E3 09: Guitar Hero Van Halen, You Really Got Me

I was at a Guitar Hero 5 demo at the Activision booth Wednesday, and when asked if we had any final questions, I joked, “where’s the secret demo of Guitar Hero Van Halen“? Totally serious, one of the Neversoft folks replied, “Over in the Sony booth with the PS3 stuff.” Stunned, I made my way over there, and sure enough, there were two stations running a demo in full-band mode.

It was a typical GH demo build: 6 songs, including 4 from VH, one from Queen, and another song from some other band (whose name I forget, sorry). It was a less-than-stellar setup, with lots of lag and flaky GHWT guitars with broken orange buttons or Star Power issues, but none of that mattered once I got to play “Panama” on guitar, which is one of those songs we’ve wanted to see since the first Guitar Hero.

I was there with Wedge from the  PMS clan, who’s a talented Expert player on multiple instruments herself, and the two of us blasted through all the Van Halen songs in the demo: “Panama,” “You Really Got Me,” “Jump,” and “Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love.” I played Expert drums on the last three, which weren’t too tough on Expert (and I’m not a fantastic drummer). Other than obviously having a virtual Van Halen on stage, the game hasn’t really changed, which I’d say is a good thing: GH: Metallica was a great artist-oriented release, and if GHVH is of equal quality, I’ll be extremely happy.