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Critic Reviews

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Game Chronicles (Dec 22, 2009)
It’s rather interesting that I have to make almost the opposite disclaimer for this review that I made for Metallica. I’m not a huge Metallica fan and that fact reflected in my enjoyment of the game and my final review score. Conversely, I am a major fan of Van Halen, which probably tilts my score a bit more toward the high side, but even my love of the band and the song selection in this game isn’t enough to recommend paying $60. If you got Guitar Hero: Van Halen for free then enjoy your good fortune. Everyone else needs to wait for the inevitable price drop.
I would have to consider long and hard before I would pick this title up at full price. Limited coverage of Van Halen’s long history as a band, little involvement from the band members themselves, and a strange assortment of accompanying tracks all conspire to limit the appeal of this title. This is particularly frustrating because all of these mistakes could have been easily fixed. If the developers had used the gameplay improvements from Guitar Hero 5, gotten more involvement from the band, and had a track list that covered more than a limited range of the band’s history, this title would have been damn near perfect. As it is, this game is really only going to appeal hardcore Van Halen fans and those of us lucky enough to have gotten the game for free.
Guitar Hero Van Halen is enjoyable simply because it's so much fun to play the guitar line in many of the Van Halen tracks. Taken as a whole, though, the game's disappointing. It's essentially a track collection that's incompatible with the other games in the series, devoid of any of the extras that went into Guitar Hero Aerosmith or Guitar Hero Metallica. If you're excited by the prospect of playing songs like The Cradle Will Rock, Jamie's Crying, and Eruption, then just the chance to play those songs will keep you happy. If you're looking for more out of your Guitar Hero games, then just stick to Guitar Hero 5 for now and wait until a Van Halen Track Pack is added to the Guitar Hero Store.
Worth Playing (Nov 13, 2009)
The unfortunate thing about Guitar Hero: Van Halen is that it really had the potential to shine, but there just seemed to be too much working against it. The ongoing band feuds have eliminated not only a large section of the group's catalog, but a founding member as well, and laziness on the part of all parties involved means that there's nearly nothing added to the game to give it the extra content we saw in the Aerosmith and Metallica editions. That's tragic because the game is a great deal of fun and has a good number of tracks to shred to and belt out at the top of your lungs. While this is by no means a bad game, we've just come to expect more out of Activision, and this time, they let us down. While this title may throw you in a DeLorean and transport you back in time for a weekend, there just isn't enough here to make you want to relive the '80s forever. Then again, maybe that's for the best.
Gaming Target (Nov 16, 2009)
Since the free offer is long over, the next place to grab it is the official release... which is the problem here. The game isn't worth $60 – it's probably good enough at $30, but at full price it's going to sit on shelves unsold until retailers start giving it away free (or at a steep discount) in some kind of plastic instrument bundle. GH: Van Halen is a great example of what should have been sold as either DLC for Guitar Hero 5/Rock Band 2, or as a digital release on the PlayStation Store or Xbox Marketplace. That way, we wouldn't have this glut of music games on shelves which is leading to the rapid decline of a formerly fast-growing genre. Unless Activision pulls a Guitar Hero: Led Zeppelin out of their bag of tricks, Guitar Hero: Van Halen should be the last single-band game they ever make.
PSX Extreme (Jan 10, 2010)
I was really excited about Guitar Hero: Van Halen, but all of that excitement washed away when I actually played it. Granted, the first 20 minutes with the game were a ton of fun, mostly because of the songs from Queen, Judas Priest, Queens of the Stone Age, Killswitch Engage, and Alter Bridge, but once I started actually diving in, I began to notice just how barebones this is. And even though I get this stuff for free, I never forget the value to the gamer who spends his/her hard earned money. A full-priced game this is not. But if you happen to see it cheap somewhere, snag it. It's fun, but not feature filled.
En definitiva, a Guitar Hero: Van Halen no le falta buena música y diversión, pero la selección de canciones es bastante discutible, se echan mucho en falta las novedades del gran Guitar Hero 5 y, en términos generales, no es un homenaje tan acertado como los otros tres juegos basados en grupos que se pueden encontrar en las tiendas. Tampoco ayuda que tengamos que pagar por él más o menos lo mismo que por cualquier otro juego si tenemos en cuenta que en Estados Unidos, por ejemplo, venía de regalo con la quinta entrega. Lo más destacable es la dificultad, más o menos a la altura de Guitar Hero: Metallica, y que gustará pese a todo a los fans de Van Halen. De no haber tirado por el camino fácil podría haber sido mucho mejor.
65 (Feb 19, 2010)
Guitar Hero : Van Halen se situe à peu près au même niveau que ses cousins Aerosmith et Metallica et se place donc comme un titre que les fans du genre et/ou du groupe apprécieront. Toutefois, on ne pourra pas empêcher certains joueurs de lui tourner le dos, allergiques qu'ils sont aux "titres-playlist" qui n'apportent strictement rien à la série Guitar Hero. Au final, Guitar Hero : Van Halen cible un public bien précis et le fait avec efficacité.
Guitar Hero: Van Halen is not a bad game; in fact if you love shredding impossibly guitar solos then this is easily one of the better options as of late. The song list is great if you love classic Eddie and the guest bands while not relevant, offer a solid mix. Not being able to export the songs into GH 5 or download any new tracks really hurts, but the lackluster presentation hurts even more. The idea of playing a game based on Van Halen is the desire to feel like the band; sadly that does not happen here. If you got the game free it was truly a blessing, but unless you are a die-hard Roth-era Van Halen fan, the retail disc is not likely worth your dough.
62 (Feb 24, 2010)
Wären die halbwegs gelungenen Polygonvarianten von Eddie van Halen oder David Lee Roth nicht zugegen, könnte man den Eindruck bekommen, dass es sich hier um ein überteuertes Add-On handelt. Die Rettung vor dem kompletten Absturz haben die alt gedienten, aber mit diesem Spiel nicht zu Ruhm und Ehre kommenden Rocker der bewährten Mechanik zu verdanken. Die ist nach wie vor ein Unterhaltungsgarant und trotz der nicht zu unterschätzenden Versuche des mittlerweile geschlossenen Underground-Studios nicht tot zu kriegen. Dennoch ist Guitar Hero Van Halen das beste Beispiel dafür, wie die vermeintlich todsichere Geldkuh übermolken wurde...
Extreme Gamer (Dec 25, 2009)
Guitar Hero: Van Halen showcases the early years from Van Halen’s long history as one of the worlds top rock acts. However, compared to product like 'Guitar Hero: Metallica' or 'The Beatles: Rock Band', GH: Van Halen does not feel complete. The innovations from Guitar Hero 5 are not included, the gameplay is extremely barebones, there are no noteworthy extras, and you only get a few years out of Van Halen’s long career. Really this Van Halen game needed a subtitle of “The Roth Years”, to be more accurate... and not “Diamond Dave”, the spandex wearing-long haired Roth you remember, this is the reunion tour Dave. Activision could have done a lot better, and I think Van Halen, and its fans deserve better. As a free promotional game, it is passable, but as a full out release, we are expecting a little more.
60 (Feb 26, 2010)
No final só podemos dizer que a Activision lançou para o mercado um jogo sem qualquer esforço, nem teve tempo para adicionar todas as funcionalidades e novidades de Guitar Hero 5. O jogo não permite a compra de novas músicas, o modo carreira não apresenta qualquer vídeo sobre a história da banda, nenhum extra ou prémio é ganho após percorrer o modo carreira, muitas músicas da banda foram deixadas para trás e substituídas por músicas sem qualidade. Em termos gráficos nada mudou, mantendo o visual dos anteriores jogos, o som está muito bom, com as músicas mais antigas a exibirem um som bem trabalhado. Ao comparar com Guitar Hero: Metallica, este Guitar Hero: Van Halen parece inacabado ou simplesmente uma demo. Se a Activision não procurasse lucros, este jogo podia muito bem sair num DLC.
60 (Mar 23, 2010)
Se puede pasar un buen rato con Guitar Hero: Van Halen, pero si no se es un fan de la banda, es mejor adquirir cualquier otro producto Guitar Hero... e incluso si uno es fan, se puede sentir parcialmente decepcionado.
GameFocus (Dec 22, 2009)
Unless you are an absolute die-hard Van Halen fan there is no way you should pay full price for a game that only offers half the content. What is really disappointing is that Van Halen’s library of tunes during the David Lee Roth Era is so good. I can’t tell you how many recognizable songs I got to play and I wasn’t even alive when they were originally released. Despite that I still wish that there was more to this experience. If you really want to play Van Halen’s early hits, wait until this game lands in the Bargain Bins in a few months time.
PSFocus (Mar 08, 2010)
Dat is niet alleen vreemd, er zijn meer van deze vreemde dingen te bespeuren in de game. Zo is de game niet alleen visueel wat minder vanwege het gebruik van een andere engine, ook de optie op de nummers te exporteren naar Guitar Hero 5 ontbreekt, daarnaast is het online niet zo praktisch meer als voorheen en voelt het meer als een rommelig iets dan als een volledige goede game aan. We kunnen verder dan ook kort zijn over Guitar Hero: Van Halen, want het enige dat echt heel goed aan deze game is, is de audio. Veel meer valt er niet aan de game op te merken en dat is jammer, zeker omdat er meer in had kunnen zitten. Mocht je fan zijn, dan is de game de moeite waard. Ben je nieuw? Scoor dan Guitar Hero 5 of Metallica. Verder is deze game een goed voorbeeld van snel geld verdienen boven kwaliteit stellen en dat is jammer.
GamingExcellence (Apr 02, 2010)
Plainly put, if you've played any other band-specific Guitar Hero games, you know what to expect, and that is a game that isn't as good as the others. With nothing really standing out from the game itself, even most of the music, it's hard to see why Guitar Hero: Van Halen couldn't have just been a downloadable track pack from the beginning.
XGN (Feb 24, 2010)
En dat is jammer. Dat Guitar Hero kennen we nu zo langzamerhand wel. Leuker zou zijn om er compleet nieuwe modi in te gooien, door met iets verrassends op de proppen te komen. Nu kun je van elke band wel een Guitar Hero game maken maar is dat de bedoeling? Kijk daarbij naar de prijs van 60 euro en bedenk daarbij dat het slechts 25 nummer van Van Halen zelf zijn. Beter zou het geweest zijn, zoals vaak ook met SingStar games geldt de laatste tijd, beter gebruik te maken van de internetmogelijkheden. Zo vaak wordt er downloadbare content voor Rock Band aangekondigd, en het wordt tijd dat dit met Guitar Hero ook meer gaat gebeuren. Van Halen was eens leuk, maar dat betekent niet dat we nu zitten te springen om zelf ook maar mee te doen.
Meristation (Feb 18, 2010)
Un esfuerzo insuficiente que es inferior a cualquier resultado de esta brillante saga musical. Ni su apartado técnico, ni su propuesta jugable consiguen sorprender, y para más inri incluso desaparecen opciones como el party mode. A esto le añadimos un repertorio limitado en cuanto a grupos y lastrados en cuanto a elección de temas y lo mezclamos con un modo carrera a la altura del que pudimos ver en Guitar Hero 2. En resumen, una completa decepción que además nos llega a un precio exorbitado en comparación del que pagaron americanos e ingleses (de regalo con Guitar Hero 5) Los temas de Van Halen son en su mayoría brillantes.
Gamer Limit (Mar 05, 2010)
So, to sum up this latest entry to the Guitar Hero bandwagon fails at appealing to Van Halen’s limited fanbase and casual music fans alike, making for a wholly disjointed experience. The remaining songs are unarguably fun to play, but to label this as a game designed to provide fans with a definitive depiction of the band would be absurd. I’ll reiterate: it’s nothing more than a glorified track pack which shouldn’t have been conceived as a standalone game unless Activision were willing to put some effort in to make it worthwhile. Sadly, this wasn’t the case, which makes Guitar Hero: Van Halen about as relevant and fresh as the band it has disastrously demoralised.
Gamervision (Feb 02, 2010)
If you happened to get Guitar Hero: Van Halen for free with your purchase of Guitar Hero 5, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. Even for absolute die-hard fans, I simply can’t recommend this game. The track listing is lacking, the gameplay is outdated (by its own predecessor), and the fun factor for this game just isn’t there. Had this game come out a few years ago, or even as a cheaply priced expansion, I might consider this game worth renting, but it didn’t. Guitar Hero: Van Halen isn’t the worst thing that’s happened to the franchise, but it should serve as a warning to Activision to tread more carefully with the Guitar Hero brand in the future.
GamePro (US) (Dec 22, 2009)
But the music is spot-on at least. Of the 45 songs included, 25 are Van Halen cuts and they will definitely give veteran players some finger cramps on Expert. Unfortunately, the remainder of track list is padded by songs from random bands like The Offspring, Third Eye Blind, and YellowCard who don't fit the overall theme of the game. In fact, an overall lack of cohesiveness is a common theme throughout the game and you can't help but wonder what the point of it all was. Activision mailed out a free early copy of the game to people who pre-ordered Guitar Hero 5 a few months before the street date and it feels like they rushed Guitar Hero: Van Halen in order to use it as a freebie. That's unfortunate because those extra months clearly would have been much better spent putting enough polish to do the source material justice. Even though I am not their biggest fan, I still felt like the band deserved much better than this half-assed effort.
IGN (Jan 04, 2010)
Anybody who picked up Guitar Hero 5 shortly after release had the chance to snag Guitar Hero Van Halen for free through a promotion. They got what they paid for. For everybody else that might be looking to Guitar Hero Van Halen in stores, stay away. No effort was put into making it good. It’s a step backwards for the franchise and a totally unnecessary release.
TheSixthAxis (Feb 24, 2010)
If you haven’t yet been summoned into the empire of plastic guitars, our recommendation remains the same: buy Rock Band 2 or LEGO Rock Band. Although Guitar Hero 5 is a little more feature-rich, Rock Band 2 remains the superior guitar and drumming game, especially when you take the price and vast quantity of downloadable songs into account, and the fact that Harmonix are not pumping out new disks every 3 months. LEGO Rock Band has a softer track list, but suffers from the disadvantage of only being able to access the family-friendly portion of the download store, which excludes you from a lot of good tracks. Van Halen deserved better, and so did Guitar Hero fans. Avoid.
40 (Mar 01, 2010)
Zoals de game nu is, had Guitar Hero: Van Halen nooit voor de volle mep in de winkel mogen liggen. Wacht maar gerust op Guitar Hero 6, want Guitar Hero: Van Halen bevat even weinig content als het liefde voor de tappende gitaarvirtuoos bevat.
D+PAD Magazine (Feb 25, 2010)
Guitar Hero itself is still a fiendishly playable game, and the note charts here are of a high standard (this is one area in which the franchise has been steadily improving following Harmonix’s departure). But the central problem with Activision’s latest isn’t so much that music games are past the point of saturation, that familiarity has bred boredom (though there is that as well); it’s that Guitar Hero: Van Halen would fare better were it a budget release, or a modest little DLC pack with character models. As it is we’re left repeating the same old tired journalistic clichés, like one of those Eddie solos that go on and on and on…
Game Shark (Jan 19, 2010)
In a world where The Beatles Rock Band exists, the paltry effort put into Guitar Hero: Van Halen is, quite simply, deplorable. If you‘re going to devote the time, money, and effort to developing a band-themed game in this franchise—then do it right. Don’t embarrass yourselves by passing something like this off as a legitimate, full-featured game. This one is all on Activision. It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to see that Underground developed this game with both hands tied behind its proverbial back. There’s simply no way this is the game they wanted to make. This isn’t a game that anyone would want to make. It's a lesson in how to stick a fork in a once proud franchise.