Well this is a first for Metal Hobbit Speaks, we are reviewing a computer game and well it should be fairly obvious that it’s the brand new Guitar Hero Live, provided to us by Activison. The game was developed by FreeStyleGames, who created DJ Hero and DJ Hero 2, they have taken over the controls with Activision at the helm to reinvent the music rhythm genre and the big question on your lips is simply is it worth it?
Ok so before I say if it’s worth your hard earned sterling let me talk about some of the dynamics of the game and I’ll show you a bit of game play in a bit.
Ok, first up let me show you the controller.
-Yes it’s still plastic, button configuration- Should be 4 buttons to correspond with fingers, always feel like your pinky should be hitting another button.
However chord patterns are a welcome addition and to try and spice up the music controller genre is much needed.
It makes you work harder and think about where your fingers need to be at the specific times and sometimes it’s much, much more difficult than the old guitar heroes due to this advanced button reconfigure and when you get better you feel more rewarded.
Song list/ Game modes
Now guitar Hero is split into two sections, firstly is Guitar Hero Live, basically a campaign mode where you complete 3 or so songs a set via different bands at allotted times in 2 different festivals, fairly normal yes?
However, some of the song choices aren’t what you’d exactly call guitar orientated like Katy Perry, Eminem and Skrillex shouldn’t be included in the game but Activision are opening the doors for music lovers to be turned onto new music, I mean hell who wouldn’t want a Katy Perry fan becoming a ZZ Top fan or turned on to Megadeth?
You still got some really fun songs like Good Charlotte’s `The Anthem’ through to Blink 182 and then onto the big rock tracks from `The Who’, `Queen’ and `Rolling Stones’. Yet, there seems to be lack of the rock tracks, understandable that the audience has changed since the heyday of Guitar Hero and the song choice reflects that change, unfortunately.
This mode will keep your GH experience last a hell of a lot longer, the kind folks at Activision have already provided around 200 songs for release and this is where it gets fun, you are not told what to play, and you play what you like. Behind the rolling fret board is a music video, yes music video’s do exist, there’s something so enjoyable playing guitar hero with Slipknot raging behind.
This mode will become more expansive as the time goes on and is a challenge learning new songs. It really is a living platform that will be including in so many more guitar hero games.
The visuals are certainly vastly different from its predecessors, gone are the cartoon backdrops which to be honest weren’t really concentrating on when nailing `Through The Fire And The Flames’ on hard and to be quite frank it’s pretty similar here although they’ve made the live feel more apparent with a band on stage and a real audience reacting to your success or failure. Yet most of it the band, crew and audience feels a little too clichéd, all smiles and the most typical of rock movies and chants. Yet for all the clichés, it is adding something more and Activision is brave for taking the risk and leap. So for the next instalment perhaps we will see the bands themselves playing alongside you so to speak.
The Extras on the game will be unlocked as you progress through the game obviously, so as I mentioned there are roughly 200 songs to wet your appetite over from the get go and more will be added. You unlock coins to play other songs and rewards for playing for consecutive days.
2 important extras have been included; the first is Party Pass- which entitles you to play every song as many times as you like for 24 hours, so it’s absolutely perfect for those events that rage on all day. The 2nd is Premium shows, this is a cool new twist and allows you to play a band’s live set, ripping through Avenged Sevenfold songs at Download Festival was pretty fun, can you spot your face in the crowd.
The issue with using coins to fund song plays is that you don’t get to keep the songs, it’s literally you play it and then you have to spend coins to play again, however you if you don’t want to spend your real money on in game features, you can simply earn them via playing in game, which is pretty decent for a game in the modern world of micro-transactions.
So is it worth your money?
Short answer is yes, honestly this is a game company really trying to reinvent the genre, and of course there are still a few fixes for Free Style to sort like personally not using fake bands and trying to get the real bands in on the action, after all it’s another avenue for them to show off. Also a big issue that I found is that the main campaign is far to pop sloping and really needs to narrow down a more guitar orientated market, although broadening who plays the game is important but you can’t forget the core market.
Nostalgia can be a very dangerous game to play, especially trying to reinvent one on new consoles to a new audience, but Guitar Hero Live is a great first step and things can only get better.