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Overview

Guitar Hero: Van Halen is the third band-specific spin-off in the Guitar Hero franchise, following Guitar Hero: Aerosmith and Guitar Hero: Metallica.  The game features the same classic Guitar Hero formula with a set-list comprised in large part of tracks from the hugely popular rock group Van Halen.  The game was released to retail in the United States on December 22, 2009.
 
Just as in other Guitar Hero releases of the time, Guitar Hero: Van Halen allows for a full band of instruments to play, not just a guitar. 
 

The Guitar Hero 5 Pre-Order US Exclusive Offer

Many gamers got their hands on a copy of the game through an offer run by Activision to help promote Guitar Hero 5, a full sequel to Guitar Hero World Tour released three months prior to Guitar Hero: Van Halen.  People in the United States who purchased Guitar Hero 5 were, with the redemption of a rebate, given free copies of Guitar Hero: Van Halen which came in a cardboard sleeve with no manual.
 
While the game was first sold in December 2009, Activision started processing rebates as soon as they received them, meaning those who filed their paperwork quickly got the game months before its official release date.

Criticisms

Upon its release, Guitar Hero: Van Halen was widely criticized for a number of faults.  Most prominent of these was the use of an older game engine, one utilized in games such as Guitar Hero: Metallica or Guitar Hero Smash Hits ( The game was meant for release in April 2009 which is before Guitar Hero 5 but it was delayed).

The Set List:

The set list for Guitar Hero: Van Halen is comprised of 25 song by Van Halen and 19 other tracks from guest artists, most of which were chosen by bassist Wolfgang Van Halen. The lack of songs that included Sammy Hagar, Van Halen's lead singer from 1985 to 1996 and from 2003 to 2005, was stated by Activision's head of music licensing Tim Rile that it was because

"there was not enough material available to be used within the game from the band during the period in their career and not due to the demands of David Lee Roth"

The set list for the game is as follows:

Van Halen's Songs:

  • "Ain't Talkin Bout Love"
  • "And The Cradle Will Rock"
  • "Atomic Punk"
  • "Beautiful Girls"
  • "Cathedral" (solo)
  • "Dance The Night Away"
  • "Eruption" (solo)
  • "Everybody Wants Some"
  • "Feel Your Love Tonight"
  • "Hang 'Em High"
  • "Hear About It Later"
  • "Hot For Teacher"
  • "Ice Cream Man"
  • "I'm The One"
  • "Jamie's Cryin"
  • "Jump"
  • "Little Guitars"
  • "Loss Of Control"
  • "Mean Street"
  • "Panama"
  • "Pretty Woman"
  • "Romeo Delight"
  • "Running With The Devil"
  • "So This Is Love"
  • "Somebody Get Me A Doctor"
  • "Spanish Fly" (solo)
  • "Unchained"
  • "You Really Got Me"

Other Artists' Songs:

  • Alter Bridge - "Come To Life"
  • Billy Idol - "White Wedding"
  • blink-182 - "First Date"
  • Deep Purple - "Space Truckin"
  • Foo Fighters - "Best Of You"
  • Foreigner - "Double Vision"
  • Fountains of Wayne - "Stacy's Mom"
  • Jimmy Eat World - "Pain"
  • Judas Priest - "Painkiller"
  • Killswitch Engage - "The End Of Heartache"
  • Lenny Kravitz - "Rock And Roll Is Dead"
  • Queen - "I Want It All"
  • Queens of the Stone Age - "Sick, Sick, Sick"
  • Tenacious D - "Master Exploder"
  • The Clash - "Safe European Home"
  • The Offspring - "Pretty Fly For A White Guy"
  • Third Eye Blind - "Semi-Charmed Life"
  • Weezer - "Dope Nose"
  • Yellowcard - "The Takedown"

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