hot  /  reviews  /  video  /  blogs  /  forum

Neversoft

 photo

Unsurprisingly, Activision trademarks 'Drum Hero'


Nov 09
// Nick Chester
Despite slowing sales of music/rhythm games, Activision just keeps on keeping on. Recently, the publisher filed for trademark of "Drum Hero." You're shocked, I know.  This isn't the first time we've heard of Drum Hero, t...
 photo

Ten Minute Taste: Band Hero


Nov 04
// Nick Chester
Based on most of the reader comments to previous Band Hero stories, I already have a good idea of what you guys think of this game.  You don't know why it exists or how it's different than Guitar Hero 5, and all of this...
 photo

Here's the full list of tracks for Band Hero


Oct 16
// Jordan Devore
Fact: I have literally not paid any attention to Band Hero except for the time Nick told me Taylor Swift was in it.So then, today's unveiling of the game's full track list by Spinner is even more of a shock to me; since I am ...
 photo

Guitar Hero 5 DLC won't be compatible with Guitar Hero World


Aug 22
// Nick Chester
Earlier this week, Activision announced the first bit of downloadable content post Guitar Hero 5's release, and it got me wondering: Can I use that content in Guitar Hero World Tour? The short answer is: nope. "Guit...

Preview: Guitar Hero 5: GHStudio 2.0

Aug 11 // Samit Sarkar
Guitar Hero 5: GHStudio 2.0 (PS3, 360, Wii) Developer: Neversoft Publisher: Activision/RedOctane To be released: September 1, 2009 GHStudio comprises three main “studios”: GHTunes, which is the song creation program; GHJam, a less-structured “freestyle” mode; and GHMix, which allows for post-production work on songs. The key with Guitar Hero 5, as Chen explained, was to make the interface much more intuitive while giving gamers more functionality and options. GHTunes certainly looks less daunting than it did in World Tour, though with Chen at the helm flying through the menus, I was still intimidated. But things make more sense now that the menus have been streamlined -- important, often-used functions (such as record and play) are controlled by the five fret buttons for quick access. Navigation isn’t the only thing that’s better in GHTunes 2.0 -- Chen admitted that the songs that came out of World Tour sounded sub-par, so Neversoft used “professionally recorded samples” this time around. There are more options, too, from your studio mainstays (pianos, synth) to more exotic stuff (harpsichord, 8-bit sounds for chiptunes). GHTunes 2.0 finally allows you to vary the dynamics of individual notes, so if you want a crescendo leading into the bridge of your song, you’ll be able to put it in. Embellishments like bends and slides are doable, too. In GHMix 2.0, you can mess around with all kinds of effects, which are, once again, provided by Line6. Thankfully, it actually lets you switch effects during a song -- yes, that means that your lead guitar can start out clean and get distorted in the chorus. And if you want to work with sections, you can go into the all-new Pattern Mode. It contains over 400 preset patterns in different genres, which does a lot of the work for you, and it also allows for moving and repeating parts of your song (say, for a verse or coda). What’s great about GHStudio 2.0 is that Neversoft has actually made an effort to introduce some teaching aspects to it. All you have to do is hold a button for help, and you’ll see things like music theory notes about scales. For music geeks like me, that’s a big attraction. But if all this sounds too complicated and scary for you, don’t worry; Neversoft has something for you. GHJam is, as Chen put it, an “accessible, improvisational mode for the mass market.” It’s not quite as simplistic as Wii Music, but if you don’t feel like diving headfirst into GHTunes immediately, you can get a feel for how the instruments work in GHJam. You pick from one of 14 musical “styles” (including “classic rock,” “hard rock,” “blues,” and “chiptune”), and then you just start strumming away. The background will be a genre-appropriate visualizer, so if you’ve come back from a night of partying, you can “sit at home with your friends and trip out.” Unfortunately, you still can’t record vocals, but if you’re playing your created song in the game, you can song over the track. At last, the old three-minute barrier is gone; songs can now be up to ten minutes long, and you can upload 50 of them with album art. The tool for creating artwork is similar to the tattoo creator in the game’s main create-a-character mode -- it has options for layers. GHStudio 2.0 isn’t exactly “bigger, better, and more badass,” but it’s a huge step up from what was available in World Tour. Fans of the original GHStudio will definitely want to pick up GH 5 for the new music creation options alone. The game’s launch is only three weeks away -- September 1st is the date.
 photo

With Guitar Hero World Tour, Neversoft attempted to shut up all of the “go play a real guitar” folks by introducing “GHStudio,” a suite of tools that allowed Guitar Hero players to actually make music,...

Preview: Guitar Hero 5

Aug 10 // Samit Sarkar
Guitar Hero 5 (PS3, 360, Wii, PS2) Developer: Neversoft (PS3/360), Vicarious Visions (Wii), Budcat Creations (PS2) Publisher: Activision/RedOctane To be released: September 1, 2009 Full-band games are loads of fun, but setting everything up can definitely be a hassle -- especially if your party patrons don’t feel like joining in on a particular instrument. Guitar Hero 5 has finally done away with complications like signing into profiles and drawing straws for instruments by introducing Party Play, which allows you to play with whatever configuration of musicians you want. If nobody feels like singing, and you happen to have four plastic guitars lying around, four of you can play guitar on one song -- and each person can choose their own difficulty level. You can even change instruments and difficulty levels on the fly -- that is, during a song. So if you’re bored by the Hard guitar part, you can switch over to Expert bass while your buddies continue rocking out; your note highway alone will be paused, and it will start up again (after a few bars of rest) after you’ve chosen your new settings. It’s a pretty nifty solution to the issue of the whiny friend who always complains about being stuck with a plodding bass line. In fact, someone can even join or leave your game in the middle of a song. Simply put, Party Play alleviates all the headaches previously associated with playing full-band games. Now there’s nothing standing in the way of rocking with your family and friends. While Party Play makes life easy for everyone, especially less-tech-savvy players, RockFest is a new addition for the more hardcore, ScoreHero-reading crowd. RockFest introduces a slate of modes that will keep skilled Guitar Hero players enthralled for months to come. “Streakers” hands out points for -- you guessed it -- long streaks of notes. In “Momentum,” you’ll start out on Medium difficulty; hitting 20 straight notes will ratchet up the difficulty and your score, but missing three notes in a row will drop you down a step. Another option is “Perfectionist,” in which players are ranked by the percentage of notes they hit in each section of a song. Guitar Hero 5 also offers song-specific Challenges, which provide a significant amount of depth and replayability in addition to, uh, challenge. You can read more about the Challenges here.Of course, the 85-song soundtrack itself is the game’s major selling point. It features a number of songs and artists I’ve always wanted to see in a music game, like Dire Straits’ “Sultans of Swing” and Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.” I sat down and played through all 14 minutes of the live version of Peter Frampton’s “Do You Feel Like We Do?” with 1UP.com’s Garnett Lee, and we had a fantastic time just jamming (we both played guitar).Neversoft has also made many much-needed tweaks to the visuals and basic gameplay, taking after Harmonix and Rock Band. No longer do all four players share one Star Power meter; each person now has their own gauge. And unlike in World Tour, one player failing a song doesn’t mean that all is lost, since fellow band members can be “saved” this time around (see screenshot above). In GH 5, you’ll notice that some notes are on fire; these are part of the all-new “band moments” in multiplayer -- if the band members hit the fiery notes in unison, an extra score multiplier will take effect.Sure, a lot of this might smack of “me-too” changes if you’re familiar with Rock Band 2. But I suspect that for many gamers, the allure of the specific songs in Guitar Hero 5 will be too strong. If you’re drawn in, the game’s September 1st release is only a few short weeks away.
 photo

Since its inception in 2005, the Guitar Hero franchise has become one of the biggest names in videogames, in addition to cementing itself as a pop culture phenomenon. Guitar Hero and its main competitor, Harmonix’s Rock...

 photo

Santana confirmed as unlockable character in Guitar Hero 5


Jul 20
// Nick Chester
Not surprisingly, the exclusive in-game artists will be making a return to the Guitar Hero franchise this fall. Activision has confirmed that Carlos Santana will emerge from smoke, lasers, and in-game advertisements exclusive...
 photo

Guitar Hero DLC ushers in Eagles of Death Metal, more


Jul 10
// Nick Chester
Activision has rolled out the details on its July downloadable content for Guitar Hero World Tour, and here it is: July 16Eagles of Death Metal Track Pack“Anything 'Cept The Truth”“Cherry Cola”“I...
 photo

More (and maybe all) of Guitar Hero 5's track list revealed


Jul 09
// Nick Chester
Looks like Activision has decided to pass along to IGN a handful of the set list for Guitar Hero 5. certainly as impressive in its variety as the game's developer, Neversoft, had promised. Here's are the 25 confirmed tracks, ...
 photo

"The Touch" available as free Guitar Hero download right now


May 28
// Nick Chester
Great news and okay news for you guys. A remaster of the classic Stan Bush track "The Touch" -- from the 1986 Transformers: The Movie soundtrack -- is now available as a free download for Guitar Hero: World Tour. Ye...
 photo

Hold Activisions hand as it reveals Guitar Hero's Smash Hits


Apr 09
// Nick Chester
When you go to see a band play live, don't bother screaming the names of songs at the performers. You see that little piece of paper taped to the stage? That's the setlist, and that's what they're going to play, so piss off.&...
 photo

Rejoice! Neversoft confirms they are no longer working on Tony Hawk franchise


Jan 12
// Conrad Zimmerman
I knew my prayers were being heard!In the morning edition of the Great Falls Tribune is an interview with Neversoft's president, Joel Jewett. In the midst of a fluff piece about how the Montana-born game studio founder has ma...
 photo

Rumortoid: Survey leaks celebs and artists info for Guitar Hero: World Tour


Jun 28
// Nick Chester
Are there no secrets? A recent survey on Guitar Hero: World Tour leaked to Kotaku has dropped a bomb of information on some celebrities and artists that may appear in the game when it hits shelves later this year. Accord...
 photo

Wii Guitar Hero: World Tour a 'full SKU on par with its next-gen kin'


Jun 20
// Nick Chester
Let's face it -- Wii owners sometimes get the shaft when it comes to multiplatform software. Whether it's missing in-game features, lack of downloadable content, or sound issues, they really haven't had the best of luck. But ...

Pew! Pew! Preview!: Guitar Hero: World Tour (Part 1)

Jun 20 // Nick Chester
“There’s a lot of innovative s**t we’ve done with this thing,” World Tour’s project lead, Brian Bright, told us as we sat and watched a game demonstration at the House of Blues in Los Angeles. He’s referring to the new iteration of the instrument that got us into this mess in the first place, the guitar. At first glance, the new peripheral is a bit bigger, but not much different than the original Guitar Hero design. The now-iconic colored five-button scheme makes its return, as does the whammy bar (which is slightly longer, making it easier to reach). Although it was hard to see because of the guitar’s all-black finish (which will likely change before it ships, and even has changed in the pictures provided to us), the direction pad is now designed to look like a knob, with the PS3 home or Xbox 360 guide button in the middle. The bridge of the guitar, a small silver bar, now serves as the “back” button as well as a secondary way to activate “Star Power.”Slight tweaks in look and feel probably would have been fine for even the most hardcore Guitar Hero gamer, but Neversoft and Activision weren’t content to simply rest on their laurels. Further down the neck sits a new feature that will significantly change how you interact with the game -- a touch-sensitive slider. Not merely a gimmick, Neversoft demonstrated a number of ways in which this addition would work with World Tour. Any notes that appear on screen can be tapped out on the touch pad instead of strumming, for instance, which may help with particularly fast solos or if you’re a bassist looking to “slap.” With longer notes, the touch pad can be tapped to tweak sustain and to alter your guitar sound in other ways. As far as how this ties directly into game, it was noted that the slide pad was perfect for certain songs that featured slide guitar or more synth sounds, and because of this, a new gameplay mechanic was added. There will be sections where notes will run down the on-screen fret highway; by sliding back and forth, you “catch” the notes, a mechanic that Neversoft likened to the old Activision title Kaboom!. While it’ll still be possible to play the game in a more traditional manner, Neversoft promises that this type of creative playing will be rewarded with higher scores and unlockables. And it should be noted that all of the old Guitar Hero instruments will work with World Tour, despite this redesign ... you'll just miss out on some of the new functionality. While the additions to the guitar peripheral and game are surprisingly impressive, it’s likely most people are going to want to sit down behind the new addition to the Guitar Hero franchise: the drums. While they weren’t letting us get our hands on the sticks (all of the instruments being demonstrated were prototypes, quite possibly the only ones in existence), the look of the set itself and the features are certainly impressive. Immediately noticeable is that the pads for the cymbals (hi-hat and crash) are elevated above the other three pads (snare, high tom, low tom), giving it that “real kit” look and feel. “One of our mantras coming out,” Bright told us, “was that if you know the drum parts and you’re a drummer, you can almost close your eyes and play. There’s no tweaking the pad orientation [to fit game] for the songs; it’s like you’re playing a real drum kit.Mission accomplished: the live demonstration had Neversoft designer Andy Gentile, a drummer himself, behind the kit. During a hot and heavy performance of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell,” I noticed Andy was paying more attention to the kit itself than the notes on screen. When asked about it later, he said he was having trouble seeing both of the screens that were set up for the demo, so he just played what felt right as a drummer. He aced all of the performance on Expert. Another thing I noticed while listening to Andy’s playing was that some of the notes being hit sounded louder than others. This was later explained -- all of the pads are velocity-sensitive. In layman’s terms, this means that the harder you hit the pads, the louder the sounds you’ll hear coming from the game. The results are subtle, but noticeable; the idea is to deliver a more realistic drumming experience. Like the touch slider on the guitar, this feature finds its way into the gameplay. Certain notes that appear on the screen will have an “armor” on them, making them “accent notes.” By hitting these notes harder than your last few notes, you’ll get extra points. It’s small additions like this -- giving players ways to eke out extra points -- that have Neversoft hoping that World Tour will be the competitive music game of choice. Construction-wise, the kit is looking solid. As Bright told us, they’re “not pinching pennies” when it comes to the design, with liberal use of silicone in the drum heads and raised cymbals. Again, we didn’t get to hammer away at it, but the 8-inch drum heads supposedly have a bit more bounce (allowing for flams and rolls) and should be quieter than “competing” peripherals. The drums will also be completely wireless, powered only by a few batteries. For the final piece of the band puzzle, the vocals, there’s not much to report. Neversoft has partnered with Logitech on the simple black USB microphone which is said to have a nice, substantial weight to it. Unlike the other instruments, the microphone will be wired, simply due to the fact that Neversoft “didn’t have time to make [it] wireless.” This shouldn’t be a huge issue -- any singer worth his or her salt knows that swinging the microphone is a key element of proper rock star showmanship and posturing. When all of this comes together in-game, the results aren’t that surprising. In fact, if you’ve played Rock Band, prepare for a serious case of déjà vu. The on-screen setup is just like Harmonix’s title, with three note highways for guitar, drums, and bass, and scrolling lyrics and a pitch bar on top of the screen. We did notice some of the new gameplay elements in action, including the new “open” string pick mechanic for the bass, where you’ll strum but won’t hit any buttons (this essentially adds an extra “note” for bass players). Visually, the game retains the slightly-more-real-than-real look of previous Guitar Hero titles. Fortunately, the game’s animation has been given more attention this time around, and we’re glad to report the drummer no longer looks like a wind-up toy monkey.So while on the surface the game seems like -- dare I say it -- a “Rock Band clone,” Neversoft really does seem to be building a product that they can call their own. We doubt they’d admit it publicly, but it really seems like they’ve been watching their competition and taking note of both its failures and successes. This is highly evident when you start looking at the game modes and options they’re putting in World Tour, starting with the game game’s career mode. World Tour will contain five distinct career paths for guitar, bass, drums, vocals, and a full band career. Unlike previous games, each career is not a linear progression. Instead, each will contain a series of gigs that you can play around the world at your own discretion, unlocking new venues and shows as you advance; at any time, you may have three or four gigs to choose from. The huge news, especially for fans frustrated with Rock Band’s local-only band career mode, is that World Tour allows you to play through a band career both online and off. It’s entirely possible in World Tour to start a band offline, and then continue progression online with completely new members. Other online modes include the standard versus modes (Face-Off, Pro Face-Off) as well as the battle mode introduced in Guitar Hero III. (It should be noted that the arcade boss battles found in GH III will not be making a return in single or band career modes; instead, head-to-head battles with unnamed “celebrity musicians” will play out in a call-and-response fashion.) Regardless of what mode you’re playing, cash can be earned that will carry over into all game types. Neversoft are also promising detailed statistics tracking and leaderboards, similar to that seen on guitarhero.com. For those frustrated with the steep difficulty of GH III, Neversoft have heard your soft sobs in the night, and have tweaked World Tour accordingly. They’ve done a lot of work over the past few months balancing difficulty, so there’s a more linear ramp; you’ll first notice this when Guitar Hero: Aerosmith ships later this month. But in World Tour, they’ve taken it to another level, adding a “Beginner” difficulty for babies and your grandma. When playing guitar at this difficultly, you’ll simply have to strum in time with a single colored bar on the screen; when playing drums, just hit any pad; when singing; simply make a noise. Not quite that bad, but still unsure of your skills? Don’t worry; the career progression will allow you to change difficultly as you advance, so that you’ll never get “stuck.”If Neversoft were to stop here, it’s likely they you’d probably already be writing them a blank check for their yet-to-be-priced title. But they didn’t stop, and there’s more. A lot more. World Tour’s exhaustive feature set also includes full rocker and instrument customization, a mind-numblingly deep custom track creator, and an online song sharing service called “GH Tunes.” But for now, we’ll give your brain a break. Check back later today for more details, and the rest of our first-look coverage of Guitar Hero: World Tour.
 photo

Alright, so look -- it was around this time last year that I proclaimed Guitar Hero as we knew it to be dead. You see, I had played this other game. You know, the one with all of the instruments that just fit so nicely with a...

 photo

First Guitar Hero: World Tour songs revealed, in-game music store after launch


Jun 20
// Nick Chester
Obviously, the soundtrack in a music game can make or a break a title, and Neversoft proved they could deliver the killer tunes with their solid Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock track list. Based on what we saw at a first-loo...
 photo

Guitar Hero IV trailer confirms Lenny Kravitz song, pretty people


May 21
// Nick Chester
  While this trailer doesn't show any actual gameplay from Guitar Hero IV, it does reveal quite a bit about the upcoming digital jam session. For one, as we all knew, it will add drums and vocals to the mix. As...
 photo

Activision launches official Guitar Hero community Web site, groupies included


Oct 11
// Nick Chester
That's the name of our game here at Destructoid -- collecting groupies like comic books. So it's almost as if Activision and Agora Games were in our heads when they partnered to create an official Guitar Hero community Web si...
 photo

Tom Morello to appear in Guitar Hero III?


Aug 27
// Nick Chester
With Slash already already announced as a "boss" character (sweet!), and Rock of Love's Bret Michaels already slated to appear sans strippers (bummer!), Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock looks like it's attempting to...
 photo

Tony Hawk's Proving Ground soundtrack revealed, Beastie Boy's MCA playable


Aug 27
// Nick Chester
Say what you will about the aging Tony Hawk skating franchise, but it's hard to deny Neversoft's nack for culling an eclectic, solid soundtrack for the games. Today, Neversoft has revealed the soundtrack for the upcoming Tony...
 photo

Guitar Hero 3 tracks announced


May 23
// David Houghton
Hot on the spandex-wrapped heels of the Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks The 80s track details, Activision have released the first set of tracks for Guitar Hero 3. Things are looking pretty eclectic at this stage, and there definite...

  Around the web (login to improve these)




Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter?
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -