An Open Letter: Fare Thee Well Guitar Hero…

An Open Letter: Fare Thee Well Guitar Hero…

An Open Letter: Fare Thee Well Guitar Hero…An Open Letter is a regular-ish feature where we communicate directly, straight to the heart of someone/something/anything in gaming. This week? We deliver a heartfelt eulogy to the dearly departed Guitar Hero.

An Open Letter: Fare Thee Well Guitar Hero…Dear Guitar Hero,

Man, Guitar Hero. Where do I start – where do I begin? I’ll never forget when I first laid eyes on you. In game stores across the country, I’d walk in – just browsing, you know how it is. I’d see a pile of those giant boxes on the shelves, or a sporadic squat of instruments on the floor, I’d wonder – ‘what the hell is this thing – this Guitar Hero? What am I supposed to do with it?’ Little did I know, in that moment, that we’d eventually become inseparable, best buds. And then – eventually – lovers.

And then someone introduced us – at some party, I can’t remember. I was probably lubed up on cheap punch and tequila – but I remember you. Your buttons. My confusion. Do I push them when I strum, or can I just hold it down whenever? Why isn’t it working! Is the timing off? Are the batteries dead?

But then, somehow, we just clicked. Together we made sense. We moved in together – perhaps we moved a little too fast, but we were crazy. We were in love. Every waking moment was spent caressing one another, pushing each other’s buttons. Through the years we added more to our brood – Guitar Hero: Metallica, Band Hero, DJ Hero came late but we loved him anyway, that little scamp!

And the parties – oh the parties. We’d invite everyone over and entertain – cook up a storm, get everyone liquored up and just play. Just get everyone together and make beautiful, sweet music together.

I loved you – I always loved you. Sure there were others – I admit that. Cheap flings in the back rooms of stranger’s abodes – dalliances I can barely remember but would rather forget. But you, Guitar Hero you. You were always on my mind. Even in the darkest hours. Even at the end.

And now, Guitar Hero – as I stand here, delivering this eulogy – I choose to remember the good times. I’ll remember the first time I finished Hotel California on Expert, I’ll remember getting Born to Run for free! I’ll remember that time we fell about laughing as I tried to complete Through the Fire and the Flames – remember that? Oh, how we giggled. I wish I could go back to those days. I wish…

But most of all I’ll remember your touch, the feel of your buttons against my fingertips – the callouses that developed on my strum finger. Proof that you existed, that you lived – that at one point in my life we were together and hopelessly in love.

I’ll miss you Guitar Hero. We all will. And I’ll never forget you.



    • Rock Band 3 Pro Instruments are the nails in the Guitar Hero coffin, but we must all acknowledge the importance of the original Guitar Hero on PS2.

      The King is Dead, Long Live the King!

      • I totally agree with you on that one. The fact that rock band beat them to the new instruments I think has spelled doom for GH. If they went and released keyboards and such they’d just cop a ton of shit for copying, so I guess they figure it’s easier to give up. I dunno if this will be the end for all time though. Reading their press earlier sounded like they might just be taking a break for a year or so. As long as they keep releasing new DLC, I can’t see it hurting too much though.

      • the only good guitar hero’s were on the ps2.
        which were made by harmonix.
        which make RB.
        activision don’t know how to make music games,
        every one after GH2 was crap.

      • Sorry but I disagree. This has nothing to do with what Harmonix is doing. The genre is dead; Harmonix isn’t doing all that well either. Activision just saw the writing on the wall. In fact they saw it long ago, which is probably why they milked the franchise to death while it lasted.

        Two things killed the genre: cost of licensing, and the fact that people were only going to buy so many plastic instrument before getting bored.

        It was a fad, and it was good while it lasted.

        I have to give credit to Harmonix for trying to take the genre further, but I don’t think its going to work.

  • I’ve never played one of these ‘music games’ eg Guitar hero, Rock Band etc. The Mrs has shown some interest though. I’m tempted to pick one up to try for myself and also see if she likes, but I wouldn’t know where to start. Can anyone suggest whicg game/ brand/ version I should try?

    • Look at the song lists for each version and see if there are any you like.
      If you don’t care about the song lists then it depends on what console you get. If you own a Wii then I recommend getting Guitar Hero 5 or World Tour as these are quite feature rich and have the full band game.
      I am not sure about the other platforms, I think Rock Band is better for them.

    • Get Rockband 3, it is by far the best, and is more wife-friendly than GH in my experience. It also has an astounding range of downloadable songs, and I mean astounding. It also has the options for the real instruments if that ever floats your boat.

    • I enjoyed Word Tour thoroughly. Greatest Hits is also quite good for anyone who did not but the previous ones. Guess you should avoid the band specific ones, unless you really love the Beatles or something.

      Bonus: the instrument bundles are going for dirt cheap these days.

  • Kind of mixed feelings about seeing it go… It’s kind of like when that old, old family dog finally dies.

    You remember the times you had when you were a kid and the dog was in his prime. Both of you revelling in your youth and holding a clear, pure, unconditional love for each other. The fun you had when you were both in your prime gave you memories that you’ll hold dear for the rest of your life.

    But the last couple of years he was just senile, useless and kept shitting all over the carpet and it comes as a bit of a relief when he finally goes.

    • Harmonix didn’t leave, Activision came in and bought the name “Guitar Hero” and RedOctane, who at the time were the ones publishing the game and I think were making the instruments.

      Guitar Hero was just given to Neversoft? from then on in.

      Harmonix were essentially ignored, even though as we’ve seen were the ones that innovated the genre with Band Play and then Keyboards/Pro Instruments.

  • Great times were had – with Legends of Rock, Metallica, Warriors of Rock, and even that custom verion of III that had all the songs of II in it (I’m still dirty at Activision for never releasing that one on Wii 😛 Not to mention the boss battle songs in 3 not being playable/downloadable…). Sad to think that just as they were getting back on track, they’ve been killed off.

    I was really hoping to see a return of co-op play, with lead and rhythm guitars. That’s one thing that GH3 had over all the others, it was great fun in both co-op and battle mode, when the parts would swing from one guy to the other like in TTFAF. And listening to Judas Priest’s Screaming for Vengeance and Defenders of the Faith albums lately, I would kill to have more twin-guitar songs like that show up in another co-op GH game.

    Now I guess I will forever have to dream…

  • Fascinating . . . A sensual and fascinating insight; the
    physical, lustful and insatiable love between one man
    and his plastic guitar. This reminds me of the romance
    between Nicholas Cage and Elisabeth Shue in
    Leaving Las Vegas: equal measures destructive and
    beautiful. May I be so bold as to contribute an erotic
    Guitar Hero poem? I’m doing it, this is happening:


    Oh, dear me, my goodness, shit just got real up in here.
    For this is truly and unmistakably the love that dare
    not speak its name.
    The best of the afternoon warmth &
    radiance to you, old chum – and remember to keep
    tight your main sail and look to starboard.

  • So long as the Rock Band franchise continues, or the Rock Band Music store at least, then I’m not too worried. It is a shame though. If only Activision didn’t insist on releasing a new Guitar Hero every 3 months and Band Hero and DJ Hero and Guitar Hero on Tour etc, maybe they could have slowed down and been more innovative? Ah well, let’s just hope Harmonix continues to innovate!

    Any news on whether or not the recent closure of MTV games and the sale of Harmonix is going to affect them at all? I believe I read a story on Kotaku recently about all the new features to expect in Dance Central 2, so I’m assuming they (Harmonix) are still powering on?

  • Well, that was… creepy.

    I never played either RB or GH.
    But it strikes me that perhaps Yoko Ono has struck again?

  • Oh man, Guitar Hero II. Instant nostalgia.
    I remember the first time I came up to Queensland to stay with the guy who is now my husband and he was playing it all the time, he tried to get me to try it but I’m unco-ordinated and thought I’d really suck at it.
    Then on the night before I came home I gave it a try and was surprised to find I was actually quite good at it. I started on easy but by the end of the night I was able to almost perfect The Trooper on medium. And I was having the most fun I’d had in a game for ages. Needless to say I was addicted and bought my own copy as soon as I got home. And every numbered version thereafter, along with GH: Metallica which remains one of favourite music games.

  • Carry on my wayward son
    There’ll be peace when you are done
    Lay your weary head to rest
    Don’t you cry no more

  • I’m more bitter about the death of DJ Hero, which was actually shaping up to be a great series I actually wanted to invest in. Ah well, looks like I’ll make do with DJMax and DDR from now on..

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