This weekend's release of Guitar Hero World Tour drew a lot of excitement from the gamer crowd -- and a lot of complaints. According to official Guitar Hero message boards, more than a handful of players have experienced problems with the packaged instruments, and Activision, the game's publisher, has stepped in for damage control.
The most commonly reported problem is with the drum set: the plastic instrument has been sacked with sensitivity issues and the inability to read beats. (That's kind of important in a rhythm-based game.) The Guitar Hero World Tour customer support center offers some helpful solutions such as, "Hit the drum set harder or softer," and "Make sure that the drum set is powered on and bound to the console."
But after it's been determined they're capable of plugging in a controller, where do future video game rock gods go? Activision and Red Octane -- the maker of the peripherals -- have used a message board "sticky" to try and redirect complaints to the customer service center or, worst case scenario: Red Octane's warranty department:
"We have learned that certain drum controllers manufactured for Guitar Hero World Tour have sensitivity issues. We believe that these controllers are limited to ones in the earlier manufacturing stages. While we believe that this was an isolated manufacturing issue, we are stepping our efforts to randomly test our drum controllers so customers can be assured they work properly. In the event any consumers do experience problems with their drum controllers associated with sensitivity issues, Activision will soon be offering a drum tuning kit that will enable players to fully optimize their drums.
"Our goal would be to immediately address any hardware issues Guitar Hero World Tour players have with the game. Consumers should visit the Activision Publishing customer support website or call 310 255-2050 in the U.S. where a customer care representative will assist them. Activision is fully committed to the highest quality manufacturing standards, and to satisfying every Guitar Hero World Tour fan so they can enjoy the best musical gaming experience ever created."
Some commenters who have had persistent problems used reams of masking tape to repair the drum set. Other message boarders started angry petitions for Red Octane to "Take this crap back."
There are few things worse in the tech and gaming world than dropping almost $200 on a hotly anticipated product only to discover it is plagued with problems. I'm hoping there is a great silent majority out there who has not experienced similar issues, and that Activision and Red Octane will swoop in like heroes to fix this mess.