Guitar Hero: Van Halen Review

Posted By | On 15th, Oct. 2009 Under Reviews

Ok, so the other day I received my free copy of Guitar Hero Van Halen by taking advantage of the offer that was available by sending in proof of purchase and everything else when I purchased Guitar Hero 5. (See my review already posted). When I received it in the mail about six weeks after I sent in all the required stuff, I literally ran from the mail box into the house  and grabbed my guitar controller and fired up my Xbox 360 system. Of course while that was coming on I had to quickly text my friends and rub their faces in it that I got mine first.

Origina line up Alex, Eddie, Dave & Michael

Origina line up Alex, Eddie, Dave & Michael

The game starts out with a little trial by fire, or in this case, pyrotechnics, and the band members are introduced.  Original members, Eddie & Alex Van Halen are represented to a tee as spitting images as to how they presently look as well as front man David Lee Roth. Now the twist is that original bassist Michael Anthony is no where to be found on the game, and anyone who has read any press stories in regards to more recent history about Van Halen know why.  Those same people will know and possibly recognize current Van Halen bassist, Wolfgang, who is actually the son of Eddie Van Halen. Honestly, I’m happy that Wolfgang gets to share the stage with his dad, not only in the game, but in real life as well as he played bass on the last tour Van Halen had done. But being a fan of Van Halen since the early 1980’s, I really was looking forward to seeing Michael Anthony and his signature ‘Jack Daniel’s bottle shaped bass guitar.

Now, just about any and all possible Van Halen hits are represented in the game from ‘Running with the Devil’ to ‘Jump’, ‘Panama’ and ‘Hot for a Teacher’. One thing that is going to leave you with that real deep empty feeling is that there are no Van Halen songs from the days when Sammy Hager took over as front man for the mega-arena rock band. As a fan of the band, you’ll be itching for songs from albums like 5150 and OU812, but to get those, you’re gonna have to dust off those old cassette tapes.

One addition to this edition of Guitar Hero is that certain songs when completed will unlock specific information about that song. As an example, completing  ‘Ain’t Talkin ‘Bout Love” unlocks two additional options for that song, one is the lyrics, where you can listen to the song and follow along, and the other is ‘fun-facts’ about that specific song. While viewing the fun facts, you watch the animated Van Halen perform that song while you can read about little tid bits of history about the song. I chose to read the fun facts on this particular song because the band I play in covers this song.

More recently, Alex, Dave, Eddie & Wolfgang

More recently, Alex, Dave, Eddie & Wolfgang

Guitar Hero Van Halen supports all the basic band game play as GH:World Tour or GH5 and downloadable content from both are compatible as well. For those who were able to take advantage of the Guitar Hero 5 offer to receive this Van Halen edition really can’t complain as you technically received two games for the price of one. Those who missed out, but still want to have the Van Halen experience will get your chance on December 22, 2009 when the game will be available to regular retail sales.

All in all, in my opinion this is a definite must for Van Halen fans, just try not to get too carried away and get caught in some old zebra stripped spandex pants and maybe strap on a helmet before attempting the classic David Lee Roth jumping kick.

This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360.


Great line up or classic Van Halen songs, line up of special guests keeps the rock flowing, awesome stage layouts


You're really gonna crave some "Van-Hagar" songs, No Michael Anthony, Eruption is almost impossible.

Final Verdict

Hit the stage with in the latest edition of Guitar Hero with Diamond David Lee Roth, the legiondary Eddie Van Halen, icon Alex Van Halen, and of course Michael Antho.

A copy of this game was provided by developer/publisher for review purposes. Click here to know more about our Reviews Policy.

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