Review by Def Freak7

"Great steps forward, stupid steps backward. It's definitely not the best in the series."

Guitar Hero is the new phenomena of the millennium. There's no question about it. Ever since the little known developers Red Octane and Harmonix teamed up to make the first one, the franchise has sold ungodly amounts of money. It even went so far as to get to new platforms than its debut PS2 (that would be the 360) and a spin-off (but I don't wanna talk about it since it sucked). Now Harmonix and Red Octane have moved on to this game's biggest competition, Rock Band. Neversoft has taken over the reigns, and they've done an admirable job keeping true, but unfortunately, where they succeed is also where they fail. One step forward, one step back.

GRAPHICS: 7/10
You know, I don't expect much from this game as far as graphics go, but some of these things are just ridiculous. I do like the attention to detail as far as motion-capturing goes, especially with the mannerisms of Slash (more on him later), and that the singer finally sings the words and you can tell that he is. But, the mo-capping also causes a couple of problems. The singer's mouth does look a little robotic, and the drummer looks VERY robotic. He's playing the right stuff, but he looks like one of those audio-animatronics from Disney! Also, the singer looks creepy! It's like his jaw is so massive it can take down Godzilla! Also, just like the standard singer, the avatar of Bret Michaels is also somewhat robotic. The characters look cool and the bosses look close to their real life counterparts, though, so it's not entirely bad. The arenas are also very nice. Another thing that irks me is that this game DEFINITELY SELLS OUT! You'll see ads all over the place, from Pontiac to an Axe Body Spray guitar (WTF?). It disappoints more than usual I'm afraid.

SOUNDTRACK: 9/10
Yes, I made this separate because it matters so much for this game. And thank God they didn't disappoint here. They definitely put together the BEST setlist yet. We've got some returning favorites like KISS, Blue Oyster Cult, and Black Sabbath, and we've also got some new bands I'm excited to see, like Metallica, Slayer, Slipknot and Disturbed. This setlist definitely shows off rock's past (Blue Oyster Cult, Heart, the Who), near-present (Metallica, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam), and future (Muse, Queens of the Stone Age, Tenacious D). Now the only gripes I have are that if you're gonna call the game "Legends of Rock", you'd better make damn sure some of the artists you include are legendary. Poison is not legendary. AFI is not legendary. Guns 'N Roses IS legendary. Rage against the Machine IS legendary. There are tons of artists they included that DO deserve to be there, and a ton that DON'T! Next time, be careful how you bill your game! Another great idea they did with the soundtrack is that they included some foreign bands who have been really popular in their respective countries, like Superbus (France), the Kaiser Chiefs (Sweden), and Revolverheld (Germany). I like this idea of including the entire world into this game, not just the U.S.

SOUND: 9/10
That all being said about the track, let's talk about the actual quality of the game eh? Most of the tracks in this game are master tracks, meaning they found and used the original recordings. That definitely works for some artists, like Guns 'N Roses and Metallica (who are defined by their singers). The cover artists obviously aren't as good as the originals, but they do a pretty good job. The thing I like is that for one, they re-recorded "Cult of Personality" and "Anarchy in the U.K." by Living Colour and The Sex Pistols respectively. It was great that both were willing to re-do their biggest hits for this game, and they sound like they haven't skipped a beat! Except, Rotten's vocals are starting to show age. The sound quality of each track is great, even for the older master cuts. I will say that their syncing sometimes with the singer's mouth and the lyrics are somewhat off. But that's just nitpicking. All in all, great sound quality now.

GAMEPLAY: 9/10
Here we go. This is the biggest area with good point, bad point stuff. The gameplay seems for the most part unchanged from the other games as far as how you play. The window for hitting notes has been expanded, which truly helps for beginners. At the same time, the game still throws hard stuff at ya in the form of the later songs and the boss battles. Speaking of boss battles, this is a great concept that could be elaborated even further for the next series. There are 3 boss battles. Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, Slash of Guns 'N Roses, and a third that I can't say due to spoilers. Although if you've looked up YouTube videos, you already know. Anywho, I love these battles because they're a real challenge, but the only downside is that you can't play these outside of career mode. It sucks, because battling with a friend on these newly recorded duels would be fun. Also, the battle mode in general is very fun to play against friends with. Also, the co-op is just like before, except now there are songs that are ONLY available in co-op career. Great idea for forcing people to get another guitar, you greedy developers!!! All in all, they still have great gameplay, but their new ideas are somewhat flawed.

ONLINE: 10/10
THANK GOD THERE'S FINALLY ONLINE PLAY. For one, you can battle or do face-off against people online now. Also, there's now an online community (other than ScoreHero) for people to share pictures, scores, and their favorite moments playing online. This is great because since Guitar Hero has become so popular, the rest of the world is taking notice. The only bad thing is that you can't take co-op online, but I could understand why. It'd be pretty hard to do co-op matches online against people. That's pretty much all I can say about online play.

PERIPHERAL: 10/10
The newest model of guitar controller is based off of the Gibson Les Paul. This feels and plays the best out of any guitar controller made for the game. But fear not if you're used to the old controller. The X-Plorer still works from GH2 for the 360. If given the opportunity, get the new one.

OVERALL:
Overall, Guitar Hero 3 is another great sequel of the series. The setlist is great, the gameplay is as fun as ever, and the online community is a great step. However, the new ideas they present bring new problems. The graphics bring mo-cap problems, there are some artists that don't belong in the setlist, and the battles need to be played in more than just career. Regardless, this is still worth buying because it is still fun.
FINAL SCORE: 9/10


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/29/07

Game Release: Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (US, 10/28/07)


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