www.GameInformer.com
Switch Lights

The lights are on

What's Happening

WGWC: What Guitar Hero Could Learn From Monkey Island

Guitar Hero has fallen on some rough times. Activision announced earlier this year that Guitar Hero was on an indefinite hiatus. Guitar Hero as a series fell into a few pitfalls including: oversaturation of the market in an attempt to compete with Rock Band; forcing expensive peripherals on consumers; very little innovation between titles. There is one more misstep that Guitar Hero made: It did not have enough Monkey Island in it.

For those who are unfamiliar with the hilarious Monkey Island series, they are games in the classic adventure game school. The protagonist, Guybrush Threepwood, solves puzzles and escapes traps using odd means and methods in attempts to either save Elaine Marley, obtain treasure, or defeat his arch nemesis, the evil undead pirate, LeChuck. The series is renowned for its humor, clever writing, and off-beat stories. These elements are what brought the franchise back from the dead in 2009 after eight years of silence.

Most perfect insult ever.

Best comeback for the most perfect insult ever

What Guitar Hero could do to reinvent itself is to take the qualities that have allowed Monkey Island to survive years of hibernation without a peep and combine them with the rhythm segments that made Guitar Hero fun in the first place. Imagine a Guitar Hero game with a plot that unifies all of the stages that your band progresses through with witty dialogue and absurd, campy scenarios.

This might seem like an odd combination, but adding those elements to Guitar Hero would cover one of the biggest complaints I had with the franchise which was a lack of story. Not all video games need a story in order to be fun, Tetris and Minesweeper are the biggest examples of fun, story-less games, but Guitar Hero would benefit from a storyline. The journey of a band is interesting, especially when it involves the devil, UFOs, and Freebird. Adding a defined plot structure to tell the tale of the band as they go through crazy adventures seems like a completely logical step for the series. Sure, having it all make sense would be difficult but, much like Monkey Islands running “rubber-chicken-with-a-pulley-in-the-middle” gag, not everything has to make total sense if the game has a sense of humor.

The visual style of Guitar Hero has always been on the quirky and colorful side, almost whimsical, that lends itself well to humor.

In this fantasy of a Guitar Hero/Monkey Island hybrid, Tim Schafer would work on the next Guitar Hero game. Having Tim Schafer, one of the minds behind the original Secret of Monkey Island title as well as the beloved Psychonauts and Grim Fandango, would certainly help the game to be funny. That man knows how to make a game that gets a good chunk of laughs.

From left to right: Tim Schafer, Jack Black       

[Note: I wrote this a few days ago, but did not post it because Skyrim, like a colossal tsunami, overtook me and sucked me into a land full of dragons, magic, and fun. I returned to finish what I began days ago. Also, I am pretty sure that half of my brain is still slaying dragons, so forgive me if this post is rather lackluster.]

comments