It would be hard to have avoided the hype this week as Activision finally released Guitar Hero onto the Itunes store for the iPhone. Quite why it took this long I have no idea … but here we are.
Many people by now have had their fill of Guitar Hero and Rock Band games, they were the ‘in thing’ for a few years but the market became so saturated with clones that most addicts I knew have long moved on. I still fire up the Xbox 360 version from time to time and try to nail ‘Through The Fire and The Flames’, still hopelessly failing everytime.
Today we are taking a quick look at the version which has hit the store and is available for a very modest asking price of £1.79 or $3. I also tried the game on the iPad, but at 2x zoom it does look rather fugly (below).
The game works along the same lines as the console and PC versions. As the notes head down the screen, you have to tap the coloured ‘notes’ to earn points and store star power. With the iPhone version however, they have added gesture support. This means during certain parts of the songs you have to strum (slide) left or right with arrows, or trace lines that correspond to whammy bars.
For the most part it works well, but I found it much trickier to play as obviously you aren’t using the intuitive guitar controller so it never really ‘feels’ like you are playing an instrument.
For the small asking price you are given access to six songs, Queen being the best in my opinion followed by the Rolling Stones. Other acts such as the White Stripes make an appearance.
Cheekily there are already track packs available for download from the store with Queen yet again making an appearance, alongside other bands such as Vampire Weekend. The developers have also opted to ‘mix n’ match’ artists to offer more variety for the $1.99 fee. You get access to these additional purchases via a ‘store’ option in the game itself.
While these prices are low enough, I would have liked to see them hiking the price of the program a little more and offering say 18 songs by default.
Feeling as if I was perhaps a little jaded with the whole Guitar Hero experience I handed over my iPhone to a group of young kids who seemed to get a kick playing it. The graphics look good on the iPhone, but as I said earlier on the iPad at 2x zoom to fill the screen, the aliasing is hideous. They really should have opted for an iPad version on release as well with HD graphics support.
As you can see below you can take photos for character customisations.
It won’t take long to beat the six tracks that come with the game unless you want to try your hand at the tougher difficulty settings. If you do try expert make sure you have a camcorder handy because the finger contortions and swearing involved will surely make great youtube material. I actually dropped the iPhone a few times while playing as its really easy to get your hands into some weird shapes.
It is worth buying? for the miniscule price I would say yes but I quickly lost interest and found the immediate requirement to buy track packs left a sour taste in my mouth. Worth a look at least, you can’t get much now for a few quid.