Among those who are considered your typical gamers, there is a select breed that lives and breathes phrases like Star Power and Career Mode, while simultaneously cursing Nuno Bettencourt for writing the solo in Play With Me. It all comes down to a deep infatuation with Guitar Hero
, a video game that has allowed many a closeted rocker to take the stage - or at least look cool on your living room carpet. What may have started out as a cult hit back in 2005 has exploded to sell millions of units, all the while inspiring Guitar Hero-themed parties across the nation.
The furor is once again about to begin with the Oct. 28 release of Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock
, an installment that promises to up the ante technologically and musically. Along with some big names attached to the project (Slash, Tom Morello, and Bret Michaels), GH III
will also deliver some creatively wicked new ways to challenge the best of the best. So if you think that Play With Me on Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks The 80s
was a walk in the park, there's a little thing called Battle Power in Legends Of Rock that should give you the swift kick in the pants that you desire.
In charge of the development this time around is the company Neversoft, which has been responsible for such games as GUN and Tony Hawk's American Wasteland in the past. Neversoft's lead designer Alan Flores
gave Ultimate Guitar writer Amy Kelly
an inside look at what to expect with Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock, and let's just say that many of us won't be leaving our PS3 and Xbox systems for a long, long time.
UG: The latest Guitar Hero installment has some heavy hitters in the rock world involved, namely Slash, Tom Morello, and Bret Michaels. How did those musicians originally get involved with the project?
With Slash and Tom Morello, we were looking for some real life guitar heroes to be the first bosses in the game. They were two guys who were really high up on our wish list of guitarists, and fortunately for us they were both huge fans of the game. Once they found out we were interested, they were totally enthusiastic and brought a lot to the game.
Bret Michaels was a bit different. Aaron, one of the producers here is a good friend of a guy who plays guitar in the Bret Michaels Band. We needed someone to do motion capture moves for the singer in the game, and we asked Bret if he'd do it. He was really into the idea and said yes. Then to top it off we figured we would include him in the game as a guest singer.
Have you noticed more and more bands singing the praises of Guitar Hero?
|"It seems like everywhere you look there is some new band that is addicted to the game."|
Yeah, it's pretty cool. It seems like everywhere you look there is some new band that is addicted to the game, which really helps when you ask artists to be a part of the game. If they are fans of the game, then they're in.
When did Neversoft become the new developer behind the series?
I believe it was around E3 2006. Neversoft's president, Joel Jewett, sat down with the Huang brothers from RedOctane at the bar and told them how much we loved Guitar Hero and how we had big parties in the back of our studio every Friday and played the game. So when RedOctane was looking for a new developer, they came to us and asked if we'd be into it. The rest is history.
Did Neversoft take a different approach than Harmonix did in the development?
Well, I don't really know what their approach to the game was, so I can't really speak to that. I will say that we tried to deliver a genuine Guitar Hero experience and stay true to the series.
Are there new controllers available? I understand there is one that features a removable neck.
Yes, for the Xbox360, PS3, and Wii versions there will be wireless Les Pauls. And for the PS2, we have a wireless Kramer guitar. The guitars have removable necks for greater portability, plus it gives the player the option to switch to a different neck. Who knows, down the line we may add different styles of necks - longer necks, necks with extra buttons, etc.
Also, the guitars have removable faceplates, which will allow the player to customize their guitar look. Players can paint the faceplates, melt them down, glue bottle caps to them, whatever they like. There will also be various collectible faceplates available at launch with exclusive artwork.
Talk a bit about the new addition of Guitar Battle.
Guitar Battle is a fun new addition to the game. It's for players who want a more competitive mode of play. It's inspired by the guitar duel between Steve Vai and Ralph Macchio at the end of the movie Crossroads. Players face off against each other in a song, but instead of getting Star Power, they get Battle Power, which gives the players power-ups that they can use to attack their opponent. Some of the power-ups available include amp overload, which will shake your opponent's highway and make it harder for him to hit notes; difficulty-up, which will up his difficulty; lefty flip, which will give your opponent lefty notes, and more. It's a pretty fun mode of play for people who want to mess up their opponent.
Is there an official song list and can we expect hidden songs?
(See bottom of article for a full list)
This year there are over 70 songs in the game with some of the biggest artists in the music industry, such as Metallica, Aerosmith, Rage Against the Machine, The Rolling Stones, and even the Sex Pistols re-united to give us a track. Also, there are over 20 bonus songs with lots of great stuff in there as well, like The Stone Roses, Killswitch Engage, and DragonForce.
In order to do co-op play in Career Mode, will all songs need to be unlocked to get the full choice of songs?
This year we tried a different approach to the co-op play. We blew the co-op play out into a full co-op career. Now co-op players will be able to go through their own story with cool animated cut-scenes done by Titmouse (the guys who make Metalocalypse) and play the best co-op songs in the game and unlock special co-op encore songs like Suck My Kiss from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Xbox players have had an option to download new songs. Is it possible that those options will be available to other systems in the future?
|"Down the line we may add different styles of necks - longer necks, necks with extra buttons, etc."|
Yes, we are definitely doing downloadable songs for the PS3. As for the Wii, only time will tell.
Fans of the game can sign up to be part of the GH community, which allows them some special perks. What are some of the extras available to them?
The website guitarhero.com
will really take the community aspect of the game to the next level. Players can sign up and start a tour group with their friends and track statistics for songs they've played. They can also earn groupies for doing activities and eventually get into the Hall of Fame. There will also be tournaments and special community events that will allow players to win prizes like T-shirts, faceplates, posters, etc.
There are plenty of players who host Guitar Hero parties/tournaments of their own. Can we expect to have some official tournaments hosted by the makers of Guitar Hero III in the coming year?
Absolutely! In addition, players will be able to use the Rock Radius on guitarhero.com
to see if there are any tournaments or events in their area.
Is online play an option?
Yes, all of the multiplayer modes, face-off, pro face-off, battle, co-op will be available online.
There's been some talk that DS will be getting its own version of Guitar Hero? Is that true?
There has definitely been some talk about a DS version. I hope so, and I would love to play it.
What is the retail cost of Guitar Hero III?
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (bundled with a guitar) will retail for $99.99 on the Xbox 360 and PS3, and $89.99 for the Wii and PS2.
What is your impression of the new game Rock Band?
I haven't gotten a chance to play it. But I look forward to giving it a shot.
Are you already starting to gather ideas for the 4th installment?
Well, we have plenty of ideas of where we can take the franchise. As for whether or not we are working on a 4th installment, I can't really say right now. Check back with us in 6 months.
Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock Songlist
3's And 7's - Queens Of The Stone Age
Anarchy In The U.K. - The Sex Pistols
Avalancha - Heroes Del Silencio
Barracuda - Heart
Before I Forget - Slipknot
Black Magic Woman - Santana
Black Sunshine - White Zombie
Bulls On Parade - Rage Against The Machine
Can't Be Saved - Senses Fail
Cherub Rock - Smashing Pumpkins
Cities On Flame - Blue Oyster Cult
Cliffs Of Dover - Eric Johnson
Closer - Lacuna Coil
Cult Of Personality - Living Colour
Devil Went Down To Georgia (Guitar Battle Vs. Lou) - Steve Ouimette
Don't Hold Back - The Sleeping
Down 'N Dirty - LA Slum Lords
Evenflow - Pearl Jam
Generation Rock - Revolverheld
Go That Far - Bret Michaels Band
Helicopter - Bloc Party
Hier Kommt Alex - Die Toten Hosen
Hit Me With Your Best Shot - Pat Benatar
Holiday In Cambodia - The Dead Kennedys
I'm In The Band - The Hellacopters
Impulse - An Endless Sporadic
In Love - Scouts Of St. Sebastian
In The Belly Of A Shark - Gallows
Knights Of Cydonia - Muse
Kool Thing - Sonic Youth
La Grange - ZZ Top
Lay Down - Priestess
Mauvais Garcon - Naast
Metal Heavy Lady - Lions
Minus Celsius - Backyard Babies
Miss Murder - AFI
Mississippi Queen - Mountain
Monsters - Matchbook Romance
My Curse - Killswitch Engage
My Name Is Jonas - Weezer
Nothing For Me Here - Dope
Number Of The Beast - Iron Maiden
One - Metallica
Paint It Black - The Rolling Stones
Paranoid - Black Sabbath
Prayer Of The Refugee - Rise Against
Pride And Joy - Stevie Ray Vaughn
Radio Song - Superbus
Raining Blood - Slayer
Reptilia - The Strokes
Rock N Roll All Nite - KISS
Rock You Like A Hurricane - The Scorpions
Ruby - Kaiser Chiefs
Sabotage - The Beastie Boys
Same Old Song And Dance - Aerosmith
School's Out - Alice Cooper
She Bangs The Drums - The Stone Roses
Slash Original Boss Battle Recording
Slowride - Foghat
Story Of My Life - Social Distortion
Suck My Kiss - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Sunshine Of Your Love - Cream
Take This Life - In Flames
Talk Dirty To Me - Poison
The Metal - Tenacious D
The Seeker - The Who
The Way It Ends - Prototype
Through The Fire And Flames - DragonForce
Tom Morello Original Boss Battle Recording
Welcome To The Jungle - Guns N' Roses
When You Were Young - The Killers