With less of a bang than a whimper, tomorrow is the release date for Guitar Hero: Van Halen.
I’ve had this game since the first days it was available as a Guitar Hero 5 pre-order bonus. Although I am kinda-sorta a Van Halen fan, have to admit that it was a bit of a letdown. In all honesty, I had more fun playing Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. There’s something about the Van Halen catalog that just isn’t … deep. It’s just sort of basic rock music. Outside of the Eddie guitar virtuoso wankery (aka Eruption) and the top 5 Van Halen hits you’re probably thinking of, there is no “there” there.
It’s also a shame that this disc doesn’t import at all into Guitar Hero 5, like World Tour, Smash Hits and Band Hero do. Well, partially, anyway.
Guitar Hero: Van Halen is probably worth getting if you’re a massive fan of the band, though it is nowhere near the intimate fan-centric portrait of a band like Guitar Hero: Metallica, much less The Beatles: Rock Band. If you are a genre enthusiast like myself, I can recommend picking it up once it drops to discounted levels. It’s mostly Van Halen, but there are a handful of other interesting songs on there as well — check out the song list and see if anything appeals to you. I expect it to tumble in price quite rapidly.
Even if you have no interest in the game proper, there is a little bonus for all fake plastic rockers — an official Eddie Van Halen “frankenstrat” faceplate!
The frankenstrat is Eddie’s famous guitar, a combination Gibson / Fender with a very distinctive paintjob.
I’m pretty sure the frankenstrat is probably the single most copied faceplate design in the history of fake plastic rock. So having it as an official faceplate design is a good thing. The faceplate is available as a promo bonus from some sites, or also sold directly for $10.
They’ve done a ton of these covers, which are available here. Bring your earplugs, and a sense of humor …