I *love* Guitar Hero (or as I like to call it “The Heterosexual Man’s Singstar” *). To this date there hasn’t been a game, on any platform, that I’ve returned to as many times as I have with Guitar Hero. It really doesn’t matter how much of an idiot you might look like thumping away at a tiny plastic guitar that’s more likely to have been manufactured by Fisher-Price than Fender because for those few precious moments I am The-Rock-God and you will bow to my power of awesome-ness!
So with all that praise and admiration for myself Guitar Hero why wouldn’t I want the next imminent edition of this fantastic saga? Well you see, like many things in the world, I have a little problem with the Guitar Hero franchise. Personally I feel, as a game, there’s not a lot more that you can really add on in terms of gameplay. You plug in your guitar, you watch pretty coloured balls of light float down the screen and you do your best to co-ordinate your fingers pressing the same coloured buttons on your plastic axe, that’s pretty much the description on the box word for word. No really, it is… I’m sure that’s what it said.
The point is there isn’t much else to change or do; before you know it the developers try and lure you with fanciful ideas like having “battles” (ask any Guitar Hero fan boy about that and you’ll quickly find a unison feeling of hatred) and see the game incorporate tangents off a core functionality that works and is what people want. Sure, all the little additions haven’t been complete waste of time, and with the advent of “Rock Band” it wont be long before Guitar Hero will no doubt join the multi-faceted instrument world of its new competitor, but again it’s pretty much the same coloured blobs and timing.
If that’s the case then the only real desire for me purchase any new iteration of Guitar Hero is purely to gain access to a new range of new tracks that I can jump around the lounge room to, staring in my own personal sold out concert for one. In this my friends is where my problem ensues… Each Guitar Hero disc contains a range of songs, some you like more than others and some you only play once to get past them to finish the game and gain those precious Gamerscore points (you gamer-whore you!). What I’ve come to quickly learn is that there’s tracks on GHII that I really enjoy playing, Freebird for example, and occasionally I want to jam out it but the GHIII disc is in my xBox’s drive and now I’ve got to stand up and switch discs and re-load the game, blah, blah. OK, so doing it once isn’t too bad, but now I want to play 3′s & 7′s so it’s a disc switch again… and again… and again… and… well I’m sure you get my point.
It’s pretty annoying, I mean I can understand that a disc is a disc and that’s what’s stored on the thing, but when you buy tracks for GHII online which are stored on your console’s drive why can’t they be read by GHIII too? Have the guys at Red Octane changed the track’s code/format that much after their bust up with Harmonix? Come on people, a little thing called “backwards compatibility” springs to mind (even if I could care less about it on a console, that’s another story kids).
This is my big solution to make the new Guitar Hero 4 worth while as a purchase for little-old-me. Give me a disc, hell I’ll even pay double and take another plastic guitar too, for a game that works just as well and as fun as the others before it with a whole bunch of new tracks and low and behold it can read (at the bare minimum) all of my paid for downloaded tracks from GHII & GHIII. Now that would be great, but to make it awesome give me the ability to pop in my previous copies of Guitar Hero and copy those tracks to my drive and play them in GHIV too! Yeah!! That idea kicks royal arse! Sure there’d need to be some security, copyright bullshit so you can’t just have your mate pop around with their old disc and leech the tracks, I get that, but figure that shit out dudes, I’m the ideas man!
So there you have it, my idea for selling a ba-jillion copies of GHIV and perhaps even providing a reason to back-sell a crap load of old stock out there. I’m sure it’ll probably never happen though, and you know what, I’m pretty sure, come the later half of the year when the new version does come out, I’ll be one of the millions of consumers out there that add that game to my shelf right next to it’s older sisters regardless of my dreams coming true or not.
* Before you start sending the flame emails let me just clarify that in by saying that it doesn’t mean homosexual people wouldn’t enjoy Guitar Hero just the same as heterosexual people. I just don’t do Singstar… regardless of how drunk I get. lol.