This is a week old now but I only just spotted it - Activision have taken the unusual step of releasing an official Guitar Hero Flash game , which is embedded below.
It doesn’t play particularly well (but then neither did Guitar Hero 3 - zing!) but I guess when you consider the limitations of the medium what’s there is an achievement, and even so it’s fun that they did it. I’m trying to figure out who it’s aimed at though; anyone who digs Guitar Hero probably has it by now - hopefully they experienced GH1 & 2 rather than just the inferior GH3 - and I don’t think this effort is going to convince anyone who hasn’t tried the real thing by now, given that it feels rather imprecise, and the keyboard is unnatural. Anyone who’s played GH will know that even though it’s just a bit of plastic, the guitar controller makes all the difference - if it didn’t, we’d all be playing Frets on Fire instead.
Maybe it’s just a gimmick to get the GH brand a little extra publicity in advance of the European release of Rock Band. To be honest I find it hard to determine which direction the GH franchise is going in now, given that they’re now planning on ‘doing a Rock Band’ and releasing other instruments. This seems like an empty ‘me too’ gesture - really GH3’s only saving grace was that it appealed to hardcore guitar specialists who have evolved an extra knuckle on each finger, most other people felt it was an inferior experience to GH2, particularly if you’re into co-op / party play. So if they’re stepping away from that specialism, they’d better get their act together because I’m betting Harmonix will hang them out to dry on a level playing field.
In any case, Rock Band is finally out over here in just over 2 weeks so I probably won’t care what Activision does with GH for a while. Everyone in the press refers to GTAIV as ‘the’ game of 2008, but not in my house 😀The price still hurts, and I see some people are taking that frustration out on the Amazon review system, but damn, given the amount of pleasure co-op GH2 has given us in the last year and that Rock Band looks even better, I’m confident it’s going to be worth it.