than I can with Guitar Hero (I'd never actually heard anything by Rancid or the Toadies).

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