Review by Exodist

"One of the best games I have played in a very long time."

No, it really is. Im not exactly a 'rocker' but hey, my sister brought it and it was quite a good game. Though she took it back to her house. The whole family loved the game, me, my sisters, my dad and even my mum, now that is unusual. So then a couple of days later, I see my dad coming to the house, holding a giant bin bag, and what was inside other then Guitar Hero. My little sister had the first go, she got quite far into it. Then I came along, and owned her.

Guitar Hero is a guitar simulation game. You hold the plastsic, mini SG Guitar, it has 5 fret buttons on the neck of the guitar, a white strumer at the base (or whatever it is called) and a wammy bar under that, next to those is the START and SELECT buttons. The concept is quite simple, but deadly difficult. Basically, there is a giant fret board on the screen. At the bottom of the board, are the 5 colour buttons, Green, Red, Yellow, Blue and Orange. When green comes up on the board, you would hold down the green button on the guitar, and then strum up or down with the white strumer when the green note reaches the green note at the bottom of the screen. Sorry I can't explain it well, but its actually hard to explain if your not playing the game. So if you understood, it sounds simple enough, right?

Wrong. It gets much, much harder then that. You start getting notes everywhere, chords (which is 2 notes at once) and passages (basically, just the same note over and over again, but really, really close together). And just wait for the solos. Its basically impossible to get all the notes unless your a master of hammer ons and pull offs. Basically, these are like, green, red, yellow and blue one after the other. You would then like, be able to play all the notes by only strumming once, but you have to do more then that. To be honest, im not very good at hammer ons and pull offs.

So then, what is there in the game? Well, you can create your on band (mine being called Jimmy Says No) and go through some different stuff. First off, your best playing the tutorial, then onto career. On career mode, you have to complete all 30 songs in the game (the bonus songs don't count, and on easy you only do 25) to complete the game. Easy mode is the practice mode, you don't get any money, you don't get ANYTHING for doing easy mode. Once you do that, you move onto medium. Playing a song, you get some money depending on what your rating is. You can get from 3* (this is literally the lowest you can get) to 5*. If you get around 100% notes hit, chances are your most likely to get a 5* rating. To get a higher rating, you need a higher amount of points, to get this, you need to get a x4 multiplier (basically, hit 40 notes in a row) so every note you get, the score quadruples. Then, use your star power (more on that later) and it will double, to x8, earning you loads of points! Of course, getting 5* on every song is needed. Basically, you just need to complete all the songs. When playing a song, you get a little ROCK meter that goes down a bit whenever you miss a note or strum when there isn't a note. Hitting a note will make it go back up, and using star power and hitting a note will make it shoot right back up. If it goes all the way down, you fail the song. So really, just dont miss notes to complete the song.

After completing it on Easy, Medium, Hard and Expert (at the time of writing this review im onto the 3rd section on Expert difficulty, very hard...) you have one last thing to do. Get 5*s on every single song. Then, shop shop shop! You get money for finishing song (from medium difficulty onwards) which you can spend on new songs, guitars, guitar skins, characters and bonus stuff. You can also play any song on any difficulty on quick play, provided you have unlocked it on career mode. You can also play multiplayer, against some one else (as long as they have a guitar/can use a controller) where you take it in turns to do some notes, then play together, although its really just to prove whos the better player.
Oh, and the star power, nearly forgot about that. Hitting a certain amount of notes in a row with stars on them will fill up your star meter, once you have enough, lift the guitar up, or pressing select will activate it. This is a life saver on Hard and Expert difficulties, and missing those vital notes can be very annoying. Also, you can hold out long notes, if its a star note, push the wammy bar up and down, and your meter will fill up more. Thats that then.

Graphically, Guitar Hero isn't exactly lacking. The audience look pretty good, 2D looking yet 3D at the same time. The venues are in full 3D, they're detailed and look pretty good. Also, the characters are well done, when you strum, your character strums and stuff like that. The music, is just brilliant. All those classic rock songs, who couldn't resist? Great songs.

PROS:

All the songs are good.
Great, fun to play.
Nice graphics.
Takes ages to master.

CONS:

It really is just doing the same thing.

THE RATINGS:

Graphics: 8.7/10
Audio: 9.9/10 (has to be)
Game Play: 9.0/10
Life Span: 9.0/10
Difficulty: 9.5/10
Multiplayer: 7.5/10

Overall: 9.7/10

My Two Pence:

Overall Guitar Hero is one of the best PS2, and generally, game I have played in a long time. Its great fun, lasts ages, and is just really, really cool. Although it generally is doing the same thing, playing songs, it doesn't get boring fast and is vital to your game collection. Even if you don't like rock songs.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 09/18/06


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