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Music Game Competition Heats Up 82

Posted by Soulskill
from the rock-on-with-your-socks-on dept.
With Guitar Hero: World Tour set to launch on October 26th, Activision has released a list of downloadable content that will be immediately available. Activision has also apparently included a trailer for Guitar Hero: Metallica (which will arrive sometime next year), and they recently trademarked the name 'Guitar Hero Modern Hits,' which may be part of their plan to increase the amount of Guitar Hero content they produce. Meanwhile, new Rock Band 2 DLC tracks are coming as well, and the release dates for the PS2, PS3, and Wii versions have been set. Early reports say the Wii version made the platform jump better than the original Rock Band, and that all currently existing DLC will be available for Rock Band 2. MTV's Multiplayer blog took a look at Wii Music, which creator Shigeru Miyamoto calls, "Not quite a game and not quite an instrument."
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Music Game Competition Heats Up

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  • Music authoring (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew.gmail@com> on Saturday October 18, 2008 @12:44PM (#25424675) Homepage Journal

    I think this will be huge. Guitar Hero: World Tour lets you actually put new music in the game. Plenty of people will be putting in covers of copyrighted music, but I'm think small local bands will use Guitar Hero to promote their music in grassroots type of way. I'd love to see the first band that gets a record contract because their song was a top download through Guitar Hero. It will happen.

    • Re:Music authoring (Score:4, Informative)

      by bmorency (1221186) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @12:59PM (#25424765)

      Plenty of people will be putting in covers of copyrighted music, but I'm think small local bands will use Guitar Hero to promote their music in grassroots type of way.

      The director of Guitar Hero World Tour said they will remove songs that have a copyright. Here is the link quoting the guy. http://www.joystiq.com/2008/09/29/guitar-hero-world-tour-wont-condone-your-awful-cover-songs/ [joystiq.com]

      • Re:Music authoring (Score:4, Insightful)

        by corsec67 (627446) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @01:15PM (#25424853) Homepage Journal

        The director of Guitar Hero World Tour said they will remove songs that have a copyright.

        If they take down all songs that have a copyright,... how do they have any songs at all?

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by carlzum (832868)
          Originals. Lots and lots of awful songs written and performed by GH players. Free up some space on your HD, you don't want to miss out on that :P
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Cruciform (42896)

            All songs have copyright by their very nature as creations that can be copied.
            You can create a very liberal license (make them freely copyable, in fact) but they still have copyright.

            • by carlzum (832868)
              I didn't say copyright doesn't exist, I just answered the parent's question about what type of music you'll find on GHWT. From the linked article:
              "We can't condone people putting up covers of music. It's really there for original content."
              He doesn't say anything with a copyright will be pulled, just licensed and copyrighted music. A garage band's automatic copyright can be handled with simple a check box or accept button.
          • Originals. Lots and lots of awful songs written and performed by GH players. Free up some space on your HD, you don't want to miss out on tat :P

            There, fixed that for you ;)

        • by bmorency (1221186)
          He is talking about songs that users create using the editor.
      • You mean copyright violations. Basically all works have copyright automagically in most parts of the world.

    • by Ieatsyou (1383005)

      Plenty of people will be putting in covers of copyrighted music, but I'm think small local bands will use Guitar Hero to promote their music in grassroots type of way. I'd love to see the first band that gets a record contract because their song was a top download through Guitar Hero. It will happen.

      I see labels using it to sign artists. Just the same way myspace music did.

    • And let another group get sucked into the RIAA's machine? No thanks.
    • Re:Music authoring (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dontmakemethink (1186169) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @01:49PM (#25425067)

      The authoring function would be great for indie bands who could presumably make their songs available for GH:WT play.

      Then I watched a YouTube clip of a "music studio" demo [youtube.com] given by one of the developers. The painfully obvious and much simpler approach would be for bands could simply transfer their actual multitrack audio (separate drum, bass, guitar, vocal and backing tracks) then just program corresponding controller movements for gameplay.

      But no, that would interfere with one of the key revenues the game generates, promoting the real music added to the game, which undoubtedly is not free to the copyright owners of the music, all of which are signed to RIAA labels. Instead there is a music editor for you to create music within the game, limited to the game controllers for input, presumably without vocals at all. That's why musicians spend thousands on gear and recording, so they can broadcast their music from a toy studio.

      From the demo: "We're trying to provide the community with everything we can" ...except the most important tools for the most in need. Next time pull the RIAA cock out of your ass before deciding what is or isn't good for music.

      Another quote to show just how far off point these guys are: "I want to see a band perform live on stage with Guitar Hero controllers." Do these people not know where music comes from?

      People wanking away with their fave tunes at home is one thing, but invading the arena of live performance is completely cannibalistic. The next generation of music will be lacking in originality and diversity (even moreso than already) thanks largely to kids being introduced into music as a binary instruction set - hit the wrong button and you're ruined.

      The Easter Island civilization collapsed because they chopped down all the trees on the island to make boats and shelters, not realizing that trees don't just grow out of stone. Musical talent doesn't either.

      • Won't indie bands do what they do now: use MyBook or FaceTube or YouSpace? GH:WT's editor is similar to SSBB's Level Editor and Trackmania's Track Editor: a simple, easy to use tools, with a low entry barrier, to get people interested in music writing/level design/track design. Once you hit the limits of the tools, you move up a level abnd get new, more powerful tools.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Sparton (1358159)
        From Wikipedia:

        Custom songs will have a limit of 1,200 notes or 3 minutes, whichever comes first.

        That's the most important limiting factor for creating songs in World Tour; your time length is less than the track length for the majority of songs in the game, and the note limit can make the song even shorter for more complex arrangements (especially since that note count is likely eaten up by background instruments as well).

        At the end of the day, if you thought you were getting a robust music making tool in this game, you're were going to be disappointed anyways. Activision likes money, a

        • I'd write them repeatedly and beg for a patch.

          • by Sparton (1358159)
            It depends on what you're looking for in it. Personally, I'd like the opportunity to rearrange some of my favourite Mario, Mega Man, Zelda, and other tunes, while possibly trying to make some of my own small songs (though I'm no real musician). All of that really doesn't require more that what I'm getting.
      • by j0nb0y (107699)

        I agree that the studio features could have had more vision, but I disagree that guitar hero is bad for the future of music. Sure, a lot of people are going to be playing plastic instruments. But some of those people are going to want more, and they are going to pick up real instruments. And these are people that otherwise would not have gone near a real instrument.

        There will be a famous musician five or ten years from now who says "Guitar Hero inspired me to learn how to play guitar." And then he'll sa

        • There will be a famous musician five or ten years from now who says "Guitar Hero inspired me to learn how to play guitar." And then he'll say "ka-ching" and collect a huge check.

          You just made Ashley Simpson smile for the first time since SNL. You're a natural record label executive. Unfortunately you wouldn't last 3 shows on tour, so now the old farts from the muppet show are gumming away at your privates.

    • To opt in now to a totally broken system makes NO sense. If we are going to see a better way to get the indie music out to the rest of the world, it isn't going to come from the record labels.

    • by harl (84412)

      This feature is a waste. It will mainly be used to create insanely difficult show off pieces. It will only be used by a tiny minority of players.

      I think the designers are beginning to forget that they are making a game.

      People who have the ability to make music already make music. With better tools and instruments.

      Remember no vocals and they promised to delete copy written songs that people reproduce.

  • I've been looking forward to GHWT for a while now. Really excited about it. But the Wii Music wasn't something I've read about before, and the article on it linked here looks pretty interesting.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 18, 2008 @01:16PM (#25424861)
    • hows that going, when i gave it a try last time it was too hard to get setup right (the delay needed setting manualy and was hard to judge as lag varied a bit), and seemed to use alot of CPU. Is it playable by joe blogs yet?

      • Someone installed it on the (Windows) PC in our coffee room and people were playing it for a few months. Apparently it was fun. Certainly entertaining to watch people holding a keyboard like a guitar.
        • by CSMatt (1175471)

          FoF works with the Guitar Hero and Rock Band controllers too, so keyboards aren't really necessary.

    • by ClintJCL (264898)
      now what would i do with my guitar controllers? throw them away?
      • by compro01 (777531)

        Use them? FoF works just fine with the PC/xbox360 controller and likely fine with the other console's if you care to grab an adapter.

        • Seriously?! Is this a new feature? I thought I checked that avenue out thoroughly 6-12 months ago.

          I have a USB-form-factor dual-PS2-controller converter I got from Lik-Sang (before they got legal-fragged) that should work quite well with my PS2 Guitar Hero guitars.

          I don't look forward to bringing my guitars up and downstairs depending on whether I am on the downstairs PS2 (36-inch SDTV) or whether I am on the upstairs computer (52-inch HDTV). In fact... Hmmm... Can you convince my why taking my guitars

  • Bah (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Brenky (878669) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @01:29PM (#25424935) Homepage Journal
    I, for one, hope GHWT bombs (at least in a critical sense - I know it'll sell like hotcakes). Neversoft had the gall to call themselves the first music game in which you could play as guitar, bass, drums and vocals months after Rock Band was released. Harmonix is a pioneer of music games, and just because they couldn't get Hendrix or Halen doesn't mean the quality of the game is any worse. I take my music game rivalries very seriously.
    • I've never seen Neversoft claim they were the first full band game. If they made the statement, then it was inane because everyone knows it isn't remotely true. They were however the first to do guitars and start the genre to begin with.

      I will say having played Rock Band and Guitar Hero, I prefer Guitar Hero for a couple reasons. The guitar portion of Rock Band is far too easy. I sit there all day waiting for notes to play, where as drums provides a reasonable challenge. There is a great disparity ther

      • Really? Neversoft invented guitar controllers and the music game genre? I'm pretty sure they had to pay Konami a not insignificant amount in royalties to be able to make their games.
      • by Mr_eX9 (800448)

        You must not have played Rock Band 2...the window of opportunity for strumming guitar notes seems much smaller. The setlist also has a better difficulty curve for guitar, instead of just [easy song, easy song, easy song, ..., green grass and high tides]. But you're right, Guitar Hero definitely has a much more competitive vibe than Rock Band. What's up for discussion is whether that's a good thing or if it's just obnoxious...

        Funny, I've had just about the opposite experience with my instruments. My RB1 guit

        • Rock Band is devoid of gameplay besides allowing you to play song.

          Guitar Hero offered a plot, unlocking levels, equipment, characters, etc. The guitar battles are especially nice. Guitar Hero will allow you to co-op the campaign, where as Rock Band will not let you do the World Tour online.

          • by Mr_eX9 (800448)

            GH3's story, if you must call it that, is just a cookie-cutter series of completely forgettable cutscenes that might as well not be there. I for one don't want a story getting in the way of playing the songs. It's a music game, not an RPG...story is completely irrelevant. I also thought the guitar battles were really stupid for this reason.

            RB1 has more diverse character/instrument customization than GH3, though GH:WT may outdo RB2's largely recycled customization.

            GH3 and RB1 both had online quickplay and of

          • by BathTub (75720)

            Have you even played Rock Band, pretty much all of those features are in it. except for Guitar Battles, which were so reviled that Neversoft has removed them and replaced with a more traditional guitar play off.

          • by harl (84412)

            You have identified the exact moment the franchise jumped the shark for me.

            I don't want to have to look at the other players notes. I don't want to have to plan. I just want to have some fun playing an overly simplified guitar.

            If GH3 has game play then RB has game play, in tour mode. The items RB has that you mention as being game play are plot, levels, equipment, and characters.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It's this kind of posts that make me lose faith in the gaming community.

        Harmonix developed the first 2 guitar hero games, and then they expanded upon it with Rock Band.

        Activision has been horrible with their management of Guitar Hero, so horrible that they drove away the original developers and had to bring in their own. Activision's president also at one point managed to say "Yeah, Guitar Hero World Tour will be the FIRST game to allow you to play all 4 instruments in a band!" which was an outright lie,Roc

      • by BathTub (75720)

        Here is where they claimed to be the first. It's actually very funny.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rmjq-IWPnK4 [youtube.com]

      • by harl (84412)

        They were however the first to do guitars and start the genre to begin with.

        You sir are completely wrong. Konami had a stand up arcade version. They also had a guitar game with controllers for the PS [gamespot.com]. Yes the original PS. Last Century.

  • by Toonol (1057698) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @01:39PM (#25424995)
    ...Makes it sound really interesting, and confirms that it really lives in an entirely different genre than the other games mentioned. It sounds more like a musical playground than a competitive game. (You give yourself a score based on how well you think you sounded? That's great!).
  • I know the guitar hero nuts out there will disagree aggressively on this, but here goes. I sat through 3+ years of my college life playing GH games at my roommates' expense. They bought game after game--each version of the game was nearly identical to the others, the only thing substantially different being the songs. It hit me that people were paying $50 (and $60 for current gen consoles) for only new songs. Now I know the games come with a bunch of songs, but only a handful are actual versions; the maj

    • People have demonstrated via DLC they are happy to spend $2 a song. If you get 80 new songs with a game for $50-$60, then that is a bargain. Not to mention that with each new game they also add new gameplay such as guitar battles, online co-op, online battles, etc. The new guitar hero is adding quite a bit, such as music authoring, a new guitar slide bar, drums, full band gameplay modes, battle of the bands game modes, etc.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sparton (1358159)

      Now I know the games come with a bunch of songs, but only a handful are actual versions; the majority are covers.

      Not anymore. All 86 tracks in Guitar Hero: World Tour are master recordings. All 84 tracks in Rock Band 2 are master recordings as well.

      In the age of consoles w/ harddrives and the existence of myriad music downloading services it seems odd to buy an entire game just to get some new songs.

      Two things wrong with that. Firstly the PS2, which is still largely popular, doesn't have a hard drive, and the other popular inexpensive console, the Wii, is a joke in terms of storage size. Secondly, with a new game coming out with a consistent set list (of varied tunes), that means that every player of the game who has played it enough will be on the same playing level i

      • This is bad, because it reduces exposure of the player to new songs.

        No, this is good, because it means you don't have to get songs you hate in order to get songs you like. Rock Band 2 still fails for me by having songs like Chop Suey, Down With The Sickness, Battery, etc. If I could get the game without those noise compositions, I'd be elated.

        • by Sparton (1358159)
          If you don't like some of the tracks, then just use an unlock all cheat and play whatever you want. That's why games have methods of doing this; if you don't want to appreciate all of the content in the game the way the developers envisioned, you can. For everyone else, this is a huge opportunity to appreciate new music with your friends.
          • I want to play World Tour. I can't play World Tour without sucking it up and playing shitty music. We have a problem with this scenario, and I hope it gets solved by adding a "turn song off" feature one day.
            • by Sparton (1358159)

              Then I suggest finding a bunch of like-minded people and bitching very loudly to the developers. We're* not going to know if it's worth the man hours to create a feature like that if you don't tell us, 'cause most people are happy to just unlock all cheat and choose from there.

              *I say this as a game developer in general, not one from Harmonix/Red Octane.

      • ...in fact, with HDLoader, I only boot with 1 disc, and play any game I want. Just sayin'.
    • by CSMatt (1175471)

      I sat through 3+ years of my college life playing GH games at my roommates' expense. They bought game after game--each version of the game was nearly identical to the others, the only thing substantially different being the songs. It hit me that people were paying $50 (and $60 for current gen consoles) for only new songs.

      That's nothing new. Madden has been doing the same thing for a decade.

  • Market Saturation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HBI (604924) <kparadine AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday October 18, 2008 @01:57PM (#25425107) Homepage Journal

    I think we've reached that point. Also, the music industry is making money off this. I thought we hated the RIAA?

    • by glwtta (532858)
      I thought we hated the RIAA?

      If the RIAA had no influence on things we like, would there be a reason to hate them?
  • Guitar Praise (Score:2, Informative)

    by hansamurai (907719)

    Don't forget about Guitar Praise, the Christian Guitar Hero clone available for the PC and OSX!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guitar_Praise [wikipedia.org]

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Everyone knows the best bands are affiliated with Satan.

      • by phorm (591458)

        Well, one thing they do generally have in common is RIAA or related contracts, so I suppose that could be construed as an affiliation with the Devil, yes...

  • I used to love playing Guitar Hero 1. 2 was okay, and the boss fights in 3 annoyed me.

    Then my roommate got Rock Band. The guitar has a nicer feel, and it seems easier to read at speed.

    BUT! The Rock Band song selection just sucks for me. Even most of the DLC is crap. Sure I used to listen to Judas Priest as a kid, but it's like everything that I listened to between 15 and 30 doesn't exist in the Rock Band world.

    I understand though. Rock Band is about mainstream.

    If the new Guitar Hero controllers are high qua

  • by unity100 (970058) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @03:56PM (#25425947) Homepage Journal
    internet, download all at the same time, the word metallica gives me a lot of irritation and annoyance.
  • And lets not forget the guitar game for the guys who actually play, Guitar Rising [guitarrising.com].

  • when will they have J-rock i want my L'Arc n' Ciel

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