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Games : Highly Recommended
Ranking:
Sale Price: $519.99 Last Price: $569.95 Buy now! 3rd Party 519.99 In Stock
Release Date: October 20th, 2015 Movie Release Year: 2015

Guitar Hero Live (2-Pack Bundle)

Overview -

The game that set off a craze and ignited a genre nearly a decade ago, 'Guitar Hero,' has returned. Though there is secondary support for vocals, the new game focuses on the guitar, but 'Guitar Hero Live' has a lot more up its sleeves than just the same old thing. 'Guitar Hero Live' has been developed alongside a new guitar that eschews the old five button set-up in favor of a new 2x3, six button design.

Likewise, 'Guitar Hero Live' offers two fairly distinct modes. The 'Live' side takes players in first person perspective through two rock festivals, the UK-based SoundDial and the US-based Rock the Block and through 42 on-disc tracks. Meanwhile, the 'GH TV' side gives players access to two streaming channels of music video-based songs. At launch, there are more than 200 tracks on the GH TV side, and GH TV also has its own player progression to play through.

Within these two main modes, 'Guitar Hero Live' contains tutorials, two player versus, quickplay, vocals, challenges, leaderboards, five difficulty levels, a player level and customization system, premium content, and more.

OVERALL:
Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
VIDEO
AUDIO
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
October 20th, 2015

Video Review

Ranking:

Ah, how exactly do you rate FMVs and music videos? The Ui is very monochrome, though that can be tweaked by using different highways, but it also very sharp. It makes for a clean presentation, and not one I would expect from the older games. One issue I've found is that when the blue outlines that sometimes accompany the notes can make the black and white blend together in spite of the triangle/inverted triangle shapes.

For the Live segments, the live-action stuff is well-produced and manages to be engaging but not distracting.

Guitar Hero Live screenshot PS4 SoundDial

When I'm hovering between playing well and missing notes, the transitions come with a quick blur that is like sweat in the eyes. The system is robust, but when circling the drain, there's lots of "yeah you are awesome footage" cut with "you are crap." (There are also parts when playing well and pleasing the crowd, that they still throw stuff. It makes me think of the beginning of 'Road House.') The worse parts by far are the skylines that back the crowds. It's like a SD TV show matte background but in HD.

There is band/album art everywhere in GH TV, but it fits in well with the clean looks. The music videos look much better than some earlier builds I saw. Still, there's lots of SD content and stretched or cropped 4:3 content in older stuff. Even recent indie videos will go with a VHS look.

Some videos are downright distracting, but this is offset by that same appeal that once made MTV destination viewing.

Audio Review

Ranking:

Now this is what I'm talking about. 'Guitar Hero Live' includes options for TV, stereo, 5.1 surround sound, and full dynamic or night time audio. Beyond that, the game just sounds good, much better than any kind of cable music system I've used. Of course, playing notes correctly really only lets the actual songs play unfettered (this isn't a synthesizer, and neither has the guitar been separated from the rest of the instruments). Vocals can sound good as well. The surround sound is great in the Live section where the first person view is constantly shifting.

Guitar Hero Live screenshot PS4 drummer

There are still squawks when missing notes. These are fine unless the song has its won squawk like sounds. They also can be distracting in local versus.

The game sounds so good that I've spent hours using a stereo headset plugged into my receiver, which is not something I normally do.

I did find that once or twice that the surround setting in options wouldn't exactly take. (There's an audio test in the same spot.) Relaunching the game always fixed this problem.

I've tried to avoid mentioning 'Rock Band 4' in this review, but wow does 'Guitar Hero Live's audio presentation seem like it's on another level.

Final Thoughts

In 2015, it's takes a real statement game to justify excitement in the rhythm game genre. 'Guitar Hero Live' is that statement game. With a New guitar, new gameplay, two distinct modes and a new content delivery method that should see players awash in free, marquee songs, 'Guitar Hero Live' is packed. FreeStyle Games has gone back to the drawing board and returned with both a rock star vision and a streaming music/video gameplay model that ought to attract fans old and new. Alongside the normal AAA titles to look forward this holiday, 'Guitar Hero Live' should be of special interest to home theater enthusiasts on account of the sound quality and the enjoyable novelty and passion to be found in the gameplay and visuals.