It seems as though there was always one market that was being entirely left out when it came to the vast expanse of gaming. There was of course, the games you could all participate in, the singular mystery games, as well as the war games, the fighting games, the fantasy adventure games. But what about the severe lack of music games we were seeing? There were games like the Spice Girls playstation affair which enthralled thousands of Spice Girls fans for quite some time. There was also the usual dance routine game which is favoured by those in arcades across the world. What about the rock fans? What about the people that were dying to see their favourite songs in a medium if which they’d never been to access it before? This is where the creators of Guitar Hero found themselves satisfying that niche market, and raking in millions in the process.
Guitar Hero was a game originally created in 2005 for the Playstation. The game gave the players a new controller, originally a Gibson SG guitar. The aim was to play the notes on the screen, just like a normal guitar. In a scrolling fashion, the notes would appear and you would press coordinating colour buttons while strumming in order to hit notes and therefore gain points.
This mission-reward concept gained popularity quick, and with the added bonus of performance the game became hugely popular and received rave reviews.
Guitar Hero II was released in 2006, the newer version adding the multiplayer function and improving the note recognition system to allow the program to run quicker. At this point, most of the songs that were on the list of playable tunes, were covers of the originals as the mastertracks were rarely leant to a game that had only just risen to fame. After this point, however; the games had become so ridiculously popular and spawning thousands of fans, party and social situations across the planet that famous names started lending their name to the cause, as well as even participating in designing the program itself.
In late 2007, Guitar Hero III was released on most console systems: Wii, Playstation 2 + 3, Xbox + 360. With this function, many of the controllers had wireless capability further enhancing the performance and game play. For the third game a wide range of songs were added to the career function on the game, including several hit songs and master tracks. With this game, the notoriety of the avid players encouraged the likes of Slash from Guns n Roses and Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine to join the game and becoming playable characters. Through this, the guitar legends had their signature moves, as well as styling and songs added to the game through the gutiar duel function.
Guitar Hero has since then also released a game for the Nintendo Wii. This game allowed players of the small portable device the have the career function, as well as multiplayer and duel options just like the other games. On Tour became a huge success, with follow up game Decades further pushing along the franchise.
Guitar Hero World Tour was the latest installment of this huge game, which added the features of a drumkit, microphone and bass to the mix giving the option of multiplayer and a full band. This was by far the most successful game of the whole franchise, giving players more opportunity and exciting new venues to play their music.
Other similar copycat games such as Rockband have since been released, with a different set list which is sure to encourage fans of the music, rather than the game.
The setlist of Guitar Hero is extremely varied, due to the fact that the programmers wanted to give the players a wide range of songs from many different eras, as well as a large range of difficulty stemming from easy to extreme. Songs can also be found in their separate categories, for instance, Guitar Hero will soon be releasing a game filled with Metallica hits. There is also an Aerosmith version to this game.
The game has created millions of fans worldwide, as well as reaching out to the music community who have embraced this game as creating new fans, encouraging musical play, as well as movement – which many video games do not in fact create. With such a diverse set list of songs as well as a great player format, this franchise is definitely going to be around for many many years to come.