‘Guitar Hero’ rejoins music game competition

20 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Guitar Hero’ rejoins music game competition.

Guitar Hero Live is about as bold and ambitious a reimagining of the rock music game genre as we could realistically hope for, especially from an incumbent franchise. It has a completely redesigned career mode that does everything it can to make you feel like you really are a guitar hero on a stage in front of massive crowds. For those who’ve yet to catch a look at the new instrument, it sacks off the old model’s fourth and fifth frets in order to introducing a second row of buttons beneath the remaining three. Naturally, on lower difficulty settings, it’s hard to appreciate the rewarding sense of complexity this seemingly minor peripheral revision brings in tow, as on any setting lower than regular (there are five in total) you’ll mostly be playing entire songs using the top or bottom row exclusively.

It’s definitely kind of strange to see T-Mobile selling a video game controller online and in stores, but John Legere says that Un-carrier is all about “looking outside the box to offer customers some of the best stuff out there,” and this certainly is outside the phone carrier box. Game studio FreeStyleGames auditioned real musicians and filmed them as they played gigs for real crowds to create live-action footage for the game. “We needed people who could really behave like a really tight band so when we put the player in the middle of that everyone else is a rock star and it’s up to the player to step up and fill that place as the lead guitarist,” said Nathan Coppard, senior designer from FreeStyleGames, which previously created the DJ Hero games.

The mobile version of the game is available as a bundle with a guitar controller that works across Apple devices, letting fans live out the rockstar experience anytime, anywhere. When you factor in notes that use multiple button presses and the new power chords (holding blacks and white notes in the same column) the difficulty starts to ramp up. And the crowd gets into the act, too. “Literally, if you are doing well the crowd loves you, but if you are doing poorly they start to throw beer cups at you,” said Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg. “That is a pretty cool way to escalate that rock star fantasy.” The 100-plus song playlist runs from Rock & Roll Hall of Famers (Queen, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, ZZ Top) and alternative (The Clash, Pearl Jam) to modern rock (The Black Keys, the War on Drugs) and poppier rock (Charli XCX, Ed Sheeran).

Here’s to hoping that when customers buy this bundle, it’s made clear to them that they’ll also need a Lightning Digital AV adapter or Apple TV if they want to use that new controller. Whether you’re a newcomer or have spent hundreds of hours playing earlier versions, a certain degree of patience is needed before you can become a virtual rock god. Other new twists include a GHTV online video network lets you play the game to music videos and compete online with others for top scores (you have to have your game system connected to the Net to play). That said, those with prior experience are bound to have the upper hand, even if they do occasionally grope for phantom frets with their pinky finger. If you’re prone to multi-hour jamming sessions you’ll still be liable to seize up on occasion, but it’s nothing compared to the agony earlier games in the genre put us through.

You need only use three fingers rather than the traditional four or five, which means no more sliding your hand back and forth on the handle and remembering which of the five colour-coded buttons your fingers are resting on. Although Guitar Hero’s foundation remain completely intact, the many elements orbiting this central pillar of gameplay have been reshaped and refined to suit a current-gen audience. With all the speculation perpetuated by social media and message boards, it’s easy to get the wrong impression of what TV has to offer, but it’s actually another rather straightforward innovation. And if you see a note represented as a black and white rectangle it means you need to press both the top and bottom buttons on that line at the same time.

GHTV is a living, breathing platform that will launch with hundreds of songs and will continue to grow, with new songs added weekly, serving as an ever-expanding source for music discovery while bringing the party atmosphere back to the living room. Those who don’t a console video game system can get at retail ($99.99) and in Apple’s app store ($49.99) and play on iPhones, iPads and the iPod Touch (a version is in the works for Apple TV, too). Fans can win fame playing solo or with their friends in local head-to-head multiplayer, and online against other players trying to master the same song. Naturally, as a TV station, you will have no say over which songs crop up on the programming schedule, though there will be hints as to which ones are queued for later in the day.

It could be because I have short fingers, which means I sometimes have difficulty reaching over the bottom row to press the top without the meat of my lower digits accidentally depressing the lower buttons. It might have something to do with the fact my monkey brain was trained for years to play plastic guitars one way and now can’t handle learning something different. Starting today, fans can experience the GHTV premiere of the Avenged Sevenfold Premium Show, including playable concert footage recorded at the band’s recent headlining performance at England’s venerable Download Festival. Guitar Hero might have an advantage in this round of the competition, Digital World Research’s McNealy said. “Guitar Hero has much bigger brand value …

Or maybe it’s because a window-like icon pops up above the fret bar on the note highway whenever you tap a fret button, and the top of that window touching the bottom of the approaching note makes me feel like I need to strum a fraction of a second earlier than I actually do. I think inherently there would be a bigger audience for Guitar Hero given the legacy. “Activision hasn’t had many big swings and misses in the last five years. Activision is also giving fans a chance to get in the game by submitting clips of themselves performing Ed Sheeran’s hit song “Sing” through the musical.ly app, with winners being featured in a world premiere music video that will be playable in the game. While coins are earned at a steady pace just through playing, the latter option allows players to pony up real money for a quick handful of Play tokens.

And, sadly, casual – which uses just the lower three fret buttons and ignores the top three completely – is way too easy to be much fun for anyone other than beginners. This way, as long as you’re happy to play along with the TV channel, you can get your hands on an extended library without having to cough up a penny.

Even TV’s “Premium” sets, which allow early access to the hottest upcoming tunes, can be accessed for free, giving players the option to complete challenges or spend some virtual bucks. I will admit that my problems with the new guitar controller could end up being an individual thing (though, it’s worth noting, my daughter struggled as well). Someone with longer fingers, who is able to more quickly conquer the habit of playing a five fret guitar controller, and who sees the visual fret interface as intuitive rather than confusing might be right at home.

Toys“R”Us [®] has already placed the game on the company’s 2015 Fabulous 15 list, which highlights products expected to be the most sought-after and anticipated items of the holiday season. For more information, please visit http://www.guitarhero.com, www.facebook.com/GuitarHero, www.youtube.com/guitarhero, or follow @guitarhero on Twitter and Instagram. I’m pretty sure the live crowd turns CGI if you look far enough back (outdoor scene backgrounds are obviously green screened), but I can’t tell exactly where or when the transition happens. One gig you’ll be in a metal group in a pitch black auditorium with dudes in long beards handing you axes between songs, the next you might be in an all-girl band on an outdoor stage with a makeup assistant brushing your face just before the set starts. Factors that could cause Activision Publishing’s actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include unanticipated product delays and other factors identified in the risk factors sections of Activision Blizzard’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.

Although naysayers will lament the lack of more instruments or complain about the non-permanence of extra songs, for many, Live will become the quintessential party game and is already set to be a permanent fixture in my sitting room. You can’t choose your songs in each set, there’s no opportunity for rock star avatar customization, and it’s a decidedly single-player experience. Qualifying postpaid Simple Choice plan required. “PlayStation” and “PS3″ are registered trademarks and “PS4″ is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. You can choose between a couple of music video channels that run 24-7 with half hour and hour segments devoted to specific subgenres of rock, like metal, classic, indie, and hits. Experience raises your guitar hero level and unlocks perks, including new types of hero powers – score multipliers, invincibility, and bombs that hit all upcoming notes for you – that you can unleash by tapping the guitar controller’s new Hero Power button, located behind the strummer (under your wrist while playing).

This gives you an opportunity to play new music of your own choosing without ever paying – a novel idea for rock ‘n’ roll games, which typically rely on players buying DLC in the form of new tracks. Activision and Freestyle Games have pledged to keep adding to and upgrading the TV mode, providing plenty of incentive for folks to return to see what’s new months or potentially even years down the line. While playing you’ll see the names of other players online on the left hand side of the screen, and scoring higher than these competitors earns you more cash and experience.

This, coupled with the difficulty I’ve had adjusting to the new physical and onscreen interfaces, means Rock Band 4 is probably going to be my go-to music game.

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