The lights are on
Guitar Hero is a franchise that is close to my heart. It was the first music/rhythm game I played, and it was through Guitar Hero's many titles that I was able to claim to be an expert. I learned how to play with Guitar Hero two, and worked my way up to the Expert setting in three. I learned how to solo effectively in Aerosmith, and I learned how to strum in Metallica. I learned that Activision has no qualms about milking you for every dollar with Smash Hits, and that DLC makes everything better with World Tour, and learned that Xbox Avatars should never serve any other purpose than their intended one in 5.
What did I learn with Warriors of Rock? Well, to be frank, I learned that Rock Band is still the superior experience. I learned that the story of a character I created is more interesting than one involving all of the characters I really don't care to be from Guitar Hero's lineup. I learned that 60 bucks is still a lot for what you get.
Warriors of Rock plays just like any other music game. You hit the bar or pad when the corresponding gem reaches the strikeline. Chords, hammer-ons, drum rolls, and the like have been around for several installments. And yet, this iteration feels even more devoid of ANY new features that Guitar Hero 5 did. You're essentially still paying for a new setlist. As for the setlist, this is quite possibly the most challenging that Guitar Hero has presented. I'm a metal fan, so it was a plus to get some songs I really know and love, as well as discovering artists, I had only heard of, like John 5. The Rush album challenge was also rather innovative. The powerups of each of the individual characters are interesting, and they certainly help players who are not as skilled get through some of the more difficult songs.
That said, It still doesn't feel like it is enough to compete with Rock Band 3 coming around the corner with a new peripheral, and the much-anticipated pro-mode, able to teach you to play the actual Guitar parts of the set. This game adds no innovation beyond powerups (Which are no more inventive than Battle mode, which has been around since 3) and an attempt at making a music game tied to a story. I played it, and I enjoyed it while I did. However, When I have almost as many songs downloaded for Rock Band as are available for Guitar Hero, and many coming right from the setlist of Warriors of Rock, I really don't see a point in buying it when possibly the final bright dawn of the Music/rhytym genre is coming down the pike.
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