Do you know what game I really miss? Guitar Hero and Rock Band! It’s been about 10 years or so since the last full band bundle of Guitar Hero was released, and a little over 6 years since the Rock Band 4 bundle released. Guitar Hero Live was decent in 2015 but then the developers took down the servers in 2018. The story was pretty much the same for every game. In the beginning, players are a startup band, and the band has to book small venues and short gigs, eventually gaining fame and playing the main setlist at their headline tour. Of course, the campaign rhythm stories weren’t why so many people loved the games. Here are at least three reasons why we loved Guitar Hero and Rock Band:
Jam Out in Both Guitar Hero and Rock Band
Guitar Hero lets you play songs by Ozzy Osbourne, Lacuna Coil, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynard, Slipknot, Aerosmith, and much, much, much more!! Rock Band lets you play songs by Soundgarden, Fall Out Boy, Nirvana, Iron Maiden, Beastie Boys, and yes, so much more! Honestly, it’s amazing how fast the developers were able to crank out all these songs in a short period of time.
Unlocking More Difficult Songs
There was a cheat code on each game to unlock all the songs without playing the campaign venues, but cheat codes don’t cut it for the noteworthy challenger. Do you like mashing buttons so fast and hard for over an hour that your fingers would literally break in half? Because that’s what would normally happen, except you’ve now ascended to Guitar Hero God Omega 3000, so you don’t have mortal fingers anymore. Rock on!
Come on, I know there wasn’t at least one person you knew who always had to be the boaster. I mean, it’s true that Through the Fire and the Flames is arguably the hardest song in Guitar Hero history, am I right?! But you all know that one person that used to bring it up on every occasion about how they can beat it. Birthday parties, lunch at the cafeteria in high school, sleepovers: “Yeah, I can beat Through the Fire and Flames on expert and hit more than 80% of the notes. I’m the king/queen.” Good times!
The Fall of Guitar Hero & Rock Band
Sadly, it’s such a shame that the popularized Guitar Hero and Rock Band were discontinued after only a short shelf life. Many have speculated that the fall was due to many reasons, a few of them being:
Expensive band equipment
One of my hobbies is beating up pads on my electronic drum set, so it’s those kinds of days where I am just jamming when a nasty mind itch starts to fester and scream, “Play Guitar Hero. You need to play Guitar Hero!” Yeah, that’s all fine and dandy, except nowadays Guitar Hero drums are literally $400+ because they’re not produced anymore. I definitely want to enjoy beating on drum pads to Guitar Hero again but not nearly enough to spend $400+.
Inflation (too many games released in quick succession)
Within a 10 year period, Guitar Hero had 15 video games released! Rock Band had 8 video games released in an 8 year period, along with numerous track pack CDs. When you look at the tables showing the year and video game released, most titles were in between the 2008-2010 era. Inflation is the most likely culprit during this period, but the music craze just had too much, too fast.
|2006||Guitar Hero II|
|2007||Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock|
Guitar Hero Encore: Rock the 80s
|2008||Guitar Hero World Tour|
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith
|2009||Guitar Hero 5|
Guitar Hero: Metallica
Guitar Hero: Van Halen
Guitar Hero Smash Hits
|2010||Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock|
DJ Hero 2
|2015||Guitar Hero Live|
|2008||Rock Band 2|
Vol. 1 Track Pack
AC/DC Live Track Pack
Vol. 2 Track Pack
|2009||The Beatles: Rock Band|
Lego Rock Band
Classic Rock Track Pack
Country Track Pack
Metal Track Pack
|2010||Rock Band 3|
Green Day: Rock Band
|2011||Country 2 Track Pack|
|2012||Rock Band Blitz|
|2015||Rock Band 4|
Similar Concepts — Not Enough Innovation in New Titles
I previously stated the storyline campaigns for each game were generally the same. And they were! Gameplay was also similar with little innovation into new experimental developments. The main gameplay feature was playing notes at a specific time which matched with the notes that appeared on the scrolling board on the screen. There was a fail/pass meter and dropping to the bottom would result in failing the song.
Star Power was an ability granted to earn a higher score or to help you through a difficult section in a particular song. The ones I fondly remember needing Star Power the most was definitely the mid solo in Through the Fire and the Flames, and the section really close to the end of Before I Forget that would murder your fingers because you had to slip between three different chords really fast for what felt like five minutes! But yeah, that’s basically it.
I Still Miss Guitar Hero and Rock Band
Anyway, I really loved all those rhythm games in my teenage years. I spent years playing them, painfully mastering the expert difficulty on guitar, bass, drums, and vocals. Mind you, I sound like a screeching pig that’s been rolling in the mud, but that didn’t stop me from learning how to raise and lower my pitch! Because I am a drummer for a hobby, the drums were obviously my favorite instrument!
I miss feeling like a rock star upon completing my favorite songs. When you play the Guitar Hero drums, you’re basically doing the real deal like on my electronic drum set. If you were going to drum for real, you better be ready to sweat for a good hour or two, especially when playing anything from Blink-182. Curse you Travis Barker!