Blake Snow

writer-for-hire, content guy, bestselling author

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Tagged Guitar Hero

MSNBC: World Tour is the new Rock Band

Lindsey and I have been playing World Tour all weekend with friends. The game is Guitar Hero’s response to the popular Rock Band. The early verdict: World Tour improves upon Rock Band in almost every way, save for scoring, star power, and when someone fails. Plus, anything that has Van Halen gets bonus points from me. My full review at MSNBC…

MSNBC: What’s behind the add-on phenomenon?

“There is no way we’re putting that there,” my wife tells me.

We’ve just spent 20 minutes surveying our 1,100-square-foot apartment in search of a spot for our new “Dance Dance Revolution” pad. The only place to stash it is under the couch, and my wife knows it.

”OK,” she concedes, allowing the unorthodox storage given our growing game-related gadgetry.

I’m not the only one with an increasing stockpile of video-game peripherals. According to The NPD Group, the official bean-counter of U.S. video game sales, consumers spent a record $1.3 billion so far this year on plastic guitars, steering wheels and other add-ons, the result of games like “Wii Fit,” “Guitar Hero,” “Mario Kart Wii” and “Rock Band.”

Continue reading at MSNBC…

Music will decide the rhythm wars

Guitar Hero 3 Wii ControllerArs Technica has a nice summation of the rhythm wars, aka the battle between Guitar Hero and Rock Band for rhythm game (and profit) supremacy. So who will win? From the article:

For rock fans, picking a title could be as simple as one track or one band that tips that scales; assuming that both games are fun to play and the hardware works well enough, the track list is what will move rhythm games of the future.

It’s worth noting that Guitar Hero sells significantly more games, while Rock Band sells significantly more digital downloads. And save only the music creator of Guitar Hero, both games are near-identical in features, including separate online stores.

Personally, I prefer Guitar Hero to Rock Band (having played both extensively), because the music is more rocking, the peripherals are sturdier, and the difficulty is more challenging. Plus, it’s the original gangsta of rock video games in America.

GamePro: 5 band-centric Guitar Hero games that would rock

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, launching June 29, isn’t just a collection of songs grouped together by artist for a stand-alone rhythm game. It’s sort of like Behind The Music in interactive form, letting players vicariously relive Aerosmith’s 30 year performance history in near-chronological order, from high school to international stardom.

So based on mega-platinum sales on multiple occasions (read: broad appeal), a storied history, and anthemic riffs, here are the top five bands we’d like to see in their own Guitar Hero games.

Continue reading at GamePro…

Who said pretending wasn’t any fun?

Rob Walker of the New York Times seemingly belittles the enjoyment level of my latest addiction, Guitar Hero III. And I quote:

“You’re not actually playing the guitar. No matter how good you may get at Guitar Hero, if you decide to take up the real instrument at some point, you’ll be starting from scratch.”

Being that the man writes for the Times, I’m sure he can appreciate the difference between the entertaining fantasy of video games and the dedication required to learn, play, and ultimately enjoy creating live music — in this case with a guitar.

Guitar Hero works, however, because it convincingly feels like you are a seasoned musician, even if you play real guitar like myself.

I’ve played rhythm guitar for 14 years now. I’ve also performed live in several bands to crowds upwards of 300 people. It is a powerful experience.

Why would I play Guitar Hero then? Because I can be the lead guitarist that I never was. Because I can play songs that otherwise would take much more practice to pull off. Because I can stir feelings from my youth — a memorable time in my life that has since past as the adult in me pursues more rewarding ends.

That’s why.

My latest obsession: Guitar Hero III
I haven’t played in a band for years — until tonight. It wasn’t the kind I used to enjoy as a confused teenager or hipster undergrad. But it sure felt the same.

I’m talking about Guitar Hero III for Wii; specifically playing online together with an old friend from high school, Casey Willis.

We took turns playing imaginary guitar and bass in real-time on Fisher Price-like axes — he in Georgia, and I in Utah. Even though I work online for a living, I’m still amazed by the simple things the internet is capable of achieving. In this case helping two has-beens feel young again.

And we didn’t even have to deal with a mediocre PA system.

Edge: Activision says Guitar Hero Still Relevant

Next Generation sat down with Activision Senior Vice President of Marketing Will Kassoy on Friday to discuss Guitar Hero, EA’s competing Rock Band, and casual games for Wii.

“There was a lot of unmet demand due to controller shortage with the release of the first Guitar Hero,” Kassoy said when asked about the franchise’s massive success. “As a result, we invested heavily in ramping up production of Guitar Hero II to meet demand.”

Activision, the number two independent game publisher, says the series is one of the fastest growing brands of all time. The company is currently preparing to release the third installment this fall next to EA’s Rock Band, a game that some are calling the “Guitar Hero killer.”

Continue reading at Edge…