I wanna rock!

Monday, April 20, 2009

This was going to be a post about the crazy confusion a new Guitar Hero convert would have to face in order to figure out how to get what songs onto whatever console(s) she might have. The questionable practice of putting maybe 13 good songs, 10 decent songs, and a whole lotta crap in each game in order to stretch the licenses out over games and into downloadable content is very annoying and has led to a lot of confusion.

As a Wii owner, I'm in the worst position one can be in with regards Guitar Hero/Rock Band, as a lot of songs never made or will make it to my console, which is odd considering how well it sells. Still, I can consider myself fortunate that I also own a PS2, which means I can play the best Guitar Hero game, Guitar Hero, and the worst (rocks the 80s, which was shamelessness taken to a new extreme). But it saddens me that those Guitar Hero 1 songs can't be played in multiplayer mode and I have to hook up my PS2 to play them.

Ideally, you could buy the instruments you want, and a DVD with no content on it, and then download only the songs you want from the downloading services. They'd have the entire catalog of all the songs that were done (by that company, Rock Band and Guitar Hero are two separate properties, so I can't be totally unrealistic) and you could just make your own custom game. I personally could care less about the rockers, the customizable guitars, extra characters, venues, etc. They make the game a bit more interesting for people watching, but meh, I could do without.

I'm aware that playing Guitar Hero 1 made me actually like some of the songs I had never heard enough to include them on my "custom" set list, but there's no reason a song couldn't play, say, twice before you had to buy it, or you might listen to the song itself and not get to play it until you bought it. All of this is moot anyway, since you can't do what I'm imagining. The real problem is this: by having so many customers interested in the game, it's become necessary to make the songs available in each game extremely varied, from 80s pop ballads to country to death metal to whiny, annoying modern "rock". Games based in certain genres seem to be the key here, but instead, out comes "Guitar Hero: Metallica" and "Guitar Hero: Aerosmith" each of which include no more than 5 songs I'd like to play on them. Big names sell. Licenses sell. But not to me. Not unless "Guitar Hero: Alice in Chains" shows up in the future.

I don't want this post to turn (any more) into a rant about certain types of music and how terrible some of the songs on the games are, but for the sake of potential curiosity, click the link to see the songs I'd put on my customized Guitar Hero game, (not that I can actually get many of these songs on my console or play them with my controllers). And before you mention it, yes, "Godzilla" is on there twice. It's that good.


GH1: 22/47
"Ace of Spades"
"Bark at the Moon"
"Fat Lip"
"Heart Full of Black"
"Hey You"
"Higher Ground"
"Killer Queen"
"More Than A Feeling"
"No One Knows"
"Sharp Dressed Man"
"Spanish Castle Magic"
"Symphony of Destruction"
"Take It Off"
"Take Me Out"
"Texas Flood"
"Thunder Kiss '65"
"You Got Another Thing Comin'"
"Ziggy Stardust"

GH1-Bonus Songs
"All of This"
"Behind the Mask"
"Caveman Rejoice"
"Eureka, I've Found Love"
"Even Rats"
"Fire It Up"
"Get Ready 2 Rokk"
"Sail Your Ship By"

GH2: 27/40
"Beast and the Harlot"
"Can't You Hear Me Knockin'"
"Carry On Wayward Son"
"Cherry Pie"
"Crazy on You"
"Free Bird"
"Heart-Shaped Box"
"John the Fisherman"
"Killing in the Name"
"Last Child"
"Monkey Wrench"
"Rock This Town"
"Search and Destroy"
"Shout at the Devil"
"Sweet Child O' Mine"
"Them Bones"
"Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight"
"Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart"
"You Really Got Me"

"Less Talk More Rokk"
"Soy Bomb"

GH:80s 12/30
"Because, It's Midnite"
"Heat of the Moment"
"Hold on Loosely"
"Holy Diver"
"I Ran (So Far Away)"
"I Wanna Rock"
"No One Like You"
"Synchronicity II"
"Turning Japanese"
"The Warrior"
"We Got the Beat"
"What I Like About You"

GH3: 15/73
"Bulls on Parade"
"Black Magic Woman"
"Cherub Rock"
"Cult of Personality"
"Even Flow"
"La Grange"
"My Name Is Jonas"
"Paint It Black"
"Pride and Joy"
"Rock and Roll All Nite"
"Rock You Like a Hurricane"
"Same Old Song and Dance"
"The Seeker"
"Story of My Life"
"Sunshine of Your Love"

"This Is a Call"
"The Devil Went Down to Georgia"
"Any Way You Want It"
"Don't Speak"

GH WT: 24/86
"About a Girl" (Unplugged)
"American Woman"
"Band on the Run"
"Beat It"
"Do It Again"
"Eye of the Tiger"
"Float On"
"Go Your Own Way"
"Hey Man, Nice Shot"
"Hotel California"
"The Joker"
"Livin' on a Prayer"
"No Sleep Till Brooklyn"
"On the Road Again" (Live)
"The One I Love"
"One Way or Another"
"Ramblin' Man"
"Rebel Yell"
"Some Might Say"
"Sweet Home Alabama" (Live)
"Up Around the Bend"

"Hot Blooded"
"Jessie's Girl"
"No Rain"
"Gimme All Your Lovin'"
"Fat Bottomed Girls"
"The James Bond Theme"
"Very Ape"
"Stay Away"

GH-Aerosmith: 5/31
"I Hate Myself for Loving You"
"All Day and All of the Night"
"Livin' on the Edge"
"Love in an Elevator"
"Sex Type Thing"

GH-Metallica: 3/49
"Enter Sandman"
"No Excuses"
"Stacked Actors"

RB1: 14/45
"Black Hole Sun"
"Blitzkrieg Bop"
"Cherub Rock"
"Dani California"
"(Don't Fear) The Reaper"
"Enter Sandman"
"Gimme Shelter"
"In Bloom"
"Learn to Fly"
"Orange Crush"
"The Hand That Feeds"

RB- Bonus: 2/13
"I Get By"

RB2: 29/84
"American Woman"
"Any Way You Want It"
"Bad Reputation"
"Carry On Wayward Son"
"Drain You"
"Eye of the Tiger"
"Float On"
"Give It Away"
"Go Your Own Way"
"Hungry Like the Wolf"
"Livin' on a Prayer"
"Man in the Box"
"New Kid in School"
"One Way or Another"
"Pinball Wizard"
"Pretend We're Dead"
"Psycho Killer"
"Ramblin' Man"
"Round and Round"
"Spirit in the Sky"
"We Got the Beat"
"White Wedding (Part 1)"
"You Oughta Know"

RB2- DLC: 77
"Fortunate Son"
"My Sharona"
"Queen Bitch"
"I Fought the Law"
"Buddy Holly"
"Interstate Love Song"
"Last Train to Clarksville"
"Sex Type Thing"
"March of the Pigs"
"The Collector"
"The Perfect Drug"
"Still Alive"
"Call Me"
"My Best Friend's Girl"
"Snow ((Hey Oh))"
"Capital G"
"Breaking the Girl"
"Under the Bridge"
"Gone Away"
"Lounge Act"
"On a Plain"
"Something in the Way"
"Stay Away"
"Territorial Pissings"
"Dune Buggy"
"Feather Pluck'n"
"Pretty Noose"
"This Is a Call"
"You Got It"
"Space Cowboy"
"Losing My Religion"
Ten (11)
Texas Flood (10)
Coulor and the Shape (13)

Eldritch: The song selection is one thing, but I can't help but put the songs in two very different classes: those by the original artists, and those by the unnamed Guitar Hero cover band. Honestly, I tend to skip right past the cover versions and stick with the original artist recordings. I just can't stand listening to favorite songs done in a mediocre way. Less of an issue for songs I don't like very much, but then I'd probably skip those by anyway.

I can see the appeal of an a la carte take towards Guitar Hero content. The gameplay is great, but (as with most games, really), it's all about the content. I'm a little leery of digital downloads for games, though. I think most game publishers would love to sell a game without any content and then nickel and dime the gamers for every bit of content. That makes me very nervous. It moves games (and other software) away from being a 'product' and more towards a 'service.' And whenever a company has control of your service (ISP, utilities, whatever), that generally means the same thing: higher prices and poorer service. But that's a whole different rant.

Pseudonym: Ah, I forgot to mention how terrible songs like Heart-Shaped Box and Them Bones are on Guitar Hero 3. Fans of the originals might have a hard time listening to the remakes. Fortunately the newer games are nearly all original master tracks, which is a blessing. Playing Stacked Actors is a joy that would not have been possible without the original recording.

I think it's ok to have DLC, provided it can be stored on external media. In the Wii's case, it is a necessity, but I can see your point. Is there any guarantee that the company will be around in 10 years when you want to play Guitar Hero 1 instead of the newly-released Guitar Hero: Wesley Willis. This is a common argument against DRM but it applies here. I didn't say that my idea would be good for the industry, just good for me. And while I'm dreaming, I'd like the blue shell removed from Mario Kart.


Post a Comment