Editorials

What Happened to ‘Guitar Hero’?

RIP rock and roll.
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Okay, I admit it. I am not musically talented in the least bit. I would give anything to be able to sing like Hugh Jackman (he’s more than just Wolverine you know) or shred the guitar like Jimi Hendrix, but I physically cannot. I wasn’t fortunate enough to be born with that talent. But with Guitar Hero, anyone can be a rockstar. It was the only place on this earth where I could play the guitar and play it well. And now it is a distant memory.

I know people who learned guitar after playing Guitar Hero. Some of them are even pretty good. It’s strange how a video game can do that, and it’s cool to think that a simple game has the potential to inspire people into learning the actual craft and potentially even become artists themselves. I am not one of those people. I don’t have the patience to learn how to play the real guitar, but I appreciate those who do. It is a skill that can take a while to get the basics and even longer to master. That’s what’s so beautiful about Guitar Hero. Anyone can pick it up and instantly feel like a rock star.

Now I wasn’t the best at Guitar Hero. I wasn’t even that good. Put the setting on hard, and I struggle with sliding my hands and hitting that 5th orange note (I have small hands and fingers, okay!). The thing about Guitar Hero though is that it was so unique from any game before it. It was a revolutionary, genius idea. Playing some of the sickest rock songs by some of the coolest bands in rock history with an actual guitar controller is an incredible concept. And props to whoever decided to include the whammy bar. I can whammy that bar on a long note like it’s no one’s business. To this day I will never understand how anyone can get play “Through the Fire and the Flames” on expert, but there are some who can, and I bow down to them. Some insanely talented people can even beat the song 100% on expert, and if you have time to kill, I highly suggest you check it out.

I don’t know how this is possible.

I think a problem with Guitar Hero is that they came out with so many titles in such a short period. They kept rolling out game after game, and I think that ultimately wore out consumers. It is also hard to keep things fresh year after year when the gameplay is pretty basic. There isn’t anything else to do other than strum the guitar. They also ventured into some strange territory with DJ Hero, which I felt was pretty unenjoyable if I am honest. Sometimes franchises try to milk their cash cow as much as possible while they can, and this is what happened to this franchise, unfortunately.

Something I really liked was when Band Hero came out and they added the drums and microphone to compete with Rock Band (which I always felt were posers). It was a blast to play as a band with brothers or your friends, taking turns on each instrument and arguing over who needed to step up their game or who was the best band member. That must be something that real bands struggle with all the time, arguing over the spotlight!

With today’s online gameplay experience, I think Guitar Hero could make a comeback. How fun would it be to jam as a band with your friends online? Pretty cool if you ask me. You could start a band and compete with others all over the world. It would be like taking a step back in time, and I think many people would buy the product for the nostalgia alone. I doubt there’s a reboot in mind for the future, but in an era that lacks any creativity whatsoever, reboots are always on the table and can never be counted out.

Guitar Hero really is a simple concept, which is what led to its huge success. It is a game that anyone can pick up and play, and it makes you feel like a real life rock star. The gameplay immerses you into feeling like you are in control, getting lost in the song, strumming all the chords at the precise moment. We all wish we could be rock stars, and Guitar Hero gives us that, even if just for a song at a time.

Author

Grant Pfost, your gamer bro, enjoys long binges on the couch when he's not binge drinking like he's still in college. A connoisseur of tv and film, Grant hopes his articles will make you laugh, cry, and appreciate the little things in life.

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