Review by Fett II

"Sex, drugs, and rock and roll. This gives the rock and roll, you can figure the others out on your own."

I first read about this abstract idea for a game in my Electronic Gaming Monthly. It seemed mildly interesting. Something that could be amusing for a while, but nothing with a lot of depth. Seeing the success of Donkey Konga, and DDR, I was also well aware of a good "gimmick controller's" effect on an otherwise mildly interesting game. After reading the ad in EGM, I thought nothing more.

Until one day, I had a few friends over and we hit the town for pizza. We had to wait, and wandered to our local Best Buy, because one of my friends, (all of us being avid guitar players of varying skill,) had been raving over the demo of that wacky Guitar Hero game. I gave it a shot, and a primal urge overtook me, causing something into my brain to switch into "Must Have" mode. That's normally reserved for a good 1st party Nintendo game or my girlfriend in a skimpy outfit.

Today, as I write this, it's an hour and a half into the day after Christmas. I've spent the better part of said day with this glorious game, which sat wrapped under my tree for a few agonizing weeks. I can safely say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if you like music, and have even a mild interest in guitar, this game will have you drooling.

The graphics don't necessarily match up to much of today's high definition world, but, honestly, who cares? The graphics aren't what make this game. The important thing on the screen is seeing the neck of that guitar slide your way with multicolored bumps on them which represent a fret on your guitar controller, (five in all.) You can choose a rocker to play in the background, but unless you've memorized the songs, you won't have much time to have wandering eyes.

The sound is obviously amazing. Well over thirty songs from rock bands ranging from The Ramones, to Bad Religion, to Black Sabbath, to Zakk Wylde, to Jimi Hendrix, to Franz Ferdinand, and plenty in between. One amateur band is even in it after winning a Guitar Hero contest: Graveyard BBQ.

Difficulty can be set on a range from easy to extreme, so even beginners are able to get into the game. For reference, my girlfriend, (who has trouble with the Sims,) played it at the store, and my mother even played I Wanna Rock n' Roll. You'll get some people you'd never imagined to play this game. On easy mode, groupings of notes are all thrown together into one strum, and raising the difficulty separates the groups into complex riffs.

Complaints? Hm... I'm hard pressed at this section of the review.. The guitar feels slightly flimsy, and I'm curious as to how long it will hold up, considering I've only had it for a day. I suppose if it can be put on display at Best Buy and have that many people abuse it, it has some staying power.

That about sums it up. Great concept, great controller, great songs.. not so great sounds if you try to do too much too early, but that's your own fault. I can only hope that a sequel will better the formula and include nearly 100 songs. But that's for the future to tell.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 12/26/05

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