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Brutal Mode Battle – Final Event Recap

Hey gang,

Last Saturday, we flew out seven of the top US Rock Band 4 guitarists to test their skills in the Brutal Mode Battle. As mentioned in our previous post, these finalists were able to visit Harmonix HQ and compete for the top placings among the rest. We’ve got lots of highlights from the livestream, including pictures, scores, and prizes below!

Brutal Mode Battle Logo

It all started at Noon on Saturday. The Boston wind was whipping outside as our seven finalists piled into the elevator to be taken up to Harmonix’s floor. Our finalists got situated, met the crew, and went on a quick tour of the studio. We took them to see our game room, lounge, and even the playtest room (where YOU might be if you come to Harmonix to playtest!).

Harmonix welcomes the Brutal Mode Battle finalists!
Harmonix welcomes the Brutal Mode Battle finalists!

Once we were all in place, the Brutal Mode Battle stream began, and our finalists were introduced. HMXJosh was our MC for the day, who took us through the event’s agenda, giving insight and information to the viewers at home. Finalists were asked to play through the following three songs exclusively on the new Brutal Mode:

  1. Rick Derringer = “Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo”
  2. The Both = “Milwaukee”
  3. Symphony X = “Nevermore”

The first two final songs are on-disc, for those who want to try their skills against our finalists with their own set-up on Rock Band 4. The final song was a DLC track that was released in the same week that our December update, which included Brutal Mode, was available. Competitors drew numbers out of a (my) hat to determine what order they played their set in, and got to rocking.

Rock Band 4 - Brutal Mode Crimson Stars

The Performance

1. Vince picked the number 1 from the hat, and donned the Rock Band 4 guitar first. Flying in from New York, Vince had an incredibly strong start to the tournament. He set some high scores to start off the stream, establishing that the competition for the day was going to be fierce.

  • Vince’s Gamertag is “vVv Ganon” on Xbox One.
  • Vince’s total score ended up being 564,576.

2. Next up to play their set was Andrew. Another resident of New York, Andrew was able to keep up with Vince's original scores within hundreds of points for 2/3 tracks! He played an incredible set, really nailing “Nevermore” despite its incredible difficulty.

  • Andrew’s Gamertag is “andpg” on Xbox One.
  • Andrew’s total score came in at 574,152.

3. Third was Hunter, one of our North Carolinian competitors. With a confident approach, Hunter surpassed both Vince and Andrew's scores on both “Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo” and “Milwaukee”. While he didn’t beat the individual scores set for “Nevermore” from his predecessors, he still managed to place 1st among the three finalists that had gone once his set was completed. But the competition wasn’t over yet!

  • Hunter’s PlayStation ID is “Chinnpokomastah” on PlayStation 4.
  • Hunter’s total score was 583,346.

4. Now reaching the half-way point of the stream, our fourth finalist, Dakota, took the stage. Dakota was one of our most soft-spoken participants, and did an amazing job with his set. While “Nevermore” ended up being too brutal even for him, knowing that he had advanced far enough to come to Harmonix remains a respected position to be in!

  • Dakota’s Gamertag is “oX Reload Xo” on Xbox One.
  • Dakota’s final score was 281,787.

5. Tommy was fifth on the stream following Dakota. Tommy, the cool, calm, and collected individual, performed incredibly well in his set. After each song, he very humbly stated, “I did my best. That’s all I could do.”

  • Tommy’s Gamertag is “xx wow i suc xx” on Xbox One.
  • Tommy’s total score totaled out at 461,086.

6. As we approached the final stretch of performers, another New York resident took the stage – Will! Will performed a very solid set, making sure to get himself out of the red in “Nevermore” and managed to keep his streak for quite a long time.

  • Will’s PlayStation ID is “WillieRayPR” on PlayStation 4.
  • Will’s total score came in at 377,316.

7. And last, but literally not least, was our final competitor, Garry. The fourth New York native to make it to the finals, Garry was a shoe-in for this competition. He blew past every other finalist’s individual score for “Nevermore” and never looked back.

  • Garry’s Gamertag is “vVv hellashes” on Xbox One.
  • Garry’s final score ended up being 620,185.

Showing off the Rock Band 4 PAX East 2015 Penny Arcade guitar! HMXJosh showing off the Rock Band 4 PAX East 2015 Penny Arcade guitar controller! A worthy prize for our top three finalists.

The Big Rock Ending

Once all our seven competitors had fully completed their sets, we brought them all back on camera for the final reveal. Keeping track in real time, we determined the total score of each finalist and calculated ranking. It was all up to HMXJosh to announce the finalist and their placings.

7th Place was Dakota, “oX Reload Xo” on Xbox One!

6th Place was Will, “WillieRayPR” on PlayStation 4!

5th Place was Tommy, “xx wow i suc xx” on Xbox One!

4th Place was Vince, “vVv Ganon” on Xbox One!

Our top three finalists received something extra special for making it this far. Our 3rd and 2nd place finalists received a PAX East 2015 Penny Arcade Rock Band 4 guitar controller for the console of their choice! First place received not just the PAX guitar, but also…

  • A $1,000 Cash prize.
  • ALL Rock Band 4 DLC for 2016, AND
  • A custom-skinned Rock Band 4 console of choice, complete with custom controller!

Our 3rd place finalist was… Andrew, or “andpg” on Xbox One!

Our 2nd place finalist was… Hunter! Hunter can be found on PlayStation 4 as “Chinnpokomastah”.

Needless to say, our finalists performed incredibly well, but there can only be 1 top winner. Our final competitor, who ended up performing last on the stream, secured his place at the top above all others.

First Place goes to….Garry! Garry’s skills in “Nevermore” blew the competition away; no one could stop him (or even try!). Garry can be found on Xbox One with the Gamertag, “vVv hellashes”.

Getting the band together for a play session of Rock Band 4!
Getting the band together for a play session of Rock Band 4!

After the stream had ended, our finalists had some time to free play Rock Band 4. Turns out, those who are good at playing Rock Band 4 on guitar are also incredible playing on other instruments in the band! We had full, expert bands playing right up until we turned the lights off at the studio.

Hunter on guitar, Andrew on bass, Garry on drums, and both Vince and Dakota on vocal harmonies!
Playing Rock Band 4: Hunter on guitar, Andrew on bass, Garry on drums, and both Vince and Dakota on vocal harmonies!

Thanks again to everyone who was able to watch the stream and root for our finalists throughout the show. We had an awesome time getting to meet everyone, battling it out, and most important, playing Rock Band 4 together. Until the next tournament – have a great holiday and New Year’s!

The Brutal Mode Battle finalists at Harmonix!
From left to right: HMXJosh, Will, Andrew, Garry (kneeling), Vince, Tommy (kneeling), Hunter, Dakota, HMXCrisis, and HMXAnthony. Congratulations, finalists!