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Guitar Hero

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The No Doubt vs. Activision drama finally ends


Oct 04
// Chris Carter
Remember that one time when No Doubt accused Activision, and by proxy Band Hero, of misusing their likeness? It feels like that sort of thing happens every year, but now Activision has one less thing to worry about, as No Dou...
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Justice for a Girl: No Doubt v Activision going to trial


May 31
// Kyle MacGregor
It's been nearly three years since No Doubt first filed against Activision for improper use of their likeness in 2009 Guitar Hero spin-off, Band Hero. Since then the evil publisher has counter-sued the band, claiming they wer...
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Addition of the Bastion narrator makes any videogame sexy


Oct 31
// Tony Ponce
What if the silken-voiced but incessant narrator from Bastion scored a few gigs working with other, bigger games? Would the simple gameplay exercise of running from one edge of the screen to the other become a grand journey into consciousness? Or would you just try to f*ck with the guy? Dorkly Bits: Bastion Narrator Invades Other Games [Dorkly]
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Maroon 5 frontman sues Activision over Band Hero


Aug 05
// Jim Sterling
Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine is suing Activision over his appearance in Band Hero, claiming he did not agree to be portrayed the way he is in the game. Adam, sorry to break it to you, but you actually do sound like that! His...
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New Destructoid Episode: F*ck it, we did it live!


Jul 23
// Tara Long
Phew, sorry I had to break out the overused meme, guys. I'm just exhausted after a long day of live streaming the Destructoid show. It truly was a festival of horrors!  In case you missed it, we discussed how G...
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Activision using 'new studios' to 'reinvent' Guitar Hero


Jul 21
// Nick Chester
Considering the franchise's sliding sales, it wasn't shocking to learn that Activision had disbanded its Guitar Hero business unit and decided to not release a new title this year. The fate of the series hung in the balance, ...
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Activision: Guitar Hero not dead, on 'hiatus'


Apr 12
// Jim Sterling
Activision has made a statement concerning the Guitar Hero franchise, seeming to backtrack on the idea that the series had been killed off for good. I guess the publisher realized there's money to be made from a big comeback ...

Rock Prodigy will teach you guitar

Mar 17 // Tara Long
At first glance, Rock Prodigy might seem like another Guitar Hero clone. That skepticism quickly fades though, when you realize it’s not really a game - it’s a learning tool. It just so happens that its selling point is that it uses a real guitar. Any guitar can be used, in fact - even acoustic - so long as you have a headset with a built-in microphone or a basic line-in guitar adapter with a headphone jack and guitar cable input to connect to your iOS device. Roger Danneberg, a Computer Science PhD at Carnegie Mellon, is partly responsible for creating the polyphonic pitch recognition software used in the app, which can detect frequencies small enough to distinguish when an incorrect note or chord is played. This technology forms the basis of the software, but the developers did incorporate some fun gameplay elements to the app similar to those in other guitar games. In the basic version of the app, users have access to only the Perform mode, which offers a simple, straight playthrough of the song. How well the player performs ultimately determines their score and subsequently, their Career.   The Premium Feature Pack, which is available as an add-on for $9.99, features a Practice mode which seems quite reasonable for the price. It allows you to fast-forward and rewind songs, turn on note and chord names to help in learning music theory, and adjust guitar backing or track volume. It also grants you access to the app's Auto Pause feature, which is arguably the most important tool for true beginners. It temporarily pauses the song when you don’t hit a note on time, and then picks the song back up when you play the next note. So, if you're anything like me and it takes you 5 seconds to find the C note, your progress won’t be stunted by the realization that you’re now 5 seconds behind. Practice mode also features an Auto Play option that lets you hear the track as though you played every note correctly. Sometimes it's just nice to pretend, isn't it? As you begin to improve in Perform mode, your score will get higher. Users have the option to save scores to their profile so they can track their improvement over time or compare themselves to other players on the global leaderboard.    Rock Prodigy offers over 40 tracks available for purchase as of now, which are priced from $1 to $3 and are typical of what you would find in any guitar peripheral game, but with a bit more variety. The artists range from Lynyrd Skynyrd to B. B. King to the Deftones to Bach. I will admit I was impressed by the inclusion of classical music, though I can't imagine how it would sound on an electric guitar. A complete list of all the songs can be found on the app's website. If none of them are your particular flavor, note that the developers are continually adding new songs to the store. Each song has four levels of difficulty: Easy, Medium, Hard, and Prodigy. Playing a song on Prodigy is equivalent to mastering it, which means not only mastering every note, but playing above and beyond the note-for-note transcription and learning various ways to incorporate multiple parts of the guitar.    I demoed the app on an iPad, which is surely the optimal way to view it. It still looks great on an iPhone or iPod, though, and would have been especially useful last summer during my fruitless attempts to learn guitar. Missed opportunities aside, Rock Prodigy seems like a fun, useful, and worthwhile method of learning the guitar for a totally reasonable price. [embed]196567:37042[/embed]
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On the heels of this week's Rocksmith announcement, I feel I should introduce another player to the line-up of games that promises to teach you real life skills.Rock Prodigy is an iOS app that has been available on the App St...

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Guitar Hero lives on, 'modern rock' DLC released


Mar 09
// Nick Chester
The death of Guitar Hero has been highly exaggerated, apparently. Or there's just a bunch of downloadable content that's been authored and is still sitting in Activision's pipeline…In any event, that means more music f...
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Co-founder finds Activision hate 'a little bit strong'


Feb 22
// Jim Sterling
Activision co-founder Alan Miller believes that the resentment some gamers feel toward the evil publisher is a bit "strong" and has suggested we tone it down a bit. "As a publisher, you’re taking the risk," he said. "An...
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Former RedOctane CEO: Activision abused Guitar Hero


Feb 18
// Jim Sterling
Kelly Summer, former CEO of RedOctane, has lashed out at Activision for the cancellation of the Guitar Hero series, stating that it could easily have continued, but the publisher abused the property. I think we all got that i...
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Analysts: Call of Duty won't be the next Guitar Hero


Feb 15
// Jim Sterling
A number of analysts have discussed Activision's recent killing of the Guitar Hero franchise, where they declared the whole series to be a "fad" and added that Call of Duty won't go the same way, in spite of Activision's pote...
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Destructoid: LA Cave Stories, Guitar Martyr, and Halo 5?!


Feb 12
// Tara Long
Good afternoon, denizens of Destructoid! 'Tis afternoon o'clock on a lovely Saturday afternoon, and that can mean only one thing - last night's episode of your favorite internet online video game show had technical difficult...
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There will be no more Guitar Hero DLC


Feb 10
// Jim Sterling
When Activision said that Guitar Hero was getting killed, it meant the whole damn deal. A few people wondered if we'd at least get new downloadable content, but the publisher has stated that after February, the well officiall...
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Activision: Guitar Hero cost too much to be profitable


Feb 10
// Jim Sterling
Yesterday we learned the rather stunning news that Activision was ending the Guitar Hero franchise, along with True Crime: Hong Kong. Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg explained the reasoning behind the cull, which CVG has transc...
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[Update: During the conference, Activision just confirmed the death of DJ Hero as part of the Guitar Hero franchise. True Crime: Hong Kong was canceled because it was "just not good enough" to compete in the open world genr...

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Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock's February Mega Pack DLC


Feb 09
// Conrad Zimmerman
Activision has released a new trailer highlighting the songs currently available in the February Mega Pack DLC for Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. The pack includes tracks from Marilyn Manson, Children of Bodom, Black Label S...
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Live show: Chill Bros play Guitar Hero pro gamer Ecstacy


Feb 01
// Pico Mause
Want to see how a Guinness World record holder plays Guitar Hero?  Tune in! Put your Guitar Hero thrashing skills to the test against one of the world champions, Annie "Ecstacy" Leung. She joins us today on Jus...
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Activision halves prices on major 360 DLC this week


Jan 11
// Nick Chester
Activision is having major 50% off sale on a lot of its digital Xbox 360 content this week, and because of that, I've learned a few things. One, I had no idea that Activision published Carcassonne or Golf: Tee It Up!; that's ...
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Nine Inch Nails, The Used, more coming to Guitar Hero


Jan 11
// Nick Chester
Activision's mapped out its Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock downloadable content for January, bringing tracks from Nine Inch Nails, The Used, and more.
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Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, DJ Hero 2 get price drops


Jan 10
// Nick Chester
Good things to come to those who wait, and by "good things" I mean saving a few bucks on Activision's Hero titles. Only a few months after their launch, both Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock and DJ Hero 2 are getting price drops...
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Kiss invade Guitar Hero, Linkin Park hit DJ Hero 2


Dec 22
// Nick Chester
Elvis Presley's "Blue Christmas" is so depressing. Wouldn't you rather be listening to KISS and Linkin Park? Great! Activision is releasing KISS and Linkin Park track packs for Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock and DJ Hero 2 resp...
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Megadeth's Guitar Hero tracks nominated for Grammy


Dec 10
// Nick Chester
Baba what now? Civilization IV isn't the only game with a link to Grammy nominations -- Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock has now made it into the mix. Megadeth's track "Sudden Death" has been nominated for "Best Metal Performanc...
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Activision: Guitar Hero has lost some mass appeal


Dec 09
// Jim Sterling
Evil publisher Activision has admitted that its Guitar Hero franchise may have lost some of the mainstream appeal that has raked in millions over the years. I don't suppose that could have had anything to do with the ten diff...
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Axl Rose sues Activision over Guitar Hero III


Nov 24
// Jim Sterling
Guns N Roses frontman and professional shit Axl Rose has filed a lawsuit against Guitar Hero III publisher Activision, claiming $20 million in damages because the game contains a likeness of former guitarist Slash. Seriously....
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Free DJ Hero, Guitar Hero DLC this week


Nov 23
// Nick Chester
Nothing screams "Thanksgiving" more than Macy's parade and some free downloadable content for Activision's latest music games. The free packs are courtesy of Coca-Cola, and include: Tiest Mix Pack Presented by Coca-Cola for D...
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Jim Sterling playing 2112 for Destructoid charity


Oct 07
// Jim Sterling
This past weekend, the very kind people of Destructoid LA hosted Ronathon, a fundraising event to help Dtoid community member lv99ron raise money to pay a ludicrous medical bill. Event organizer Alex Barbatsis honored me by ...
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Activision replacing Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock discs


Oct 01
// Jim Sterling
Yesterday we told you about the faulty Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock discs we'd discovered, which randomly become unreadable and make it harder to reach all the awesome Rush songs. We contacted Activision for a comment and co...
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Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock disc-read-errors


Sep 30
// Jim Sterling
I recently received a copy of Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, and instantly canceled my afternoon's plans so that I could play 2112 twice in a row, then never pick up the plastic guitar again. Unfortunately, my progress toward...

Review: Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock

Sep 28 // Nick Chester
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii)Developer: NeversoftPublisher: ActivisionRelease date: September 28, 2010 Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock gets its name from the game’s all-new “Quest Mode,” a story-driven experience where players must use their skills to form an unstoppable team of monster musicians. The goal, to unleash the Demigod of Rock who will face off against The Beast, a malevolent rock-hating creature that… wait, what the hell am I talking about? I can’t be serious, right? Yes, this is a thing that happens, and it’s the basis for one of the most outlandish music game campaign experiences gamers have ever played. Narrated by Kiss-bassist Gene “I’m getting a check for this, right?” Simmons, you’ll play through a number venues unlocking “warrior” after “warrior” by completing some of the game’s 90-plus songs. Once fully you’ve rocked fully enough to the game’s liking, you’ll unlock an alter-ego, “rocked out” version of the game’s characters. Punk rocker Johnny Napalm turns into a teleporting elf demon, for example; snakes, boars, headless horsemen, and more are all accounted for. All of this would be hilarious if tongue-in-cheek comedy were the intended goal, but Warriors of Rock takes itself far too seriously at every turn, despite the absurdity. While the game’s story and look is often compared to Double Fine’s Brutal Legend (they’re obviously inspired by the same sources), there’s are too few winks and nudges in Warriors of Rock for one to laugh comfortably. If there’s a joke, the player is never really let in on the fun; the transformation scenes and in-game creatures simply stumble awkwardly, the viewer unsure if what they’re watching is comedy gold or an homage that completely misses its mark. While there are no celebrity rocker appearances here, watching Kurt Cobain belt out a Taylor Swift song managed to be less incongruous than a group of on-screen demons harmonizing to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The difference here is that Warrior Johnny’s psychopathic widow can’t log into her Twitter account to complain about it before calling her lawyers. Along with the rock warrior transformations comes power-ups, which can be used in a variety of ways to increase your score and overall star count, sometimes upwards of 40 stars (as opposed to the traditional five or six). These powers, once unlocked, range from increasing your multiplier to protecting your streak, and more. Powers can be combined to further boost your earnings, while also littering the game’s already busy heads up display with power up icons and lightning bolts shooting across the note highway. On one hand, there’s something rather rewarding about enabling these powers, and earning additional points and star totals, beyond anything you’ve seen before in a Guitar Hero game. But on the other -- while they can be helpful on some of the more challenging songs -- it doesn’t change your goal, which is to hit as many notes as possible. With that in mind, they’re an interesting addition, but they ultimately feel about as useful and rewarding as using a cheat code. As as the core gameplay is concerned, if you’ve played a previous Guitar Hero game, there’s no need for a re-introduction. The plastic instrument/note-matching is as fun as ever, despite the game’s rather bizarre visual wrapping paper and themes. Everything from Neversoft’s previous Guitar Hero games makes a return -- drums, vocals, the ability to play with any combination of instruments, drop-in and drop-out, and so on. Also like the previous games, the timing of hitting the notes -- especially on guitar and bass -- is so open and forgiving, it’s borders ridiculous. Particularly when it comes to the game’s clear “tapping notes” (originally designed for the Guitar Hero 5 touch sensitive slider pad, which isn’t a feature on the latest iteration of the guitar), it almost seems too easy to nail even some of the game’s more complicated progressions. While it does a great job of making me feel good about myself, some of the challenge on the game’s more complicated runs is stripped away. That’s not to say that it’s too easy, because it’s obvious that Neversoft has gone out of its way to pack Warriors of Rock with some of the toughest songs the series has seen to date. With particular respect to the guitar (which the game’s setlist clearly favors), there are a number of songs designed to put blisters on your fingers. John 5’s “Black Widow of La Porte” comes to mind, along with one track, “Sudden Death,” written for Warriors of Rock by Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine. Even with the more open note timing, these tracks are clearly authored for expert players only, and they're going to eat up the challenge.With the game’s desire to give you a workout on the fretboard comes some odd charting decisions, however. In particular, the chugging, opening riff to Black Sabbath’s “Children of the Grave” -- played on a real guitar on an open “E” string -- is spread across two notes, the only reason for which is seemingly to make it more complicated. For anyone with a musical ear, stuff like this will be obvious to the point of being distracting. While I’m all for making the game as fun to play as possible, there are plenty of riffs spread across the disc that are inherently complicated (read: “fun” for many Guitar Hero players), it seems pointless to go out of the way to make the easier ones more difficult. The game’s soundtrack is also one of the biggest in the series, and possibly its “best,” provided you fit the core demographic of Guitar Hero fans. It’s heavy on the metal here, with songs by Avenged Sevenfold, Metallica, Megadeth, DragonForce, and more. One glance at the soundtrack you’d think (and probably not incorrectly) that the setlist was designed based on survey results of 13- to 20-year-old males walking out of North American Hot Topic stores. Depending on how you look at it, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the bulk of the tracks are a hell of a lot of fun to play. But while I was pleasantly surprised by a few tracks on the disc (The Dillinger Escape Plane’s “Setting Fire to Sleeping Giants” and The Ramone’s “Them From Spiderman,” for instance), it really made the duds stand out. The answer to “Did we really need a Nickelback song in Guitar Hero?” is a resounding “Please never do this to me again, thanks.” Fans looking for a meaty experience are in for a treat with Warriors of Rock, as the game’s massive soundtrack is matched by the number of things it throws at you to do. While the “Quest” can be completed in a few hours (and doesn’t require you play all of the songs -- you can skip Nickelback!), you can go back and “conquer” each of the tracks for a full completion. In addition to that, the game’s “Quickplay+” offers up a number of challenges for each and every song in the game, most of them spanning multiple instruments. If you’re a completionist, prepare to spend hours slaving over the game’s challenges, unlocking venues and items for your created rockers. Warriors of Rock is a solid Guitar Hero offering for sure, and perhaps one of Neversoft’s best, despite the weird creative decision to include monsters in its primary experience. It’s a title that packs a ton of content and gameplay onto a single disc, and its import options for songs from previous titles will pad your song selections nicely. But it’s also an experience that feels remarkably similar to last year’s offering, and that’s unfortunate. Outside of the rockers turning into demons in the game’s oddball “Quest” mode, this is largely the same experience as Guitar Hero 5. For fans of the series, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, and they’ll find plenty to love here. But for those feeling burnt out on the music genre, unless a boar monster shredding on Steve Vai solo gets your heart pounding, Warriors of Rock likely won’t rekindle that dying flame. Score: 7 -- Good (7s are solid games that definitely have an audience. Might lack replay value, could be too short or there are some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.)
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Regular Nick: "Hey, The Dillinger Escape Plan made it into Guitar Hero! That's awesome. And, nice... you can play through Rush's 2112, and it's narrated by bassist and vocalist Geddy Lee himself. Man, this is going to rock." Warrior Nick: "Sweet holy hell, why did I just turn into a f**ing rock n' roll chupacabra?"


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