Do you remember a few years ago when Music games with plastic instruments were some of the coolest things that video gaming had to offer? One of the biggest names back then was none other than the game that started it all, Guitar Hero. When it first came out, Guitar Hero was a smash hit and even people who usually didn’t play video games seemed to really enjoyed playing Queen songs with a plastic instrument. Guitar Hero was slowly becoming a household name, and might have even been considered one of the best music games of all time, then Rock Band came out and everybody stopped caring about Guitar Hero. Now both of them are back this year, and while Rock Band looks like it’s stuck in the past, trying to offer the same game with fewer features, Guitar Hero is trying something new with it’s newest title, Guitar Hero Live. So is Guitar Hero Live another let down, or is it just what the Guitar Hero series needed to get back on track?
The first thing you’ll notice about Guitar Hero Live is that it’s Guitar has been completely redesigned, and no longer looks like a toy that you’d find at Target. Instead of the original uncomfortable 5 button layout that Guitar Hero has previously used, Guitar Hero uses a 6 button layout, and a total of 9 different notes that you can hit, which changes things up from the original Guitar Hero gameplay, so both new comers and veterans will have to learn the new layout, luckily, you’ll be used to it about after playing 8 songs. Although while we did not experience any troubles with the Guitar, several consumers have reported that the Guitar they received have had some issues, such as the buttons being jammed easily, or the whammy bar making squeaky noises, so while the Guitar we received was fine, there is a chance that the one you get, if you decide to purchase this game, may be flawed.
Guitar Hero Live has two modes, Live and GHTV. In Live mode, you can chose from a total of 42 songs to play in front of a live audience. Both the audience and your band members will react how you’re playing, so if you start doing poorly, for example, then your Band members will start looking at you with a worried look while the crowd starts booing in the background, whereas if you start playing well, then your band member will start really getting into the song while the crowd cheers in the background.
In GHTV (which stands for Guitar Hero TV) there are currently over 200 songs to play, with plans on more being added. Instead if performing in front of a live audience, the music videos of whichever song you’re paying will play in the background. You can select whichever song you want to play, however this will cost either in-game credits, or you will have to pay with actual money. Thankfully, Guitar Hero Live gives out these credits constantly, so there’s no reason to pay with real money unless you really really want to. If you don’t want to use credits, then GHTV has 2 separate channels running 24 hours, in which you an chose from a genre that you want to play, and it will randomly select songs from said genre, which helps you discover new songs, and gives you a change a pace instead of just playing the songs that you already know and love.
Overall, Guitar Hero has made several innovations in the series, and almost all of them pay off. Not only has it redeemed the Guitar Hero name, it very well might be the best game in the series.