Review by REDDAP
"If you're a rock fan and you don't own this game...what's wrong with you?"
Ahh, Guitar Hero. Finally coming to Wii, and the reason for my current lack of time on the internet. I'm sure everyone who knows me expected me to get this, me being the music addict and all, and I have not disappointed in that regard. In other words, this game does not disappoint at all, living up to the hype and the series name with only a few small problems that don't effect very much at all. So let's get on to the meat and potatoes.
Urgh..I'm usually not very judgemental about graphics, but when a game on the Wii has GCN level graphics, when it surely can do better, and when all the other installments of the game on other consoles have better graphics, there's something wrong. Even though I don't really care too much about graphics, the lower quality is basically Neversoft saying "We don't have faith in the Wii's [insert computer thingies that run graphics because I suck with technology terminology stuff]. You can tell what's going on though, and that's the important thing. There's some pretty cool animations during the songs too...my only real problem is that you can't really pay too much attention to your band rocking out since you need to pay attention to your track.
This game in general has great music. While I don't like a few of the tracks, that's to be expected in a game with so much musical diversity. There are plenty of songs that range from all genres of rock, and encompass music from the 60s up until today. One of the tracks is so old that they couldn't even split the tracks, so everything cuts out when you screw up instead of just the guitar. The song selections in this game range from (imo of course) absolutely amazing, (EG Muse-Knights Of Cydonia, Iron Maiden-Number Of The Beast, Tenacious D-The Metal) really damn good, (Metallica-One, ZZ Top-La Grange, Guns N' Roses-Welcome To The Jungle), pretty awesome but not really amazing, (Dragonforce-Through The Fire And Flames, (Which is also the uber secret song and is a total $%#$@ to play) Stevie Ray Vaughn-Pride And Joy, Foghat-Slow Ride) decent but nothing special, (Pearl Jam-Even Flow, Living Color-Cult Of Personality, White Zombie-Black Sunshine) not really bad but not really good either, (Weezer-My Name Is Jonas, The Killers-When You Were Young, AFI-Miss Murder (I swear I hated these songs the first time I played them, but they've grown on me enough to not hate them...damn punk rock.)) and then the few painfully bad songs that shouldn't be considered music and it's really hard to understand why someone would like them (Disturbed-Stricken, Slipknot (*insert massive amounts of puke here*)-Before I Forget) That's a huge list of examples just to show you all a bit of what's in the game, but there's even more great stuff too. Overall, the music is a key part of this game and it really doesn't disappoint.
Nothing special here. The plot is basically told in like 20 second cutscenes between song tiers during career mode. It's basically about a rising band and what happens on the way of being famous. The scenes are entertaining and the plot itself is fairly original for a game, but it's nothing special. There are a few pretty interesting semi-twists which make the story differ a bit from the total cliche rock band story, (See: South Park's Guitar Hero parody episode) and one final twist that is totally awesome and is definitely something real musicians probably feel about the industy. I won't spoil anymore. As another point of interest, the final ending cutscene is absolutely epic and awesome in every way and is worth playing the game just to see, mainly for it's insane cheeseyness.
The gameplay is what makes this game awesome. There's something so satisfying about playing DDR on a plastic guitar that just can't be put into words. As for those who just say "Just play real guitar, it's much better!", well, you'd think so...but there's something about this game that is just addicting and awesome. Basically, there are five fret buttons on your guitar controller. In easy mode you only need to use three, but there are higher difficulty levels that increase the buttons required as well as the notes you must play. Once you're playing a song, you'll notice colored buttons speeding towards you down a giant guitar neck. To play the song, you must hold down the corresponding fret button on your guitar controller and strum the strum bar. For every note you hit, you get points. For every 10 notes you hit, your point multiplier doubles, up to x4. At times you'll find "star power phrases" that, if you hit all the notes in, will allow you to unleash Star Power, which lowers your penalty for missing notes and doubles your multiplier, meaning you can get up to x8 points per notes. Using Star Power at key times in the song is an important strategy, as you can save up plenty of it to unleash by tilting your guitar upwards during tough solos. If you miss a note, your rock meter goes down, and if it goes down too low you fail the song. Needless to say, if you try playing stuff on expert when you're just playing for the first time you'll most likely fail. Guitar Hero takes a lot of practice to play well but it's worth it when you're the Guitar Hero King at a party with your friends. That's right, Guitar Hero makes for a great party game with it's multitude of multiplayer options. You and a friend can play co-op on a song, with one of oyu playing Lead and the other playing Rhythm of Bass. If you prefer competition, you and your buddy can have a Face-Off, alternating playing sections of the song to see who gets the most points, or Pro Face-Off, which features both player playing the full song. My favorite multiplayer mode however is the battle mode, where points don't matter-the important thing is to stay alive and make your opponent fail the song but throwing battle powers, which you get instead of star power, at them. You can use battle powers to double the notes your opponent must play, increase the difficulty level, or worst of all, reverse their note chart and make them flip their guitar to their opposite hand. And those are just a few examples. Truly, Guitar Hero is one of the most fun games in terms of pure gameplay I have ever experienced.
Replay Value: 10/10
Like you didn't see this coming. Four difficulty settings, insane amounts of awesome songs, four different multiplayer modes with different variations each, plus online make this game last for a looooong time. Granted, it would be better with downloadable content, but what are you gonna do.
Like I said before...I you like music, you'll like this game. While only a few minor aesthetic issues and the fact that Nintendo really does need to get out of the online stone age bring this game down a notch, it is still insanely fun and will remain the king of music games until Rock Band comes out and I move into my friend's house to play it nonstop.
So if you're a fan of rock, and you own a PS2 or any third generation console, then what's stopping you from buying this? Frankly, even if you don't like rock, maybe you should buy this. Maybe it will convert you. Rock on! \m/
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 12/07/07
Game Release: Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (w/Guitar) (US, 10/28/07)
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