Guitar Hero: Van Halen Reviews

  • Negative ZZNegative ZZ112,021
    11 Apr 2010 14 Oct 2013
    33 12 13
    To start, if you're one of the lucky people to have bought GH5 around the time it first came out, you may have gotten a copy of Van Halen for free. While free is good, you may want to do some research before you pop it in on your main profile.

    Single Player music

    Not much going on here, just Quick Play as usual, or you can kick it up in Career Mode. This mode starts you out in the "Intro", where you get to watch a bad reinactment of Van Halen play Eruption before the first song Panama begins. Actually playing the song Eruption shows the finger placement better than in this short clip, and if you look at his hand, it's an absolute mess. You'll see what I mean when you start. Anyways, after Panama gets done, you'll play the only encore song of the game, Runnin' with the Devil. After that, you will get an achievement (yay!) and will be prompt to name your new band. I sugest naming it Van Halen, as this nets you an easy 5G. Next it follows the simple pattern of Guest Artists, Van Halen, Guest Artists, Van Halen, and so on, untill the last two setlists, which are both Van Halen setlists. Also in the last setlist, you play as "Classic Van Halen", which is the classic versions of each band member. Once you play one of these songs as a "Classic Outfit", you'll get another achievement for each band member. You also get an achievement for beating a guest artists song as either Eddie, Alex, or Dave. Nothing special happens after you beat Career by beating all of the setlists. One good thing, the difficulty achievements are stackable.

    Single Player Score - 7/10

    Multiplayer toast

    Multiplayer Career works exactly the same as single, except with one or more band members. With GH5 being more popular, the online will most likely be dead within a few months. You don't have the same ability to have multiple people playing one instrument like in GH5, which is a big no-no for me. Failed IMO. It makes sense though, as Van Halen didn't have, say, 4 drummers, or 3 guitarists and a vocalist. He had a drummer, bassist, vocalist, and himself, the guitarist. There are a few achievements that require a full band (4 people), like playing a song, 100% a song, and playing a song as Eddie, Alex, and Wolfgang, and getting 800,000 points on "Hot for Teacher", among others. Guitar Hero 5 has better multiplayer, so I think I'll pass, unless I'm in the mood to belch out "Jump", or jam on guitar to "The End of Heartache"

    Multiplayer Score - 5/10

    Achievements clap

    This is probably the worst set of achievements in the history of Guitar Hero and/or Rock Band. 490 points alone are tied in with playing on Expert. Another 100 or so are tied to multiplayer only achievements, so invite your friends to play some hour long setlists to get all of the achievements. Not only is 5 staring guitar on Expert the biggest of the four, you have to also 5 star drums, vocals, and bass, each in order of how many points you get (vocals are definately harder than guitar, but also has a shorter setlist). On top of that, you have to beat Expert +, and beat the game with each instrument. So if you're just starting in on Guitar Hero with the GH5 bundle, and you don't have the other instruments, be prepared to fork out $100 or so to get a drumkit, or you'll miss out on a good chunk of points (280 to be exact) The only fun achievement worth getting, IMO, is I Have a Sound System, which is 5G for naming your band Van Halen. Also the Career achievements are stackable, meaning if you start out on expert, you'll get the achievements for beginner up to expert when you beat all the songs.

    Achievements Score - 2/10

    Overall compute

    This game is a great game for Van Halen fans and casual gamers, sporting such classics as "Jump", "Runnin' with the Devil", "Pretty Woman", and "Eruption". If you're after gamerscore, however, don't go looking to this game. 50% of the achievements make up 85%-90% of the gamerscore, and these aren't your cookie cutter achievements. These are score champs, 5 star's, and 100% completions. If you're looking for a good game, buy this immediately (or receive free with your purchase of GH5 bundle). If your sniffing this out like a hungry cheevo dog, consider this rat poison unless you've got Expert skills at every instrument!

    Overall Game - 6/10

    Don't forget to leave comments. I love a little constructive criticism
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    WornOutSmilesI really like this review. I love this game, but somethings I hate about it. Despite it's flaws, however, I thought a band related game involving Van Halen would be more popular, but the MP says otherwise. I agree with the achievements being bad in a way, but also disagree. I know some can't play on hard, but surely if they go for the achievements on this and succeed; they will truly feel as though they have accomplished something, right? Too much is skill related though! Maybe they should have made all the 5 star achievements worth less and then put some more intermediate achievements in the game? Just "Passing" Eruption on guitar would be an accomplishment in itself, let alone 5 starring it.
    Anyway, good review and thumbs up :-)
    Posted by WornOutSmiles on 24 Mar 11 at 01:44
    Big EllWorst grammar nazis ever. You put your instead of you're at least three times. And worst of all, you suggested not playing the game on your main tag because it's difficult? What does that say about the games that ARE on your tag then, that they are all easy? I'm so impressed!
    Posted by Big Ell on 14 Oct 13 at 19:30
    Negative ZZNoted, and fixed! And no, I have tons of crazy games on my tag that aren't even close to easy.
    Posted by Negative ZZ on 14 Oct 13 at 20:44
  • flair ricflair ricThis gamer has had their achievements removed from the site
    04 Feb 2010 12 Mar 2010
    19 1 1
    Van Halen is a band that fits perfectly in with Guitar Hero. This game includes such hits as "Jump" "Panama" "Runnin' With The Devil" the insane guitar solo "Eruption" and many more. Anyways heres a breakdown of the game:

    Gameplay: 6/10
    This game plays exactly like Guitar Hero Metallica and Smash Hits. They did not include the extremely succesful new features from Guitar Hero 5 such as the ablility to play with any combination of instruments.

    Visuals: 9/10
    This game has a very good look to it. The characters look like how there supposed to, the stages are vibrant with colour and the interface.... well let me talk about the interface. As many of the people who play GH5 know, they changed the interface back to the way it was before GH5. In GH5(I find myself saying that alot in this review) the interface has a more "new age" look to it. The notes are glossy, the highway was re-vamped to look more like a guitar neck, and the star power is much more sparkly. Although this game returns to the same interface that we had from World Tour - Smash Hits.

    Storyline: N/A
    There is absolutely no story in this game. You dont have those little cutscenes between sections in career mode, and you dont try to do anything else but play songs in career. Speaking of career...

    Career: 5/10
    This career has the EXACT same setup as GH: Metallica. You start out playing 2 songs automatically, then you play guest songs, then van halen songs, then guest songs, then... well you get the point. As I mentioned there is no storyline so career feels like a group of setlists rather than it's own game mode.

    Setlist: 7/10
    I would have given the setlist a much higher rating if they couldn't fit all of the songs on the back of the case. This game only has 45 songs(thats 40 less than GH5!) so this game is really lacking in that department. But what it lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality. This game has all of your favourite Van Halen songs from the Lee Roth era. Shame they didnt include Hagar songs, it's like they pretended Hagar doesn't exist. There are also some pretty good guest artist songs, although they dont exactly fit in with Van Halen. Artists such as Tenacious D, Weezer and Blink-182 have no affiliation with Van Halen whatsoever. Also there are a few songs that they copied from Rock Band 2. Master Exploder, Painkiller, White Wedding(Part 1), Best of You and Pretty Fly(For a White Guy).
    Seriously, if your gonna copy from Rock Band, copy the good DLC songs that not many people know about.

    Multiplayer: 8/10
    This game doesn't support any combination of instruments. If you want to play with 4 players, you need to have a standard band. While having 4 guitars at once might be a good idea, it doesn't give you the feel of playing as a band. So keeping it with 1 of each instrument is a good idea. There is also online versus with familiar game modes like Face Off, Pro Face Off, Battle and Band vs Band. Although there aren't that many people online in this game at the moment, there is sure to be plenty more as more people buy the game.

    Difficulty: 9.5/10
    Originality: 8/10

    Good luck getting 1000/1000 in this game. To get all the achievements, you have to get 5* on all songs on all instrument careers... on expert! You need to be a master at everything(especially guitar) to get all the cheevos in this game. However there are some incredibly easy ones like the one for making a band named Van Halen. The solution for that achievement is hilarious though.

    - Band memebers look like how they are in real life
    - Custom guitar playing for some songs(like Oh, Pretty Woman)

    - No story
    - Same old format
    - No new features

    Overall: 8/10
    If you like Guitar Hero, I would recommend a rental first, then if you really like it, buy it. Although if you don't have GH5, I would recommend buying that instead.
  • SashamorningSashamorning2,347,784
    06 May 2010
    20 9 7
    I'm a sucker for music games, as you can probably tell by looking at my achievements. I got GH:VH for free as a promotion by buying GH5. Unfortunately, to paraphrase one reviewer, I can see why they gave this one out for free.

    Let me make it clear right now... at this point, there are so many games that basically you're buying GH:VH for the songs it includes, since the same basic style is the same no matter which (newer) music game you're playing. You're paying for the soundtrack.

    I don't hate this disc... I don't even dislike it. However, "strong disappointment" comes to mind. First of all, even though GH:VH was released after GH5, it still has more elements akin to GH:World Tour than the excellent GH5 (including party mode, amongst other things).

    As another reviewer already said, GH:VH follows almost the exact same format as GH:Metallica: some songs by the band, some songs by... others. And that's where some of the problem lies. Metallica made a point of choosing heroes of theirs for some of the songs, songs that they'd actually covered (like "Tuesday's Gone" by Skynyrd, "Stone Cold Crazy" by Queen, etc.). Van Halen, on the other hand basically (as Eddie actually said) let Wolfgang Van Halen pick some songs to fill the game out. As a result, we get songs like "Stacy's Mom" and "Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)". These songs seem to fit in with Van Halen's style about as much as... well, they're all rock.

    Also, the inclusion of only David Lee Roth songs is perplexing. As much animosity as there has been within the band, it seems that basically VH is spiting Sammy Hagar at the expense of those among us who really liked the Hagar era as well. (Don't get me wrong, but I think the songwriting got better with Hagar, and I *really* REALLY wanted to play "Poundcake".) What's even more strange is that since VH (I'm assuming) owns the rights to all the songs, it wouldn't have been an issue to include the songs, although they may have had to do without Hagar's image on stage. (So Roth sings Hagar... so what?)

    The achievements aren't really any different than most other music games. There are some easy ones (do the tutorial, watch a song extra) and some more grind-y ones (play all VH songs on all 4 instruments, 5-star all songs on each instrument). Like I said, what sets this apart is the soundtrack, and that's where I'm disappointed. 47 songs, but only 25 are by VH, and the latest of those ("Panama", released in 1983) is the first song of the game.

    Please, guys... I'll pay for DLC if you'll let us have the Hagar songs, too.

    3 stars, because it isn't much different from every other music game out there, not as good technically as the far superior GH5 which came out before this did, and for the only okay soundtrack. (Yes, it's Van Halen, but it could have been SO MUCH MORE.) Wait for the price to come down.
  • Itz JezUsTimEItz JezUsTimEThis gamer has had their achievements removed from the site
    29 Nov 2009
    2 5 0
    Let me start by saying this is the GREATEST Guitar Hero game ever made. (And I hardly knew who Van Halen was when I first played the game) Time to Review.

    Guitar Hero Van Halen-

    This has some very nice graphics of the guitarists and band members. The song list is incredible. Easily the best Guitar Hero game to date. This game is truly the best GH out. Pick it up as soon as it hits stores.

    The sound is fantastic, like a normal Guitar Hero game.

    When you start playing, you will think, "Hey this seems easier then normal GH." The truth is, the beginning of the game (I'd say) is really easy. BUT, when you get to the last sets of songs they get really hard.

    Hardest Songs-
    1. Eruption (Guitar)
    2. Spanish Fly (Guitar)
    3. Cathedrals (Guitar)
    4. Little Guitarists (Guitar)
    5. Sick Sick Sick (Bass)

    Those are the hardest songs on the game.

    Definitely recommend picking it up when it hits stores December 22. Great Band for a Great Game!
  • KungFuMonk3yKungFuMonk3y537,961
    04 Nov 2009
    12 18 4
    Ok, so admittedly I am a HUGE Van Halen fan. I love both David Lee Roth, and Sammy Hagar. Although I'd love to see/hear some Van Hagar songs on this game, the DLR era songs on here are awesome classics, and very fun to play.
    I loved the trivia facts that you can read while the song plays once you've bested the song.
    The non VH music on this album is a pretty good selection of music that I like personally. Much much improved over the insanely odd/eclectic collection of music on GH5. Coming from someone that is very eclectic in their music tastes that's saying something. :P
    GH VH doesn't make any huge improvements or changes to the formula. If you are tired of rhythm games, then you'll be bored with this one, but if you are a fan of the band and their music, you will probably have fun with this one.
    Speaking of missing band members, this just isn't the real Van Halen without at least a tribute to Michael Anthony, but sadly the great Eddie VH threw a pity party and basically has tried to erase his existence from the band completely. But really this is just a trivial fanboy complaint.... the game rocks for me. Personally, I think this is the best kind of band for a true Guitar Hero game. Van Halen is a true Guitarist's band, with Eddie VH being one of the best guitarists of all time.