Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Review: Guitar Hero II

Shine on you crazy diamond - Console exclusivity has gone the way of the dodo and nobody is happier about it than 360 gamers. "Assassin's Creed" is no longer a Sony exclusive and the next "GTA" game will be finally be out on both consoles on the same day. There have also been rumors that "Final Fantasy XIII," a long time PlayStation stalwart, will finally go multi-platfrom. The lastest title joining the PS2 exodus? The incredibly popular "Guitar Hero" series which makes its brilliant debut on the Xbox 360. Now rock music lovers and Eddie Van Halen worshipers have a chance to rock out on a next gen console.
For those unfamiliar with the franchise, the "Guitar Hero 2" package comes with a game disc and a guitar controller about 2 1/2 feet long thats modeled after a Gibson X-Plorer. In the game, wannabe Joe Satriani's try to match the rolling color coded symbols on the TV screen with color coded buttons on the guitar fret. The better you match up with what's on the screen, the better the song sounds and the more points you earn. This is a very simple explanation of a complicated game but don't be fooled, this game takes skill. Even on easy mode, "GH2" requires focus and quick thinking. Its set up brilliantly and creates for engrossing, addictive game play.
Great game play aside, all of this would make for a boring, even tortuous game if not for a great set of songs to play, thankfully "GH2" delivers. Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, The Rolling Stones, Van Halen, Nirvana, Guns 'N Roses, The Police and Lynyrd Skynyrd are some of the big names in the game. There are also a lot of lesser known artists with songs that'll be familiar as well. The good thing is almost all of the songs are solid rock tunes that are really enjoyable to listen to and play. Not only is there a lot of great music but there's a ton of it. "GH2" has 74 songs to start off with but you can download 9 more on Xbox Live Marketplace if you're looking for some Chili Peppers, Ozzy or some Queen.
You'd think playing a guitar constantly would get old fast but there are plenty of things in "GH2" to keep you busy. Between the practice mode, a very fun multi-player mode and the place where you'll spend most of your time - career mode, there are plenty of things to do. When not shredding, you can visit the in-game store where you can buy new guitars, unlock new characters, costumes, guitar finishes and songs. All of this content just adds to the experience and is guaranteed to give the game a long shelf life.
While "Guitar Hero 2" is a blast to play and allows gamers to live out their rock 'n roll fantasies, its not for everybody. The 360 version is a port of the PS2 game released last November so some gamers might not be too interested in buying the same game twice or a game that was originally released six months ago. The price is also pretty steep as the game retails for $89.99. The game does come with the disc and the guitar and the trade in value will always be pretty high but $100 for a game is a lot of coin.
Despite the high price "Guitar Hero 2" is a great game with an enormous track list, solid downloadable content and fantastic game play. If you're a fan of rock and roll and guitar gods, this game is a must buy.
Guitar Hero 2
Price: $79.99 – $89.99
Rating: T (Teen)
Category: Rythm/Music
Players: 1-2
Formats: Xbox 360, PS2
Grade: A-


FrostyMelon said...

Fun Game! It's a tough find in town, but I got a better deal through the Red Octane website (for multiplayer - two guitars).

*A nice touch would have been a multiplayer career mode.

Ub3rn00b said...

I heard they're coming out with a rockstar edition. Going to have a guitar, keyboard, drums..hell maybe even a tamborine. I dunno...I've played games like this before where you had to simply hit some keys or combination of keys as they came down a screen at you. I forget the names. None of them involved a guitar.

Ub3rn00b said...

Even though I talk trash and make fun of people who play it, I would totally buy it if it were 30 bux. Don't tell anyone...