Why Will The New Guitar Hero Soundtrack Include More Than Just Rock?

The era of plastic musical instrument is set to return in a big way this year with new hardware-focused rhythm games from Guitar Hero and Rock Band. But while Rock Band is taking a more traditional stance and incorporating both instruments and DLC from previous games, Guitar Hero Live is starting over from the beginning.

We’ll likely learn more at E3 about exactly how the song system will work, and what the balance will be between on-disc and online music. But in the meantime, we’ve gotten weekly updates on songs that will be available on the Guitar Hero roster.

To learn what goes into choosing those songs, and possibly get some clues as to what additional songs we’ll learn about next, we talked with FreeStyle Games studio head Jamie Jackson in the Q&A below.

GameSpot: Earlier GH games were very much guitar-focused, but you’re branching out into pop and even electronica/dubstep with GH Live. How come?

Jamie Jackson: In the past five years since the last Guitar Hero game launched, there has been a complete musical renaissance. I think if you look at the way people now discover music–whether it be through Pandora, Spotify, Soundcloud, or what have you–you find that genres have evolved and diversified so much in the past few years alone.

At FreeStyle Games we are insatiable about all different types of music, and we really want that to shine through in Guitar Hero Live. And of course, we’re still staying very true to rock. You’ll still have the mind-melting heavy metal, both new and classics, and many favorites from the past. You’ll also see a ton of new songs that have never been in previous Guitar Hero games. We can’t wait for fans to check them out.

Are there any core tenets that every song in the game needs to have?

At the very base, the song has to have the type of energy that makes it fun to play. With the new six-button layout of the guitar controller, we try to find music that really takes advantage of the design, whether it be through a particularly challenging chord progression or a killer guitar solo.

What makes a good Guitar Hero song?

I’d say a lot of what I described above. Anything that takes full advantage of the new guitar controller layout. There’s that one Gary Clark Jr. song, “Don’t Owe You a Thang,” that’s just so fun to play because your fingers are all over the fret board at a super fast rate. When you get into a flow and you hit all the notes, it’s a total rush.

How do you balance accuracy and getting that “feel” of playing a guitar versus making something that’s just plain fun to jam on?

I think that’s the beauty of the new guitar controller. Like we’ve said before, we found in research that there was a barrier to entry with songs that required you to use your pinky finger, or as we affectionately call it, the “danger pinky.” So while we wanted to mimic the feel of playing a guitar by altering the button layout to better resemble a chord-playing experience, we also wanted to make the game more accessible through various difficulty levels for those who don’t want such a huge challenge. Still, at the top level, all the notes are marked up, so it’s gonna be a challenge.

Have you focused on different songs because of the button layout (more chord-based tunes versus songs that require lots of work up and down the neck)?

Well, the goal is to have a variety of both, and certainly there are some songs that have great catchy hooks and others that have just mad crazy solos. But then you have a bunch of songs that have a mix of both. Take for instance “Cry of Achilles” by Alter Bridge. That song starts with some heavy chords, but then towards the end you have some really interesting tempo changes and a great solo, which we think just makes for a really well-rounded Guitar Hero experience.

Why no rhythm guitar?

For Guitar Hero Live we really want to make the guitar the star. You are the one anchoring the band with your skills; you are the heart and soul of the song.

Have any artists come to you, or have you been doing all the pitching to artists/labels?

It’s been a good mix of both. We’ve been working closely with major labels as well as indie ones to get music that we love in the game. It’s not uncommon for us to talk to the labels about a certain artist, but then they’ll present us with another band and we say, “Yes, get them in this game.” We can’t wait to announce more songs in the coming months.

How are negotiations going with Led Zeppelin? But seriously, have you talked to them?

Unfortunately there’s nothing I can really say on that front…

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Author: Justin Haywald

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Watch Castlevania's Igarashi Hilariously Whip a Vampire to Promote Bloodstained

With just a week left before the end of the Kickstarter campaign for his new game, Bloodstained, Castlevania veteran Koji “IGA” Igarashi and Mega64 have teamed up to release a new video wherein IGA shows off his vampire-hunting skills.

The video focuses on the Mega64 guys’ encounter with a vampire. Igarashi shows up, whip in hand, to take care of him, but not before embarking on a truly daunting quest to collect the vampire’s worldly belongings in order to summon him.

The video follows below, but beware there is a bit of NSFW language.

Although the video itself doesn’t mention the game, this is meant to promote the Kickstarter for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night that began last month. The project has already far exceeded its $500,000 goal, and currently sits at just over $3.4 million.

All of that extra money will go toward funding the development of extra content, from additional modes to new levels, music, and more. By surpassing $3 million, it’ll now come to Wii U in addition to PS4, Xbox One, and PC; should $3.5 million be raised, a Vita version will be developed, too.

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Author: Chris Pereira

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Tumblr announces Answer Time Q&A platform to take on Reddit AMAs

Reddit’s AMA series is easily one of the site’s strongest features, allowing regular users to chat with celebrities and sitting presidents. Tumblr is now launching a Q&A platform of its own called Answer Time, and it hopes it can leverage its sizable community to create event-level conversations with celebrities and important people.

“Our vision for Answer Time is to give awesomely creative people a place where they can connect with their curious fans,” says Tumblr’s Danielle Strle in a statement, “and answer questions in a way that is as direct and honest as if you are talking with a friend.”

Fall Out Boy will do the first Q&A

Tumblr is attracting some big names for the launch, which kicks off on June 8th with daily Q&As. Monday’s…

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Author: Kwame Opam

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NES Zapper Joined by Another New Splatoon Weapon Tonight

Since its release last week, Nintendo has been slowly adding new content to Splatoon‘s multiplayer mode. Following the best addition of the bunch–an NES Zapper-style weapon–another new weapon will be released later today.

The Inkbrush, as it’s called, is just that: a giant paintbrush that you can run around with it. According to the official Splatoon blog, it plays like the existing (and extremely effective) paint roller weapon, but is somewhat faster.

It’s also described as “not the strongest offensive weapon.” While using it, you’ll have access to the Sprinkler sub-weapon and Airstrike special weapon.

The Inkbrush rolls out for free tonight, June 5, at 7 PM PT. That’s the same time that Nintendo previously released the aforementioned NES Zapper weapon (called the N-Zap ’85), a new map, and the online ranked multiplayer mode.

More updates are on the way for Splatoon, including a major one in August. Little is known about what else Nintendo has in store, save for an online mode called Rainmaker that features a new weapon.

Splatoon, a third-person shooter (sort of) launched exclusively for Wii U on May 28. For more, check out GameSpot’s review.

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Author: Chris Pereira

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Amazon is making an ‘ambitious’ PC game

Amazon clearly has big plans as a game developer, but up until now those plans have been restricted to mobile devices. But it looks like that’s about to change: Amazon Game Studios is currently hiring for what it describes as an “ambitious new PC game project using the latest technology.”

“We believe that games have just scratched the surface.”

What exactly that game will look like is unclear, but whatever it is it will be Amazon’s first ever PC release. The news isn’t entirely surprising, though; the studio has clearly been gearing up for something big. In addition to acquiring Killer Instinct developer Double Helix last year, Amazon has also hired notable developers like Kim Swift, designer of Portal, as well as Clint Hocking, who…

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Author: Andrew Webster

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