It’s pretty well established that I’m not a fan of the current Guitar Hero games. After GH2, when original developers Harmonix left Activision to develop Rock Band, Activision has farmed its development out to studios more accustomed to Tony Hawk games and cheap movie tie-ins, and the results have been very mixed. With the way Activision has been whoring out the franchise, it’s clear that it has no shame, but the release of GH5 has made it more clear than ever before.
GH5 has ruffled a few feathers due to its inclusion of some very famous dead guys, namely Johnny Cash and Kurt Cobain. If you skip the initial outrage, it doesn’t actually seem that bad — after all, no-one seemed to mind Jimi Hendrix’s appearance in GH:WT, and The Beatles: Rock Band has two dead guys in it too. When you see what GH5 does, though, the difference between the Guitar Hero and Rock Band series becomes very clear:
Exhibit A: The Beatles: Rock Band, a very respectful and loving homage that’s clearly the result of an incredible amount of research and effort
Exhibit B: Guitar Hero 5, where Kurt Cobain sings Bon Jovi songs alongside a skeleton and a woman wearing a bikini and angel wings
Can you say “sellout”?