“Guitar Hero”: Already Over?

Mar 20th, 2008 // 13 Comments

Will getting together with your friends for the purpose of being in a plastic cover band be the first 2007 trend to fall by the wayside? The answer: Maybe! Our pals at MetalSucks have some anecdotal info: “Plastic guitars sit in corners of my friends’ apartments rarely used. Occasionally the ‘Hero comes out for some drunken fun, but for the most part this trend seems to have passed; people have had their fill. And frankly, I have to agree that at this point Guitar Hero seems quite passé.” And the introduction of Guitar Hero for the Nintendo DS–which seems to me more an exercise in trying to extend the barriers of antisociability–may very well be the final news item to propel the anti-Hero movement; many of the people who forwarded me that particular announcement appended a “WTF???” to it. Whether or not this will lead to parties where people actually talk to one another coming back into vogue is uncertain, but either way, I’m sure Steven Tyler is not happy at all. [MetalSucks]

  1. westartedthis

    “guitar hero” is over because the companies currently controlling the franchise have no clue why it was popular in the first place and have been diminishing the quality of each successive release.

    “rock band” (by one of the companies originally behind guitar hero) is infinitely more fun and more social and has been a fucking smash at every party i’ve hosted/attended since it came out.

  2. DrWorm

    Yep, while Guitar Hero has gained most of the press, Rock Band is really where all the activity is. It helps that they’ve been releasing 3+ new songs a week. Guitar Hero’s extra songs have been both lacking and lackluster.

  3. Lucas Jensen

    I really dont think its sales reflect any sort of backlash except amongst the grumpier types (aka bloggers).

  4. Maura Johnston

    @Lucas Jensen: omg, did you just call me GRUMPY??? you will pay for that, mister!

  5. queensissy

    @westartedthis: Are you a fellow Sunnyvalian, perchance?

  6. David R.

    @AcidReign: Wait, did this comment on the played-out real/fake instrument divide get cross-posted from Kotaku or something?

  7. Hamm Beerger

    @AcidReign: You redeemed yourself with the second comment. I’m so tired of the “you should be playing a real guitar” argument because it doesn’t make any sense. Why can’t kids play both? And why can’t Guitar Hero be a gateway to real guitar?

    If I was a teenager (or if I just had more free time and money) I think this game would have convinced me to buy an instrument. I want to learn to play all the music, like Man or Astro-man?, that they’ll never, ever release in a game.

  8. rich36

    I play both. I play guitar in a band but I have a blast getting behind the kit on Rock Band. Unfortunately, I’m terrible at both real drums and the Rock Band version. It’s a lot of fun though.

  9. AcidReign

        No, not really. Heck, my dad’s generation thought that Fenders and Gibsons were fake guitars; toys. (RE-yull men don’t NEED no amps and itty-bitty strangs!) The point is, that without Guitar Hero, the noise and antique wood ‘n’ wire implements I own would be meaningless to the young ‘uns of today. Not to mention GNR…

        Whatever gets kids interested in music is pretty cool. And my point was certainly not to say that the plastic controller isn’t an instrument, either. It’s essentially a rhythm instrument, with an audio chip handling the pitch.

        Ultimately, a significant number of folks either burn out and lose interest in a music phenomenon, or it evolves. Same for Pop music, same for video games.

  10. Kimona

    Guitar Hero 3 = hardcore game that appeals largely to the competitive spirit. If you want to progress, you have to compete. Developer = guys who made the Tony Hawk games and GUN.

    Rock Band = co-op game that just plain makes you feel good – especially when you get to “save” bandmates. Developer = guys who did Guitar Hero 1 and 2.

    Guitar Hero 4 = all Aerosmith, all the time. Rock Band = download new, wildly different songs every week.

    Guess which one I play.

  11. sloanish

    AcidReign, if you’re over 15, don’t you know that Rock Band can/will smash even real guitars? Who wants to practice six years when I can thrash My Iron Lung? Kids should still be playing real shit though while their brains are sponges.

  12. gap_tooth

    According to last month’s NPD numbers, Wii and PS2 together sold over 400,000 untils of Guitar Hero 3. Though we can’t see exact numbers because the sales didn’t make the top ten, I would wager that including the PS3 and Xbox 360 would put that number right around half a million. Those are some pretty strong sales figures for a dying fad.

  13. AcidReign

        Real guitars trump plastic controllers, every time. I had my cousin, his wife, and 4 grade-school-aged children over Christmas night, and a whole new generation of kids saw my guitars. Full of Christmas cheer, and under prodding from kids and adults alike, I showed ‘em how to play the GNR opening riff from “Sweet Child of Mine.”

        Judging from followup emails, it seems I’ve passed along something even worse than my alcohol habit. The kids have been practicing, and the parents are now so sick of that riff that they hid all of the guitar cords in the house…

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