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XBox (Games) Media Music

Guitar Hero II For 360 Extra Tracks, Hands On 66

The upcoming release of Guitar Hero II for the Xbox 360 has fans of the unique rhythm game very much excited. Ars Technica's Opposable Thumbs blog has a look at the additional songs that are to be included with the release. They also point out that downloadable tracks will be available right away at launch, with more slated for later this year. For some hands on impressions of the new version of this old favorite, Chris Kohler over at Game|Life can help us out: "I'll just stick with this version of GHII when it ships in March. It'll contain ten new songs, five of which were announced today (below) and two of which will have to be unlocked. But the real draw is the possibility of downloadable songs later. They're coming, but they haven't been announced yet. I've always said that this is the kind of microtransaction I wholeheartedly support. Well, depending on how much the tracks cost, I mean. As long as they're still microtransactions and not macrotransactions, Activision and I are good."
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Guitar Hero II For 360 Extra Tracks, Hands On

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  • I wonder if the game will simulate the pick-slides on Rancid's Salvation.
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by Nasarius ( 593729 )
      Meh, just get a real guitar and play along with the song. It's not like powerchords are hard to play. Good choice with the song though..."Let's Go" is one of the few punk albums I really like.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by h3llfish ( 663057 )
      I'm sure it will. It will also simulate groupies, then a venereal disease. Then you can simulate a heroine addiction, and finally your own untimely death in a hotel room.

      I beg of you, friends - play a real guitar! Have a real life! Simulations are great fun for things that aren't feasible to really do, like racing a Ferrari, or shooting a few dozen cops, but playing a guitar is well within your reach, and the rewards of actually doing the real thing are immeasurable. You can get an actual groupie - s
      • Real football is within your reach! Real FPS are withing your reach (Just join the Marines!)

        I am sick of people telling fans of this series to 'just get a real guitar!' Sure, I could spend years becoming good at Guitar. Or, I coukd load up GH2, mess around, and have decent sounding stuff within minutes whilst messing around with drunk friends. This is karaoke for guitars. You know what happens when Karaoke people try to sing for real? They become filler for the first few episodes of "American Idol".

        This is
        • Re:Salvation (Score:4, Insightful)

          by h3llfish ( 663057 ) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @04:38PM (#17545552)
          Real football is not within my reach. Real football teams have 100 people on them, plus helmets, uniforms, and a large field. And joining the Marines in no way is similar to an FPS - an you know that. So your examples really suck.

          On the other hand, a decent used guitar costs only a little more than Guitar hero. You can do it alone. And unlike football or shooting people, there is no significant risk of injury.

          Look, I'm not saying you're a bad person for enjoying Guitar Hero. I'm not saying that you should be beaten to death with your controller. I'm only saying that if you spent the exact same amount of time that you put into playing GH into playing a real guitar, you would have a vastly more genuine and rewarding experience. No, you aren't able to play instantly. But you would be able to play in no time at all. It doesn't take years, it takes most people months to become proficient enough to play a simple tune.

          And whereas GH limits you in the songs that you can play, a real guitar allows you to play any song that uses our even-tempered 12 note scale (that's a lot of songs). Or, you could even make up your own!
          • by rjfan ( 529592 )
            Wow. This was really well-put and thoughtful. You are new here, right? If I had mod points, they'd be yours.
          • Skateboards are really cheap. Hell, a basic one is probably the same cost of any Tony Hawk game. Do I want to spend 6 months just learning how to ride the board with confidence, let alone doing any kind of trick? Or would I rather jump into the game and perform maneuvers that only professionals can pull off?

            Not everyone has the time, or devotion to learn how to do "real world" things that these games are based on. That's where these simulation games come in. They give you a taste of what it's like. An
            • I consider that to be another bad example. It might be snowing outside, or pouring rain, and so skateboarding just isn't feasible. Or you might just have an aversion to broken bones. Skateboarding presents a very real risk of injury. You might have to travel a while to get to a place where you could skate. Not everyone has access to a giant half pipe. Those are all good reasons why the simulation would be preferable.

              But guitar playing can always be done alone, in the same exact room where you play y
              • I understand that you're not bashing people for playing the game. I agree that playing a real guitar is a much more worthy activity. Knowing how to play any instrument is a great skill to have. It's a good conversation starter, it rounds you out, and we've all read the reports that link creativity and intelligence to playing music. Video games? Not so much.

                The argument that I have a problem with is that you claim that learning how to play a real guitar takes the same amount of time as learning how to p
              • I'm cool with that. More power to you. Maybe the game will wet your appetite for the real deal, and make you wonder if those same fingers that can punch buttons so dexterously can also pluck strings
                With me it did. I've been learning now for 4 months (I'm 33)
          • a decent used guitar costs only a little more than Guitar hero...
            I'm only saying that if you spent the exact same amount of time that you put into playing GH into playing a real guitar, you would have a vastly more genuine and rewarding experience

            You might as well ask why people with driver's licenses play the vast multitude of driving sims that have been available since the dawn of video gaming.

            Personally, I drive a real car, play real guitar, play driving games, and play guitar hero. I don't really do an

            • I think you've made my point for me. Driving a real car is dangerous. A car is a deadly weapon in the wrong hands, especially when racing and/or driving fast. Playing a racing game is about as safe as life gets. Pretty large difference, wouldn't you say? Besides, do you have a Ferrari? I don't, so a game is a good substitute.

              But, I consider a game to be a poor substitute for a real guitar. There's no danger to playing a guitar. There's not much cost. The weather doesn't need to be good, and you d
          • The exact amount of time? Have you ever played a musical instrument. It sounds like you have, but I don't know why you say this.

            I've actually tried to play the guitar before playing guitar hero. I also played trumpet for about 10 years.

            Guitar hero is not supposed to be a guitar simulation. It is more of a rock and roll simulation. And if you played it on expert it can be quite challenging and rewarding. It is a game like any other...so stop thinking so much and STFU.
            • stop thinking so much and STFU.

              Wow, STFU... touche. I have no answer for the brilliance of that remark. You have beaten me, sir.

              But, I do stand by my original remark that "if you spent the exact same amount of time that you put into playing GH into playing a real guitar, you would have a vastly more genuine and rewarding experience". Notice I did not say "in the same amount of time, you could play the actual song just like Eddie Van Halen". There's a pretty big difference between the two, and that
      • I never really thought about it before, but I have met...three girls, including my first girlfriend because of my guitar playing. Not exactly groupies, but close enough. And there's nothing quite like performing well in front of an audience.
        • My attitude is that if a girl wants to get busy with you, that's a groupie. I don't mean it in a derogatory sense. It just means that your mad guitar playing skills had their desired effect. And what a sweet sweet effect it is.

          A couple of other hobbies that I've noticed seem to have this effect:

          - Sports
          - Riding a motorcycle

          And a couple of hobbies that seem to repel girls:

          -bad breath
          -Guitar Hero

          Ok, I'm kidding on that last one. I'm sure that you could probably get some girls to play GH
          • I will confirm that girls will play Guitar Hero with you. It's like DDR in that it is so different from a traditional game that a different crowd appreciates it. These are girls that don't traditionally like games, though we got one to jump on Halo with us a couple times. She then discovered rugby players and alcohol and doesn't associate with us anymore, so say what you will about that. Yay freshman girls!
  • by trdrstv ( 986999 ) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @03:04PM (#17543818)
    I mean. As long as they're still microtransactions and not macrotransactions, Activision and I are good."

    Ok, Personally, I'm hoping for $1 per song or $5 for 6 or 7 in a 'pack'. I would however pay $40 for the Whole First GH game available as downloadable content. GH simply had a better soundtrack IMHO, but GHII VASTLY improved multiplayer. If you can sell me both for my 360 then I no longer need a PS2.

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      I wholeheartedly agree with everything the parent said.
    • by Fozzyuw ( 950608 )
      Ok, Personally, I'm hoping for $1 per song or $5 for 6 or 7 in a 'pack'. I would however pay $40 for the Whole First GH game available as downloadable content. GH simply had a better soundtrack IMHO, but GHII VASTLY improved multiplayer. If you can sell me both for my 360 then I no longer need a PS2.

      Ditto... if I owned a 360. =( When's the Wii version launch?. =)

  • Great way of making a awesome game even better, move it from playstation to xbox :)
  • I'll be buying (Score:2, Informative)

    Having rushed out and bought GH2 for xmas for my little brother and sis (the grown ups play it more unfortunately) on the PS2, I'm going to question whether that was a good plan. The 10 additional tracks for the 360 version are shaping up to be pretty decent (two words, Iron Maiden.), along with the apparently better guitar, and downloadable tracks, should make this a top game for a random birthday.
  • Possum Kingdom (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CubeNudger ( 984277 )
    This is a great choice that I've been suggesting since I first played GH. I can't think of another song from the 90's that would fit better in this game. Still no Black Keys, disappointingly.
  • Unfortunately... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 )
    ...for some reason unknown to me (although in a not very suprising developement) my firewall at work will not allow me to RTFA...can anyone tell me if it says in there (or if anyone knows anyway) if 1. the controller will be wireless or wired and 2. if it is wired....that would mean it uses USB...does that mean...a port could be coming to PC?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by MSFanBoi2 ( 930319 )
      Yes, it is wired (for at least the initial release). And all XBox 360 controllers are USB.
      • by Pojut ( 1027544 )
        I know, that's my point...if it's wired, then it's usb, which means (as the person above you posted and as I implied in my first post) someone somewhere will find a way to make it work with the PC....which makes me wonder if they are planning a port...I mean, if Microsoft can get it on 360, why couldn't they get it on Vista? (I've already accepted that in a very short time, new games on PC will require vista so I'm not even fooling myself anymroe at this point)
        • Well the wired Xbox 360 controller works just fine in Vista without any problem at all, so I suppose it shouldn't be any issue.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MindStalker ( 22827 )
      Nope the game|life site specifically states that is a wired controller because there was too much latency in the wireless. Apparently Microsoft wouldn't give them the proper specs. They state that they are reverse engineering the specs and expect to release a wireless controller soon though obviously not as the default controller with the game.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Pojut ( 1027544 )
        that's both suprising and not suprosing at the same time....on the one hand, it seems very much like microsoft to make things difficult by not giving them the wireless specs...on the other hand, what kind of sense does that make? All it does is encourage people to reverse-engineer their shit (which seems to be like their kryptonite)
      • Nope the game|life site specifically states that is a wired controller because there was too much latency in the wireless.

        That's a cop out, and a load of crap. Latency is not an issue. It's more likely they feel MS is charging too much to use their proprietary wireless protocol, OR the MS certification process takes too long. The problem is likely something business related rather than tech related at this point.

  • I burn with jealous rage when I see the Xbox360 GH bundle. It was the last thing my PS2 could be proud of (so to speak), but the original guitar pales in comparison to the new white flying-V style one. Plus it apparently has an optional port for a distortion pedal.


  • Three words: (Score:5, Informative)

    by etherlad ( 410990 ) <ianwatson@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @03:22PM (#17544150) Homepage
    Frets On Fire [kempele.fi]. FOSS version of Guitar Hero.

    Import GH1 and GH2 songs. Fret your own songs (or download frets others have done). Rock out using your keyboard as the guitar (enter = strum, F1 through F5 = frets).

    No story mode or multiplayer, but it's a helluva lot of fun.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Thansal ( 999464 )
      well, apparently the new controller is currently wired (TFA says they want 0 latency, and don't have that in the wireless, yet), so there might even be a chance of some quick little hack up to get it working on the pc :D
      • Well, Red Octane (who make Guitar Hero) do sell a PS=>USB adapter, so it's possible to use the PS2 guitar controller on FOF. Don't know about the Xbox controller, but I can't see why not.
        • by Thansal ( 999464 )
          Wow, I feel like an idiot.

          I have a PS-> USB adapter sittign at home (from when I worked at RS, the item is so devalued that they are nolonger in the inventory so my boss okayed me to take it). I need to go out and get a GH controller. (admitedly I also plan on buyign a PS2, so I might as well just pick up GH2 with the controller :P)

          Thank you for reminding me that I am an idiot every so often.
          • Umm... no problem, I guess. ;)
          • Sure, it works fine only FoF lacks the HO and PO features of GH and GHII and playing the original tracks only highlights how much better the 'real' games are. That is unless FoF now has HO and PO; I've not looked at it for a while, it's just not the same.
    • Guitar hero is really all about using the guitar controller. Try using a normal ps2 controller with the game and you'll have much less fun. I've played some of these rhythm games using a keyboard and bleh... boring in comparison.
      • As I point out above, people can and have adapted the GH controller with Frets on Fire.

        Here [youtube.com]'s a video of someone doing just that. The "related" column to the right has a few more examples.
    • by Mex ( 191941 )
      I'm a nerd, and this "Frets on Fire" thing is too nerdy even for me.
    • by CamD ( 964822 )

      So the question now is how can we import these additional songs from the 360 into FoF?

      ...or better yet, onto the PS2? </wishful thinking>

  • hello? mcfly? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by syrinx ( 106469 ) on Wednesday January 10, 2007 @03:48PM (#17544652) Homepage
    Guitar Hero on Wii, plz.

    That's all.

    (Not because of the controller, since it'd be custom anyway, but because this is the exact type of game that people interested in the Wii would like. I have no intention of buying an XBox 360 (or PS2 before that), but I would love to get this game.)
    • Guitar Hero on Wii, plz. Because this is the exact type of game that people interested in the Wii would like.

      I agree whole heartedly. I suspect this year the Wii will get Guitar Hero, DDR, and a Karaoke game since these have always appealed to the 'Non-gamer crowd' and graphics aren't even secondary, they're practically an afterthought.

      Personally, I want to see Guitar Hero for the Wii support 2 Guitars, and 2 Wiimotes (or 1 nunchuck combo) to be used as Drum sticks.

    • by josteos ( 455905 )
      I read somewhere that they are planning on doing GH for the Wii. The sense I got form the interview was that they are a little less interested. Now the pessimistic side of me was sure thats because Red Octane was able to sell a premium game by packing in the guitar controller, and they are a little concerned that they might not score as much because they won't be able to sell a whole controller for the Wii. Or maybe they are concerned about redesigning the controller to let a Wiimote snap-in.

      But yes, I w
  • I can't read the article from work due to the word "game" in the article. Can someone paste the names of the additional songs?
  • Now I have no doubts about picking this up.
  • Between this and Halo 3 .. it might be time to buy a 360
  • Frankly, I wish someone in RedOctane or Harmonix would say whether or not multiplayer through Xbox Live is being added in as well. It sure seems like an obvious game mode to add in, so I wonder why no one dicusses it. But that would be the deal-breaker for me, personally. A few extra songs won't get me to rebuy this game, but the chance to use online play for the first time in the series sure will.
  • ..I just love being made to feel like a chump. I don't own a 360, nor do I plan on getting one anytime soon. I own GH and GH2 only because my SO has a PS2 (I own numerous consoles, but not any newer than the GC). Seeing this just burns me. Release the same game on another console? Cool. But to pack in new songs along with downloadable content? Way to thumb your nose at the people who just bought your game. Bah.
  • Now would be an excellent time to announce a re-release of the first Guitar Hero with the improved GH2 engine (HOPOs and practice mode ftw) and maybe the bonus songs that the X360 people get. At least The Trooper. Anyone care to start an online petition - in the unlikely case such a thing might actually have an effect?

    I bought PS2 just for GH1/2, but I'm not about to do the same again for future GH titles with X360. I would, however, buy a GH re-release without thinking twice.

  • Adaptor pls (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SuiteSisterMary ( 123932 ) <slebrun AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday January 11, 2007 @01:18PM (#17558480) Journal

    To carry on the Rock Star motif, they need only make a wireless adaptor that the PS2 Guitar Hero guitar can plug into, which clips onto your belt or onto the guitar strap, for use with the 360.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.