Review by Hannibal222

"I can't say this any simpler: Get this game, by whatever means necessary."

This game is awesome, amazing, spectacular, period.

Guitar Hero is a game developed by Red Octane and Harmonix that shares some ideas with Dance Dance Revolution. It's a rhythm game where you hit the right notes that come up at the right time, to put it simply. But the song selection and controller implementation make this a truly unique gaming experience.

One of the most interesting features of the game is the controller that it's bundled with: a smaller-scale model of the Gibson SG guitar. The guitar controller has 5 fret buttons on the neck, a strum bar where you would hit the strings and a whammy bar (which for guitar newbies like myself, alternates the pitch of a note). You hold one or more fret buttons then hit the strum bar to play the note. The strum bar can be played both up and down.

The game starts you out very easily, with 4 different game difficulties being easy, medium, hard, and expert. Within each difficulty are 5 (easy mode) or 6 (higher difficulties) groups of songs, each group harder than the last. Even people who have never played a game before could probably pick the guitar up and tackle the 1st set of easy mode in a jiffy. Guitar Hero is an extremely approachable game.

The difficulty picks up in the medium difficulty. During the easy difficulty you only play the first 3 buttons on the guitar, so you just use your index, middle and ring fingers. Medium starts up the 4th button gradually, helping you get used to using your pinky to hit things. Also, medium is where you'll first start to play the 6th set of songs, which include 2 particularly hard songs that I'll talk about later.

Then comes hard mode, which unlocks the 5th button, again gradually. You have to get used to shifting hands a lot more. After that comes expert, which basically makes you play every song with every note basically how you'd imagine it on a 5-note guitar. It's very hard, but it is extremely rewarding each time you finish a song.

The song selection is one of the game's strongest points. The first songs in the game you probably already know and have heard a million times, notably "I Love Rock and Roll" and "I Wanna Be Sedated." The game goes along with more great talent such as Jimi Hendrix, Bad Religion, Audioslave, and more classic musicians like Edgar Winter Group and Cream. While you may go in thinking a certain song is bad since you've heard it outside of guitar hero, you come out of the song excited and you all of a sudden think the song is great.

2 songs in particular, Pantera's "Cowboys from Hell" and Ozzy Ozbourne's "Bark at the Moon" are the 2 finishers to the 3 higher difficulties, and they are pretty much the ultimate finish to the game. They contain extremely hard chorus lines that don't let you rest for a second, and will basically kick your ass most of the time. Then again, this is the only game where I've gotten my ass kicked and gone back wanting more.

The whole game is extremely good and making you think that you're making music. And the experience of you playing the strum bar to these songs is like no other game on any console ever.


Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 12/16/05

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