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Last time, you guys thought I ranted. Oh, you haven’t seen me rant. Not until today. (Okay, not last time; that article’s actually not going up for a few more days)

Welcome to the world of internet blogging, where, when busy with school work, a simple rant to your friend over Skype can become you next post! Our topic today, Guitar Hero Live, me finding out about it, looking through the website, and then reading an IGN article on the thing. I guess we needed a break from Higurashi anyway.

Activation is actually making a new Guitar Hero… which does nothing different from the old ones. Thanks Activision. You’re really getting up to EA and Ubisoft territory. Not quite WB (seriously, Arkham Knight STILL not on PC). And of course, no one’s as bad as Konami.

Holy crap… this new one actually looks worse. https://www.guitarhero.com/ca/en No colours indicating different notes. Just weird, white triangles. No cool stage direction, or character designs. Just stock image of a crowed… booing? [Correction, not stock footage. They actually went out of their way to make this stuff.]

So have they actually realized like, “We know the only people who would buy this are people who don’t know games and suck at them, so we’ll just make them sucking at it into a joke that they can pretend to be in on.”

Wow, they’re calling it a feature that you can play it on iPad. Like, “We made a shitty iPad game, and it’ll sell for $70! [CND]

They’re going on about how great the new guitar is. You know what’s different? That added a few more buttons, and made them touch sensitive so you don’t have to push them down… meaning you’ll accidently be holding one for like, half a song and not even realize it because there’s no tactile feedback. Also, they added a “hero power” button, which basically does the same thing tilting the guitar did in the old games. That’s a downgrade. Tilting the guitar was like, 80% of the fun.

More info coming soon? The game comes out in 6 days! You can’t keep secrets right up until release like that. That’s just misleading.

They’ve got 123 songs… Okay, that’s good. Would be better if more than 3 of them were good, but eh, what do you expect?

Oh, and this one won’t have the drums. Good to know they’re cutting out all the unnecessary things, like gameplay, different playstyles, and fun. To be fair, I used to have Rock Band, and… screw the drums.

Reading IGN’s article on it now (http://ca.ign.com/articles/2015/04/14/guitar-hero-live-wants-to-give-you-stagefright).

“’We thought of it as a clean slate,’ Jamie Jackson”

By which you mean, you cut out all the quality and refinement over the years, made an alpha build of what might eventually be a good game, then slapped the Guitar Hero name on it anyway, because, you know, clean slates always come with tons of name recognition and marketing history!

“’One of the briefs I gave the team early on was to think of it just as a name. Think of it as a music game with a guitar peripheral, but pretend that nothing else has ever been done. We want to come back with some big innovation and to do that we almost felt like we needed to start from scratch.’”

It… what’s innovative here?! Also, I love the, “We’ll just pretend we were the first ones to think of this” attitude.

“’It could’ve been quite easy to just do the same gameplay, update the graphics, and throw in a new setlist.’” But that’s basically what you did, except the graphics are more of a downgrade. Also, wow, this is Activision saying “it would have been easy to just change the graphics a bit and release a sequel each year.” Well, I guess Activision would know.

“Obviously the most striking aspect of the new-look Guitar Hero is the use of filmed footage in single-player. Each song now plays against footage of a fictional band performing that exact song,” So… update the graphics a bit. That’s the biggest difference.

“…and it’s seen from the perspective of you, the lead guitarist. You’re no longer watching the band; you’re an integral part of it.” Fugget that, I want the colourful art direction and character designs, and cool stage direction, and rocker chicks in ripped jeans playing Rock & Roll!

“’We said, ‘Why don’t we turn the camera around and look out at the crowd…’” Umm, because no one goes to a concert to watch the audience. Well… maybe security guards and Hitmen, but you don’t make that series!

“…and make it first-person like Call of Duty…” You… you what, mate? I… I’m so sorry, I just didn’t realize that you were… special. It’s okay, it’s really quite a good looking game then, all things considered.

“…it makes a big difference that they’re composed of real-life musicians, not a bunch of actors hopelessly faking it.” Hopelessly faking it. You do realize we’re talking about a game wherein people like me, who’ve never held a guitar in their life, play “Through the Fire and the Flames” to an imaginary audience in their basement, right?

“But it’s important to emphasis this is still a game. …the footage is more dynamic than it first appears, and has been achieved using compositing techniques and visual trickery also used in major blockbusters.”
“this is still a game” “blockbusters” Nice one.

“Here’s the crux: the reactions of your bandmates and the audience changes according to how well you’re playing. If you’re awesome, nailing every riff and solo, then the crowd goes wild, the lead singer smiles when he or she looks your way, and the overall performance feels more euphoric. Conversely, if you suck, you’ll have to suffer a moody bassist and legions of disappointed fans taunting you with insulting banners.” Oh, well thank god all this “innovation” wasn’t wasted on something stupid, like gameplay.

“When I visited the film set of Guitar Hero Live…” But this is still a game… “blockbusters”!

“It becomes much clearer when you realise the lead guitarist, your avatar, isn’t a man with a camera strapped to his head…” You… you thought it was? You thought they recorded with a GoPro or something?! This isn’t Press X to Not Die!

“…there’s a visual cue to let you know you’re doing badly – it’s reminiscent of the effect you get when shot in Call of Duty…”


“…at its pomp, Activision claimed it was the third biggest game franchise of all time…” I love how this supposed journalist just states that fact, then moves on. Like, you couldn’t find another source? You’re just going to take Activision’s word? “Activision also claimed that it cures cancer and gives you a pet dinosaur. Moving on to more about Call of Duty…” [Note: this is jokes. If you don’t understand jokes, please refer to Wikipedia’s page on jokes. I repeat: this is jokes.]

Well, I don’t really know how to quantify “largest”, but going by sales, the top three are Mario, Super Mario, and Pokémon (hell yea, Poke-eh-manz). Obviously it’s a little unfair to give Mario two spots on there, so we’ll go one more down, to find Grand Theft Auto. Before Guitar Hero, we also have Sonic the Hedgehog, Tetris, Final Fantasy, Mario Kart, Legend of Zelda, The Oregon Trail, Dragon Quest, Donkey Kong, Crash Bandicoot, Tekken, Pac-Man, and Dragon Ball, just to name a few. Note that all of these (with the exception of GTA) have been around much longer than Guitar Hero, so it’s not like Guitar Hero was on top of the mountain, and then Mario came in and wowed everyone with his newness. Guitar Hero just doesn’t even compare. (Stats curtsy of the great Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_video_game_franchises)

“…but heavy repetition combined with little innovation resulted in a period of much needed hibernation.” But now it’s come out of hibernation, and is basically the exact same!

Don’t Lose Your Way