Freestylegames  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Freestylegames  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Ubisoft Picks Up FreeStyle Games from Activision Thu, 19 Jan 2017 08:51:57 -0500 Tinh Nguyen (Tinhn778)

Polygon recently reported that Ubisoft acquired the studio that was behind DJ Hero and Guitar Hero Live. The musical titles' developer, FreeStyle Games is now Ubisoft Leamington.

The Studio was formed in 2002 and has made multiple rhythm-based games with Guitar and DJ peripherals.

After their last game didn't do as well as they expected, Activision decided to sell it to Ubisoft. Activision believed that FreeStyle Games can be a great asset to the Ubisoft.

In Ubisoft’s blog, Pauline Langourieux, current Managing Director of Ubisoft Leamington, wants to be more hands-on with productions within the studio. With that news, there will have to be someone to step-up, that's where Richard Blenkinsop comes in.

Richard has over 17 years of experience in the gaming industry as a producer, senior producer, and executive producer. He has worked on many games like Blur, Call of Duty 3, The Division, The Crew and more. He joined Reflections in 2012, which is one of the biggest studios within Ubisoft, and has then moved up from Associate Managing Director to Managing Director.

With all his experience serving as Managing Director for Ubisoft Reflection and now Ubisoft Leamington, it will bring them new forms of game development..

How to deactivate Hero Power in Guitar Hero Live: GHTV Mon, 22 Feb 2016 10:52:11 -0500 BlackTideTV

Hero Power has replaced Star Power from previous Guitar Hero games in Guitar Hero Live. It allows players to win back a disappointed crowd in Live, and can provide a significant advantage over opponents in GHTV when activated. There are a bunch of different Hero Powers available in GHTV, all of which we covered in a previous article: Guitar Hero Live: How to rank higher in GHTV online matches

Spock Highly Illogical

It may seem highly illogical to any novice Guitar Hero players, but disabling Hero Power is something that I've wanted to do in Guitar Hero Live for quite sometime now. Before I teach you how, let's clear up why someone would want to do this, and the requirements one must meet to be eligible. 

Why would you want to deactivate Hero Power?

There are a few different reasons someone might want to disable this special ability...

  • Player becomes too skilled and needs a new challenge - Some players can get so good at Guitar Hero Live that they find no further use for Hero Power. Most powers give the player the ability to catch up to enemy scores or make notes easier to hit. What happens when you hit every note in the song anyways? Hero Power just gets in the way.
  • Player wants to master in-game solos without copping out with Hero Power - A lot of players will take the easy route and activate Hero Power - even unconsciously - when the hard part of a song arrives. When a player can't use Hero Power, they're forced to play the hard part and get better at the game. 

Distinguishing between hammer-ons/pull-offs and Hero Power notes GHTV Guitar Hero Live

  • Player has trouble distinguishing hammer-on/pull-off notes from Hero Power notes - Hammer-ons and pull-offs are flipping hard to see in Guitar Hero Live. The only differentiating characteristic is a light blue glow around the note. Comparative with Hero Power notes that are distinguishable by a light blue outline and small lightning bolt image. Having Hero notes arrive when playing a solo or similarly fast and hard part filled with hammer-ons and pull-offs is a recipe for disaster. 
  • Player's guitar controller is overly sensitive - I've personally suffered through playing with a sensitive controller. Hero Power is supposed to activate when you tip up your guitar controller. With a sensitive controller, the slightest movement will activate your power, usually screwing you in the process. 

What makes you eligible?

Believe it or not, there are some requirements that you'll need to meet before being able to deactivate Hero Power in GHTV. Remember: this only works for GHTV. Let's just say the technique you're about to learn isn't as conventional as going into the pause menu and flipping a switch.

That being said, you'll need to be playing GHTV on Expert difficulty. There has been a patch since my Guitar Hero Live: How to change GHTV difficulty settings article, and you can now change difficulties on the fly by entering the pause menu in the middle of playing a GHTV song. Once you are in Expert mode (which, realistically, you should be in before you consider deactivating Hero Power to begin with) you'll need to make sure you have a certain Hero Power in stock. 

Hero Power Dial Up

What I mean by "in stock" is that all powers apart from Clear Highway have a number of uses before you need to head to the GHTV store to buy more with in-game or real currency. You'll need to achieve a certain rank before this power is unlocked, but if you've only played Expert in GHTV you should have all ten still in stock. If you've used them, don't worry, they don't cost too much to purchase and you only need to have one. The Hero Power you'll need to have is Dial Up.

How to disable Hero Power in GHTV!

Without further ado, let's get into this technique! It's actually incredibly simple - you've probably figured it out already.

Dial Up is essentially useless on Expert modes as the "power" of this Hero Power is increasing the difficulty level so a player can earn more score during an easy riff. By equipping Dial Up and playing Expert difficulty, no Hero Power notes will arrive, effectively disabling Hero Power in general! That's all there is to it! 

I must advise against taking this technique unless you fit into one of the aforementioned categories of players AND have a fully upgraded guitar. You won't see too many players disabling their Hero Power until they reach level 20 because it isn't until level 20 that they'll have all of their passive upgrades unlocked and in effect. 

Fully Upgraded Guitar GHTV Guitar Hero Live

Keep in mind that in the image above my guitar level is 16; my player level is 20. It's a bit confusing, I know. To find this screen and upgrade your guitar head into MY GHTV > MY SETUP > GUITAR UPGRADES. 

Bleaablendaablea that's all folks! Enjoy playing Guitar Hero Live: GHTV without Hero Power - it certainly gives you a new perspective on the game, and your skills will improve drastically. Enjoy!

For the best of Fallout 4, Assassin's Creed, and Guitar Hero Live news, guides, and opinion pieces be sure to follow BlackTideTV on GameSkinny! To stay up to date, head over to his Twitter page @BlackTideTV.

Through the Fire and the Flames now playable in Guitar Hero Live! Wed, 03 Feb 2016 11:28:20 -0500 BlackTideTV

Answering fans' prayers everywhere, Activision and FreeStyleGames have released Dragonforce's "Through the Fire and the Flames" into the world of Guitar Hero Live

The song made its video game debut in Guitar Hero III Legends of Rock back in 2007, and has pushed enthusiasts to the brink for nearly a decade. Dubbed the hardest song in Guitar Hero history by many a player, the song had quite the rise to fame. Finally, the developers of the massively popular series have allowed players to get their hands on it again, and it does NOT disappoint. 

Being the resident "Guitar Hero guy" here on GameSkinny and having played the song around five times already, I can personally guarantee you that "Through the Fire and the Flames" will induce tears. It's filled with the fastest strumming in any song to appear in Guitar Hero Live to date, tons of trills, runs, and... well just listen to the damn thing:

It certainly is not for the faint of heart. Stop and remember how expensive that Guitar Hero controller was before you smash it against the wall!

Celebrating the re-release of the song in the Guitar Hero franchise, a third, time-limited channel has been added to GHTV. Aptly named SHRED-A-THON, the channel playlist features "the hardest songs in GHTV" handpicked by FreeStyleGames:

  • Megadeth - "Hangar 18"
  • Trivium - "Strife"
  • Lamb of God - "Ghost Walking"
  • Alter Bridge - "Cry of Achilles"
  • Dragonforce - "Through the Fire and the Flames"

The setlist repeats every half-hour, allowing for maximum plays of the near impossible Dragonforce tune. The "SHRED-A-THON" is only briefly available, starting today and ending at 7:00 am PT on Monday, February 8, 2016. 

The re-release of "Through the Fire and the Flames" brings hope to my heart that Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird" could fly once more as well...

What are you waiting for? Get shredding before it's too late!

Guitar Hero Live: How to rank higher in GHTV online matches Wed, 02 Dec 2015 07:36:21 -0500 BlackTideTV

There are a variety of ways to earn extra points in Guitar Hero Live's online player-versus-player music video mode GHTV. From guitar setup to difficulty setting, everything affects your total score at the end of a song.

Unfortunately, because of this, many players can find it tricky to finish in the top three, even when they are better than their opponents. In this guide we'll be covering the multiple ways that you can improve your GHTV score and earn that podium finish. Step-by-step we'll walk through the simplest to the most diverse topics. 

Game Proficiency

The first thing you should ask yourself if you aren't placing is: "Am I good at Guitar Hero?" There are a multitude of ways to become proficient at shredding the plastic. Check out GameSkinny's complete guide on how to get better at Guitar Hero Live for an in-depth guide on the topic.

As for a very brief look, there are six major methods that you should attempt to get better at the game:

  • Practice, practice, practice. 
  • Learn some basic musical theory (time signatures, keeping a beat).
  • Train hand-eye coordination.
  • Learn the music you'll be playing.
  • Master the more advanced Guitar Hero tactics (hammer-ons, pull-offs).
  • Enjoy yourself.

Once you have practiced enough, learned the music you'll be playing as well as how to keep the beat of that music, trained your hand-eye coordination to a degree of comfort, know how to smash hammer-ons, pull-offs, and other special notes, and you're having fun, you'll be good at Guitar Hero, and can rule out this suspect for why you aren't placing in online matches.


I hope this doesn't come as a surprise but, harder difficulties have more notes. It's the way of the world. The harder the Guitar Hero difficulty, generally the more notes, the faster the track, the more hammer-ons and pull-offs, and the more score per note hit. 

Obviously the next piece of advice for placing in online GHTV matches is to play on the highest difficulty. There are very few players on GHTV playing on Regular or lower difficulty. Most players that take their trip online do so in a "I'm about to kick some ass" fashion. Other players are generally pretty good and will be playing on Expert or at least Advanced difficulty. 

Your best bet is to play Expert. If you can handle it. If you aren't good enough at Guitar Hero to play on Expert, rely on some of the other tactics you'll find in this guide, and you still have the opportunity to place in the top three. 

How to Change GHTV Difficulty

Changing the difficulty on GHTV is trickier than it needs be. The game never actually tells you what difficulty you're on and there is no logical place to change it. You'll need to head over to the Live portion of the game and enter Quickplay. Inside you can change the difficulty that you wish to play on and head back to GHTV to a changed game. 

For more information on this topic, check out the full article on how to change GHTV difficulty settings


A note streak can make or break your final score. That 4x score multiplier isn't just for show, it really does give you four times the score for every note you hit. 

This might be the simplest way that you are missing out on a podium finish. Even if you hit 99% of the notes in a song, if you screwed up at just the right spot, while your opponents didn't and proceeded to shred at 4x or more, it can be the end. 

There is no real strategy for combating the unfortunate occurrence of screwing up a note streak and a multiplier. Just keep working away at it and you'll eventually start smashing those tricky parts and earning better multipliers.

Sustained Notes

Holding sustained notes for longer can result in more score. There are instances where the final note in a song can be sustained and the player in first drops it by accident; sometimes another player can take his place by holding the note.

It may seem like a long shot, but always hold any sustained notes for as long as you can. You never know how many points ahead of you (or behind you) the other players are.

Hero Power

There are seven "Hero Powers" in Guitar Hero Live. The type of power you use, combined with when you use them can greatly affect your overall score at the end of a song. Most Hero Powers require the player to be a certain level to unlock them and even then, you'll need to spend in-game currency to refill them once they run out. Some powers are much more valuable than others.

Clear Highway

This power is available from the get-go and comes in unlimited quantities. This is why Clear Highway is so valuable. I personally use this power exclusively (mostly because I'm cheap and want to save my coin for Guitar Upgrades, which we'll talk about later).

Clear Highway will instantly eradicate any notes currently on the track. Pretty straightforward. It can be very helpful for tricky sections where you aren't comfortable with the notes. 

Dial Up

Arguably the worst power for professional players, Dial Up will increase the difficulty of the song for a short time. Regardless of if it increases the difficulty past Expert or not, it isn't useful for an Expert player. If increased past Expert, the notes may give extra score, but the track would be ridiculously difficult to play. 

Therefore, this power is made specifically for lower-level players who find themselves playing an extremely easy portion of a song. Generally, chorus segments are tedious, repetitive, and a bit bland, so they make for a great spot to use this power in. Upgrading difficulty could net a player on Advanced just enough points to take the lead, but don't count on it.

Dial Down

Dial Up's more sensible brother, Dial Down will decrease the difficulty of the song for a short time. When used in particular areas this Hero Power can be extremely, extremely useful.

While playing on Expert, most players will come across mind melting solos. Simply impossible ridiculousness that seems like a toddler broke into the studio during the programming of that song and mashed buttons, and the guys at Freestyle just went with it. This is the exact instance where a player that isn't super comfortable with Expert solos could use the Dial Down ability. While everyone else struggles through an Expert solo, you can breeze by on an Advanced solo.

Safety Net

The Safety Net Hero Power lets players keep their score multiplier and note streak, even if they screw up. Definitely one of the best powers available, this one is a force to be reckoned with. The trick to using this power is using it on a hard part that follows an easy part. For example, a bridge often follows a chorus and has a strange rhythm or notes not previously seen in the song. 


Invincibility is essentially Clear Highway on steroids. Granting the user a brief section of auto-hit notes and canceled bad inputs. It's really unnecessary. Rather than a free-bee you'll need to spend coins to get more Invincibility uses. The benefit of Invincibility over Clear Highway is the anti-bad inputs. If you strum by accident, it won't register, whereas with Clear Highway it will. 

Double Multiplier

This power will instantly give you a multiplier twice the amount of what you currently have. This can be great if you are at your maximum multiplier. Another great use for it is directly after an error. Instead of waiting for your multiplier to slowly stack up again, you can instantly improve it, getting back in the game sooner. This is a great Hero Power for any type of player.

Score Chaser

The final Hero Power you can unlock is a fairly valuable one if you know you are good at the game. Score Chaser will double your maximum multiplier, potentially giving you fourteen times score for each note hit. Make sure you're playing a part that you're comfortable with or this power won't be beneficial to you!

Guitar Upgrades

The final and most important tip I have for ranking highly in online GHTV matches is upgrading your guitar. There are four ways to upgrade your guitar, all of which are extremely important. 

Each upgrade will cost a ton of coins and it will take an absurdly long time to max out each statistic. For this reason, I suggest purchasing them evenly.

Hero Sections

The first ability is the least helpful. This upgrade will set more Hero Power spots into your songs so you can, obviously, use Hero Powers more often.

It's not as useful as the others for standard gameplay if you know what you're doing, though it is the gateway perk to completing a trophy/achievement challenge.

Base Score

This ability will increase the base score of every single note you hit. This will increase your final score, though it won't be as useful as you think. You'll find that the real score starts to build up with a multiplier. That's why the major focus should be on the next two skills, with this one coming in third.

Max Multiplier

To use this ability to its fullest potential, you'll need to master streaking. With a larger maximum multiplier you'll be able to earn up to seven times score for every note you hit. It's worth investing your first purchase or two into this ability. 

Multiplier Speed

In my humble opinion, this is the best guitar upgrade of them all, allowing the player to earn their multipliers faster. That means double score faster, triple score faster, quadruple score faster. If you and another player screw up in the same instance, you will be back on top of your multipliers before they are and could take the lead. 


Depending on your unique skillset and playstyle, you need to pick the upgrades and powers that are right for you. I personally recommend the original Hero Power: Clear Highway, though Safety Net is a second favorite. As for upgrades, stick with the Multiplier increases first, but increase all skills evenly. 

Other than that, work on your skill, start playing on Expert, learn to rock those streaks, and sustain those long notes as much as you can.

In the end it could come down to the fact that there are some really great Guitar Hero players out there that you'll never beat. Enjoy yourself and don't try to worry about coming in first every single time, and you'll find that you might start to do just that!

New GHTV Premium shows coming to Guitar Hero Live Wed, 04 Nov 2015 06:19:37 -0500 BlackTideTV

Guitar Hero took to their official Twitter page today (11/04/15) and announced three new GHTV Premium shows coming to Guitar Hero Live this week. Black Veil Brides, Paramore, Fall Out Boy, and more artists are featured across the three setlists. Each setlist can be found below.

Black Veil Brides

  • "Heart of Fire (Live)"
  • "Fallen Angels (Live)"
  • "In the End (Live)"

Legendary Headliners

  • Fall Out Boy - "Sugar, We're Goin Down"
  • Blink-182 - "First Date"
  • Paramore - "Monster"

Pop Goes GHTV

  • American Authors - "Believer"
  • The 1975 - "Chocolate"
  • George Ezra - "Budapest"

Premium shows in GHTV can usually be unlocked by earning three or more stars on three, generally random, other songs first, or by purchasing access through microtransactions (real money). 

A new batch of Premium shows means that it is likely the older GHTV Premium show content is now available in the random playlists and in the song catalog. The Premium shows are meant to provide players with advanced access to new content by earning, or buying, their way in.