Even if you’re new to the series, you’re better off going with the original. Not only did it have a pretty neat plot twist, but it can be had for dirt cheap.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock
You didn’t think we’d make it through an article about sequels without mentioning Activision, did you?
Anyway, its little secret that Guitar Hero is a big deal over at Acti-land. After selling a king’s ransom worth of Guitar Hero III, Kotick & Co. saw fit to release an avalanche of GH titles. Between the release of World Tour and GH5, there were nine – NINE! – Guitar Hero games (including Band Hero) spanning both consoles and the Nintendo DS. Thankfully Guitar Hero 5 was a great game, but by then there was some serious music game fatigue.
Which brings me to this year’s Warriors of Rock. Activision definitely learned its lesson and made sure that his would be the only Guitar Hero game to see the light of day this year. However, the game brought nothing new to the table. Sure, the star challenges gave you a reason to play through your DLC all over again, but it’s not exactly worth bullet-pointing on the back of the box. The only major to the game was the ridiculous Quest mode, which was more of a detriment than anything else. I don’t know who Neversoft asked about it, but I didn’t hear anyone clamoring for any sort of story mode for their rhythm game.
This was all wildly disappointing because the core gameplay remained as fun as ever. But when Rock Band 3 released a month later with the addition of a new instrument and the ability to teach you how to play for real, it isn’t reason enough to release what is basically a $60 expansion.
Tony Hawk: Shred
It’s an Activision two-fer!
I’ll admit that I will most likely never play Tony Hawk: Shred. Not only do I find the idea of having to buy another plastic peripheral ridiculous, it seems that Activision isn’t even bothering with appealing to anyone above the age of 12 with the latest Hawk game. That’s not just general sentiment – Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said so himself.
The real problem lies in the fact that people just don’t care about Tony Hawk games anymore. Each subsequent entry in series after the game went “Underground” reviewed worse and worse, culminating in the woeful TH: Ride last year. This year you’ll be hard-pressed to find more than a few reviews of the game at all, with the most damning thing of all is the game’s horrific sales – just 3,000 copies in its first week.
Like DJ Hero last year, Activision believes that the game will find its sales legs during the holiday season. We can’t help but doubt that however, and it seems that the Tony Hawk brand may be all but dead. A damn shame, as the first three games are some of the most fun I’ve ever had with a video game.