Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

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Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 9 Ratings

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  • Summary: Guitar Hero returns with another band-focused title, Guitar Hero: Van Halen. The game features 25 classic Van Halen tracks, three signature Eddie Van Halen guitar solos, and 19 hand-picked guest acts. Play in eight original venues specifically designed for Guitar Hero: Van Halen. Rock around the globe, from a small club in Los Angeles to arenas around the world, including the iconic "S-stage" from the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s 2007 world tour. Play as one of the four members of Van Halen or create your own personalized superstar with Rock Star Creator and watch your superstar party on stage. Rock out with up to four players locally or battle other bands with up to 8 players. With tracks ranging from the high-energy "Jump" to the legendary guitar solo "Eruption," the easy to play, difficult to master game play that Guitar Hero fans have grown to love is back in Guitar Hero: Van Halen. [Activision] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 33
  2. Negative: 7 out of 33
  1. The steep cost of admission is the only real downside to this entire package.
  2. If you’re cool with just the DLR years and you can hang with the weird faces Dance the Night Away, but if you’re looking for a comprehensive VH compilation and accurate portrayals you might as well Jump, back into GH5.
  3. Guitar Hero Van Halen may not feature the greatest selection of tracks that will appeal to general fans of the franchise. However, it does provide those looking for a more interesting challenge, giving you access to one of the most intense collections of songs to grace a Guitar Hero game for sometime, definitely one just for hardcore Guitar Hero’s.
  4. Great for fans of the band, but for the rest it's better to buy any other game in the franchise. And even if you're a fan there's a bit of let down here.
  5. 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.
  6. Guitar Hero: Van Halen is a step back for the franchise. [Jan 2010, p.80]
  7. 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.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 2 out of 5
  1. BC
    Dec 22, 2009
    While it certainly could've had more Van Halen tracks, you can't fault the game for having to follow Van Halen's orders. I have a hard time believing that DLR(current singer of the band) would want Haggar's songs in the game or to have his digital portrayal having to sing as him, or vise versa. As for Michael Anthony not being included IS harsh, Wolfgang is the current on-tour bassist. Wolfgang is a big fan of Guitar Hero and (IMO) influenced his father to have this game made. Also, no set list is perfect in any music game. The fact these reviews knock MAJOR points off for having Third Eye Blind in the game shows incredible bias, and is really, just lazy journalism. Every music game to date has all of the songs you want and none of the ones you hate. Grow up. The fact Van Halen signed off on letting their amazing set list get put into the GH series is a blessing. These songs are a blast to play on guitar, the vocals are insanely challenging(ITS DAVID LEE ROTH!), and the drums are do-able but tough to master. (Yes the game suffers by not being on the newer engine, but thats Activisions problem with timing and allowances) Expand
  2. SamH
    Jan 2, 2010
    I'm not a huge Van Halen fan, but I am a fan of the Guitar Hero series. I found this game surprisingly fun to play considering how little I liked Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. Eddie Van Halen's playing style leads to some pretty challenging songs with serious replay value. Expand
  3. Jan 5, 2012
    The game lets you play classic Van Halen songs and songs from other artists. The set list has songs from many different genres making it more fun to play for all types of players. The game also has some of the hardest guitar solos in Guitar Hero history including Eruption which make the game fun to play for hardcore players. However, the game uses the old Guitar Hero engine and doesn't have very much content to it. It feels like less effort was put into this game than the other games. Expand
  4. mattf
    Jan 20, 2010
    I wasn't allowed to vote on it. I bought Guitar Hero 5 for the Van Halen game alone, there were no instructions in the box on how to redeem it and you supposedly needed to submit this by 10/31/09 to get the game. I contacted Activision and they did not want to help me even though I could give them all the proof they needed that I purchased it. I will never be buying another Activision again. Disgusted after all the money I've wasted on them. Expand
  5. ConnorB.
    Jan 7, 2010
    Horrible, horrible, horrible. An abysmal cash-in on the part of Activision. I suppose that sentence pretty much sums up the last few Guitar Hero games, but I digress. The engine itself is alright. Basic stuff, there's nothing wrong with it, but there's nothing that makes it particularly good. The graphics are okay, but the animations are terrible, stiff and robotic body movements accompany horrific facial animations. Now, what could they do to make a good game with this little setup? Awesome songs, of course! Really make those Van Halen fans want to scream with joy! Of course, they did no such thing. Most of the more well-known songs in this sorry lineup are post-Hagar, and the ones with Hagar are bottom of the barrel, at best. Don't get me started on the "Guest" performances. They're so ill-fitting... There are a couple of gems, but I'm not going to even consider paying fifty bucks for only a couple. It doesn't help that the "Notes" are so poorly synced to the music. After The Beatles: Rock Band, Activision really needed to step up to the plate and give people something that they were going to remember, to keep Guitar Hero the name people remember as the rhythm game people play... Or at least enjoy in the slightest amount. Well, I'm going to remember this, but I can't say that it's necessarily a good thing that I will. I'd prefer not to, in fact. Expand