If Mike Shinoda's parents had known that their son would have a future in video games, they might have been less concerned with his obsession.
"I was a total gamer when I was a kid," Shinoda told MTV News. "My parents actually worried about me, I was playing video games so much."
Long before the days of [artist id="960856"]Linkin Park[/artist], Shinoda clocked so many hours on his Nintendo that he once beat a game in an hour and 15 minutes (a so-so game he remembered as "Dino Wars"). That experience and all the time spent clutching that rectangular controller helped shape the band's new mobile game, "Linkin Park 8-Bit Rebellion!," which is available Monday (April 26).
The new title swaps the brick-like NES controller for a shiny iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, mixing 8-bit nostalgia with modern gaming features.
"The game is a massively multiplayer game," Shinoda explained. "It's an RPG, it's a scrolling format, there's a heavy community component to the game, and as you play, you beat missions, you can talk to your friends." You can even send your friends a weapon, like a chain saw, while you're talking to them. (Shinoda has a fondness for the flamethrower.)
Completing the '80s experience is an 8-bit soundtrack of Linkin Park's greatest hits, including "One Step Closer," "Faint" and "New Divide." But the bonus comes at the end when players who beat the game gain access to a new LP song called "Blackbirds." Shinoda assured fans that the song is not a leftover or a B-side: The track was recorded exclusively for "8-Bit Rebellion!" and won't appear on any upcoming albums.
For a rock band as successful as LP, it would've been easy to slap their name on a finished product, but the group had its hands in every aspect of the game's development — from the characters (Shinoda designed half of them) to the levels (each bandmate was responsible for his own unique level).
"We're definitely hoping to continue to add to the game," Shinoda said. "That's one thing that's nice about the way the Apple app store is set up that you can, whether for an extra charge or for free, you can upload new content for your game. It's really easy — we intend to keep it moving."
So for gamers hoping to hit the end of the game in an hour and 15, this is no "Dino Wars."
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