Saturday, January 30, 2010

Video game number twenty four: Guitar Hero Van Halen

Game review number twenty four in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Guitar Hero: Van Halen".

I never thought that Van Halen deserved their own version of Guitar Hero. They were a good band, but they only had a few good albums back in the 1980's before they broke up the first time. After that, they turned into Van Hagar, then went back and forth a few times before realizing they could make a lot of money touring with good old Diamond Dave again. The idea of their own standalone game seems sort of silly and that's probably why they gave it away for free with Guitar Hero 5. That's also probably why I haven't played it until now.

I've mentioned before that I'm a Rock Band fan first and foremost and so I've strayed from the Guitar Hero sequels lately. There are a couple I've never even booted and this is one of them. I had planned to play until I reached the songs "Panama" and "Jump" (my two favorites off 1984), but they stymied me by making Panama the intro song. I haven't made it to "Jump" yet, but I'll give it a few more songs.

This game is Guitar Hero. There's really nothing new, except for the characters who dance on stage while you play, and the songs you're allowed to choose from. By the way, one thing that really bugs me about the characters on stage is they're all "new" Van Halen. I want to see classic Van Halen, in the crazy leather outfits and long hair. This is plastic surgery, short hair Dave, and Wolfgang on the bass. It would be like having a Michael Jackson game...and having Thriller and Beat It be performed by 2008 plastic surgery Michael. It's just kinda lame.

Like Guitar Hero Metallica, there are "guest artists" on the disk including Fountains of Wayne, Blink 182 and Billy Idol. I assume maybe Van Halen toured with these bands at some point or another, or maybe they just like them. Who knows?

Either way, this is your basic Guitar Hero. I'm not going to finish it. I might play it when I'm bored, but it's been on my shelf for months now and the only thing that caused me to crack open the plastic was this 365 challenge. I'm going to give it an hour and see if I can get to "Jump". If not, it's on to other games.

Overall Rating: 6 out of 10. Not terrible, but nothing special either.

Edit: It took me about 7 songs....but I finally unlocked "Jump". You play the keyboard parts on lead guitar. I got 100% of the notes. I have to admit, that was awesome. :-)

Here are the handful of achievements I unlocked, on purpose. Unlocking more would have required a lot more time, and once you've played one Guitar Hero game, you've pretty much played them all.

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