The Gaming Guru Review of Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock

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by TRACY-MARK GORGAS / Special contributor to NWCN.com

NWCN.com

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 13 at 9:32 AM

Hello again.  Today I will be reviewing Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.  Does it rock? Does it roll?  Does it thrill me to my soul?  Well, Let’s Rock!

Story

After the last couple versions of Guitar Hero where story was  thin and/or non-existent Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock brings back a storyline.
 
The story is that the “Demigod of Rock” and the evil mechanized “Beast” have battled for ages.  At one point the Beast gets the upper hand when the Demigod of Rock loses his battle axe/guitar.  Seizing the moment the Beast entombs the Demigod of Rock in granite.  Helpless, the Demigod of Rock calls out to world for warriors to help him break from his prison and recover his axe.

As players play through the Quest Mode they transform and recruit the various characters in the game.  Each character has a special power that helps with their playing of a song.  Once all the characters are in place a “final battle” is fought.  The first part is done with the characters being split into two bands to battle and weaken the Beast.  The “FINAL” final battle is with the freed Demigod of Rock using all of the powers of the warriors combined.

Controls

As with the last two Guitar Hero games it is played with the special band controllers, the guitar, drums and microphone.  This version introduces another new styled guitar controller.  The new gimmick is that the “wings” of the body of the guitar can be taken off and replaced with other styles.  The touch sensitive strip is gone from the guitar, but still in the game if you have the “Genericaster” guitar that came with Guitar Hero: World Tour.  There is an option to turn off the touch sensitive notes in the game.

The new guitar is slightly longer than the Les Paul controllers, but close to the same size as the Genericaster.  It works well for the game.  I have only two complaints.  The “whammy bar” is kind of wimpy and small unlike the nice beefy one on the Genericaster.  Also the body wings while designed to easily snap off, do not.  The upper connection does not come apart without a significant amount of force, I thought I was going to break it as hard as I pushed or pulled on it.  The other two connections do release easily using the hidden lock switch.

Gameplay

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is again another rhythm game in the Guitar Hero series.  Hit the matching button with the onscreen notes as they pass.  The gameplay hasn’t changed much over the years and is still enjoyable.  Neversoft, the developers, seem to have finally found a way to balance the overall difficulty of the game very well when compared to World Tour and about the same as Guitar Hero 5.  While the difficulty has been balanced, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its challenges.

When it was first announced they mentioned a “Quest Mode.”  Given that and that some of the first screenshots from the game, I thought they teamed up with Blizzard, the developers of World of Warcraft.  Instead Quest mode is just another name for Career mode.  It works pretty much the same as Guitar Hero 5.  Completing songs in levels/gigs earns stars, earn enough and it unlocks the encore song.  Complete the encore songs in two levels/gigs and you unlock other levels/gigs.

Graphics and Sound

The art style of Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is pretty much the same as the last two.  The warrior personalities do look pretty cool though.

Sound for the songs is really good.  Some have been rerecorded specifically for the game, such as The Runaway’s “Cherry Bomb” and Alice Cooper’s “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” both sound excellent.

They brought in Gene Simmons of Kiss to narrate the game and he fits the bill, bringing a bit of his over the top showmanship to the part.  A surprising part was they brought in the band Rush to narrate a section of the game.  They narrate their own album “2112,” a real treat for Rush fans.

Overall

This will be the sixth game in the Guitar Hero series if you don’t count the spin-offs or band specific titles, the third with a full band.  I have been leery of the titles since World Tour came out because to me the difficult curve to that title was terrible, almost punishing, and really to me not fun.  Since that title Neversoft have settled into a groove so to speak, where the titles have been fun.  Warriors of Rock is no exception, in fact bringing in story elements kind of made it even more fun than Guitar Hero 5

Like I said while the balance is there, it doesn’t mean it isn’t challenging.  Lars Umlaut’s level is all speed, thrash and death metal songs, I barely got through it.  The final song, “Sudden Death” by Megadeth is by far the most challenging song I’ve ever played in any rhythm game.  It was specifically written for the game to be the final boss song by Dave Mustaine himself.  The song is a “hammer on/pull off” fest, so be ready to fail it at least once or twice.  I failed it six times, each time I was one or two stars away from passing, but when I finally passed it I felt like I accomplished something.

One thing I think really stands out is the songs in the game.  They focused on songs that really rock and highlight the guitar, not that there is nothing for other players, there is easily challenges for everyone.  It’s more of that these are the kinds of songs are what I think of when the name Guitar Hero is mentioned.  The full list of songs can be found at the end of the review.  Again certain songs have been censored of naughty words or references.  Also a nice thing is they have set it up so you can import songs from almost all of the other titles in the series and works with most of the downloads too.

The formula is still working well, but with Rock Band 3 soon to expand the abilities of a rhythm game to something you can actually learn to play an instrument you have to wonder where Activision and Neversoft will take Guitar Hero.  There certainly is a place for a pure rhythm game, but much like Dance Dance Revolution interest will level out.

So for the game that was fun to play, but basically maintains the status quo for now it gets 4 out of 5.  I like that Neversoft has gotten to this point, but I want to see them take it to another level.

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is rated T for Teen for Lyrics, Mild Fantasy Violence, and Mild Suggestive Themes.  It is available now for Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii.

The song list for Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock;

• A Perfect Circle – “The Outsider”
• Aerosmith – “Cryin'”
• AFI – “Dancing Through Sunday”
• Alice Cooper – “No More Mr. Nice Guy”
• Alter Bridge – “Ties That Bind”
• Anberlin – “The Feel Good Drag”
• Anthrax – “Indians”
• Arch Enemy – “Nemesis”
• Atreyu  – “Ravenous”
• Avenged Sevenfold – “Bat Country”
• Bad Brains – “Re-Ignition (Live)”
• Band Of Skulls – “I Know What I Am”
• Black Sabbath – “Children Of The Grave”
• Blind Melon – “Tones Of Home”
• Blue Öyster Cult – “Burnin' For You”
• Bush – “Machinehead”
• Buzzcocks – “What Do I Get?”
• Children Of Bodom – “If You Want Peace... Prepare For War”
• Creedence Clearwater Revival – “Fortunate Son”
• The Cure – “Fascination Street”
• Deep Purple – “Burn”
• Def Leppard – “Pour Some Sugar On Me (Live)”
• Dethklok – “Bloodlines”
• The Dillinger Escape Plan – “Setting Fire To Sleeping Giants”
• Dire Straits – “Money For Nothing”
• DragonForce – “Fury of the Storm”
• Drowning Pool – “Bodies”
• Edgar Winter– “Free Ride”
• Fall Out Boy – “Dance, Dance”
• Five Finger Death Punch – “Hard To See”
• Flyleaf – “Again”
• Foo Fighters – “No Way Back”
• Foreigner – “Feels Like The First Time”
• George Thorogood and The Destroyers – “Move It On Over (Live)”
• The Hives – “Tick Tick Boom”
• Interpol – “Slow Hands”
• Jane's Addiction – “Been Caught Stealing”
• Jethro Tull – “Aqualung”
• John 5 – “Black Widow Of La Porte”
• KISS – “Love Gun”
• Linkin Park – “Bleed It Out”
• Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Call Me The Breeze (Live)”
• Megadeth – “Sudden Death”
• Megadeth – “Holy Wars... The Punishment Due”
• Megadeth – “This Day We Fight!”
• Metallica & Ozzy Osbourne – “Paranoid (Live)”
• Muse – “Uprising”
• My Chemical Romance – “I'm Not Okay (I Promise)”
• Neil Young – “Rockin' In The Free World”
• Nickelback – “How You Remind Me”
• Night Ranger – “(You Can Still) Rock In America”
• Nine Inch Nails – “Wish”
• The Offspring – “Self Esteem”
• Orianthi – “Suffocated”
• Pantera – “I'm Broken”
• Phoenix – “Lasso”
• Poison – “Unskinny Bop”
• Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody”
• Queensrÿche – “Jet City Woman”
• Rammstein – “Waidmanns Heil”
• The Ramones – “Theme From Spiderman”
• Red Rider – “Lunatic Fringe”
• R.E.M. – “Losing My Religion”
• Rise Against – “Savior”
• The Rolling Stones – “Stray Cat Blues”
• The Runaways – “Cherry Bomb”
• Rush – “2112 Pt. 1 – Overture”
• Rush – “2112 Pt. 2 - The Temples Of Syrinx”
• Rush – “2112 Pt. 3 – Discovery”
• Rush – “2112 Pt. 4 – Presentation”
• Rush – “2112 Pt. 5 - Oracle: The Dream”
• Rush – “2112 Pt. 6 – Soliloquy”
• Rush – “2112 Pt. 7 - Grand Finale”
• RX Bandits – “It's Only Another Parsec...”
• Silversun Pickups – “There's No Secrets This Year”
• Slash featuring Ian Astbury – “Ghost”
• Slayer – “Chemical Warfare”
• Slipknot – “Psychosocial”
• Snot – “Deadfall”
• Soundgarden – “Black Rain”
• Steve Vai – “Speeding” (Vault Version)
• Stone Temple Pilots – “Interstate Love Song”
• Strung Out – “Calling”
• Styx – “Renegade”
• Sum 41 – “Motivation”
• Tesla – “Modern Day Cowboy”
• Them Crooked Vultures – “Scumbag Blues”
• Third Eye Blind – “Graduate”
• Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “Listen To Her Heart”
• Twisted Sister – “We're Not Gonna Take It”
• The Vines – “Get Free”
• The White Stripes – “Seven Nation Army”
• ZZ Top – “Sharp Dressed Man (Live)”

 

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