Harmonica Hero Preview
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2011-04-01 Xbox 360 Music/Rhythm RP (Rating Pending) Activision / Neversoft

Hearing about the end of the Guitar Hero franchise broke my heart. If you're a fan like me, you will be happy to hear that the "Hero" will live on, at least through one more title.

Come October 2011, family and friends will be able to get together to step up to the virtual stage once more, and rock their way to stardom with Harmonica Hero. Brought to you by the makers of Guitar Hero and Band Hero, one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time, Harmonica Hero features the hottest chart-topping hits from everyone's all-time favorite tunes featuring harmonica solos, including Black Sabbath, U2, Bruce Springsteen and Led Zeppelin.

Headlined by some of the biggest names in music as in-game artists and playable characters (Ozzy Osbourne, James Hetfield, Bono), Harmonica Hero is the last in the Hero music franchise, giving gamers of all ages one last chance to experience the signature, easy-to-learn but difficult-to-master Guitar Hero gameplay, with a few added extras.

The user-friendly and more social gameplay featured in Band Hero is once again used, allowing fans to create the band they've always wanted by using any combination of guitar, bass, drum and harmonica controllers plus vocals, providing aspiring performers the chance to experience and interact with their favorite music. Bands are now allowed up to five members, and players can pick any combination of multiple vocalists, bassists, drummers, guitarists and harmonica players to customize their band experience.

Harmonica Hero will be bundled with a wireless chromatic harmonica peripheral controller that features five fret buttons and a sliding bar, to redirect air from the hole in the mouthpiece to the selected reed-plate. The passage of air will be registered similarly to the Nintendo DS microphone.

The game will also include a harmonica neck holder and a new gameplay mode. Harmonica Hands-Free mode will be available to allow single-player simultaneous guitar/harmonica or drums/harmonica gameplay, with the player having only to worry about breathing in or out to hit the notes.

Aside from the traditional "band on stage" performance while you play, Harmonica Hero takes the example of SingStar, allowing you view a music video in the background instead. Compatibile with Playstation EyeToy and Kinect, the game will let you create and share your own performances with your friends.

Confirmed partial soundtrack includes:

  • The Wizard, Black Sabbath
  • Tuesday's Gone, Metallica
  • Johnny 99, Bruce Springsteen
  • Love Me Do, The Beatles
  • Isn't She Lovely, Stevie Wonder
  • Karma Chameleon, The Culture Club
  • U2, Trip Through Your Wires
  • Roadhouse Blues, The Doors
  • When the Levee Breaks, Led Zeppelin
  • Heart of Gold, Neil Young
  • I'm Eighteen, Alice Cooper

Harmonica Hero: hyperventilating your way from Beginner to Expert, Fall 2011. I know I will!

Editor's note: April's Fools! :)