Excerpt: One of two things need to happen to these themed discs – either they need to be priced cheaper, similar to a SingStar disc, or they need to offer a little more value than a bunch of songs, some new characters which are supposed to resemble the band, and some random pieces of information about said band that you only get to see if you “watch” a song from beginning to end.
Excerpt: Guitar Hero Van Halen is an odd entry in the crowded music gamespace. Guitar Hero Metallica, Activision's last band-focused Guitar Hero game, was a great homage to the band. Band history, trivia, interviews, and an extensive collection of songs spanning the band's entire career made it a great entry in the Guitar Hero series and a must-have for anyone with a remote interest in the band.
Conclusion: Guitar Hero: Van Halen serves as an ill-fitting tribute to a now fossilised band. Sloppy execution, poorly chosen tracks and a growing lack of public interest in both Van Halen and the music game genre make this a lackluster low point in the Guitar Hero franchise.
Summary: The next installment in Activision's next band-centric rhythm game will feature a wide variety of hits from the hard-rock supergroup's three-decade catalog, including tracks from Queen, Weezer, Blink 182, The Offspring, and Queens of the Stone Age.
Conclusion: Guitar Hero itself is still a fiendishly playable game, and the note charts here are of a high standard (this is one area in which the franchise has been steadily improving following Harmonix’s departure). But the central problem with Activision’s latest isn’t so much that music games are past the point of saturation, that familiarity has bred boredom (though there is that as well); it’s that Guitar Hero: Van Halen would fare better were it a budget release, or a modest...
Excerpt: Another Guitar Hero title is offered up to the masses featuring 28 Van Halen tracks and 19 guests chosen by the band. This one however did not keep up to the standards I expected from a Guitar Hero title. Mostly this is because the new features brought to us in Guitar Hero 5 are absent. For whatever reason, there is no party play, dropping out or in, and changing difficulty on the fly.
Excerpt: I take a bit of pride in being one of the few remaining Van Halen fans left on the planet who is younger than 65. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t rock out to Eddie’s amazing solos and riffs and Diamond Dave’s captivating vocals. I mean, sure, Alex can play the drums, but he’s not the reason you listen to Van Halen. Am I right?
Excerpt: So let's pretend you're Activision. You've released a Guitar Hero game based on Aerosmith, as a means of testing the waters to see how the fans would react to a product like that. Then you green-light a full-scale game that's dedicated to the biggest name in the rock world, Metallica. How do you follow an act like Metallica? Well, in terms of popularity and sheer recognition, it's hard to.
Like an aging rock star who didn't know when to quit.
4 January 2010
Conclusion: Anybody who picked up Guitar Hero 5 shortly after release had the chance to snag Guitar Hero Van Halen for free through a promotion. They got what they paid for. For everybody else that might be looking to Guitar Hero Van Halen in stores, stay away. No effort was put into making it good. It’s a step backwards for the franchise and a totally unnecessary release.