Guitar Hero: Van Halen Review

Posted by EpicSteve (6494 posts) -

GiantBomb wont allow me to publish a Guitar Hero: Van Halen review, yet. But I figured since some of you may be on the fence with the game, well, here's a review.
 
Guitar Hero: Van Halen
 


 
 
Rhythm games are ubiquitous these days. With 25 games in the “Hero” franchise, Activision can't be putting out unnecessary releases. However, someone over there thought it would be a good idea to release Guitar Hero Van Halen, after Thanksgiving...and give it out for free in a desperate attempt to counter act The Beatles: Rockband. Guitar Hero Van Halen is a step backwards for the franchise and is an obvious cash-in that had little time or resources spent on it to make it worthwhile. This is true even for Van Halen fans.

Band specific games have never made sense to me, but after the quality performance of The Beatles: Rockband release in September I'm on board with listening to the idea of a game that plays tribute to popular bands. Van Halen lacks all the bells and whistles Guitar Hero 5 had and only keeps the bare-bones Band Play, online, and band creation. Even the graphics themselves look like the Guitar Hero of yesteryear, or simply outdated. The game just feels old.

So what if you are a Van Halen fan? Well, that's the problem. The songs themselves are fun, especially for players looking for a challenge. But only half of the game's catalog are Van Halen songs. You'll be spending more time in the career playing Blink 182, Weezer, Foo Fighters, or other bands that aren't what you've probably come for. Way to pay tribute to Van Halen!

 This bullshit case is unexceptionable


This game continues to disappoint. Other than Guitar Hero studio tunes, there's no support for DLC or any way to import these songs to Guitar Hero 5 like Rockband does with some of its spin-offs. No Party Play, no avatar support, no polish, it's just a mess. Van Halen is merely a track list to play through. But hey, at least you can bring some friends along for Band Play! Hopefully you're one of the people who already got the game for free, if so, you got what you paid for.

Guitar Hero: Van Halen offers some enjoyment for people who got the game through Guitar Hero 5. Anyone who actually paid full-retail probably got ripped off. The Beatles set the standard for band-specific games to come, and after Guitar Hero 5 there's no excuse for any lazy post products. This game feels more like a prize in a cereal box than a full-fledged release. Keep your lazy sleeves Activision! Sell this game as an impulse buy with the bubble gum and tabloids. 
 
Here's the full rack list...
 
Van Halen 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 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”


#1 Posted by EpicSteve (6494 posts) -

GiantBomb wont allow me to publish a Guitar Hero: Van Halen review, yet. But I figured since some of you may be on the fence with the game, well, here's a review.
 
Guitar Hero: Van Halen
 


 
 
Rhythm games are ubiquitous these days. With 25 games in the “Hero” franchise, Activision can't be putting out unnecessary releases. However, someone over there thought it would be a good idea to release Guitar Hero Van Halen, after Thanksgiving...and give it out for free in a desperate attempt to counter act The Beatles: Rockband. Guitar Hero Van Halen is a step backwards for the franchise and is an obvious cash-in that had little time or resources spent on it to make it worthwhile. This is true even for Van Halen fans.

Band specific games have never made sense to me, but after the quality performance of The Beatles: Rockband release in September I'm on board with listening to the idea of a game that plays tribute to popular bands. Van Halen lacks all the bells and whistles Guitar Hero 5 had and only keeps the bare-bones Band Play, online, and band creation. Even the graphics themselves look like the Guitar Hero of yesteryear, or simply outdated. The game just feels old.

So what if you are a Van Halen fan? Well, that's the problem. The songs themselves are fun, especially for players looking for a challenge. But only half of the game's catalog are Van Halen songs. You'll be spending more time in the career playing Blink 182, Weezer, Foo Fighters, or other bands that aren't what you've probably come for. Way to pay tribute to Van Halen!

 This bullshit case is unexceptionable


This game continues to disappoint. Other than Guitar Hero studio tunes, there's no support for DLC or any way to import these songs to Guitar Hero 5 like Rockband does with some of its spin-offs. No Party Play, no avatar support, no polish, it's just a mess. Van Halen is merely a track list to play through. But hey, at least you can bring some friends along for Band Play! Hopefully you're one of the people who already got the game for free, if so, you got what you paid for.

Guitar Hero: Van Halen offers some enjoyment for people who got the game through Guitar Hero 5. Anyone who actually paid full-retail probably got ripped off. The Beatles set the standard for band-specific games to come, and after Guitar Hero 5 there's no excuse for any lazy post products. This game feels more like a prize in a cereal box than a full-fledged release. Keep your lazy sleeves Activision! Sell this game as an impulse buy with the bubble gum and tabloids. 
 
Here's the full rack list...
 
Van Halen 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 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”


#2 Edited by Korone (402 posts) -

I Want it All is pretty good.

#3 Posted by Hot_Karl (3309 posts) -

Good review; I'm planning to do one myself when the game actually hits stores, but man this thing is junk. And I got it for free, which says a lot.
 
It's a shame really- the Van Halen songs are good, and the gameplay will still be fun as long as the songs are challenging. But it's so lazily slapped together in every way- even the characters don't seem like they're having fun on-screen.
 
In case anyone else was wondering, don't buy this game. Not at full price, not at half price, I don't even think it's worth more than $10, and that takes into account that you're a mad Van Halen fan.

#4 Posted by EpicSteve (6494 posts) -
@VinceNotVance said:
" Good review; I'm planning to do one myself when the game actually hits stores, but man this thing is junk. And I got it for free, which says a lot.  It's a shame really- the Van Halen songs are good, and the gameplay will still be fun as long as the songs are challenging. But it's so lazily slapped together in every way- even the characters don't seem like they're having fun on-screen.  In case anyone else was wondering, don't buy this game. Not at full price, not at half price, I don't even think it's worth more than $10, and that takes into account that you're a mad Van Halen fan. "
While I'm not a massive Van Halen fan I guess it comes down to people's tolerance to crap. Joe at Gamestop who just discovered music games and LOVES Van Halen might get some value out of this. But their are so many better ways to spend $60 in the realm of rhythm games. I mean, who the hell pays full price for this?
#5 Edited by jakob187 (21691 posts) -

I blame Eddie Van Halen's assholishness.  I'd almost be willing to guarantee that Neversoft had Michael and Sammy in the game, and then Eddie called up and said "ain't havin' that". 
 
Personally, I won't even consider this part of the franchise, and we can all just forget that it exists...until I can pick it up for ridiculously cheap for achievement purposes. 
 
Thanks for the review, though!

#6 Posted by Oni (2104 posts) -

Played the demo, even the note charts are bad/boring. And I don't give a hoot for Van Halen, just wanted to play The End of Heartache

#7 Posted by TheGreatGuero (9130 posts) -

Yeah, Activision really swindled us with the preorder deal. I thought Guitar Hero: Metallica was way better than I ever would have imagined, and I don't really even consider myself to be much of a fan of them. Van Halen, on the other hand, is one of my favorites, so after much dilemma, I jumped on the deal and got 2 games for the price of one. It wasn't really worth it in the end. GH:VH is such a lazily made game. It completely fails to capture any of the fun and excitement of the actual band. They're known for their fun songs, wild antics, Dave's acrobats, they're memorable and cheesy music videos, but man, all that is absent here. 
 
You're not really even playing as Van Halen. You're playing as an older current version of what Van Halen would look like if they were still together, but technically this version of Van Halen doesn't even really exist. The game opens with this older lineup, and I suppose that would be okay, except for the fact that this is the band you play as until the final set of songs. That's just ridiculous, man. They don't even look like Van Halen. The drummer looks like a total rock-n-rollin' version of Jeff Goldblum, which honestly I think is the game's most redeeming quality, because that's just freaking awesome. Dude, this should just be the default drummer for all the future Guitar Hero games. I got a big kick out of it. 
 
I found that the songs themselves weren't as fun to play as I expected, and I felt most of their best ones were knocked out of the way real early on and ended up being kinda easy. Then you have a ton of songs from other bands, and dude, let me say that these non-Van-Halen songs are mostly pretty crappy. A few of the songs I even like, but they were so uninteresting to play. Like "Best of You" by The Foo Fighters, which was pretty much just relentness, non-stop fast strumming the whole time. A few of the good songs here were already included in other music games and were more enjoyable then. I felt like half of these songs were lousy, though. Heck, I'd say the same about half of Halen's stuff too. They had a decent amount of hits, but they're not The Beatles by any stretch. GH: Metallica also featured other bands, mainly ones that inspired them or were inspired them. I thought they worked out well, and it included a lot of extra songs I really enjoyed. Heck, I'd go as far as to say the best song in that game wasn't even a Metallica song, but even with that being the case, I still could respect Metallica's game. GH: Van Halen is just lazy, lazy, lazy.

#8 Posted by JJOR64 (19023 posts) -

It would be funny if you could trade it in a Gamestop and get some credit for it.

#9 Posted by Vod_Crack (731 posts) -

Good review. Keep it up!

#10 Edited by RedRebel (39 posts) -

 
Master Exploder,Queens Of The Stone Age,Hot For Teacher,The Clash,all of these are great,great bands. EDIT:AND SONGS.
 
 
But thats not enough i guess.=)

#11 Posted by natetodamax (19212 posts) -

I really wish they had included a better Queens Of The Stone Age song. Sick Sick Sick is terrible.

Online
#12 Posted by Grubich (21 posts) -

I honestly feel like im the only person in the world that actually liked this game

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