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> Guitar Hero (series)

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Guitar Hero is a popular guitar simulation/rhythm game series developed by Neversoft and published by RedOctane and Activision. There are currently four games in the series, Guitar Hero, Guitar Hero II (for PS2 and Xbox 360), and Guitar Hero III. An expansion pack for GH2 (Guitar Hero: Rocks the 80s) was released on July 24, 2007 for PS2, being the last game in the series to be developed by Harmonix before it was passed over to Neversoft for Guitar Hero III, Guitar Hero Aerosmith, and Guitar Hero World Tour, as well as the unreleased Guitar Hero Metallica.

In addition, Activision has licensed two toys bearing Guitar Hero name: Guitar Hero Carabiner and Air Guitar Hero Rocker.


In the game, you control one of many guitarists in their rise to the top of the guitar ranks. There are three gameplay modes: Career mode (the main game, where you play through the main setlist on a band tour), Quick Play, and Multiplayer. Gameplay consists of using a specially designed guitar controller and playing in time to different colored "gems" that scroll down a fretboard that takes up most of the screen. You do this by pressing the corresponding fret buttons on the neck of the guitar as the notes fall into the notecatcher, and pressing down or up on the strumbar. If you play perfectly for 10 notes, you will receive a multiplier that doubles the score you get for (at most) the next 9 notes. If you hit 20 notes in a row, you will receive a 3x multiplier, and if you hit 30 notes in a row, you will get a 4x multiplier. If you miss a note or strum where there is not a note, you will lose your multiplier. The game keeps track of your multiplier and score via a box to the left of the fretboard.

Also part of the HUD is your Rock Meter. There are 4 levels you can be at at any point during a song.

  • Green: This means you're playing very well.
  • Yellow: This means your playing is okay.
  • Red: This means you're not doing very well.
  • Flashing Red: You're on the verge of failing. You better start hitting notes again, and quickly.

Once you hit the bottom of the Rock Meter, you fail the song and a menu pops up showing you where you failed, and gives you the option to try again, practice the song, try a new song, or quit to the main screen (if you played the song in Quick Play; if you played the song in Career mode, you'll return to the difficulty's menu).

Another important part of the game is Star Power. This is a powerup-like feature that is used to excite the crowd. You collect Star Power, or SP, by hitting a series of star-shaped notes, or SP phrases. Each phrase gives you at least two measures of SP. The amount of SP you have at any given time is kept track of by a tube over top of the rock meter, which can only go up to 8 measures. You can release SP any time you have at least 4 measures by gently tilting the guitar upwards at the neck. Once activated, the fretboard and all the gems will turn blue and every note you hit will count double towards your score and your rock meter.


The Guitar Hero series has made quite an impact in popular culture

  • An episode of South Park entitled "Guitar Queer-o" made its debut just after Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock was released.[1]
  • Guitar Hero has inspired many spinoffs, such as Frets on Fire and Guitar Zero.
  • A band with a song in a newly released Guitar Hero is very likely to see a jump in sales, sometimes over 100%.[2]


  1. {http://www.comedycentral.com/press/press_releases/2007/110507_sp_guitar_queero.jhtml
  2. http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20071121-your-song-in-guitar-hero-equals-a-big-jump-in-digital-sales.html |
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