The Most Expensive Game Ever (TM)

Richie Sambora, Guitar Hero
Richie Sambora, Guitar Hero

As, already mentioned in these hallowed pages for me the stand out game of 2008 for me was Guitar Hero World Tour.  The reasoning behind this in honesty has very little to do with the innovation on show in the game but comes down to the fact that I’ve enjoyed GHWT more than any other game this year.

The game mechanics are pretty much unchanged since GH3 (well, since Guitar Hero really), the newly implemented slide bar on the neck of the guitar is  the only innovation and is ignorable.  The vertical difficulty curve from GH3 has been dispensed with, though it has been replaced with something more akin to a difficulty scatter graph, this isn’t as much of a curb on progression as in previous iterations though now that the game difficulty level can be changed mid play-list (My sticking point was Today by The Smashing Pumpkins, damn near impossible on medium, probably just me though).

If innovation was important to a GH game to be honest we’d still all be playing Guitar Hero, what matters to a GH game is the music, World Tour is no exception to this with a whopping 86 tracks, all based on master recordings, placing it well above main rival Rock Band’s 58.  Quantity is not always everything, quality has to be considered and this is where GHWT potentially comes unstuck.  Musical taste is subjective and while Activision has attempted to provide something for everyone, inorder to cover all bases it is possible to spread yourself thin.  I’d say that this is avoided, however I pretty much fit the demographic to which the playlist is geared, which appears to be a punk-metal Rockabilly with one foot planted firmly in the eighties and one ear in Seattle around 1991.

I refer to GHWT as the expensive game ever, and at £150 for the full band set  up this is more than I’ve spent on consoles in the past, the price tag is not where it ends however, The Guitar Hero frachise always ends up costing me money as it represents a large influence on my music collection.  The month following a GH release will often see me spending hundreds of pounds on albums.  GH is responsible for me listening to Avenged Sevenfold, Dragonforce (so therefore ultimately responsible for the stain on my buddy Poki’s living room carpet), Creedance Clearwater Revival and Tool.  GH is also responsible for rediscovering bands just by looking at their music in a different way, The Eagles for example it wasn’t until I played Hotel California on GHWT that I asked myself, “What else have have they done?”  Similar can be said of The Smashing Pumpkins, a band which I missed the first time around, also The Pretenders, Cheap Trick and Pearl Jam.

While the music in GHWT tends to throw up a few unexpected suprises I’d say that most are worth persevering as there’s a hell of a lot of triple A tunes to be had, some of the more obscure tracks may even suprise you.

All of this  subject to personal taste, I’m sure not everyone thinks that Livin’ on a Prayer is the best song ever written, and that is why you all fail.

9 thoughts on “The Most Expensive Game Ever (TM)

  1. mbooth

    If you consider the cost of the entertainment per hour that Guitar Hero provides for you and your friends (compared to, say, cinema trips), it’s probably the cheapest way to spend several great evenings in. This alone makes GHWT an absolute bargain.

    Expensive game, my arse. 🙂

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  2. Gazz

    In the great battle that is RB vs GHWT I prefer everything about GH except the song selection. Granted there are are *some* good songs but more that I have no interest in playing. On the other hand I much prefer the visual aspect of GH and the instruments are far superior.

    Also I have to agree that in the grand scheme of things the amount of entertainment provided by either of these games makes up for the costs.

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  3. Ado

    Hmmmm… As you already know, I must politely disagreew with you on the Rock Band vs GH:WT question. Whilst the instruments are undoubtably superior in GH:WT the songs available for RB are much better (off the disc but certainly in the form of online extra tracks).

    I think, once the intruments for RB are upgraded (perhaps byt he time RB3 comes out) there will be a definate winner, and it wont be the Guitar Hero franchise (although it will probably rumble on until “Guitar Hero: Galactic Quest” solely because of fanboys like you buying it for the name and not the content!!!).

    TBH, I want the whole “Band” set up to find standardisation, then you can by a set from whichever company does the best instruments, mix and match them if you so desire, then buy which game with whichever songs and features fits your purpose best.

    Also, good call Matt on the value aspect. “Bang-Per-Buck” factor is high on this product I feel. Managing to entertain 12 people, as at the inter-X-Mas hootenanny, for the best part of 5 hours is no mean feat. That would be 2 films at the cinema at £6 a pop, quick calc gives me £72, granted that’s with no extras, but you can play the game again and again. It really is a good combo of things to do for a bunch of folks whilst listening to music for the rest of the party.

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  4. Am I the only rapidly becoming bored with the pretend-instrument genre?

    Never been a huge fan of rhythm action and the glut of, dare I say it, soulless guitar/band games is harshing my buzz, man. All I wanna do is play More Than a Feeling with a white-boy overbite and giving it a bit of lunge for half an hour, then I can happily do something else.

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  5. Ralph

    Ado, While I’m willing to grant that There are some pretty cool DLC about for RB, and I’m impressed that most content is compatible over both games (I honestly expected EA to screw folk over on that one.) Two stand out DLC for me on GH:WT The Hendrix Track pack made me greasy excited, and Metallica’s Death Magnetic album. I will however be purchasing RB following my next wage injection, and probably the AC/DC Live edition though I will also be purchasing GH: Metallica, nought to do with GH brand loyalty there, just the fact that I’m Kirk Hammett’s bitch. While there is something of a brand loyalty in evidence,m as I said in the article it’s ultimately about the music, and GH has always delivered the goods in that respect covering multiple genre’s from multiple era’s.

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  6. Ado

    Originally Posted By NeilAm I the only rapidly becoming bored with the pretend-instrument genre?

    We all wanna be rockstars mate. Sorry.

    I want to see the day when we have a full guitar to control, like in real life. Then, having so many more commands at our finger tips, we can map these to functions in other games and play them with a guitar. Imagine playing WoW, but instead of having your various bars and commands everthing’s just a differant note or played at a differant tempo…

    What sweet music we will make… :o)

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  7. Ado

    Mr. Ralph, as I think I said (but may not have) I think this gen of games is al about taste. As you said, you like the music on GH:WT, so fair play that one’s for you. I prefer greatly the RB tracks so I’ll be going for that in the near future. Either way, as long as we’re having fun there’s no big :o)

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