I’ve made this point at least three times this year, but if all goes as planned, there will be 20 Guitar Hero games in existence at the end of 2009. Yes, twenty. But since RedOctane and Harmonix sold the series after three games, the other 17 seems to have come straight from Activision, even though they’ve only had the series for two and a half years. And now, with every possible sign, save for an outright announcement, proving the existence of Guitar Hero: Van Halen, it’s pretty safe to assume that this game is coming out. Unfortunately.

It’s no secret that I’m not too fond of Activision’s franchise exploiting, but it could definitely be a lot worse- and we can prove it. We here at Ripten dug deep into Activision’s trash and found a lengthy list of ideas that were cut from their lineup, but for the sake of time, we selected the best five, along with their box arts, and posted them after the jump.

5. Guitar Hero: One-Hit Wonders

THE PITCH: Guitar Hero’s back, with the songs you love from the bands you’ve never heard of! One-hit wonders from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and early 2000s take you back to the time when you’d rock out to “Jesse’s Girl” in your bedroom, or when you got kicked off of the bus for playing “Who Let The Dogs Out?” too loudly, or even that time you did the “Macarena” at your 20th birthday party… and no one else did. You can dance if you want to, but all your friends will be lining up to play Guitar Hero: One-Hit Wonders! Be one of the first 99 to preorder, and you’ll recieve a red balloon!

THE SETLIST:
Rick Springfield – Jesse’s Girl
Vanilla Ice – Ice, Ice, Baby
Toni Basil – Mickey
Carl Douglas – Kung Fu Fighting
Men Without Hats – The Safety Dance

THE PROBLEM: It’s simple- it’s a game full of songs that most people either tried to forget, or will soon try to forget once the challenge of drunkenly FC’ing the vocals for a-ha’s Take On Me comes into play. It also doesn’t leave much to the imagination with DLC. Since Activision can’t provide full-disc downloads for a one-hit wonders game, it’ll just be download pack after download pack until people start getting tired of the songs. The biggest problem? No one wants to be the guy at the party that makes everyone play Divinyls’s I Touch Myself.

4. Guitar Hero: Smash Hits: Smash Hits!

THE PITCH: Guitar Hero is back… again! This time, with the best of the best that you personally selected! Guitar Hero: Smash Hits was such a success, now we bring you the smash hits from the smash hits! With such songs as Through The Fire And Flames, Monkey Wrench, Killer Queen, and more, the fun never stops! This time, the hits are even smashier! Preorder early, and you’ll get a downloadable code redeemable for one free downloadable song!

THE SETLIST:
Well, pretty much half of Guitar Hero: Smash Hits. The rest will come in DLC.

THE PROBLEM:
Aside from the fact that the songs are literally recycled from the game that directly preceded it… well, no that’s pretty much the problem. If you look, you’ll notice that this box art has no console-specific label, and that’s because it’s going to every platform they can think of, regardless of generation- Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, Xbox, Gamecube, PS2, DS, PSP, Gizmondo, N-Gage, iPhone, Android phones, TI calculators, iPod minis -even microwave LCDs. Just press the one followed by zeroes in rhythm with Freebird. Ripten cannot be liable for any food that ends up burnt in the process.

3. 8Bit Hero

THE PITCH: Bleep bloop bleep blop bleep! Grab your messenger bags and get ready for 8Bit Hero! With tracks by your favorite chiptunes artists, this game is sure to bring out the indie hipster in you! With the innovative Gameboy controller and 8bit interface, 8Bit Hero is fun for kids of all ages! Preoder now and get the limited edition NES controller for 8Bit Hero!

THE SETLIST:
Chip Hero – Chip Hero
Anamanaguchi – Power Supply
Nullsleep – Supernova Kiss
Nintendo – Mario Bros Theme
Bit.shifter – March of the Nucleotides

THE PROBLEM: First and foremost, this game would never happen. Although it’s mostly awesome, chiptunes aren’t exactly marketable. Especially with songs that most people haven’t heard of. Sure, the “8bit interface” would be done in a way much better than what you see above, but for the most part, it wouldn’t look too well. As for the Gameboy controller- innovative isn’t the word you want to use when you’ve modified someone else’s product a little. In this case, the word would be painful. And speaking of pain…

2. Guitar Hero: Dragonforce DS

THE PITCH: The most popular band from Guitar Hero 3 is back with their own game on the DS! If you’ve ever felt the need for a challenge on the go, the new five-finger Guitar Pack that comes with Guitar Hero: Dragonforce is just for you! Challenge your friends head-to-head over Nintendo WiFi, or play alone! Whether on the bus, or in the doctor’s office, Guitar Hero: Dragonforce DS is a good challenge for everybody! Preorder now and get a free Dragonforce wrist cast!

THE SETLIST:
Every single Dragonforce song ever producded.

THE PROBLEM:
Well it’s not a problem, depending on what perspective you’re looking at it from. From Activision’s position, it’s horrible. Hand cramps will lead to lawsuits, which in turn leads to bankruptcy. From a doctor’s standpoint, it’s fantastic. Not to mention that Dragonforce… kind of sucks.

1. Guitar Hero: STOMP

THE PITCH: All of the fun from the famous percussion show comes to your living room with Guitar Hero: STOMP! Rattle, shake, and roll your way across 7 different venues with the ingenious STOMP gloves, shoes, and trash-can controller for the best gameplay! With such onomatopoeic hits as “Crash“, “Bang“, and “Floom“, the fun never stops with Guitar Hero: STOMP! Preorder now and get your limited edition STOMP! V-neck!

THE SETLIST:
Boom
Plunk
Zoom
Rattle

Icky Icky Icky Pekang Zooboing Nee Won

THE PROBLEM: You’ve all undoubtedly heard about STOMP, right? I mean, it’s a great show, and if you ever get the chance to see it, by all means- do. But it’s loud. Very boisterous and raucous, and no one that lives in an apartment would ever get the chance to play it without being evicted. Banging your hands and feet against stuff would get boring very quickly, and holding a trash can over your butt won’t make it any funner. Of course, knowing the general public, this thing would sell like hotcakes, and we’d eventually see the sequel with full-fledged multiplayer.