People who play video games are typically the sort of cultural outcasts who dig really heavy music; yeah, they’re made fun of and mocked at nearly every turn, but they’re not all emotional about it. They take it out on zombies and aliens.
Therefore, since the beginning of gaming history, gamers have dug really awesome rock music, and it seemed inevitable that eventually video games and rock music would collide in a holy explosion of awesome-ness that would know the world on its ass.
Well, remarkably, it took a while for rock and roll to mesh with gaming. Here’s a look back at two games that introduced rock to gaming-and two games that are keeping the music going.
Aerosmith’s Revolution X (Super Nintendo Entertainment System/Arcade)
Hey, kids! Ready to live on the edge?
Aerosmith’s Revolution X put you in the future, which has been taken over by rock and roll hating fascists who are on a mission to destroy everything cool. So, you shoot them and try to free the members of Aerosmith so that the band can keep on rocking.
This was one of the more ridiculous rock/video game hybrids of all time. I mean, c’mon, a fascist leadership whose sole purpose is to destroy rock music? Other than Tipper Gore, who would try to create such a meaningless movement? The weirdness escalated in the game until the last level, in which-I’m being serious here-you have to shoot CDs at a fat guy’s nuts until they explode.
KISS’s Psycho Circus (PC CD-ROM)
This might have been a cool first person shooter if KISS’s music had been in it. Alas, it wasn’t. It’s still a really weird game that garnered a few hardcore fans, but it wasn’t the sublime mix of heavy metal and explosions that gamers were hoping for. Paul Stanley, how could you lend your likeness to a game that does not manifest metal music in any way, shape, or form? Nobody can get behind a KISS game without KISS music. Except, maybe, Tipper Gore.
Guitar Hero 1 and 2 (Playstation 2, Xbox 360)
The Guitar Hero games have finally done what no other rock games were able to do; they rocked. The idea’s pretty simple. All it is is a very basic guitar simulation. And yet, somehow it’s more fun than shooting CDs into a fat guy’s junk, and even more fun than playing as a non-musical members of KISS. Maybe it’s that the Guitar Hero games were crafted with more care than other games; maybe it was the controls. Regardless, you’re going to lose more time to Guitar Hero than any other rock games combined.
Unless, of course, you’re Tipper Gore.