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Guitar Hero Live vs Rock Band 4 - GameSpot's The LobbyGameSpot's Justin Haywald, Chris Watters, and Mike Mahardy talk about the pros and cons from the latest Guitar Hero and Rock Band games, and who they think is currently coming out on top.
This Fall we've got the Rock Band games, the Guitar Hero games, they're all coming back in a big way. Guitar Hero Live versus Rock Band four, we are here to check in on which one is leading the pack in sort of the mid-Summer stretch on route to a Fall release. Mike Mahardy and Justin Haywald, thank you guys for joining me. Thanks for having us. I've got a couple of plastic rock superstars over here from what I've seen you might say that I mean, I have toured the world living rooms fans by the millions basements, all around [LAUGH] I'm a rock God you might say we got a chance to play some Guitar Hero Live last week, they brought it by and we got to strum away. It was my first time with the new guitar, very cool sort of You know, three buttons as opposed to five right in a row, and I think that sort of as the release of these games starts to loom closer and closer, the old rivalry is back. Guitar Hero, Rock Band. That's what people are what. Like that's the question you're wanted. Like which is the one that I'm gonna get. It's an expensive prospect to not only get the game. To get more of these plastic instruments. To take up the room in your living room. Like is it going to be worth it to reinvest to Rock Band. Is it worth it to get this new guitar. And it's too early to say definitively, this game is better than that game, we spent so little time with both of them. But we definitely have an idea of where we're at so far, based on what we've played. Yeah so let's talk about what we do know. We know Guitar Hero has the new guitar. Mike, do you think that is the case for Guitar Hero or against it? It's definitely a case for. I, like you, recently just got my first hands on time with it, and I really liked it. It was kind of weird because I was really looking for a new reason to get back into Guitar Hero specifically because. That was definitely, that kind of fell into second place for me back when I was still playing rhythm games. I loved Rock Band. But I grew up on Guitar Hero. So being able to have, it's kind of like two strings now almost, cuz you can do frets. You do frets on the older ones, too, but it still wasn't, I guess it's more realistic in a way. But- The classic two-string guitar. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, so it was It took a little while to get used to. I mean, you seem to, you guys both seem to grab it right away. Yeah, it's a novel experience. I mean, because it's not just a single button but there's two rows of buttons and so you have to work with sort of different elevations of your fingers. And yeah, you get that like familiar cramping when you're trying something really hard with your hand for the first time. Doesn't work out so well, but then you get the hang of it. And so Yeah. Justin, do you feel like it's the novelty of that play experience, or Mike, do you feel like that's a powerful draw? Yeah, that's one of the things that I've always loved about those games. Like I've played Guitar Hero since before there was Guitar Hero, when it was the different Beat Mania games. And like this game came out, I didn't think it would live up to to it, Guitar Hero was amazing and just every iteration of that game. That challenge to make yourself even better on guitar. And like, this takes it, it makes your brain think in a different way and like that's a lot of fun. Like, I want to take on this challenge. And the way that they've kind of set it up in the game, makes it feel like it's gonna Let you play against other people in a way that's going to challenge you to keep going. That you're gonna be able to see people's leaderboards and scores on the left-hand side of the screen and know like, I can do that a little bit better. I can aim to get a better score on that. And not only getting a better score but with a different set of challenges, a different finger set like. I want that challenge, like I want something new and different. And I think that that competitiveness has always sort of been where Guitar Hero excels. is you know, the really tough fingering, the really difficult song that people striving to master them to me, has sort of been my guitar hero experience. Rock band on the other hand has generally been more of a social experience. You get more people playing at the same time, and the question here I guess, one of them is certainly one of hardware cause if you buy Guitar Hero Live You're gonna need to buy the game and the hardware. It's gonna cost you a significant amount, but, Harmonic's currently working to make sure Rock band's peripherals from the past or useable to the Rock band's four. How do you think that's going to affect Rock band four negatively or positively Well, so I think it's gonna be about $100, I think is what they're aiming for, for the new Guitar Hero with the guitar. And probably more expensive for, if you need to get some of these new instruments. They're letting you use your old instruments, but I know, talking with the harmonics guys and mad caps, that they are gonna have a new set of instruments with a new set of abilities. Like, they're very Similar to what we played before, but they are better. And like, if I play the game, I'm probably gonna want to upgrade my instruments as well. Like, that's another, at least, $100. You're not gonna haul the old guitars out of storage? Like, that's part of the appeal for me is I already have this stuff. It's gonna be more accessible to me. Not the RockBand guitars, those are my least Favorite guitars. Like, Guitar Hero's always had better hardware. Like, in RockBand, you have the strum that doesn't quite click. Mm-hm. Like, I never liked that. The buttons are always mushy, they don't seem to last as long. Guitar Hero has better, I've always used my Guitar Hero guitar. But, playing a little with the new RockBand instruments, like, they're better. It's a higher quality. But is that really enough? The thing it is that you said is a social experience. And that's the thing that's more fun and that's what I think is missing from Guitar Hero. Like, I love being able to do that but whether I have to buy new instruments or not I want to be able to have all those different experiences and let my friends be able to play drums or sing. Only playing guitar? I don't know if that's enough. Yeah, I mean especially after, you know, basically being spoiled by Rock Band. You know, three part vocal harmonies, guitars, keyboard, drums. I mean, you know, keyboard's not coming back for Rock Band 4. But drums, guitars, harmonies, I imagine they all are. I- Keyboard. So there's not going to be a keyboard in the next Rock Band. That's the only thing they're cutting out entirely? Right. That what's I'm trying to say but good question, I'm not sure if I actually said that. But Rock band, yeah, there's that social dynamic so might you said you were sort of, you started with the Guitar Hero but then you swank towards Rock band it wasn't that social [INAUDIBLE] Yeah definitely. I think it was the feeling of actually kind of being part of a band. I used to, when I was very young, say I was in band. But don't ever listen to us if you somehow find us cuz we weren't good. But [CROSSTALK]. Again I won't [CROSSTALK] [LAUGH] Yeah, so just that feeling of, you're friend's playing drums, you're playing guitar, you feel like you're contributing to a song, was awesome. And it was very much a great innovation on the party rhythm based game. And I think that's definitely and impetus to get back into Rock Band because Guitar Hero has, again, been that competitive pull for me. Although with Guitar Hero TV and what not, the music video stuff it seems like it could be Make it a little more accessible and make it something more social. Something you just jump into at parties and whatnot? Well that's the wild card in this, it's how they're going to do music. So Rock Band, I have a ridiculous library of songs that I downloaded and I never really got into that with Guitar Hero. But at the same time in Guitar Hero you're going to have access to music from the very beginning that's kind of like a music channel. And like that's kind of appealing. As someone who switched over to things like Spotify and that's how we discover music is like "I'm gonna just turn on this radio basically and listen to this stuff." Being able to watch music videos and here's music that's being offered to you and it's constantly new, which Guitar Hero is going to offer And hopefully, well, I mean, out of the box, it's gonna be free for Guitar Hero TV. There's gonna be some pricing for individual songs after that, but that amount of lots of content for free is kind of appealing. Yeah, go ahead. Sorry. I feel like, yeah, Guitar Hero TV specifically, more so than Live, is something perfect to throw on a party. Because I think it's a little more accessible. It's more recognizable to people than just the 3D character animations from the past Rock Band and Guitar Hero games, the fact that you can just have these music videos playing and again like Justin said it is random. It's more visually interesting too I mean even in Guitar Hero 5 you could play a party mode that allowed you to just drop out of guitar and then it would be like this. It would play, it would just, there's no note highway it's just playing a music video. The social, it sort of allows for the Eben flow of a social situation, as opposed to I think the pitfall that they were trying to- you know, one of the things they were trying to avoid is that like "okay what song do you want to play next, scroll scroll scroll- well, I'd play this one, no I don't want to play this one, oh we just played this one, yeah but I really want to" 1: You know that selection process, for people who play the fair amount of rock band and guitar hero in the past, that's the big part of the experience. Guitar Hero TV taking a shot at trying to undermine that. 2: I mean it goes either way. For my group it's always the singer's choice. We would just rotate through all the instruments and the singer gets them to the mic, choose the song and get them to pic something they want to sing In taking that away, like I mean there's like no vocals, so like it's just a guitar game anyway. At the same time, I love being able to sing along with something, and that's part of that rocking out experience for me. It's not just playing a fake guitar, it's That whole cohesive thing. Yeah, there is that performance aspect. To be clear, you can still be that weird person in the corner singing along, but there will be know, but no one's gonna be scoring you on that. Unless you get the three weird other people, the panel of judges, with you know their numbers, and they've got their sort of Guitar Hero idol going on That's, you know, DLC plan you can maybe push. Alright, so Guitar Hero live slated for October 10th, Rock Band 4 for October 6th. October's gonna be when this all shakes out and we start to see which ones gain momentum. But as of now, we're almost in early August, who do you think is sort of in the lead- Guitar Hero, Rock Band? Personally which one are you gravitating towards? I'm gonna have to go Rock Band 4 but only by a little. The hardware is compelling in Guitar Hero but Rock Band has all the things I already know and love and being able to sing is a really big part. I like being able to customize my band like I like having my little character and I have a stupid hat and a custom guitar that I unlock. It's pretty neat. I like it. It's cool. I've got all these stickers on my plastic axe. I have my own band. When we're playing Rock Band those were those sexually androgynous [UNKNOWN]. That's a mouthful. Yeah it's also going to be my real band's name once I But like, I know this carries over right, like Guitar Hero will carry directly over to playing real guitar. Yeah, from two strings to six strings it's just a totally small leap. No big deal. Alright, Mike, Justin, thank you guys for coming on talking about Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Folks, chime in in the comments and let us know what you think, which one are you leaning towards, which one do you think has a better campaign so far And I guess we'll all see how it shakes out coming this October.