New Guitar Hero Slated for Release

A few years ago, Guitar Hero made a very rock star-like debut on PlayStation 2. Gaining populatrity, publisher Activision released Guitar Hero II to even more praise, only to make it bigger on the Xbox 360. However, last year’s Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, was a bit of a sour dish. Though met with generally positive reviews, it left a somewhat sour taste in the mouths of both critics and fans. Guitar Hero, so it seemed, has sold out.

2008 sees the release of three Guitar Hero titles, and while that would typically only push the “sell out” title on the franchise, Guitar Hero: Aerosmith and Guitar Hero World Tour may have what it takes to put the franchise back where it had been.

June 29 is the set release date of the Aerosmith version. A previous installment, Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the ’80s, was met with low critical praise because it seemed too much like an overpriced expansion pack with a bad selection of songs. Aerosmith is doing things a little differently. Rather than giving gamers 30 or so Aerosmith songs, the game follows the bands career. You start off small and work your way through their smash hits.

Some collaboration between Aerosmith and others have been included, so you’ll hear some Deep Purple and Stone Temple Pilots, as well as a cameo appearance by DMC of Run DMC.

This different blend should be able to sit well with most, even if you are not the biggest Aerosmith fan. If you would rather wait, Guitar Hero World Tour releases this October and is the franchise’s appropriate fourth title. It is a direct shot at its competitor Rock Band, as it includes a microphone and a more involved drum set.

When first mentioned, World Tour seemed a bit lacking. It had been done already. But now Activision is releasing more details, and fans are starting to get more excited.

The drum set has been reported to be just a bit better than Rock Band’s, with wireless capabilities. The drum pads are silent (Rock Band drummers know no natural silence) and the cymbals look to give a true drum-playing feeling.

The guitar, while designed horribly, features a new touch-sensitive area on the neck of the guitar for songs that require furious fret tapping.

It is also is an alternative for the whammy bar, but will be used for sustains and staccato notes in the game’s music creator.
Yes, we said music creator. The drums and guitar can be used to create your own musical sets to be featured in free play.

You can either “Jam Over”, putting some new sound over a song, or go all out and create your own. Through your console’s online network, you will be able share your tunes with others. If you would rather just stick to the core, you’ll find plenty: World Tour features nothing but master recordings from Sublime, Foo Fighters, Jimi Hendrix, Van Halen, The Doors, The Smashing Pumpkins and so on. One fine list if you ask us.

If you are looking for something else right now, Guitar Hero: On Tour for the Nintendo DS is already out. But these other two games are the bigger ones to watch out for.

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith releases June 29 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, and Wii, as will World Tour on October 27.