Guitar Hero III, Rock Band - Video Games You Play!
If you’ve got a lot more paraphernalia sitting around your home theater system lately, you might just be part of the growing trend in video games you have to play.
The Guitar Hero franchise has given its publisher a giant boost, with the game’s third iteration blowing away even Activision’s own sunny expectations. The company has been pumping out hits with the success of both Guitar Hero III and Call of Duty 4.
In fact, that success may be attracting some unwanted attention – not just from competition in the form of Rock Band, but also an actual rock band from the 1980s. Recently in a Detroit court, The Romantics filed a lawsuit against Activision over a cover of “What I Like About You” that appears in "Guitar Hero Rocks the 80s" expansion.
Of course the cover was authorized, but the Romantics now allege the game’s version sounds too much like the original. (It’s sad to think I once respected this group.)
But then, what if this whole lawsuit is just a setup to sell more Guitar Hero? The Romantics themselves are saying you’ll sound too much like them when you play this game, so it’s actually a kind of endorsement.
The Man Comes Around
In true rock and roll form, this groundbreaking game is no longer just a niche, and is now being visited by some big corporate players. Viacom/MTV has teamed up with the overlord of the video game world, Electronic Arts, to bring you Rock Band. It’s sure to be one of the hottest tickets for the holidays.
To be fair, Rock Band isn’t just a lame Guitar Hero clone - in this game you actually have the opportunity to do more than just strum a virtual guitar. You and your friends will play together with guitar, microphone and drum set controllers. The whole kit costs $170 and, despite being a blatant effort produced by the man to compete in a market created by Guitar Hero, has achieved critical acclaim. The Xbox 360 version of Rock Band has received a 93% rating on Metacritic.com.
All this “playing video games that play you” brings new meaning to gameplay, and is probably the result of a wider audience being drawn to games. But call me old fashioned – I’m still satisfied with sitting on the couch blasting my buddies to bits with rocket launchers and sniper rifles.
It's only connection to a guitar is the shape of the controller, what a let down for me. I picked out Barracuda from the menu and attempted to "play" it, what a disaster! I need real strings and a whammy bar! Boy she just ripped into me laughing her little butt off, so I went home brought my "toy" and amp over and played Barracuda for her....... she's taking guitar lessons from a UM jazz program student now. I was right, it did help her to get into a real guitar!
The real genius is the guy that put Playstation buttons on other objects. You can play PaRappa with a Guitar Hero guitar and play Guitar Hero with a Dance Dance Revolution dancemat. Personally I'm waiting for the same company to make a game for USB midi-keyboards Piano Hero!
"I got the Elton John Xtreme edition. Check out my sweet Rocketman skillz!"
"Screw you. My Billy Joel Remix (for XBox 360) totally rulez! Watch me score a perfect on Pressure!"