I could have had this post up a bit earlier, if the game had been delivered on it’s actual release date instead of the Monday afterwards… anyway, for October 2015 my Game of the Month is something of a rarity: a multi-platform, third party retail release. It is a reboot of a franchise that was popular between 2005 and 2008, developed by company based in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire here in the UK.
Guitar Hero Live sees a return of the plastic guitar though it has been updated from previous versions. The new guitar has 6 buttons as opposed to 5, and they are arranged in a 2×3 pattern. It takes a little time to get used to the new layout, but I do have to say that it works quite well once you do.
Of course, a new guitar means that any old peripherals you may have are of no use for this game – no backwards compatibility here. Well, you can plug a USB microphone in your console to have someone sing along as well, but that’s about it – the most you can do for local multiplayer is two guitars and one singer.
When you first load up the game, you have to go through a quick tutorial and then you are thrust upon a stage to play along with Fall Out Boy’s My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up), as well as two other songs.
This is the ‘Live’ mode, where you play in front of a live-action crowd who will cheer when you perform well and boo you if you play poorly. There’s no middle ground: the audience either loves you or hates you.
Of course, you can always win the audience back. The Star Power from previous games has been replaced by Hero Power which allows you to get back in the crowd’s good graces. Each gig generally has three songs to play in succession, with a couple of exceptions.
Of course, after you’ve played the gigs, the songs become available to play in Quickplay, as you would expect.
There’s a variety of genres available, from Skrillex’s Bangarang (yes, really) to the more typical classic rock songs such as The Who’s Won’t Get Fooled Again and The Rolling Stones’ Paint It Black.
On the disc, there is a total of 42 songs available to play as and when you please – 6 less than Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX on the 3DS…
However, Guitar Hero Live‘s second mode, Guitar Hero TV has a bigger selection of tracks – 200, with more to be added.
Guitar Hero TV, or just GHTV, has channels that stream music videos that you can play along with. Generally, half hour blocks are dedicated to specific subjects, such as rock anthems or pop workout for example.
This is a pretty great way of finding new songs and playing along with old favourites, though you are out of luck if you want to own any of these songs.
Guitar Hero Live doesn’t have the traditional DLC of its previous incarnations. This doesn’t mean that you are unable to play GHTV songs whenever you want, though. In GHTV, you gain experience and coins as you play. When you earn enough experience, you level up and are given some ‘Plays’ when this happens.
Plays can be used to play a song from GHTV’s soundtrack whenever you want. Extra Plays can be bought with the coins you earn from completing songs, or with Hero Cash. Hero Cash has to be bought with real currency, but that is entirely optional and it’s not necessary to spend a single penny to enjoy all GHTV has to offer.
GHTV has something of an online multiplayer element to it – up to 10 players compete during a song, with more experience and coins going to those who achieve higher scores.
Also available in GHTV are Premium Shows – generally three songs that will be added to the GHTV song catalogue in the future. Premium Shows allow you to play the songs before that. There are two ways to access a Premium Show – the first is to use Hero Cash, which does mean spending real world money.
However, there’s also a second option. If you complete a certain objective on a certain song, you’ll be able to access the Premium Show. This could be as simple as achieving a 3 star rating on a specific group of songs.
Guitar Hero Live‘s GHTV definitely makes it one of the most unique rhythm games I’ve owned, and I like the way that you don’t need to spend any money to enjoy the game. The ‘playable music channel’ is a neat concept in my opinion, and I think it works really quite well.