We had the awesome opportunity to hang out with the folks from Freestyle Games and Activision as they gave us a personal demo of the new Guitar Hero Live game due out on October 20th. A lot of the staff at Official RTV have either play or still play rhythm games. For me personally, this genre is near and dear to my heart as I started off on Guitar Hero 2 on the Playstation 2. This was years ago, and now we get a new introduction, and a fresh start.
My first impression on the game when I first saw the videos and read the articles was not very good. I thought that Activision was changing too much for a game that was meant to put new life into the rhythm gaming industry. Everybody who is a rhythm gamer knows about the infamous 5 buttons and 5 different colors, so why would you try to change that? The answer is simple: Change. Change is not a bad thing, and people are often scared by it. Admittedly, I was.
Walking into the room I saw the new controller and the introduction screen up and running. I was prepared to ask the hard questions that the internet wants to know. I was prepared to be that “hard ass journalist”. Then something amazing happened – my opinion changed. This game and new controller was not only good, but it was enjoyable.
The controller is light, well balanced, and comfortable to use. The 6 button configuration is solid, responsive, and very attention oriented. The top 3 buttons, black row, are the main buttons for selection purposes. The bottom 3 buttons, the white row, are for gameplay.
The gameplay is very fun to play. I do have to say that the age-old saying for guitar correlates with this game very well: Easy to learn, hard to master. What we know before from the old guitar hero game’s needs to be tossed out the window. It’s not only the fact that we have one more button, as that isn’t even the difficult thing to process… it’s the 2 rows! When I say difficult it isn’t like playing Demon Souls for the first time, as that is just plain old frustration. This is a challenge. I didn’t want to stop playing until I could nail the transition from top to bottom, and vice versa.
The main thing I want to focus on about this game is that people need to stop judging a book by its cover, or a game by its case. This game is not bad by any means. It is not too easy or too hard. Personally, before this meeting I was not going to give Guitar Hero any more thought or a dollar or my money. Do not judge this game so easily. The music may be underground bands, but they are very fun to play and enjoyable to listen to. The gameplay may be different, but it is enjoyable. I honestly have nothing bad to say about the game. I got a little over an hour to play the game, and I was sold within 20 minutes. I am not an easy person to convince to drop money on a game, especially a game that is going to require more than the typical $60. I will drop the money with no hesitation and will enjoy every cent of it.
Long story short? It is awesome! If you would like more details on the game, or would like more of my opinions? We will be putting up some videos on Official RTV’s Youtube (link here) about our thoughts and opinions on the game and about the time we spent with the folks from Freestyle and Activision.