Tag Archives: neversoft

Returning to Guitar Hero II Expert after Six Years

Guitar Hero II

With the announcements of new Rock Band and Guitar Hero games, my vigor towards those titles currently in my collection was reignited. Coincidentally, it wasn’t too long before these announcements that I had procured a copy of Green Day: Rock Band. It had been sitting in my closet for a while and with this redeveloped enthusiasm, my partner and I got the plastic instrument band back together. To be fair, achievements did play a role too.

We jammed through Green Day: Rock Band in a single sitting – complying with the requirements for one of the game’s endurance based achievements. It didn’t make him a fan of theirs and didn’t make me anything more than the casual fan I already was. We conquered, and moved onto Guitar Hero: Van Halen a week or so later. We aimed to do the same with it, but called it quits early on when we realized the achievements wouldn’t pop for the both of us, only the primary player. For us, this was a nightmarish callback to the launch of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.

GH3 360 Coverwrap.indd

I purchased that game on a break between college classes and when school was done for the day, we rocked the evening away in a single marathon session. When all was said and done, I had the medium co-op achievement pop, but nothing happened for him. After the fact research yielded our answer: nothing would unlock for the secondary player. What a jip! What were people supposed to do to unlock the four co-op related achievements? Bribe friends, put out an ad on Craigslist? Keeping in mind that the difficulty achievements didn’t stack meant all related songs would have to be played through four times, each on a different difficulty. Needless to say we didn’t start a new co-op career on another difficulty.

So, I was left to finish Guitar Hero: Van Halen on my own. Unlike the crotches of 80s rock stars, it wasn’t bulging with content so it was a relatively brief affair. I did discover a few of their lesser-known songs though. All this recent Guitar Hero and Rock Band playing had me curious towards the older games in my collection, specifically, ones with achievements that I hadn’t obtained. Perusing TrueAchievements signaled that I may be able to clean up a few achievements in Guitar Hero II – namely completing the game on expert and a co-op achievement or two. This was a possibility because the co-op achievements unlocked for both players.

Green Day Rock Band

So I fired up Guitar Hero II and was greeted with a nearly complete expert playthrough – I was four songs away. Of those, I only had access to three. The first one I attempted was “Misirlou” by Dick Dale. Although you may not recognize it by title or performer, if you hear it, you’d likely be able to place it – surf rock of the 1960s. Surprising myself I passed it with flying colors barely scraping by on my first time. “Wow! I can do this” I exclaimed to nobody but myself. My next attempts – “Institutionalized” by Suicidal Tendencies and “Hangar 18” by Megadeth put the difficulty level into perspective.

I didn’t give up though. On my initial attempts with those songs I was able to clear more than 80 percent on each. A few days passed before my next attempts but with those I played the songs over and over and over again, getting better at performing the tricky hammer-ons and pull-offs and learning the crucial moments to activate Star Power. One by one I conquered the songs until I was left with game-ender: “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. I sat through the first few minutes of that song no less than a half-dozen times thanks to the tricky solos. Eventually, everything synced and I was able to scrape by. Achievement unlocked.

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Random Game #16 – Guitar Hero: World Tour [Xbox 360]

Guitar Hero World Tour

When you have a video game collection like mine, it can be hard to play all of the games. This is especially true when additions are made on an almost weekly basis. Still, I appreciate nearly every game I’ve accumulated for this reason or that. In the hopes of improving my writing through continuous effort and promoting ongoing learning of these games, I’m going to compose brief, descriptive articles.

By the time Guitar Hero: World Tour released, I had not only moved onto Rock Band, but moved away from acquiring the annual rhythm game. This being 2008, the genre was red hot and hadn’t been flooded quite yet. World Tour was Activision’s attempt to evolve the Guitar Hero series into a full-fledged band game and by all accounts, they were very successful. Not only that, they introduced a few differentiating features such as the music creation tools and a drum kit featuring cymbals. I only picked it up this year for a dollar or so and have yet to play it. I’ve been hooked on this type of game before and at the very least, I’m looking forward to playing through the game with a friend.

Guitar Hero: World Tour was developed by Neversoft and released in North America on October 26, 2008. It was available for a plethora of platforms: PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PC, and Mac. The PS2 and Wii versions were ported by Budcat Creations and Vicarious Visions, respectively, while the PC and Mac versions were ported and published by Aspyr Media. These last two were released on July 26, 2009. Activision published all other versions.

Guitar Hero Retrospective

 

Guitar Hero, the game that essentially revitalized the rhythm genre, started a massive video game franchise, and became a part of our culture, is now finished.

So the other day Activision Blizzard released their financial results for 2010 and while there were many interesting tidbits of information within, of interest to me is the news regarding the Guitar Hero franchise. Detailed within is the news that Activision is going to disband its Guitar Hero business unit, and stop production on this year’s Guitar Hero game, which makes me believe they’re done with Guitar Hero for a while, possibly until new video game systems are released. Hearing this news was shocking, more so to hear it on National Public Radio and not just the traditional video game websites. It was foreseeable news however, the market did become heavily saturated with rhythm games, and similarly, MTV Games recently sold off Harmonix, the developers behind Rock Band and Dance Central, but Activision seemed to have gotten while the getting was good and released, in most people’s opinions, too many Hero branded games. All that said, I’ve had a lot of positive memories with Guitar Hero and this news is a good opportunity to look back on them.

My first Guitar Hero was Guitar Hero II on the Xbox 360. I remember reading about it in the Official Xbox Magazine and decided to preorder it from Best Buy. After laying the deposit down, I waited. When the release date finally rolled around, my sister and I went straight to the Best Buy after school and picked it up. I remember us talking about someone driving on the highway, jokingly saying they were getting it as well, and that we had better beat them in case they bought the last copy. Ironically enough, they were in fact picking it up too. From then on I played hours of the game, eventually becoming competent enough to complete the hard difficulty, but never progressing much on expert. I enjoyed competing with friends, trying to outdo their high scores, and eventually spending a lot of time on ScoreHero.

I remember getting Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock as well. One day after college, I decided that was the day I’d get it, and my friend and I played through the entire game in one sitting. It was a blast, except for the fact that the second player doesn’t receive achievements. As with Guitar Hero II, Guitar Hero III took up a bunch of my time, and my skills continued to improve. Guitar Hero: Aerosmith was my next game. It was much easier compared to its predecessors, but it also had a different set up, playing predominately Aerosmith songs. It was a quick game to beat, and not that hard to obtain most of the achievements, it would be my last Guitar Hero game. At this point I had converted to Rock Band and its multi-instrument setup.

I enjoyed my time with the Guitar Hero games I’ve played and I look forward to picking up some of the titles I’ve missed. This was easy to see coming but it’s still sort of shocking, to realize that it’s already here, the discontinuation of Guitar Hero.

Sources:

Activision Blizzard Calender Year 2010 Financial Results

Guitar Hero Official Site

Score Hero