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Ultimately, the game needs to return to its roots. Not the franchise-specific roots back on the PlayStation 2. No, the series needs to return to the roots of video games themselves. By rolling Guitar Hero all the way back to the text adventure, the series will be able to evolve naturally into a new beast that will capture the imagination of millions.
Of course, one must reinvent sound itself to transfer a medium wholly predicated upon sound into a format that has no sound at all.
An example: Upon starting the game, the player will be asked to play “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” Using the following well-understood mathematical equations (as provided by this handy website), the player will recreate the entire song in text form:
Alternatively, the player can be presented with sheet music of their favorite tunes. While this is a bit more advanced than the normal text adventure, sheet music is certainly readble, and I am sure the processing power of modern computers and consoles should be able to handle it.
The player will be presented with, for example, “Your Song” by Elton John, as seen below.
> Blue, green, blue, blue, green, red, yellow, yellow, yellow, red, orange, blue, green, red, yellow yellow, yellow.
Of course, lyrics will be a perfect fit for the text adventure as seen in the below example:
The next lyrics are: “Despite all my rage, I’m still just a rat in a cage.”
> Sing “Despite all my rage, I’m still just a rat in a cage.”
The Guitar Hero franchise has indeed fallen on hard times, but as you can see, as a text adventure it would achieve a new life.