It would be a pretty difficult task to find any console owner of the past five years that doesn’t at least know what you’re talking about if you mention the words ‘Guitar Hero’ to them. This rhythm-based music game has become ubiquitous in the music game world, fighting shoulder to shoulder with Rock Band for the glory of being the best and most-played music game out there.
Though the hype has most definitely died down by these waning months of 2013, plastic guitars, vocal microphones, and drum pads still litter the cupboards and even the living rooms of some households around the country, gathering dust and acting as a reminder of a genre that was once awash with fans, and still enjoys some form of notoriety and a die-hard fan base to this very day. When it was released, Guitar Hero: World Tour marked a milestone for the series in more ways than one; this short article is simply looks at a few features of the game and has a quick look at the venues that you get to play in as well.
It would surprise me if you didn’t know the basics of the game, since its standard format is also used by pretty much every other rhythmical-input musical game as well. Looking at the screen, you will see a highway-like section that looks very much like the neck of a guitar: this is the central focus of the gameplay mechanic. Different coloured gems fly down the highway and you must press the corresponding colours on your peripheral instrument controllers in time with their motion on screen. Points and multipliers are scored for hitting correct notes in perfect time and points are lost/audiences boo if you keep missing notes. This is the basis of the gameplay mechanic and it always has been this way.
The most significant changes this time around are the ability to both add vocals and drums to your performances by using the electronic drum pads and vocal microphones. This enriches the performances and allows you to expand the size of your at-home band of make-believe. Your progression through the game also differs from previous experiences since you must play through different gigs, each with their own venue and set list. Your characters can be customised which adds to the fun of the experience, though mistakes seem to be penalised harshly since if one person begins to fumble, then the whole performance quickly leads to failure. Just take one look at the song list, however, and you’ll soon forget any flaws. This exploration of the best songs in Guitar hero: World Tour takes a closer look at the track listing.
It is the Venues of Guitar Hero: World Tour that most interested me about this guitar music game, though I was disappointed to find that it doesn’t actually incorporate any seriously iconic venues of real-life. It does have some distinctive venues that seem to correspond with different musical styles however. The Tool venue for example is an artistic paradise which contains dark imagery and surroundings which developers Neversoft and publishers Activision worked on in collaboration with the actual band.
The House of Blues is a venue that is home to songs like Hotel California for bass and Nirvana’s About a Girl for the entire band. Rock Brigade is also pretty iconic since it features Travis Barker playing Dammit on drums. Perhaps the most recognisable venue here however is Times Square in New York, and though it isn’t a classic rock venue, it is really the only one that seems worth mentioning in the end due to its relative fame. Other venues include Amoeba Music and also AT&T Park, which are fairly iconic in their own right but are by no means universally recongisable. In all, Guitar Hero: World Tour was a bit of a let down on the venues front, but as you can read in this review of the game, the experience is otherwise extremely entertaining.