Tag Archives: guitar hero

Metal Rebirth with a Plastic Guitar

In yet another curious renaissance for heavy metal icons, a video game has helped deliver Megadeth and Soundgarden back atop the pedestal of rock. Sayeth the press release:

Megadeth’s “Sudden Death” and Soundgarden’s “Black Rain” – have been nominated for Best Metal Performance and Best Hard Rock Performance, respectively, at the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards. Inspired by, composed exclusively for, and debuted in the game, “Sudden Death” marks the first time an original track created for a videogame has been nominated by The Recording Academy for the prestigious awards.

This is Megadeth’s 9th Grammy nod since the institution of the category in 1989. They’ve never won. Soundgarden hasn’t even existed since 1997, two years after nabbing the Metal award for Spoonman (along with Hard Rock for Black Hole Sun). Black Death debuted simultaneously in the game and on their first new album in a decade, Telephantasm, which went platinum in a day.

If you’re interested, starting tomorrow through noon on Sunday, you can get a free download of each Grammy-nominated song at facebook.com/guitarhero. All I can hope now is that if either band plays at the awards, they’re playing the song, not the game.

The Reluctant Technologist on Guitar Hero 5

I’m not going to rehash my love of the Guitar Hero franchise; though my fervor for virtual wanking has waned over the years, and the game’s technology has advanced beyond what my last-gen game system and “cozy” living room can accommodate, I am an unabashed fan of the game and don’t purport impartiality.  From one iteration to the next, the developers have upped the game, improving graphics and peripherals (ie the instruments), expanding multiplayer modes and fine tuning the user interface (for example, smoothing out hammer-ons and pull-offs between Vs 1 and 2).

GH5, released in September, follows the vein of this evolution. Since I couldn’t care less about customizing my avatar’s visage and wardrobe or scoring a Marshall stack, for the purpose of this review I’ll focus on a just a few of the pithier, niftier new features. Like Party Play mode, in which tunes play continuously from a track list and players can drop out whenever they lose interest or need to refresh their PBRs, and jump in with the press of one button. In case earlier versions weren’t quite ADD enough for you.

Continue reading