Review by mack2283

"Simply Irresistable..."

I'll admit it. Putting an actual musical instrument in my hands is like giving a gun to a quadriplegic. The only experience I have is a percussions course I took during my freshman year of high school. I passed with a C average. Music oriented games have come and gone. The bongo game with Donkey Kong vanished as quickly as it showed up. DDR has shown to have more longevity. Now, along comes Guitar Hero. I showed no interest when I saw it in the various game review magazines. If it wasn't for my brother-in-law getting it for his birthday, I would never have actually played and it would have just blown past me. Man, am I glad I played it. Not only is this a great-looking, great-sounding, and innovative game, but it is the closest thing to being a rock star. Red Octane...thank you...thank you very much!

The premise of the game is to allow you to play as one of eight rockers: an archetypal hair rocker, a Lenny Kravitz look-a-like, two rocker chicks, a Jimmy Page-type, and even the Grim Reaper! You can pick from a selection of guitars. but each play no different from one another.

The Guitar Controller is the only way to enjoy this game. If you try to play the game with the basic PS2 controller, you'll be cheating yourself out of an experience. The frets are easy enough to keep track off, but only after a 30-45 minute learning curve. There's a strum lever to serve as strings and there's even a whammy bar.

To really rock out in the middle of play, you need to build up Star Power. You earn Star Power by hitting Star-shaped notes or by using the whammy bar on long notes. The Star Power is a good way to re-energize the crowd if you're stinking up the song you're playing. One animation has you set your guitar on fire (a la Jimi Hendrix).

The graphics are pretty good. The animations of the characters are quite fluid and not jerky. Granted, you won't be paying much attention since the focus will be on being in sync with the song.

Now, if there is any real reason to complain, its the music on the game. Now, I'm not saying that the songs on here are bad. I'm just saying the songs on here pale in comparison to songs that were left out. I'll say that there's nothing like jamming out to "Take Me Out", "I Love Rock'n'Roll", "Thunderkiss '65", and "More Than A Feeling". I'm glad they had the sense to include songs by guitar gods like Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, The Ramones, Queen, and Cream. But, what about anything by Led Zeppelin, The Who, CCR, AC/DC, The Sex Pistols, or Neil Young? Hopefully, the track list on the next game will be even more kick-ass.

Other than a par track list, there should be no reason why not to buy this game. Find it before it goes the way of the Dodo and you'll regret it!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/22/06

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