Guitar Hero finally rocks the 80s
If you're unfamiliar with Guitar Hero, here's the scoop: It's a video game for units like Playstation 2 that requires a small guitar-shaped controller and plays rock songs from popular bands. Competitors "play" the guitar, which has a handful of buttons that loosely correspond to notes from the song. The better coordinated you are, the more points you score. Still confused? Check out this video on YouTube.
"Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s" -- which features 80s tunes -- is the third installment of the game and hit retailers last week. The tampabay.com videogame blogger, Josh Korr, reviewed the game today on his "Hard Korr Gamer" blog. Here are some excerpts from his review. (Click here to read his full review).
Guitar Hero is the greatest thing to happen to video games since the invention of a stereotypical Italian midget plumber. But each new installment is only as good as the songs it comes with, and the series takes its first unsuccessful stage dive with the new Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s.
By "80s" the game developers mean "Hair metal with a touch of new wave and dash of punk. But mostly hair metal." So if you like lots of Quiet Riot, Poison, Ratt, Skid Row, etc., etc., this is the game for you. But if -- like me -- you see these bands as somewhat amusing, fun-in-very-small-doses kitsch, then you'll probably be disappointed.
There's no "Living on a Prayer" or "You Give Love a Bad Name." No Pixies. No Guns N Roses. No Prince ... No Bruce Springsteen. No U2, for crying out loud. ... Heck, I'd take "Summer of '69" over 90 percent of the songs in Rocks the 80s.
I realize some of the no-shows are probably because of rights issues. But to have not a single one of these hits or big bands, to put out the equivalent of 30 album tracks as an 80s collection just seems cheap and tossed-off. Not to mention that they're charging the full 50 bucks for a scant 30 songs ...
Ouch! That seems a pretty brutal review. But keep in mind Josh is a videogames aficionado -- he spends more time with his PS2 than I spend listening to Frankie Goes to Hollywood CDs. (I'm not sure which image is more frightening.)
I'll probably take the plunge myself and invest in a wireless guitar controller and buy "Rocks the 80s." It does have two surprisingly obscure songs that I love: Oingo Boingo's "Only a Lad" and the Dead Kennedys' "Police Truck."
Josh has even challenged me to a "play off" once I'm up to speed. Who'll have the edge there: The videogames expert or the 80s freak? We'll find out soon enough.