Guitar Hero faded out along with its other music game counterparts by the middle part of the last generations console race. When more adult targeted games started to appear a lot of games without the M rating disappeared. But that charm has worn off now and games have learned to balance fun and serious story at the same time. This leads us to the launch of Guitar Hero Live and Rockband 4. The music genre is back and better than ever.

Guitar Hero Live is a complete revamp of the series and has changed its controller and some of its formula. The game currently supports the use of the guitar and microphone and is 50$ cheaper than its competitor because of its choice to make a whole new guitar controller. The online play is completely strange but addicting and the story is not just becoming a famous band anymore. I’m here to show you what’s new in the Guitar Hero universe and what stayed the same. There is a ton of new music, a new control scheme, and an entirely new way to play.

In game screenshot: level screen.

In game screenshot: level screen.

Guitar Hero Live took a huge leap of faith with their controller redesign. They swapped out their classic color coded scheme for a more realistic feel. The new guitar now has 2 rows of the buttons at the top of the guitar that more easily fit into your hand than the spaced out buttons from last generation. The guitars are currently all wireless and work similarly to the wireless guitars from the past, but they now connect via USB. This system also allows you to connect two guitars at a time so a friend can play along.  The guitar in your hands feels a lot more natural thanks to all of this, and while harder to learn for veteran players at first, it’s well worth it and makes the game less frustrating than previous installments. The in-game screen is similar though with a highway that shows you what buttons to press, the only difference is the lack of color. There are five modes to choose from to learn this new guitar and each one is great for slowly teaching you to play a little bit better with each song.

There are a few different ways to play Live. There is a story mode to play through and unlock songs for use in online mode in addition to the massive song catalog. The story mode this time is titled Live Mode and gets you to play concerts with footage taken of different concerts with varying scenarios. There are no 3D graphics like in most Guitar Hero games and the crowd recorded was an actual crowd of people with actual reactions meant to give you a more realistic feeling. The concerts you play aren’t just limited to metal and old rock anymore;  you play on pop, hardcore, and rap stages as well. Bangarang by Skrillex is even a song that pops up along with Rihanna and Eminem.

In game screenshot: GHTV mode.

In game screenshot: GHTV mode.

When you finish with Live Mode you can go to GHTV or skip the story and only play there. GHTV is a huge catalog of music with more than 200 songs at this moment and it updates regularly. You can either buy plays and pick your song or you can jump into a playlist and compete against live players to earn coins. Coins allow you to buy new highways, guitar upgrades, and plays to freely pick your songs and if you’re feeling kind of lazy you can just use your credit card. This mode is great for having friends over and by the time everyone’s done playing you should have a gold mine to buy upgrades, bonuses and plays from. The songs all play their music videos in the background so it can be distracting if it’s something you have never have seen before but it also opens doors to something new for you to enjoy.

So who is this game for? This game is for music lovers, but while opening up to all genres does have more of a focus on rock, metal, and the hardcore genres. If you like pop, rap, or country, wait a bit for the catalog to update before you buy it so you can enjoy it more. I also do want fellow Guitar Hero veterans to know that the new guitar feels great and it should make them want to buy the game instead of turning them off from it. I am very excited for the return of this series and am happy to see some of my favorite bands like Bring Me the Horizon, Fall Out Boy, and Black Veil Brides.

Are there any bands you guys are excited to see added to the track list and will you be giving any of the music games a buy? Let me know in the comments below!