Yes, I'm Playing Guitar Hero 6: Warriors of Rock
I know there's another thread for this, but I've been enjoying this a bit over the last week, and I thought it deseved a fresh thread for people playing it. And this is my 4000th post, so sue me. :)
Hardware: IMO, the new guitar shipping with GH:WoR may be the best one to date. I'm a Les Paul snob, but I've been using the new "WoRtar" exclusively, and I really, really like it. It arguably looks a little goofy, and the strum bar is a little squeaky, but it feels almost identical to the Les Paul, and I like it way more more than the GH4/5 guitars. As I told the RO folks, I no longer wake up with night terrors worrying about what I'll do if my Les Pauls die.
Quest Mode: Instead of just pounding your way through the setlist, WoR has this mode where every tier enables a different cheat code of sorts, so you rack up stars much faster than you normally would. (you don't even get a traditoinal score.) The multiplier might go to 5x instead of 4, or Star Power gives 3x instead of 2x. After the first four tiers, you play through Rush's 2112, with all four powerups combined, which is almost like Guitar Hero God Mode. You beat the next four tiers and advance to the finale against Megadeth in a similar format.
Once you've succeeded, you can go back and play all the previous sets with all 8 powerups active and just abuse the songs, which lets you unlock more stuff and get achievements. It's hard to make an interesting "campaign" in a rhythm game, but this is as good as anyone's come up with.
Music: I was initially underwhelmed when I saw the complete track list, but playing through it converted me. A lot of the songs I wasn't familiar with (mostly the industrial stuff) have great note charts and are a blast to play. And I'm a sucker for the 80's metal. I could play Anthrax's "Indians" all day. "Money for Nothing" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" are also long-overdue pleasures to rhythm games.
2112: I'm calling this out because once I'd played through the entire thing in Quest mode, broken into 7 parts and with narration by the members of Rush, I felt like I'd got my money's worth. Granted, I have many fond memories tied to the album, so your mileage may vary, but this is another long-overdue addition to the GH library. (although like others, I'd like to see side 2 at some point.)
Engine: I've always preferred the GH engine over Rock Band's, as the HOPO system lets you nail ludicrous zigzaggy solos that will usually give people fits in RB. It still gets a little finicky when you want to strum notes that the game wants you to hammer out, but otherwise it works pretty well.
Difficulty: I've only played Expert Guitar, so I can't speak to lower difficulties or other instruments. The series has come a long way since GH1, as even the lowest tier songs are significantly harder than "I Love Rock and Roll." But the "easy" half of the setlist was still pretty forgiving on the fingers.
UI: I thought the interface was a disaster back in GHWT, but it feels cleaned up a lot since then and they've added some cool stuff. In particular, one of the previous games added a meter that showed you how close you were to the next star rating, and GH6 adds a second meter that shows you how deep into the song you are. I know it's a small thing and 99% of you won't care, but I've wanted this for years.
I've also found that I've been having issues with Rock Band 2, where the backgrounds are so distracting I have trouble seeing the notes scrolling down (I use hyperspeed, so that adds to it). I never have that issue with GH, even using Hyperspeed 2 or 3.
Characters: I'm still not a fan of GH's visual style, and the new characters they've introduced didn't really do much for me. I thought it was borderline creepy they way they introduce "Echo Tesla" and the camera lingers on her ass crack peeking out of her low rider jeans. The characters all undergo transformations through the campaign, but none of them really excited me a whole lot.
Customization: Rock Band still wins here as well. In fact, I think GH6 took a step back. I used to like switching outfits on different characters, but I can't seem to do that now, or at least not yet. You can unlock and customize your instruments, but the lighting is so awful that they all end up looking weird. One interesting thing is that you can import your Xbox avatars, but they look really out of place playing on stage with the GH characters. I'd rather have Rock Band's ability to create your own character.
Party Mode: You know, I forgot this existed and that you could have three people all playing Expert guitar together. Yay, no one gets stuck playing a different instrument when they all want to play guitar. And there's something ridiculously cool about watching three guitarists 100% Expert "Bat Country" right through the solo and watching the note streak tick over 2000.
GH Feed: This is a neat little ticker that shows you what all your friends are up to in GH WoR -- what tier they just finished, if they're in party mode, etc. It's the kind of thing you can open and close with a single button press, so it's never in the way.
Leaderboards: This is a huge disappointment to me. Really, the only stat that matters is a career leaderboard for each instrument, followed by song-specific leaderboards. But for some reason, GH6 has a zillion mini-boards that track stuff like most chords hit or more downstrums on various songs, and doesn't have career leaderboards for basic Quickplay.
DLC: I was surprised to find that GH6 automatically imported a bunch of stuff I'd forgotten I'd bought a while back. But far more important, it's possible to import almost the entirety of GH Metallica (for free if you do it this week), and there are also options to import stuff from Smash Hits, GHWT and GH5 (and Band Hero, if anyone bought it). It's a shame that Activision didn't get its DLC act together sooner, because there's a lot of stuff I bought for GH3 that I wish I could play in this engine.
Drums, Bass, Vocals, Band mode, competitive multiplayer: I haven't even touched this stuff yet. There's a lot of crap to play with.
There's every chance I'll enjoy Rock Band 3 more when it releases in a month, particularly because I'm looking forward to the keyboard stuff. But really, GH6 shouldn't be sold short -- I think it's a huge step up from GH4 and GH5 and an excellent game that probably deserves a little more praise than I suspect it's going to get.
Thanks for the info.
Rock band 3 is probably my most highly anticipated game still to be released this year. But I am still tempted to get this. If you get a chance to play the drums I'd be interested to hear your impressions.
Thanks for the info Sluggo! I'll be getting this i a few days, I am so looking forward to playing 2112. Well after GH:WT and GH5 that really was all I was looking forward to, but looks like they have stepped up and done some new stuff. I really like the different achievements for different songs, makes replaying stuff more fun.
Thanks sluggo. I hadn't planned on getting this, but you make it sound like fun. I may reconsider.
Going to see the boys this Saturday for the final show of the US tour. I may pick up the game just for 2112.
Originally Posted by sluggo
Be aware that if you turn on "auto kick drum" like I always did on Lego Rock Band for playing with my 6 yr old, it doesn't give you any Achievements (even though playing on Beginner, which is essentially the same thing but less interesting, does). Also because of the way the quest mode works, I couldn't find any way to start over short of playing on a different Xbox, which seemed a weird creative decision but also prevents you from ever getting any of the (quest related) Achievements you miss in said fashion.
That said, I've been enjoying it too. It seems like it has a lot of ways to earn "stars" just from playing in quickplay, which is cool.
Very nice and thorough review Sluggo. I've been so focused in anticipation for RB3 that I honestly didn't even notice this was out. The only GH that my group ever bothers with is the occasional playing of GH:Metallica. Are there any advantages or improvements to be had by importing and playing through the GH6 engine over GH:M? Also, you mention that you can import "almost" all the songs. Do you recall which ones don't make it?
I rented this just to play 2112. They've kind of blown the star system; my first couple of songs I got 7 and 10 stars, and I have no idea if that's good or bad. It seems to depend on your current character's special abilities. It doesn't really matter, because I realized that I tend to base my sense of success on the percentage of notes hit correctly rather than the stars.
I'm glad to hear the new guitar is good, because I didn't really like the GH 4 or 5 guitars. I'll probably play my Les Paul until it dies, though.
The meter that shows how far you are in the song is excellent. No more saving up star power only to have the song end. I hope the Rock Band team is paying attention and that it isn't too late for them to copy this.
This game is a perfect rental. I'll play through the songs once (maybe play 2112 a few more times) and wait for Rock Band 3.
The progress meter existed in Harmonix's GH pre-cursors Frequency and Amplitude, but was removed presumably to a) de-clutter the interface for multiplayer and b) reflect the performative aesthetic rather than a game-ish one.
Originally Posted by Cyrano
I'd be surprised if they re-introduced it, from a philosophical perspective.
Nice writeup sluggo. I'm sure the game is good. I thought GH5 was very good. The tracklist is what kept me from picking up GH6. I'll no doubt get it when it drops in price, as all GH games seem to do pretty quickly after launch.
i'm curious about the vocals in this because they were a deal breaker in ghwt. Both my wife and I can nail songs in RB2 on hard, but we fail out of the same song in ghwt on easy with no feedback about what were doing wrong. It doesn't work for me as a party game without that spot filled, unfortunately, so hopefully they've improved it.
A price drop is a pretty safe bet with the GH games these days. I dunno how low it'll go before Christmas, but come the new year, I'm sure you'll find it for $30 or $20 which will be a steal if you've got gaming downtime in the spring.
At some point, I need to check out the vocals as well. I was the 2nd person to FC all of Rock Band 2 Expert vocals, but I could never get into the GH version, and I'm curious to see if they've improved the interface.
As far as GH Metallica, 39/49 songs are available for import, but I don't have a list handy of which 10 didn't make the cut. For some reason, I was under the impression they were mostly non-Metallica songs -- every Metallica song I can think of on the list.
The other import prices are pretty nice as well. 69/85 tracks from GH5 for $6. 35 songs from GHWT for $3.50. 21 songs from Smash Hits for $2. You can even do 61 Band Hero songs for $5. I might actually go check out what the BH setlist is like, as I never played it and I'm sure it's dropped way down in price by now ($25 on Amazon).
One thing people have mentioned about the imports is that special mo-cap moves don't transfer over, so the Metallica performances look a little goofy in the GH6 engine with other characters playing them. A lot of moments in GH Metallica were specially choreographed, so I'm sure it'll look weird without them, but I guess it's understandable that it would take a lot more work to transfer that over and got skipped.
Oh, something I totally forgot to mention: the new GH6 guitar has no touch strip. Which doesn't bother me in the least, as used my Les Pauls exclusively for GH4-GH5-GHM-GHSH-GHVH. I never missed the touch strip a bit.
GH6 still supports using the touch strip in appropriate sections if you have one of the other guitars, and I think it was commendable that they tried something different, but I also think it was something that never really took off and I'm perfectly happy not having a guitar without a touch strip.
I always liked the crazy noise you got from long notes if you rubbed the strip at high speed instead of whammying....
Nice write up sluggo. I thought GH5 was great (and I prefer a lot of it to RB2, once you take away the massive track library). Perhaps I'll bin my xplorer and get the guitar pack on this one to go with my trusty GHWTar.
If you exported BH or GHWT to GH5 you don't have to buy another export license. They're available immediately. New in GH:WoR is that exported songs have challenges. Every song's got a challenge for each instrument, which is cool. In GH5 only the GH5 songs had challenges, and only one challenge per song.
I should also point out that us folks with GH:WoR are playing Bohemian Rhapsody RIGHT NOW.
I have to admit, I postponed Bohemian Rhapsody a while because I thought it was going to be too long and slow for my taste. For feats of guitar heroism, I tend to gravitate towards stuff that's short and fast. But I really liked the way they charted the piano stuff, and the solo is obviously epic. It's probably one of the highlight songs of the game.
To correct something I said above, I did find the create-a-rocker feature buried in one of the menus. I'd still consider Rock Band 2's to be better, and obviously RB3 is right around the corner, but you could spend a ton of time customizing a rocker in GH6 if you're so inclined.
2112 is absolutely fantastic. I had forgotten about the narration by Rush. The whole thing really took me back to hearing the album for the first time. There's some amazing guitar work in there too. It really might make this worth a purchase after a price drop.
In a month we will too with keyboard and harmonies. That said I do wish RB3 had more of the songs that are in the new GH. I'll pick this up when it goes on sale.
Originally Posted by chris369
Damn it. This is a huge sticking point for me. One of the reasons why GH:Metallica and GH:Aerosmith are the only two Neversoft GH games I could stand to play is that the characters didn't look like horrible abominations. (They looked like the actual band members).
Originally Posted by sluggo
I ended up renting this to take advantage of the window on the free GH:Metallica import. I'm impressed with what I've seen so far. About halfway through the set list, I think this could end up being the best GH game I've played since GH2. (I haven't played GH5 at all, nor any of the band-specific games, aside from Metallica).
I never thought I'd say this, but at this point, I think I actually prefer Guitar Hero note charts (strictly speaking for guitar) over Rock Band. It's nice to have songs that are chord heavy that are also fun to play and challenging. I still haven't gotten to the late tier tracks, which I'm sure are full of ridiculous button-mashing solos, but I've been pleasantly surprised by how fun most of the mid-tier tracks have been so far. There have been a few duds (Seven Nation Army, Interstate Love Song, Uprising, How You Remind Me), but much fewer than I expected.
Highlights for me so far have been 2112 (loved the presentation with the narration), that Blind Melon song, Children of the Grave, and Bohemian Rhapsody.
As much as I'm a fan of the shredding, I'm not crazy about the final few songs. I could play the Metallica stuff all day long, but I couldn't be less interested in playing the new Dragonforce song or a lot of the stuff in that last group.
On the plus side, that whole tier is completely ignorable if you're not into that stuff. The hardest songs you have to play in Quest mode are the Megadeth tracks with 4 powers active, you get the fina cutscene and credits, and then the bonus Demigod tier is completely optional.
[[minor "end boss" spoiler, I suppose]]
I finally survived that 2nd Megadeth song after like 3-4 tries, only to find out that I need 12 damn stars to beat it (I finished with 5). I guess I need to reconfigure my party or practice more or something. I didn't expect the 2nd song to be that much harder that the first when I was sorting out the parties, so I balanced them out probably more than I should have.
I like that there's a good challenge at the end, and it really is a well-done end sequence IMO, but couldn't they at least let me play some Snot and Dillinger Escape Plan in quick play until I get good enough to beat the game. Oh well, there's always hard mode.
So, is that last tier of Demigod songs (Dragonforce, Steve Vai, Children of Bodom, Snot, etc) locked in Quickplay until you beat Quest Mode? I zipped through Quest mode first so I never noticed if anything was locked -- I thought most of the game if not all was unlocked at first.
And if you get stuck on the Megadeth event, can you just lower the difficulty to Hard or Medium to finish it off and unlock the other stuff?
Also, if anyone's looking to get some band-related achievements done, post a note here and I'm happy to help. :)
Yeah, it says in the game the only way to unlock those songs is to advance in quest mode. Maybe there's a cheat code or something, I don't know.
When I failed the Megadeth song, it gave me a "lower difficulty" option, so I assume I can just go down to hard and unlock stuff without having to finish the rest of the game on that difficulty. I haven't tried it yet.
Quick play mode is cool. I like all the different ways to win. Maybe I can actually find a leaderboard category that I can win. It's tough when your only GH friend is sluggo.
Yeah, the various mini-leaderboards are nice when you're trying to improve your scores. Even if I'm the only person on a particular scoreboard (usually for DLC), I'll select myself and it'll display if I pass my old high score.
Delirium, I saw you beat me in a few random challenges like strumming and stuff. :)
I much prefer how Guitar Hero treats its guitar note charts to how Rock Band does it. I'll probably be picking this up. HOPO is a huge deal for me and I find that I can only play Rock Band a bit casually. I dont' really get into it as much.
There were still a ton of fun songs in GH5. Its probably second to GH2 as my fav.
I was actually fine with the special powers as long as they were one at a time for each character. At the end, though, when they were all combined, things got more than a little silly. With two shields, two ankhs, a snake and flames on the side of the note highway, green star power, and who knows what else, you basically can't fail. It felt like I definitely should have failed the Megadeth songs, but spamming the buttons and strum bar madly got me through.
I liked having the songs grouped by genre, and I was surprised how much I liked the songs overall. It seems like they picked quite a few less-famous songs based on how fun they are to play.
Just tried the Megadeth set again with a new party. This time, I managed to get 10 stars on the 2nd song. I could probably hit 12 with another tweak to my party (probably would swap in Ankh guy so I can get a few extra stars for not failing). But I decided I just wanted to unlock stuff, and dropped down to beat the game on hard.
Thanks to Neversoft for at least making it painless to drop the difficulty. I was able to switch it to Hard without having to replay the first Megadeth song, and then I could put it back on Expert for "Sudden Death".
Were I in a more financially friendly situation, I'd get this for 2112 alone.
That last tier is quite absurd. I never want to hear that John 5 song again, much less play it. Pure wankery. It's like one of those shitty "boss battle" tracks from GH3. I was actually bored button mashing my way through that terrible Dragonforce song. I thought the rest of that tier ranged from OK to good.
Other random comment: The scripted camera stuff in Bohemian Rhapsody can be hilarious. My band consisted of two normal game characters, one of the zombie hero guys, and a random Xbox live avatar. I was dying when they started acting out the shots from the music video where they're all standing there harmonizing together and trading lines.