Guitar Hero World Tour – My Final Say

November 10, 2008video games

I’m sick, so I stayed home from work today.   After taking a nap, and feeling slightly better, I decided to try to finish the “single” tour, playing guitar, in Guitar Hero World Tour.

I was 81% done last time I turned the game off.   When I started today, I was somehow 79% done, go figure.

I had two sets left to go, each 6 songs.   I went through the first, on Expert, as I had been playing, without any issues.

The second set, I failed out of the Motorhead song, but passed it the second time. I failed out of B.Y.O.B. a whole bunch of times, so I dropped down to Hard, to get by that.   Same thing for Mr. Crowley (talk about a hard solo).

I got through Trapped Under Ice from Metallica, on Expert, without failing, which surprised me.

So, I finish the game, and play the “encore” (flying through the sky being pulled on a stage by giant eagles? Seriously, lay off the drugs Activision), which was fun. Pull Me Under, from Dream Theater. One of my favorite songs, from my absolute favorite band.     I was happy.

I got through it, backed out of the game, and saw that it registered 96% done.   Huh? I just watched the credits, how is that possible?   So, I went back through and did the “make your own gig” 6 song set list. Maybe I had to do that, to get to 100%.

Finished. No change.   I can only assume I didn’t get 100% because I didn’t finish the last set on Expert.   According to the Xbox achievements I won, I “completed the guitar tour on hard”, which is bogus.   I completed every song on Expert, except 2.

The way the game’s set up, there’s no way to know which songs I finished on which difficulty. (Unlike the more superior plastic-instrumented game, where you can clearly see which level of difficulty you played the song on.)   So I have no idea which songs I’d need to go back and play, should I want to do it in the future, for that award.

The bottom line: this game feels more like a chore, than a fun interactive game.   Activision tried, and came up short of the mark.   Those other game makers, at the better company set a pretty high bar, and Activision missed it, by a lot.   I’m still baffled why GHWT is getting such good reviews on Amazon.   The game play is cartoony, the “guitar heros” (Hendrix, Sting, Travis Barker, and Ozzy) aren’t even real guitar heros (except for maybe Hendrix), the songs are mostly unknown (except for those songs that people recognize because they were already in a plasticy-instrumented game earlier this year), and the setlists are stupid.

Let’s gripe about the setlists, shall we?   You see a setlist in the “gig view”, with more than 3 songs, and click on it, to start playing it.   You get the option to “play this whole gig”, but can only see the first three songs in the gig. So, if you want to see the whole thing, you have to back out to the “gig view” again, and view them.   Bad UI.

There are no “random” setlists.   There are no “mystery” setlists. And there’s only one “create your own” setlist.

I looked through the available achievements for Xbox Live.   One of them is to get $1,000,000 in career earnings.   Talk about stupid.   The most I earned from a song, playing on Expert guitar, was $1,250.   And that was solo. I’m sure the earnings would have been less had I had to split them with a whole band.   At that rate, I’d have to play 800 songs to get to a million.   And the game only has 85 tracks.   So, to get to a million, I’d have to 5 star every song, 10 times.   The songs just aren’t that good. I have no desire to play the majority of them again. (Although Hot For Teacher, Beat It, and La Bamba were all fun to play.)

Guitar Hero II was awesome. Guitar Hero III was awesome, albeit a bit too challenging.   Guitar Hero Aerosmith was a complete joke.   Guitar Hero World Tour is subpar for the industry.   If you want to stay in the game, Activision, you’ve got to step it up.   Whoever you fired between Guitar Hero III and Guitar Hero Aerosmith was the key to you guys making good games.

I’d write my bit here about how much I liked/disliked the drum tour.   But since I’m on my second defective drumkit, I can’t.   I filed a second RMA almost a week ago, and haven’t heard back yet.   Activision must be backed up with tens of thousands of other people with broken stuff.   Sad, really.   Regardless, I have no desire to go back and play any of this game again, even if they do replace the defective drums for me, at no cost.   I’ll be packing the game up, and probably dumping it on eBay, like hundreds of other people, from what I’ve seen.

Save your $180, or buy the other, better game instead.   Those guys know how to do it right.   Activision, you’re embarassing yourself, and enraging “fans” of your games.   Stop it.   Or you won’t sell very many copies of whatever crapfest you put out next, and call a game.

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