Healthy Holiday Gifts

Download Guitar Hero tracks off of iTunes

Boy oh boy do we have a once in a lifetime music deal for you, one that'll change your life for the better and make your tummy rumble (but in a good way). Activision has just placed every single Guitar Hero track (from GH, GHII and GHIII) on iTunes for you to purchase dubbed Guitar Hero Essentials. Go ahead, try and tell yourself that you can live without the melodic sound of Metallica, RATM, Pearl Jam or Aerosmith. Try and tell yourself that you don't need to purchase these tracks for when you are away from your 360 and can't play Guitar Hero. Just try and tell yourself that you don't need any of the 1200+ master rock tracks over at the Essentials iTunes store. You can't, because you need this music. You need to purchase it and you need to browse the list. And for a limited time, iTunes will organize the tracks according to genre, theme and game they came from and we'll also throw in a FREE (yes, we said free) air guitar with any track purchase. Hurry, this offer is limited ... call now!

[Via Joystiq]

Canada: Get GHII free with Xbox 360 purchase

Fellow Canadians who don't own an Xbox 360 (or are looking for a second) and would like to jam to some Guitar Hero II before the sequel releases next week, please give us your complete and undivided attention. This week at Canadian electronics retailer Future Shop they are offering Guitar Hero II FREE with the purchase of a new Xbox 360 console. This is the same holiday 360 bundle that includes Forza Motorsport 2 and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, so it's like getting three games and a console for $399. It's not too shabby of a deal, so maybe you should jump in while the gettings are good.

[Thanks, to everyone who sent this in]

GHII gets some heavy DLC tomorrow

Even with Guitar Hero III just month's away, it looks like Activision is still keen to milk its very lucrative downloadable content business. As such, the company has announced a new song pack for Guitar Hero II. Like the previous packs, the new song pack includes three new tracks for you to shred to your heart's content. The song pack includes the following tracks.
  • Trivium - "Detonation"
  • Atreyu - "Right Side of the Bed"
  • Protest the Hero - "Bury the Hatchet"
Lest you are unfamiliar with the new tracks, let's just say they're a bit on the hard side, especially compared to last month's DLC. According to ScoreHero, the new content will be available tomorrow at 2:00AM (PT) for the still onerous price of 500 MS Points. Now, if Activision would finally release some Fine Young Cannibals, we'd be in business.

[Via Joystiq]

GH II downloadable tracks total 2 million

Today, Activision is touting the success of their Guitar Hero II downloadable content claiming to have sold 650,000 song packs via the XBLM, which totals over 2 million songs. Activision says that the "song packs are some of the most popular content on Xbox Live and are quickly becoming a very lucrative revenue stream" and announced that their latest GH II My Chemical Romance song pack has been purchased over 55,000 times. Cha-ching!

So, everything is peaches and fresh daisies over at the Activision camp as it pertains to the success of GH II's downloadable content, but we ask what happened to the community's complaints about the price? Back when the new tracks became available everyone was up in arms at the cost, refused to support the expensive content and even went as far as to create online petitions. But now it's looking like it was the vocal minority who were expressing their distaste or those who were complaining just gave in and purchased new tracks. We aren't sure if we should applaud the success of GH II's DLC or be somewhat sad that the "success" of it may just have solidified the high price point for the future. We guess we'll just have to see how it all works out when Rock Band puts its first round of content on the Marketplace.

Don't cut yourself just yet, MCR pack on Guitar Hero II


Major Nelson gives word that Guitar Hero II has another track pack available on Marketplace. This time, though, it's not a rehash of Guitar Hero I songs, but actually a band themed packed full of master tracks. Sounds too good to be true, right? Precisely, as it still costs 500 Microsoft Points, which is not as bad for fresh content, and the band in question is My Chemical Romance. Now, we've had a couple of rants about reader response to anything involving MCR and their 360, and expect to see more of the same here. In any case, the songs in the pack are "Famous Last Words," "This is How I Disappear," and "Teenagers." Now, remember that it's down the road, and not across the street.

Buy Guitar Hero II, get 1600 MSFT points free

From now through August 18th, when you purchase Guitar Hero II from Circuit City you'll get 1600 Microsoft points for free and free shipping on your online order. This offer is available online and in-store, but you'll have to send in a rebate form to get your money back. Check out the offer here.

True, we have seen a similar free 1600 Microsoft points offer before when GH II released and there was no forms to send in. But if you're willing to send in a rebate and wait for your cash this is definitely a good deal. Or you could just wait for Guitar Hero III or the game X3F is in love with ... Rock Band. Decide and plan your purchase accordingly.

Activision sticking to GH II DLC pricing

The consumer versus Guitar Hero II downloadable content pricing war rages on with Activision taking the defensive on their pricing strategy. According to Dusty Welch, the head of Red Octane publishing, the downloadable track packs have been a "tremendous success" and that "demand seems to be insatiable" as they're reporting that 300,000 song packs have been purchased since April. Mr. Welch goes on to say that they have been listening to Guitar Hero II customers, but will still be "offering even better music at current price points" due to the success of the previous song packs.

So guys, who's to blame? We know we didn't purchase those overpriced track packs, but know there are a bunch who did. This is just another case of the financial bottom line being more important than the vocal majority, so quit buying the songs already! .... now back to the corner to cry myself to sleep again.

[Via Joystiq]

They didn't listen. New GH II tracks still 500 points

In a slap to their fans' faces, Activision released a new Guitar Hero II music pack to the Marketplace and it's still overpriced. Up for download is the Guitar Hero Track Pack 4 featuring three songs including "I Wanna Be Sedated" by The Ramones, "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple, and "You've Got Another Thing Coming" by Judas Priest for the ouch that hurts price of 500 Microsoft points.

We really thought Harmonix and Activision were taking a while to release new content, because they were actively negotiated and reworking their pricing strategy seeing that fans have been very vocal about the pricing of the last three DLC offerings. But our extended wait was for no gain, because the pricing hasn't changed. Try and keep your anger civil fanboys ... or at least pointed towards the guilty parties.

Pink Spartans know how to rock

What's better than a pink Master Chief, a replica Guitar Hero II X-plorer guitar, and over 70 sparkly jewels? The answer: nothing! Girly Halo fan bs angel created a jewel encrusted X-plorer guitar for her pink Master Chief spartan to rock out with. The project took around two hours to complete with most of that time dedicated to attaching the little jewels. You can check out more pictures of this pink wonder after the break. Now only if bs angel can hook us up with a few tickets to the pink Master Chief rock concert that's going down this Summer ... our fingers are crossed.

[Via HBO]

Red Octane: new GHII DLC in July

As the promises of loads of downloadable content echo through the empty halls of memory, Red Octane has let out a squeak, nay, the smallest chirp of information regarding the next batch of downloadable songs for Guitar Hero II. According to a forum post by a Red Octane admin by the name of rodth, new downloadable content for Guitar Hero II should drop sometime in July. Specifically, rodth noted, "While nothing's been formally announced, look for something to come down the pipeline around the July timeframe ...."

If you've been keeping track, this would be the second batch of DLC we've seen since April. We're not experts, but we're not sure that qualifies as the most DLC for any 360 game evar.

[Thanks, Aragorn]

GHII guitar gets peed on, Harmonix to the rescue!

Back in May, Rock Band forum member (and obsessed Guitar Hero II fan) Bloodlust told of his tragic GHII experience and asked Harmonix to include one of his favorite songs for all the pain he has gone through. You see, Bloodlust not only ended up with a broken 360, a scratched GHII disc, and heartache, but his X-plorer guitar ended up getting peed on. Yes, you read that correctly, his nephew urinated on his guitar controller. And Harmonix, being the kind developers that they are, kindly disregarded such song suggestion and sent him a brand new X-plorer controller signed by the entire team in urine colored yellow Sharpie. Those Harmonix guys are a funny bunch and are now officially included in our book of kickass developers.

GHII tourney at the Mall of America

You're a Guitar Hero II rockstar god, aren't you? Well, if you think you're good enough and are willing to travel, the Mall of America in the lovely state of Minnesota is holding a Guitar Hero II tournament this Saturday, June 9th. The guitar gaming fun will take place in the mall's rotunda from 10:00AM-4:00PM with prizes including a Guitar Hero II game pack, Fender Squier Strat Pack, and a pair of airline tickets. And if your dress up skills are better then your guitar playing, dress up like your favorite rocker and win prizes for your creativity. Practice a few expert songs, make a trip to the MOA and win a few prizes. Living the life of a rockstar is good.

For fanatics: custom GHII guitar on eBay

Thanks to seemingly never ending supply issues, finding a second guitar for Guitar Hero II can be quite a challenge. Now, if you want to spend a little extra scratch, you can find custom guitars on eBay. Put up for auction by sheppyboy2000, the guitar features an original black-on-red paint job. This is actually his second guitar (you can see the first one here). Apparently stickers weren't enough for sheppyboy2000. You'd better really want this puppy, though: the current high bid is $85 with $11 more for shipping. For that price, you could buy a brand new copy of Guitar Hero II and give it to a friend. Still, if you like custom gaming accessories, this one seems pretty nice. Oh, and sheppyboy2000 plans to make more, so keep your eyes peeled if you like what you see.

[Thanks, Adam Wessel]

Star Power made easy: an X-plorer mod


You know the feeling. You're playing Guitar Hero II, you've got full Star Power and here comes that sweet string of notes that will send your score into the stratosphere. Only one thing to do: tilt that controller and rock like you mean it. But what's this? You tilt the control and nothing happens, or maybe it's a little delayed, or maybe the act of tilting screws up your fingering. Whatever happened, you're stuck with a piddly x2 multiplier and a lot of wasted Star Power. If this sounds familiar to you, you may want to check out the fancy Star Power button mod at GrownUpGamers. As is the case with most mods, this will require you to crack open your X-plorer and do some soldering, so it's not for the timid. The mod also instructs users how to install a "kill switch" which essentially gives you a second strum button, helping you land those wicked solos.

If you're chops are righteous enough for this mod, click the "read" link and check it out.

See Also:
Guitar Hero II cardboard fret mod

Guitar Hero II ad by Gorillaz animation director

You know that badass commercial for Guitar Hero II that we first showed you that later came to Marketplace? Yeah, the one that looks strikingly similar to Gorillaz music videos' artistic style? Well, evidently that comparison is with good reason, at it turns out that the credits to the animation go to Peter Candleland, the Gorillaz animation director from Passion Pictures had a hand in the style of the 360 rock title's TV spot, so the similarities are justified. We also hunted down the animator for the piece, Robert Valley, and a lot of his other work is consistent with the feel throughout. Still, the "Woman vs. Meteor" ad is right up there with Mad World in our books, what about you?

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