Music Rhythm Game Bonanza Let's Do It Party Go!

Posted by jakob187 (21758 posts) -

In case you didn't figure it out yet, this blog serves as both a two-fer for the week (I rarely pull two blogs in one week, I'm a lazy muthafucker) and it also serves as a way for me to talk about the recent music/rhythm releases. 
 
That would be Guitar Hero 5 and The Beatles: Rock Band for those living in caves and under rocks of massive proportions. 
 

I was young and naive... 
A little history:  I'm a child of music.  I started out with classic rock, coming out of the womb singing "Back in Black".  I eventually bought by first three CDs when I was young:  ZZ Top's Antenna, En Vogue's Born to Sing, and Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814.  Rag on the choices all you want, but it was the '90s and that's how we rolled.  I still wish I had a copy of En Vogue's "Boogy Woogy Bugle Boy" somewhere.  This ended up leading into me becoming a shitkicker, proclaiming that if it wasn't country, it didn't exist.  I went so far as to talk shit about bands like Metallica and Nirvana.  I then got into the West Coast/East Coast rap scene, trading in Martina McBride and Garth Brooks for Dr. Dre and Warren G.  Eventually, my uncle showed me Black Sabbath's Masters of Reality, and I came to my goddamn senses.  Rock and metal began to engulf my life, and I was now listening to all those bands that I was talking shit about for so long.  In essence, you could look at all of this as being a development (and that some of the phases were stupid), but it has made me aware of more than one genre of music and a fan of it all.  I eventually learned to play the real guitar solely to learn the intro to Megadeth's "Diadems", and I haven't really looked back since. 
 
If it's good, then I like it.  Whether YOU like it or not is subjective.  I needed to say all that to get to this point:  Guitar Hero 5 and The Beatles: Rock Band.  In order to understand my following comments, you needed to know where I come from with music. 
 
If you haven't seen this game in action yet, you're missing out! 
With Guitar Hero 5, I remember that the setlist didn't originally look too appealing to me.  I kept thinking "there are great songs on here, but for a whole band experience, they could've picked better ones".  After playing a few songs up at Game Crazy, I knew that more time needed to be put into that game to really grip it.  After getting it here at work, I have come to realize that Guitar Hero 5 is the new Guitar Hero 2.  Whether you agree with that or not, the tracklisting is great and it makes all the right advances for the franchise to make it feel a bit fresh again.  It's not about the songs this time, surprisingly enough...although all the songs (even the super shitty ones) feel good for the game.  The real deal sealer comes from all the subtle improvements to the franchise: 
  • The new Party Play makes jumping in and out of a song a breeze, a painless procedure that makes me smile with glee
  • The improved graphics and presentation, including dynamic camera movements and angles as well as updated and far better character models, are thrown on top of great performances of songs
  • The tracklisting features great songs from the past (ranging from "Sultans of Swing" by Dire Straits to "Comedown" by Bush), as well as newer songs ("Demon(s)" by Darkest Hour and "Feel Good Inc." by Gorillaz are standouts for me)...and they even throw a couple of my favorites in the mix (Tom Petty and A Perfect Circle?  PINCH ME!)
  • EASY FUNCTIONING MENUS that aren't super confusing (I say this because I've seen kids that struggle trying to get into a round of World Tour, yet they were having no issue with GH5)
  • Great online play, and the new setup of "any instrument you wanna play" makes getting an online match SOOOO much easier
  • You can import World Tour songs into GH5...AND IT'S ABOUT FUCKING TIME!!!
 
One of the only downsides?  Neversoft needs to use a little more discretion when they are using certain characters on certain songs.  Axel Steel singing No Doubt's "Ex-Girlfriend" is a bit too odd.  Sure, there's also that whole "Kurt Cobain singing Bon Jovi" thing...but whatever.  People know how I feel about that, and if you don't...then just listen to the sound of a shotgun and you'll understand quickly.  You can do that up close and personal or at a distance - whichever suits you.  = D 
 
I recommend Guitar Hero 5 to anyone looking for a fun and decently challenging music/rhythm game.  Also, I send a special thank you to Neversoft for using the same line for the bass drum kick that they had in GH: Metallica.  It's much more solid and has the right look and feel compared to that weaksauce shit that you had on World Tour. 
 
I HATE "Here Comes The Sun" (doo-doo doo doo) 
Next up is Beatles: Rock Band, a game that I didn't really care much about.  Personally, I'm just not a fan of their music.  There's some choice songs here and there, but for the most part, their sound just doesn't appeal to me.  By no means am I trying to under-credit their influence on music or their legacy.  I just personally don't care much for them.  With that said, The Beatles: Rock Band is a pretty damn good game!  I've found myself investing a serious portion of time into it, and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that the achievements in the game are actually fun and a bit challenging to get.  There's also the fact that it is a really great fan service of a game - the presentation is top-notch, beyond many games that we've seen.  I found myself drawn in SOLELY because of that.  The songs aren't too difficult, as I five-starred them all with only about one or two plays.  They are fun to play with a whole band, but only if they enjoy the music.  It was really great to play stuff like "Don't Let Me Down" and "I Want You (She's So Heavy)"...and I can already tell I'm going to be getting very frustrated trying to get 100% notes on "I Saw You Standing There".  Personally, I wouldn't pay more than $30 or $40 for the game itself, solely because it's all Beatles songs and it's not totally my type of digs, but if you're interested in a lovingly made game, then check this one out. 
 
With that said, I end this wall of text and say I CANNOT FUCKING WAIT FOR SOME DJ HERO!!! 
 
Until next time...piece!
#1 Edited by jakob187 (21758 posts) -

In case you didn't figure it out yet, this blog serves as both a two-fer for the week (I rarely pull two blogs in one week, I'm a lazy muthafucker) and it also serves as a way for me to talk about the recent music/rhythm releases. 
 
That would be Guitar Hero 5 and The Beatles: Rock Band for those living in caves and under rocks of massive proportions. 
 

I was young and naive... 
A little history:  I'm a child of music.  I started out with classic rock, coming out of the womb singing "Back in Black".  I eventually bought by first three CDs when I was young:  ZZ Top's Antenna, En Vogue's Born to Sing, and Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814.  Rag on the choices all you want, but it was the '90s and that's how we rolled.  I still wish I had a copy of En Vogue's "Boogy Woogy Bugle Boy" somewhere.  This ended up leading into me becoming a shitkicker, proclaiming that if it wasn't country, it didn't exist.  I went so far as to talk shit about bands like Metallica and Nirvana.  I then got into the West Coast/East Coast rap scene, trading in Martina McBride and Garth Brooks for Dr. Dre and Warren G.  Eventually, my uncle showed me Black Sabbath's Masters of Reality, and I came to my goddamn senses.  Rock and metal began to engulf my life, and I was now listening to all those bands that I was talking shit about for so long.  In essence, you could look at all of this as being a development (and that some of the phases were stupid), but it has made me aware of more than one genre of music and a fan of it all.  I eventually learned to play the real guitar solely to learn the intro to Megadeth's "Diadems", and I haven't really looked back since. 
 
If it's good, then I like it.  Whether YOU like it or not is subjective.  I needed to say all that to get to this point:  Guitar Hero 5 and The Beatles: Rock Band.  In order to understand my following comments, you needed to know where I come from with music. 
 
If you haven't seen this game in action yet, you're missing out! 
With Guitar Hero 5, I remember that the setlist didn't originally look too appealing to me.  I kept thinking "there are great songs on here, but for a whole band experience, they could've picked better ones".  After playing a few songs up at Game Crazy, I knew that more time needed to be put into that game to really grip it.  After getting it here at work, I have come to realize that Guitar Hero 5 is the new Guitar Hero 2.  Whether you agree with that or not, the tracklisting is great and it makes all the right advances for the franchise to make it feel a bit fresh again.  It's not about the songs this time, surprisingly enough...although all the songs (even the super shitty ones) feel good for the game.  The real deal sealer comes from all the subtle improvements to the franchise: 
  • The new Party Play makes jumping in and out of a song a breeze, a painless procedure that makes me smile with glee
  • The improved graphics and presentation, including dynamic camera movements and angles as well as updated and far better character models, are thrown on top of great performances of songs
  • The tracklisting features great songs from the past (ranging from "Sultans of Swing" by Dire Straits to "Comedown" by Bush), as well as newer songs ("Demon(s)" by Darkest Hour and "Feel Good Inc." by Gorillaz are standouts for me)...and they even throw a couple of my favorites in the mix (Tom Petty and A Perfect Circle?  PINCH ME!)
  • EASY FUNCTIONING MENUS that aren't super confusing (I say this because I've seen kids that struggle trying to get into a round of World Tour, yet they were having no issue with GH5)
  • Great online play, and the new setup of "any instrument you wanna play" makes getting an online match SOOOO much easier
  • You can import World Tour songs into GH5...AND IT'S ABOUT FUCKING TIME!!!
 
One of the only downsides?  Neversoft needs to use a little more discretion when they are using certain characters on certain songs.  Axel Steel singing No Doubt's "Ex-Girlfriend" is a bit too odd.  Sure, there's also that whole "Kurt Cobain singing Bon Jovi" thing...but whatever.  People know how I feel about that, and if you don't...then just listen to the sound of a shotgun and you'll understand quickly.  You can do that up close and personal or at a distance - whichever suits you.  = D 
 
I recommend Guitar Hero 5 to anyone looking for a fun and decently challenging music/rhythm game.  Also, I send a special thank you to Neversoft for using the same line for the bass drum kick that they had in GH: Metallica.  It's much more solid and has the right look and feel compared to that weaksauce shit that you had on World Tour. 
 
I HATE "Here Comes The Sun" (doo-doo doo doo) 
Next up is Beatles: Rock Band, a game that I didn't really care much about.  Personally, I'm just not a fan of their music.  There's some choice songs here and there, but for the most part, their sound just doesn't appeal to me.  By no means am I trying to under-credit their influence on music or their legacy.  I just personally don't care much for them.  With that said, The Beatles: Rock Band is a pretty damn good game!  I've found myself investing a serious portion of time into it, and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that the achievements in the game are actually fun and a bit challenging to get.  There's also the fact that it is a really great fan service of a game - the presentation is top-notch, beyond many games that we've seen.  I found myself drawn in SOLELY because of that.  The songs aren't too difficult, as I five-starred them all with only about one or two plays.  They are fun to play with a whole band, but only if they enjoy the music.  It was really great to play stuff like "Don't Let Me Down" and "I Want You (She's So Heavy)"...and I can already tell I'm going to be getting very frustrated trying to get 100% notes on "I Saw You Standing There".  Personally, I wouldn't pay more than $30 or $40 for the game itself, solely because it's all Beatles songs and it's not totally my type of digs, but if you're interested in a lovingly made game, then check this one out. 
 
With that said, I end this wall of text and say I CANNOT FUCKING WAIT FOR SOME DJ HERO!!! 
 
Until next time...piece!
#2 Posted by Everyones_A_Critic (6310 posts) -

I too am loving GH5 at the moment. They really pulled their shit together after World Tour, and I think it's a bit of a shame that a lot of people aren't going to play it simply because it's Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero "sucks now". I just got my copy of Van Halen yesterday, and for a free game it's pretty damn sweet. Definitely not worth $60 though.

Online
#3 Posted by CaptainObvious (3000 posts) -

What an intense thread title.

#4 Posted by jakob187 (21758 posts) -
@Everyones_A_Critic said:
" I too am loving GH5 at the moment. They really pulled their shit together after World Tour, and I think it's a bit of a shame that a lot of people aren't going to play it simply because it's Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero "sucks now". I just got my copy of Van Halen yesterday, and for a free game it's pretty damn sweet. Definitely not worth $60 though. "
You know, I really sat back and thought about it, and Neversoft has to be commended for their work on the franchise.  They came into it fresh on GHIII, and people bitched about it...but it was their first shot at it.  Then, while they were just getting used to that, they go for the whole band format, so they've gotta rework everything, leading to the rather shoddy World Tour.  They are finally allowed to come into their own with the franchise on GH5, and it shows.  I was in the same boat of "meh, whatever, Guitar Hero".  However, it shows that they really DO want to make good games on a yearly basis, and they've finally gotten the chance to take what they built and really refine it.  The leaps and bounds that you see between World Tour and GH5 are pretty big.
#5 Posted by Everyones_A_Critic (6310 posts) -
@jakob187: Agreed, and GH3 remains in my mind one of the best music games ever. I loved the challenge it presented, the excellent track list, and the online play. I played that game regularly for nearly two years, chipping away at the achievement list, but I fear I will never five star Raining Blood on expert.
Online
#6 Posted by jakob187 (21758 posts) -
@Everyones_A_Critic: I can't necessarily say that I feel the same way about GH3.  It's a good game, don't get me wrong, and it definitely forced me to really hammer away at the Expert difficulty.  I was already blasting away everything on GH2 on Expert (which I need to go back and bust out all those achievements, lol).  However, I felt that the tracklisting was a bit weak.  There were still covers of songs, which angered me with "La Grange".  The Mosh 1 part of "Raining Blood" is forever etched in my mind as BULLSHIT.  The hammer-ons were TOO easy to use. 
 
You do have to remember, though, that I was a forum regular at the Red Octane forums before I was here at Giant Bomb.  Once they changed the forum format, though, I was out of there because it sucked (and still does).  However, we talked on end about this kind of stuff on a regular basis.  GH3 just couldn't touch how good Guitar Hero II was, but again, it was Neversoft's first crack at the franchise, so in retrospect, they did a pretty good job for being a company that focused on skateboarding games!  lol
#7 Posted by GamerGeek360 (1959 posts) -

Both of those games were great! I'm so glad Guitar Hero is looking like they can turn their franchise back around. However, Guitar Hero: Metallica is still my favorite GH game. But that's because Metallica is awesome.

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