Guitar Hero World Tour introduced a new feature that’s really cool and a step in the right direction: you can customize the guitar of your character. Yeah, Rock Band 2 allowed you to change the colors of your guitar already, but Guitar Hero took the feature to the next level: you can choose the shape of the body, the neck and headstock, the frets, even the pickups and the volume controls. You can choose the finish and the way you want to paint it. All in all, it’s really cool.
But (and there’s ALWAYS a “but” here in this blog), there’s a problem. Here’s the thing: I suck as a luthier. There, I said it. Do you see that guitar up there in the picture I used for this post? I didn’t design that. My guitar designs are only cool when I get lucky. Some time ago I actually designed a cool guitar using the “octopus” graphic, the tentacles covering most of the body. It was sheer luck though, and it looks kinda punkish, to be honest.
Well, I think the customization option is really cool and definitely a positive thing. But I really wish I had the option of choosing my instrument at a store. Like in Rock Band and older Guitar Hero games. Not only it’s easier, you have the guarantee that you’ll find several beautiful instruments, and one that actually exists in the real world, which adds to the feeling of “simulation” that music games should have.
Another detail: I have to confess that I love browsing the stores in Rock Band games. Every item has a detailed description, and the info on the guitars is priceless. And it’s also done in a lighthearted, humorous way, which is a plus. When I was browsing for a bass for my character (I ended up with the Fender Jazz Bass), the one thing that was critical for my final decision was the description of the instrument. I’m not even kidding. There are people like me out there.
Also, I like having to PAY for my instrument. Again, I’m NOT kidding. I like having to do shows, and earn my money, in order to go to the store and FINALLY being able to buy that one guitar I liked. My character uses the Gretsch White Penguin guitar. I love it. What a beautiful guitar. And knowing that this guitar actually EXISTS in the real world made my purchase much more meaningful. I mean, take a look at the real White Penguin:
Beautiful, eh? I would NEVER have been able to create such a kickass guitar using the customization tool. I mean… the world is full of real, awesome luthiers, who can create real masterpieces. Why should I expect to design something better using a simple tool inside a videogame?
So my conslusion is: keep the customization tool. It’s awesome. But give me the option to spend my in-game money in a guitar store with real world replicas. I want to sport a Gretsch White Penguin in future games, please. Thank you very much.