Rock Band Dev Says Guitar Hero Not True to Music

Rock Band Dev Says Guitar Hero Not True to Music

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According to Rock Band developer Harmonix, the note charts in the Guitar Hero series are "disconnected" with the music.

Alex Rigopulos, head of Harmonix, acknowledges that although his new multi-instrument series might be easier than Activision's, he runs Rock Band development with the goal of honoring the music gamers will play.

Despite still selling millions across consoles and handhelds, the Guitar Hero franchise has recently taken criticism for its difficulty curve and finger-numbing note patterns.

"The guiding philosophy for us when authoring patterns is staying true to the music. What we found was if material in Rock Band was actually easier compared to Guitar Hero, it's because the actual guitar parts are easier, whereas the design mandate for GH seems to be more focused on a gamer mentality in ratcheting up the difficulty," explained Rigopulos. "What you see are these note charts that are very disconnected from what's actually happening in the real guitar parts in the music; they might be more crazy from a gameplay point of view, but they're also more disconnected from the music. So for us, that departs from our core design mandate."

None of this is means that Harmonix is shying away from songs with frantic fretwork.

Rigopolous hinted, "That said, we are bringing some music to the platform, which we're not ready to talk about yet, that the nature of the music itself is so insane, it will be the most challenging material imaginable to play in the Rock Band universe."

Source: GameDaily

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It's not about how "connected" the note charts are to the music thats important... it's about how fun it is to play. And most non-casual gamers want to be challenged, that is where the fun is derived from. Guitar Hero provides that challege factor more than Rock Band in the fact that some songs are pretty damn hard to play, for example, I am someone who can cruise through expert on Rock Band with Gold Stars on most, but on Guitar Hero, Raining Blood is killer, Devil Went Down to Georgia is impossible, and don't get me started on Through The Fire and Flames. If someone wanted to be "connected" to the music, they should go and buy a guitar already.

However, I feel that casual gamers make up a reasonable amount of Rock Band's market, so this opinion isn't going to be the most agreed upon.

Also, the Rock Band version of Number of the Beast sucks, and it hurts to listen to.

The whole point is that it makes the user feel like they are a stsar, in that what they're playing has some connection to the music. The opening of "Before I Forget" is a prime example of this - it has no correlation to the damn music.

If the ultimate goal of Harmonix and Activision is to get players to eventually put down the controller and pick up the real instrument ( which I believe Hamonix and Activision have both stated) then staying true to the music will not intimidate would be guitarists from maybe picking it up and trying it out.

Through the Fire and Flames is a perfect example of this. The whole intro to the song isn't even played on a guitar, it's played on a keyboard. By listening to it, I would guess that it's a hell of a lot easier to play on a keyboard than a guitar. I am no expert on the matter, but I have had experience in both piano and guitar.

I personally prefer Rock Band because of the fact they stay true to the music. There have been many a time in Guitar Hero in which it sounds like 1 note is playing but the game is making you play 2 notes in succession.

As for the difficulty, it looks like they are trying to up it They've got some pretty insane songs on there, Like Panic Attack.

As a muso the artificial difficulty in the note patterns in the Guitar Hero series is an annoyance. Some times you'll find yourself playing what you think you should play rather than what is on screen. The difference is especially noticable when playing a song that you know how to play in real life.

Jak The Great:
If the ultimate goal of Harmonix and Activision is to get players to eventually put down the controller and pick up the real instrument ( which I believe Hamonix and Activision have both stated) then staying true to the music will not intimidate would be guitarists from maybe picking it up and trying it out.

Through the Fire and Flames is a perfect example of this. The whole intro to the song isn't even played on a guitar, it's played on a keyboard. By listening to it, I would guess that it's a hell of a lot easier to play on a keyboard than a guitar. I am no expert on the matter, but I have had experience in both piano and guitar.

I personally prefer Rock Band because of the fact they stay true to the music. There have been many a time in Guitar Hero in which it sounds like 1 note is playing but the game is making you play 2 notes in succession.

As for the difficulty, it looks like they are trying to up it They've got some pretty insane songs on there, Like Panic Attack.

well said sir, i am of the opinion that Rock band is the superior game. one perfect example of this is that in GH1 playing "More than a feeling" the game makes you it 3 notes for what is blatantly one long held note, which RB gets right and only make you hit it once and hold it! GO HMX! cant wait till RB2, just hope it comes out in the UK on the same date as US (or within a month would be nice).

As a guitarist of some years, I'd argue that neither games are 'true' to music. You're hitting lumps of plastic in order to play pre-recorded, key-specific notes. At least when I play guitar, all the noises I make are my own.

Anyway, elitism aside, the games are fun, but trying to argue about which game is truer to music just seems so silly.

lost_in_hollywood:

Jak The Great:
If the ultimate goal of Harmonix and Activision is to get players to eventually put down the controller and pick up the real instrument ( which I believe Hamonix and Activision have both stated) then staying true to the music will not intimidate would be guitarists from maybe picking it up and trying it out.

Through the Fire and Flames is a perfect example of this. The whole intro to the song isn't even played on a guitar, it's played on a keyboard. By listening to it, I would guess that it's a hell of a lot easier to play on a keyboard than a guitar. I am no expert on the matter, but I have had experience in both piano and guitar.

I personally prefer Rock Band because of the fact they stay true to the music. There have been many a time in Guitar Hero in which it sounds like 1 note is playing but the game is making you play 2 notes in succession.

As for the difficulty, it looks like they are trying to up it They've got some pretty insane songs on there, Like Panic Attack.

well said sir, i am of the opinion that Rock band is the superior game. one perfect example of this is that in GH1 playing "More than a feeling" the game makes you it 3 notes for what is blatantly one long held note, which RB gets right and only make you hit it once and hold it! GO HMX! cant wait till RB2, just hope it comes out in the UK on the same date as US (or within a month would be nice).

I totally agree with that example. In GH pick scrapes, bends and slides are all done with multiple notes whereas from what I've seen in Rock Bands they just treat them as a held or augmented single note, or two notes at the most. I can see what they are doing in GH, but sometimes it feels a bit cheap.

Rock Band was a better game because the tracks were actually fun to play. I don't mind playing difficult songs, so long as they are enjoyable to play. Guitar Hero 3 had almost no tracks that were fun to play. Rock Band had tons.

My roommate, who can almost beat Through the Fire and the Flames, agrees with my 100%.

lost_in_hollywood:
well said sir, i am of the opinion that Rock band is the superior game. one perfect example of this is that in GH1 playing "More than a feeling" the game makes you it 3 notes for what is blatantly one long held note, which RB gets right and only make you hit it once and hold it! GO HMX! cant wait till RB2, just hope it comes out in the UK on the same date as US (or within a month would be nice).

You are aware that it was Harmonix that made Guitar Hero 1, right?

ReepNeep:

lost_in_hollywood:
well said sir, i am of the opinion that Rock band is the superior game. one perfect example of this is that in GH1 playing "More than a feeling" the game makes you it 3 notes for what is blatantly one long held note, which RB gets right and only make you hit it once and hold it! GO HMX! cant wait till RB2, just hope it comes out in the UK on the same date as US (or within a month would be nice).

You are aware that it was Harmonix that made Guitar Hero 1, right?

Under Activision's tight leash. Creating a game under publisher pressure is a lot different than doing it independently.

fyrh56:

ReepNeep:

lost_in_hollywood:
well said sir, i am of the opinion that Rock band is the superior game. one perfect example of this is that in GH1 playing "More than a feeling" the game makes you it 3 notes for what is blatantly one long held note, which RB gets right and only make you hit it once and hold it! GO HMX! cant wait till RB2, just hope it comes out in the UK on the same date as US (or within a month would be nice).

You are aware that it was Harmonix that made Guitar Hero 1, right?

Under Activision's tight leash. Creating a game under publisher pressure is a lot different than doing it independently.

You're totally right. I guarantee that the corporate monsters at Activision forced Harmonix to chart More Than A Feeling incorrectly. No other explanation is even remotely possible. Also, you seem to be under the false impression that Harmonix released Rock Band independently. In actuality, it was published by EA.

As for the actual topic at hand, I agree completely with Harmonix. When I'm playing Guitar Hero 3 holding my 2 foot plastic guitar with 5 colored buttons and a single strum bar, I often find myself wishing that the note chart was more realistic.

personaly i perfer the challenge of guitar hero, they make the game more challenging and funner for me, but thats for me, I'm not saying you or your mom, or your retarted little brother/sister, I'm talking about me. I play the piano and i'm currently learning guitar, and i play expert on guitar hero with only raining blood and the Lou guitar battle left. Some times music is repeitive and playing an actual instrument, that makes things easier, but on guitar hero makes things boring at some points (hense the crazy hammer-ons in some guitar hero songs).

On one hand I want RB2 because I happen to suck at GH save for lower difficulties, and i don't want to play a game that is hard just for the sake of being hard...

But on the other hand, GHWT is gonna have Tool...

So I'm torn...

My outlook on it is simple. Rock Band is more fun to play than Guitar Hero III, because the charting is accurate. And several songs are better charted on Rock Band than Guitar Hero (More Than a Feeling) or Guitar Hero II (Message in a Bottle) because Harmonix has had more time to tighten down and focus on making song charts more accurate than they did for those games. Quite simply, practice makes perfect.

 

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