We have a great contest running now for fans of Cypress Hill and Guitar Hero games.
West Coast legends Cypress Hill have teamed up with andPOP.com, Activision and Skull Candy to give fans the chance to win the following:
- A RARE RISE UP FLAG, FROM THE BAND’S PERFORMANCE ON JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE, AUTOGRAPHED BY CYPRESS HILL, TOM MORELLO OF RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE AND JOHN DOLMAYAN OF SYSTEM OF A DOWN.
- A DJ HERO SET (FOR CONSOLE OF CHOICE)
- A GUITAR HERO SET (FOR CONSOLE OF CHOICE)
- A COPY OF THE CYPRESS HILL’S NEWLY RELEASED ALBUM RISE UP
FIVE RUNNERS UP WILL BE SELECTED TO RECEIVE A LTD EDITION RISE UP ARTWORK LITHOGRAPH, SIGNED BY CYPRESS HILL, WITH A COPY OF RISE UP, PLUS A PAIR OF NOISE-ISOLATING “SMOKIN’ BUDS” FROM SKULLCANDY.
To enter the contest, click here.
Contest ends June 17th, 2010.
Put Your Hands Up Here Comes My DJ!
In an industry that has been said to be over saturated with peripherals for rhythm games do we really need a plastic turntable? People that don’t enjoy the gentle musings of Children of Bodom and Metallica would have to say: Yes!
Activision and FreeStyleGame’s DJ Hero is a game that still has you making coloured circles disappear much like previous Guitar Hero games but adds in the new functionality of scratching and cross-fader manipulation. Does DJ Hero have the replay value and fun factor to have it stand beside Guitar Hero though? In the words of Flava Flav, “CHECK THIS OUT!”
After last week’s amazing DLC 3 pack of Gwar, Marilyn Manson, and The Misfits is there any better way to follow it up than offering a new game featuring Taylor Swift and Adam Levine? Heck no!
Move aside, guitar, there’s a new Hero taking over the video game world: the turntable.
Video game creator Activision has released the much-anticipated massive set list for the DJ Hero video game, which comes out on Oct. 27, according to CHARTattack.
The game features 93 exclusive mixes by some of the industry’s top DJs, including Cut Chemist, DJ Shadow, and the late DJ AM. On the game these DJs slice up songs by artists such as Daft Punk, The Killers, Jay-Z, Public Enemies, and the Beastie Boys.
DJ Hero aims to expand on the technology used in video games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band. The game will use a turntable controller to help immerse players into DJ culture. It will give aspiring DJs the chance to learn DJ techniques including sampling, crossfading, and scratching.
No tricks here folks just treats as Guitar Hero rolls out a fine month of DLC for Guitar Hero 5.
It all starts with a Queens Of The Stone Age Pack featuring three tracks from their debut album, with Dave Grohl being featured on Avon you know it’s going to be a blast on drums. The week after that we get three tracks from Billy Squier with “The Stroke” which funny enough was the first Guitar Hero custom ever! Coming up next is Mike Patton’s favourite band Wolfmother featuring three tracks from their forthcoming album Cosmic Egg. Read more…
In early 2006 Harmonix split ways with the Guitar Hero series and went off with MTV to create Rock Band leaving Activision to contract Neversoft to re-build the game that Harmonix arguably perfected. This move marked the day that split the plastic instrument community right down the middle.
While some people saw no problem with the direction that Guitar Hero went in there is a hardcore contingency of people that would like nothing more than to see Guitar Hero vanish into obscurity and let Harmonix’s Rock Band franchise rule supreme. It has been said that ever since Rock Band was released Guitar Hero has been scrambling to avoid doing just that by “ripping off” Rock Band any chance they get. Well if that’s the case then on September 1st, 2009 they finally caught up. Read more…
Ah, Twitter, where would we be without you.
In the first of today’s Twitter-leaked news stories, Courtney Love spilled the virtual beans last week about her outrage over the new Kurt Cobain Guitar Hero avatar.
“FOR THE RECORD, I DID NOT APPROVE KURTS AVATAR FOR GUYITARHERO5. i think Kurt would despise this game alone let alone this avatar,” she wrote.
Then came the more telling post: “We are going to sue the shit out of Activision we being the Trust the Estate the LLC the various LLCs Cobain Enterprises.”
Activision has since responded in a less-mouthy fashion.
“Guitar Hero secured the necessary licensing rights from the Cobain estate in a written agreement signed by Courtney Love to use Kurt Cobain’s likeness as a fully playable character in Guitar Hero® 5,” according to Pitchfork.
I still remember the summer when Guitar Hero 2 came out. It was a summer not unlike this one. The sun was hot and the air was clear, but I did not go outside. I stayed in and worked my way through career mode on medium, then hard, and then expert. Would you believe, I started impressing girls with my button-shredding abilities?
Video game fans, take my advice. Stay in this season and hone your fake guitar skills with Activision’s Guitar Hero: Smash Hits. Some may scoff at this newest entry, a compilation of the greatest hits from previous guitar hero releases, but the core gameplay remains tight and challenging as ever. The tracks have been taken from Guitar Heroes 1, 2 and 3, with entries from Rock the 80′s and Aerosmith. All of the tracks are now playable by the whole band – guitar, bass, vocals and drums – just as in Guitar Hero World Tour. The selection features lots of reliable favourites, but like the rest of the series there’s a heavy weighting on classic rock and metal. Read more…
In a move sure to delight and anger plastic instrument enthusiasts everywhere Kurt Cobain has been included in Guitar Hero 5 alongside living rockers Santana, Matt Bellamy, Shirley Manson and deceased Johnny Cash.
The addition of Kurt Cobain gives us two never before used Nirvana tracks in a Guitar Hero or Rock Band video game, “Lithium (live)” and the holy grail *drum roll* “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.
One has to wonder how much money Courtney Love made off this little foray but in any event I’m excited to take my flannel jacket out of the closet and rock out come September 1st.
Encore once more…
You know what’s funny? I did a bit of digging around before I got down to writing my review and realized that the DS version of Guitar Hero has seen its third offering in about a years time. So you know it’s been selling relatively well to merit a sequel and since the Guitar Hero Brand is popular there is no stopping this juggernaut on any platform. Despite that it’s a bit too quick to be releasing so many sequels if you ask me.
With Activition’s third offering for the DS we dive into the basic same game with a different playlist and more broad approach to single player progression. Save for a few key setbacks this has become my favorite Guitar Hero title on the DS simply because of the aforementioned feature and playlist.
Now andPOP has reviewed the previous iterations so for a full understanding I will kindly ask you to refer to those in depth reviews to get a broader understanding of the game.
I find it funny that this game actually took physical form, it couldn’t be download only on the DS, but had they gone that way I wouldn’t be surprised since that’s the amount of content that’s packed within the cart. That’s not to say it’s not worth a pick up if you are a huge fan of the series on the DS but if you’ve played and owned the previous two versions than you’ve essentially played the third. Now if you don’t have any of the DS incantations then this is the version you have to pick up. Read more…
Finally the last 15 songs have been revealed for Guitar Hero 5, and September 1st is fast approaching. Included in the list is the coveted “Smells Like Teen Spirit” that Rock Band couldn’t seem to get for their Nevermind DLC, Dire Strait’s “Sultan’s of Swing” a highly requested classic song with an amazing call and response guitar solo sure to delight people everywhere, a Muse song which isn’t just fast strumming the majority of the time, and a Megadeth song which has a relatively tame solo.
Of course this game isn’t just about guitar anymore so vocalists get ready to be destroyed by Queen & David Bowie’s “Under Pressure” along with Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” and drummers prepare to fail Arctic Monkey’s “Brianstorm” over and over.
One thing is for sure September is going to be a big month for carpal tunnel and future arthritis. Read more…
If you’re a fan of plastic instruments but can’t get into wearing spiked bracelets and headbanging to Children of Bodom perhaps the forthcoming DJ Hero will be more akin to your tastes. DJ Hero which is released in October 2009 for PlayStation 3, PS2, Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii will finally tap into the giant market of people that don’t enjoy Guitar Driven music such as hip-hop, R&B, pop, rock and electronica.
DJ Hero delivers them all with over 100 individual songs, highlighted in over 80 unique never-before-released mixes.
Now chances are if you are interested in DJ Hero you are most likely a fan of two of the biggest names in hip-hop, Eminem and Dr. Dre, well boy does DJ Hero have something for you!
Presenting the DJ Hero Renegade Edition!
DJ Hero Renegade Edition includes:
* DJ Hero game
* Renegade turntable controller featuring premium metal controls
* Hardshell turntable carrying case that converts to
performance-ready DJ stand
* Exclusive JAY-Z and EMINEM 2-CD pack featuring unreleased tracks
and collectible case designed by artist Shepard Fairey
Unfortunately no “Chronic” is included though- maybe DJ Hero 2 featuring Snoop Dogg- hizzle.
Unveiling 24 more songs to Guitar Hero 5′s massive 85 song list (not including new songs added for download in the future) Activision gives a taste of their variety in this upcoming title by announcing such hits as Iron Maiden’s “2 minutes to midnight”, Rush’s “The Spirit of Radio” (an exclusive live recording), No Doubt’s “Ex-Girlfriend” and much much more.
That’s not the big news that excites me however as not only will GH5 feature the unreleased single “Medicate” from AFI’s upcoming album Crash Love (available in game before the album’s release) but also Two legendary acts will join forces for the greater good of the global gaming… group. Read more…
This week We get to see two new Guitar Hero games hit store shelves. First off is Guitar Hero Smash Hits, which basically takes 48 tracks from Guitar Hero, Guitar Hero II, Guitar Hero encore rocks the 80′s, and Guitar Hero III: Legends of rock but now opens them up for the entire band set up. So the once guitar only tracks have full fledged support of the mics, drums and well.. the usual guitar and bass. Guitar Hero Smash Hits is now available for Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2.
The other title hitting stores now is a DS exclusive and is Guitar Hero on Tour: Modern Hits. Providing a new non linear career progression, new multi-player modes, and a new fan request mode. With 28 new tracks it’s another reason to be jamming on your DS.
With the upcoming release of Guitar Hero 5, Activision is pulling out all the stops in getting the fans on board. An online scavenger hunt is underway that will send fans across websites, TV and other media. The prize – 5 tickets to 5 concerts featuring bands included in the new game. Fans can check out the GH5 site for current updates on the bands that have been announced already, as well as information on upcoming announcements.
As for the game itself, it looks like… well, a Guitar Hero game. I mean, what exactly has changed? There are a few new features to the game, though. You can now actually play with multiple instruments of the same type – vocals, guitar, bass or drums. So less arguments about who gets to play what… meaning less entertainment for those of us who don’t play Guitar Hero watching those who do fight over the drum set. Ah, party drama.
After Guitar Hero: Aerosmith fell as a bust, I was extremely hesitant to pick and try a guitar hero title based on one of my favourite metal bands, but through my loyalty of both the game and the band, I figured I’d give it a shot, after all, Metallica would never sell out, right? (that was a joke). Guitar Hero: Metallica (GH:M) delivers everything it promised. Open for the band, play with the band, be the band. While presentation, music, graphics, and extras are all phenomenal (and all that are important to the Guitar Hero brand); I still felt a little off about GH: M, more the vibe I get from the band itself than anything else. GH:M promised us three things. A kick ass sound track, a real feel for what the band does almost nightly while on tour, and visuals that rival a live concert. In all three sections, GH:M meets expectations and does it with flair.
Songs by five bands will be released for download in April for Guitar Hero World Tour. Guitar Hero World Tour combines advanced wireless controllers, online and offline gameplay modes. The guitar and drum controllers and wired microphones have been redesigned.
A free download of the Guitar Hero Metallica demo will be available today on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace.
The demo allows for players to play Metallica hits like “Sad But True” and “Seek And Destroy.” Songs from Alice In Chains and Queen were picked as guest acts by Metallica. Players can choose from gameplay modes like single-player, band quickplay, head-to-head, face-off, pro face-off and battle.
Guitar Hero: Decades is the second release from Activision for the distribution of portable guitar rocking goodness on the Nintendo DS. I wouldn’t really call this a sequel, but rather, an expansion to Guitar Hero: On Tour as some small aspects were improved, but really, it’s the exact same as On Tour with a new set list. The guitar grip that comes with Decades is the same as On Tour, the plectrum stylus is similar (longer touching point on the Decades one but doesn’t fit into grip container as well) and the layout is very similar to On Tour. All these aside, I felt Decades had a much stronger ‘story’ to it than any other past Guitar Hero title (aside from Guitar Hero: Aerosmith). Another extra added to Decades is the ability to play wirelessly with someone that has On Tour, allowing them to try the new songs as well as you to play the old songs.
For those that haven’t had a chance to check out the Guitar Hero: On Tour review on andPOP.com, the game plays the same as Activision’s past title, plug in the custom guitar grip into the GBA slot of your DS (with an expander if you’re using an older DS), strap it to your hand and play the keys using this grip while you strum and fiddle with the whammy bar on the touch screen and yell into the microphone to activate star power. Now, in On Tour, this sounded good on paper, but in practice, it never really worked out. The grip never felt right, the four buttons were too close together and didn’t line up with my fingers, the grip would constantly fall out of the DS (making you restart the entire system) and strumming isn’t always as precise as I would like. All these issues are still present in Decades as it seems they didn’t change their controls and peripherals at all.
The graphics are exactly the same as Guitar Hero: On Tour, decent for a DS, but not worth paying attention to.
Now onto the sound, the backbone of any music game. This game sounds fantastic, decent through the speakers, and amazing through a nice set of headphones. The set list is broken down into decades (hence the name) starting with the modern music set down to the groovy 70’s each set takes influential tracks (all original, no covers) from those sets of 10 years. My favourite part of this game is that because the game takes songs from different years, it ensures a variety of music types for all music fans.
Decades still has the same career mode feel (although with more of a story and character development than On Tour) and the ever fun duel mode but other than that, the only real addition was the dull rhythm/bass career mode option. Unlockables give players something to strive for, new venues, costumes, and guitars keep completionists busy but in the end this is still just a track pack. If you were a fan of the last Guitar Hero for the DS (which only came out less than half a year ago) go check Decades out, if you couldn’t handle the strain and pain of the first one, this is more of the same. Great set list for the most part as well.
Replay Value: 3.0/5
First impressions only come once, and while they are always the longest lasting thoughts on something, they can always be altered after a little time. This is true for Guitar Hero: On Tour for the Nintendo DS. Published by Red Octane and developed by Vicarious Visions, this late June released portable title is definitely anything but an impression.
Nintendo has always been the king of peripherals on their systems, from the Power glove, fishing rods, and the Balance board to this next step in unique control, the Guitar Hero: On Tour guitar grip. Perhaps GH:OT could have just been played with the stylus and buttons, but where’s the fun in that? With this $50 DS game, you get the software, a stylus pick, an adapter (in case you still have an older DS unit), some stickers, and the new guitar grip you plug into the GBA slot and strap to your hand. It’s kind of hard to explain but imagine having four of the five guitar hero fret buttons sticking out of the bottom of your DS.
Now, I mentioned earlier about first impressions, when I got GH:OT to review, I popped it into my DS and went to a party without even turning the system on. Conversation turned to gaming and I mentioned I had Guitar Hero in my back pocket. The crowd went silent as I whipped my unit out of my pants and showed them the goods (alright, minds out of the gutter, please). One after another they took turns playing it and for this reason, before I even played the game myself, I had an outsider’s perspective. Five people tried the game and they all came out with the same verdict. Everything was cool, graphics, sound, control, song choice, everyone was having a blast. But at a certain point, almost like clockwork they all succumbed to the same fate; it began with a cramp in their hand, then a bunch of songs they didn’t like, then the guitar grip would begin to pull itself out of the DS, then they pretty much just fall apart and pass it to the next person. Within an hour, five people had grown tired of Guitar Hero: On tour… and these are people that love guitar hero’s past games.
The layout of this pint-sized Guitar Hero offers much more than one would expect in a portable port. To begin with, there are all the options found in an average Guitar Hero game. Players have the option to make a lefty flip turning the entire DS around and playing with your left hand, we also have the option of flipping the colours when in lefty mode if we want it that way. Microphone sensitivity and volume adjustments are also available (you can turn the volume up to 11, that’s 1 higher than 10!). On the upper screen (which, when playing Guitar Hero would be your left screen) you see the band rocking in the background (same singers as Guitar Hero 3 and a hairy chested monster drummer), the guitar neck complete with scrolling fret buttons are prominently placed in the foreground. On the bottom screen (touch screen / right screen when playing this game) we have everything else included in your average Guitar Hero game: the body of the guitar where you strum your pick stylus to make your music, as well, here we find the whammy bar, your score multiplier, star power indicator and your overall score. This seems like a bit much as your eyes will almost always be focused on the top screen, you rarely see your multiplier or score. It actually took me 30 minutes of playing the game before I even noticed they were on the screen the whole time.
Guitar Hero is all about one thing, the music, and with such small speakers, people were afraid the audio aspect of this game would be hurt much like the cell phone Guitar Hero game. Fortunately though, and I’m not quite sure how they did it, Guitar Hero: On Tour sounds fantastic through those tiny DS speakers, and even better through some nice headphones. The songs are crisp, the vocals and guitar clear and while the whammy bar feels like it doesn’t actually vary between ‘on’ and ‘off’, the guitar effects are still pretty nice for what it is. In terms of song lists, I must admit, Guitar Hero didn’t leave a lot of genres out of the mix. While this rendition of Guitar Hero had my least favourite play list so far in the series, I enjoyed the new songs never played in a GH title before.
Graphically, it IS a portable game, and we can’t really expect much, basically the same models and graphics are used in this as the PS2 version… just DS-atized. This game has a lot of the same vibe and feel, quick movements and fluid motions with minimal detail. Think more along the lines of Nintendo 64 or Playstation graphics, crammed into a smaller set of screens and you get the idea.
Now onto what most of you are probably the most curious about, the controls. Needless to say, this is one of the more bizarre accessories to grace the Nintendo world, but it definitely enhances the overall feel of the game. Holding the system and add-on with your left hand gripping the bottom half of the DS and having your fingers resting on the buttons sticking out the bottom of the system, you use your right hand to strum up and down on the touch screen while pressing buttons as they come across the neck on the top screen. While this may sound confusing, once you try it out, you will understand what I mean and agree when I say this feels like Guitar Hero through and through. To activate star power, you can yell into the microphone, or if you’re in public and feel a little insecure (which you probably wouldn’t if you’re playing this game in public in the first place), you can push any of the face buttons to activate your star power. While this is all good and fun, I had a few issues with the controls. Like most other people, I got the cramps. After about an hour of play either my thumb or my pinky would cramp up and make it harder and more painful to play, usually a ten minute break would take care of this. Secondly, what really annoyed me was that the game requires you to have the Guitar Hero guitar grip add-on plugged in to play, with past Guitar Hero games, you had the option of playing using your controller instead of the guitar (aside from the Wii version). In this one, if the grip is not plugged in, you cannot even access the menu, with Jam Sessions (another guitar based game on the DS) you were able to use the D-pad to play notes while strumming, why can’t you do the same here? As well, with my DS unit, every once in a while the add-on would just pop itself off, especially during the tougher solos in which I may rock out a little too hard.
To keep us busy, Guitar Hero: On Tour offers plenty to do. To begin with we have 25 songs in the game, plus a bonus unlockable song after you beat the guitar dual career mode. This dual career mode, aside from the normal career mode included in this game, is pretty much a single player battle series with new attacks. These attacks use the DS in new ways, if your string is cut, re string your guitar with the stylus, if your guitar’s on fire, blow it out with the microphone, things of that nature. Think Career mode meets multiplayer battle mode… but alone. There are also six characters to choose from including new Memphis Belle and Gunner Jackson. While all these characters play the same, it’s for visual appeal that you might choose one character over another. The characters also have alternative costumes to unlock and purchase in game. Players have the option to unlock new guitars and new skins for those guitars to give a little more customization to the mix. Finally if all these extras aren’t enough to satisfy you, there is also a wireless LAN multiplayer option, giving you the opportunity to have a guitar duel against your friend (or rock enemy) in any song you’ve already unlocked.
Over all there is enough in this title to keep you happy on long road trips or when the power goes out, with a decent sized play list, a variety of genres represented, multiple difficulties, unlockables, and a multiplayer option, you are definitely going to be having a cramped hand for a long time to come. While some songs have appeared in past Guitar Hero games, I forgive them, after all, it’s not like they’re all repeats or that bad anyways. Guitar Hero: On Tour for the Nintendo DS is as close as we are going to get to a true portable representation of Guitar Hero for a long time to come, so enjoy, and who knows, maybe new set lists will be released in the future, with or without the guitar grip.
Graphics: 2.5 / 5.0
Game play: 3.5 / 5.0
Sound: 4.5 / 5.0
Replay value: 3.0 / 5.0