Review by Archmonk Iga

"Is Guitar Hero going the way of the DDR dodo?"

Quite a bit has happened in my life since first playing Guitar Hero 1 and 2. I've started really getting into playing (real) guitar, exploring all different types of art, and finding videogames less and less appealing. I sound like a jerk I know, but it's true. The fact of the matter is, videogames are too expensive and time consuming for a poor college student like myself to afford. But life is still good, believe it or not. My library has become my new home away from home, enlightening me to the beauties of literature, film, and music, all for the price of zero dollars and zero cents. That's not to say that I all of a sudden detest videogames for no apparent reason, however. And Guitar Hero 3 is certainly no exception to that claim. Then again, Guitar Hero 3 was exactly what I had expected it to be--not what I had hoped it to be. It seems it won't take too long for GH to follow in the footsteps of that other once-famous music-based franchise--Dance Dance Revolution. I don't blame the creators in any way though. Really, how could you really improve a solidly structured rhythm game over and over again? It's impossible after awhile. And thus, the Guitar Hero franchise we all know (and love?) so well is starting to become... stale. Milk it, RedOctane! Milk it for all it's worth!

PRESENTATION:
As I expected, very little has changed in GH3's presentation. The nice packaging, clean menus and overall “let's rock out!” atmosphere have returned. But is there anything different? Not really. But what could be added to make the presentation better? Beats me.
PRESENTATION: 7.5/10

GRAPHICS:
Of course they're better than the last one, though the characters have basically the same looks as before. There are now different costumes for the characters, and they've got their own unique animations when using Star Power, but we can all admit this isn't exactly pushing the 360 to its limit. Still, there are some entertaining antics occurring onstage while rocking out.
GRAPHICS: 7.5/10

SOUNDS:
GH3 boasts the best tracklist out of the entire series, no doubt. It's got the classics (Black Sabbath, Rolling Stones), the popular riot grrrl (Heart), the indie-tastic (Sonic Youth... my favorite track in the game by one of my favorite bands ever), the modern rock alternative (Muse, AFI), the metal (Metallica), and of course the off-the-wall stuff (no Freezepop this time around, but they do have Dragonforce..... wait, what!? Dragonforce?!). There's a lot more here too, but that's all I feel like typing. I'm sure you could find the songs within a couple seconds online anyway. Basically, the music is what GH is all about, and this time it really delivers.
SOUNDS: 9.5/10

GAMEPLAY:
New songs! New guitars! New characters! New gameplay modes! This game gives its fans everything they expected. But it all boils down to playing an actual song. When you look at it this way, absolutely nothing is different. You've still got to match the colors onscreen with their buttons on the guitar controller, and that's it. Star Power is still exciting, of course, and some of the songs offer insane challenges for all you Guitar Hero enthusiasts.

I must be fair though, since the new gameplay modes are mostly excellent. Co-op mode is pretty cool—it's just like single player mode but you play with another person. Speaking of multiplayer, Face-Off is kind of a “dance-off” thing, only with Guitar Hero, if you catch my drift. So that's pretty cool. Oh, and then in Career Mode there are “boss battles” which will test how well the preceding levels have trained you. So those are the newest offerings from Guitar Hero 3.

But let's face it—those are three small improvements in a truly huge game. It's inevitable—people will start to get sick of the same ho-hum way of playing Guitar Hero. Don't get me wrong, it's still a fun game, but we'll all eventually enjoy playing each song fewer and fewer times with each new GH installment.
GAMEPLAY: 7.5

LASTING APPEAL:
Just like its older sibs, GH3 should last anyone with friends a long time. Even alone, if you're truly a “guitar hero,” you'll spend quite a bit of time in Career Mode, and then having some fun trying to hone your skills afterwards. But if you're anything like me… well, you're gonna hate me for this but… okay, I'll just say it. If you're anything like me, you might put down the guitar in the middle of a song just because you realize how mind-numbing Guitar Hero really is. Oh snap.
LASTING APPEAL: 8.5/10

OVERALL:
Hmm, you seem kind of pissed about that last comment. I'll just give you my review and be on my way.
OVERALL: 7.7/10 (8 when rounded)

Thanks for reading =)


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/14/08

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


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