Giant Bomb News


Kurt Cobain, Versatile Front-Man

This collection of Guitar Hero 5 footage is... I don't know, a little messed-up?

Giant Bomb User of the Minute skrutop posted this video of Guitar Hero 5 on the boards this morning. It's a bunch of footage of Virtual Kurt Cobain doing a bunch of stuff that Real Kurt Cobain would have probably needed two shotguns to cope with. 

On one level, this is kind of hilarious, and it's definitely a testament to the graphical quality of Guitar Hero 5 that seeing V-Cobain sing a Bon Jovi song, or seeing him make rap poses while mouthing Flavor Flav's words seems so absolutely wrong on so many different levels.

I suppose a lot of this has to do with me being "of a certain age," such that I distinctly remember the whens and wheres of Cobain's suicide. While I never worshipped the dude like some of my peers did, you could certainly elevate him to some kind of "voice of a generation" status. And it's the near-mythic legacy he left behind and the way the Nirvana catalog has been protected from commercial interests over the years that makes this stuff so harsh. Blame Courtney Love, I suppose, for not continuing to protect that legacy. His appearance in the game seems fine, but perhaps the business deal should have prevented Neversoft from using that model in anything other than Nirvana's tracks? Or, in lieu of the license holders not caring enough about Cobain's likeness to place meaningful restrictions on its use, maybe the developers should have shown a little restraint? I wonder if there was even any discussion on this topic during the game's development...

I don't know. Like I said, it doesn't really bother me, and I'm certainly not outraged or anything, but it definitely struck me as completely crazy. Way crazier than all the other dead musicians who have appeared (or will be appearing) in music games. Three Kurt Cobains with invisible instruments, performing a Megadeth song! What? Too soon?
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
146 CommentsRefresh
Avatar image for damian
Posted By Damian
@Foggen said:
" @Damian: So what you're saying is Kurt Cobain needs to be carrying a fat bottle of Orange Drink. "
I bet you're really good at adventure games!
I used to enjoy the the fake guitar heroes they had in the Harmonix GH's. It had all the flair without all the head-shaking. 
When Jimmy Hendrix meets Xavier Stone the Earth may just implode.
Avatar image for deusoma
Posted By Deusoma

Wow, people weren't kidding when they said the avatars didn't fit. I thought they just meant the graphical style clashed with the realistic models in Rock Band, but fuck, it doesn't even look like it's there! It looks like a crappy CGI backup dancer badly inserted into a music video from the early 90s.

Avatar image for hakunin
Posted By hakunin

I pretty much agree with everything Jeff said 100%.
This is just wrong.

Avatar image for alexb
Posted By AlexB

Woah, Jeff too soon with the shotgun joke... lol jk. Weird I saw this randomly on YT like a  day or so ago. Cool that it's getting press here.

Avatar image for haze
Posted By Haze

Putting Kurt in this games goes against everything the man stood for and is exactly the kind of corporate BS that crushed him. Yes folks I care.

Avatar image for insectecutor
Edited By Insectecutor
@MrKlorox said:

" Neversoft is a joke. Fuck that studio and it's entire non-musician workforce. "

Agreed. Kurt Cobain singing Bon Jovi alongside horrific smacked up balloon-headed midgets? I'm not a huge Nirvana fan but they may as well have replaced the avatars with dancing middle fingers, had Kurt singing into the end of a shotgun and continuously scrolled FUCK YOU down the highway.
EDIT: Also the crowd are still a mass of half hearted clones in GH. It really kills the atmosphere to see that. They should do what RockBand does and keep the crowd dimly lit so the focus is on the performers. If it doesn't look great, don't show it!
Although I gotta say the skeleton drummer is awesome.
Avatar image for finaldasa
Posted By FinalDasa

The avatars look ridiculous standing next to actual characters, they look patched on rather than a new feature. 
I feel like if another 6 months had been added to this game and a fully customizable character creator would be much more appealing than, "ooo crappy avatar is playing drums!" 
And invisible instruments, when would you want that on? Of course when would you ever want Kurt Cobain on....ever?

Avatar image for intercryllic
Posted By Intercryllic

Being a fan of Nirvana, its a bit unsettling seeing stuff like that. But to be honest things like this happen all the time so when I heard he was going to be a playable character I wasnt suprised considering they put Johnny fucking Cash in it.

Avatar image for creamypies
Posted By Creamypies

I think whoever made this video has a sick... but AWESOME sense of humour. Seriously, some of you guys need to lighten up a little.

Avatar image for intercryllic
Posted By Intercryllic
@creamypies: Kinda have to agree with you there I guess, all that "too soon" talk is pretty dumb.
Avatar image for mad4it89
Posted By mad4it89

Never really got into Nirvana, but I can see how this would upset loads of their fans : /

Avatar image for ediscool
Posted By EdIsCool

sadly with music being so terrible these days most of the virtua musicians will be dead.
But how stupid do Neversoft  have to be..limit them to their own songs.

Avatar image for mrklorox
Posted By MrKlorox
@Insectecutor said:
" EDIT: Also the crowd are still a mass of half hearted clones in GH. "
Such is the way of mainstream rock and roll. I think it's a pretty good analogy.
Avatar image for jayzilla
Posted By Jayzilla

kurt cobain would be the one rockstar who would NOT want to be a part of this. I hope his daughter gets all of the royalties from it though. that poor child has gone through way too much not to get it.

Avatar image for duffyside
Posted By Duffyside

Why do so many people think someone who put a shotgun in their mouth would be so full of self-respect that they wouldn't appear in this game? If Kurt Cobain were alive today, he'd be nearly forgotten, and therefore be cashing in on his one-time stardom.

Avatar image for insectecutor
Posted By Insectecutor
@MrKlorox said:
" @Insectecutor said:
" EDIT: Also the crowd are still a mass of half hearted clones in GH. "
Such is the way of mainstream rock and roll. I think it's a pretty good analogy. "
Heh, I guess you have a point :)
Avatar image for black_rose
Posted By Black_Rose

This is ridiculous, i'm not a big Nirvana fan but I appreciatted Kobain for standing for what he believed and Neversoft could at least have payed some respect for what the man was and stood for.

Avatar image for avd
Edited By AvD

Not really offended.  He's a rock musician, GH puts virtual versions of popular ones in their games, DOA.  Why should Kurt be off limits?  No one said anything about Jimi Hendrix... are Cabain fans more sensitive?

Avatar image for liquidswords
Posted By LiquidSwords

Straight up bullshit!
Avatar image for endrzgame
Posted By EndrzGame

Nah, it's not too soon Jeff. The guy blew his head off 15yrs ago. People need to get over it.

Avatar image for wolf_blitzer85
Posted By wolf_blitzer85
@AvD: Mainly because it goes against everything that he stood for.
Avatar image for avd
Posted By AvD
@wolf_blitzer85: Again, no one said anything about Hendrix.
I think we all know that Activision could care less about what musicians stand/stood for.  By this logic everyone should agree that the entire game shouldn't exist, not this one specific thing that pisses off Nirvana fans.
Avatar image for crazedjoker
Posted By CrazedJoker

Guitar Hero is harder than Rock Band, and Rock Band just doesn't look nice. 

Avatar image for tep
Posted By Teptom

Wow, just wow.

Avatar image for addictedtopinescent
Posted By addictedtopinescent

Im not offended or anything, I think it's pretty funny But I still respect Cobain very much

Avatar image for kyle
Edited By Kyle

Dude, forget rolling, I think Kurt's just gonna get up out of his grave and start fuckin' eating people.

Avatar image for ghostiet
Posted By Ghostiet
@AvD said:
" are Cabain fans more sensitive? "

They are. They busted RHCP for the Dani California vid, despite the fact they included a tribute to Cobain there.
Avatar image for crazysunshine
Posted By CrazySunshine

Mother of god...

Avatar image for milpool
Edited By Milpool

Yeah this is just a sad attempt by a company that is behind the curve.  
It's also sad that Courtney Love or whoever obviously made no attempt to protect Cobain's memory, just completely sold out his likeness and said do whatever you want with it.  I don't blame the developers, they are just trying to sell games.  However they should focus on improving the game mechanics instead of just throwing in a bunch of gimmicks and hooks.
Avatar image for absurd
Posted By Absurd

This is wrong.

Avatar image for wickedcestus
Posted By WickedCestus

See, this is another example of Neversoft not even really caring. If Harmonix had the rights for Cobain's likeness they probably would have shown some restraint because they care about the music. But Neversoft just kind of threw him in there at the last second. This is why I haven't bought a Guitar Hero game since 2.

Avatar image for halfameatball
Posted By halfameatball

I'm usually not such a stickler about little things like this, but something about this is wrong to me and maybe it is just because I'm a fan of his work. This game could have gone without this, definitely. It is too bad.

Avatar image for monkeyman864
Posted By monkeyman864

like kurt cobain

Avatar image for sir_redthorn
Posted By Sir_Redthorn

Their graphics have definately come far. I stopped playing Guitar Hero because they kept making the songs easier and easier, But as far as I can see their modeling is FTW
Avatar image for crystaljdesign
Posted By CrystaljDesign

Kinda made me sick to watch. Looks like a robot (or robots) with Cobain's skin and scary cartoon characters dancing around him mockingly. This is surely the stuff of nightmares.

Avatar image for lordofultima
Posted By lordofultima

Nirvana Schmirvana.

Avatar image for arbitrarywater
Posted By ArbitraryWater

I was too young to care about Nirvana, but even I know that this is creepy and sort of wrong.

Avatar image for jackijinx
Posted By JackiJinx

Whoever suggested putting Cobain in the game and ratified it is/are going to hell. Hilarious, hilarious hell.

Avatar image for carlos1408
Posted By Carlos1408

Why would anyone do this... :(
Avatar image for dopeman
Posted By dopeman


Avatar image for bwast
Posted By Bwast
@MrKlorox said:
" Neversoft is a joke. Fuck that studio and it's entire non-musician workforce. "
Yeah! Fuck Bungie too! None of them are space marines! Damn crooks.
Avatar image for weggles

My sister, a Nirvana fan, didn't like the Nirvana song in GH2, as it's something she thought cobain wouldn't have wanted.. I'm afraid to show her this D:

Avatar image for alighieri
Posted By Alighieri

I've only played a little Guitar Hero but I noticed a whole lot of satanic imagery in the one I played.  I can only assume this is how satan would prefer people remember Kurt Cobain as; a sell-out clown like the rest of them.  He's the one who likes all the pretty songs and he likes to sing along and he likes to shoot his gun but he don't know what it means.  I see five pages of comments but I'm holding out hope that I'm the first to connect In Bloom to this nonsense.  If not, I'm still the winner. 

Avatar image for jonnyboy
Posted By jonnyboy

Yeah I'm a Nirvana fan, and yes as funny as it is, it's in fairly poor taste, but my question is why has no-one mentioned John Lennon yet? He would have fucking despised being a video game. I fully aware he is singing his own songs but I can guarantee he would never signed his likeness away that quickly after years of shitty, poorly advised Beatles merchandise.

Avatar image for cashbailey
Posted By CashBailey

I'm digging on Brad on guitar.

Avatar image for empfeix
Posted By empfeix

I see the hate is strong with this series still.  I was a Nirvana fan growing up and just having him in the game is cool imo.

Avatar image for spiritof
Posted By Spiritof

Do we have a term for when a video game franchise "jumps the shark"?

Avatar image for deburgo
Posted By DeBurgo

I want to say this is mildly disrespectful but I don't really hold Cobain with the same reverence I did as a teen/tween, and I don't think most adolescents these days give a shit about him either.
That said this clip doesn't do much to counteract my opinion that neversoft and activision are pretty tasteless outfits.

Avatar image for royalewifcheese
Posted By RoyaleWifCheese

How about some respect, if not for Kurt Cobain's legacy, for the dead? I'm not a megafan of Nirvana, but Christ, this is about the most tasteless thing I've seen all day. This almost guarantees that I won't be buying anymore Guitar Hero products. This sure as hell ain't my idea of immortalization.

Avatar image for jarlaxle
Edited By Jarlaxle

While I'm not outraged or anything, this still feels pretty wrong.  A little disrespectul of Kurt's memory if you ask me.