Guitar Hero 4 preview

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By Bill Molina


By Bill Molina

As the dust is still settling from Neversoft’s most recent smash title, they burst from the clouds swinging with news of Guitar Hero World Tour. Available the for Playstation 2 and 3, Xbox 360, pc, Nintendo Wii and DS.

This go about however, is making sure you bring the band with you, as the already legendary guitar is joined by the bass, drums, and mic to let four players raise their goblets of rock to the heavens above.

The new guitar mode will include a custom story mode along with the bass, drums, and singer. These are all reported to be more than just slides explaining your slow rise to the top, these are going to be fully written out and acted band fiction, very exciting stuff.

The drum kit has three pads in front of you and two cymbal pads above the left and right pads with a bass pedal to round out the six button set. Reportedly quieter than Rock Bands drum kit, you should be able to hear more of the Rocking than ever.

You will be able to choose from very small venues such as bars and house parties to start off and eventually move on to bigger gigs like arenas and festivals. You are free to refuse playing a certain kind of song, let’s say you’re tired of playing it or don’t like the band, you can select to remove it from the set list, hopefully permanently. Don’t want your heavy rock band going anywhere near Fall Out Boy’s catalogue of music, you aren’t required to.

Newly animated band members move on stage more realistically than ever before and actually interact like real bands would. More complex facial expressions give the band a slightly Pixar-esque quality. Spotlights will also be shown as the rest of the stage is dimmed for guitar and drum solos. That’s right, drum solos. Start communing with Keith Moon, Neil Pert, and John Bonham now.

Neversoft has improved on there already great create-a-character mode, from the Tony Hawk franchise, and added a create-a-rocker feature. The face creator is said to rival that of EA’s Tiger Wood series, which is no small feat if you’ve ever tried to replicate your face in that game.

Old time favorites such as Judy Nails, Axel Steel, and Johnny Napalm are being reunited with Pandora and Clive Winston. Swapping outfits between all characters is an option now as well. Battle mode returns but with an emphasis on playing alongside a legendary guitarist, not against.

Earlier this year, you may have about Gibson taking legal action against Neversoft for stealing a patented virtual guitar simulator idea, so Guitar Hero decided to forgo a guitar sponsor, and allows players to create their own guitar.

A breakout feature, create-a-guitar mode lets the player create the shape of the guitars body, neck, and head to truly represent the way your custom musician should appear. Seeing what other people come up with during multiplayer matches should be very interesting. Here’s hoping bands can swap instruments around.

Another exciting bit of news is that there is a mystery guitar in the works for gamers to get their hands on. Neversoft is keeping tight lipped about details, but with the modes I have seen people create, I wouldn’t be surprised if a stringed guitar will be available soon.

New bands added to the lineup are Sublime, Linkin Park, The Eagles, and Van Halen. True guitar enthusiast fear not however, as they will have Dream Theater which will be sure to leave your fingers in pain. I just hope we get to have boss battles against Joe Satriani or Steve Vai.

The feature you should start talking about is the most awesome one, Create-a-song mode. Allowing four players to enter a jam session, each one chooses a style of playing that suits the sound they want. For example the drums can choose heavy rock, classic rock, fusion, hip hop, or modern rock.

You can also take your session into the recording studio, although the vocals will be left out, being replaced by the ability to place the pitch on the track with a keyboard. This is mostly due to their not wanting to deal with copyright infringement, which is a bit disappointing but I am sure it won’t stop anyone from recording their favorite covers.

Bands can submit up to five songs to the internet. If they receive enough positive feedback, then your band will “get signed” and have to create cover art for their album, and will be allowed to upload an additional five songs.

The band gaming market will later be joined by Japanese developer Konami in a game called “Guitar Revolution” which also boasts four player supports. However Neversoft and Activision aren’t batting an eye, as Guitar Hero World Tour kicks down the tour bus doors and melts the competition with blistering solos from another dimension.

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