Review by GaMeR_NuT

"This isn't a game, it's a revolution"

Guitar Hero is something out of the ordinary. You don't use a regular DUALSHOCK 2 controller. You don't use a dance pad. You don't use a joystick, a steering wheel, or a motion-sensitive controller. You don't use a keyboard or a mouse. You don't use a remote. You don't use a toy gun with a laser on the end. You don't use a handheld system for it either. Nope, you use a guitar.

This section is going to be big, but what can I say? Guitar Hero is one hell of a game! To start off, many people haven't played the first Guitar Hero game like me, so you probably have questions on how you actually play the game itself. To start off, the screen has a couple different things on it. The most important is the fret board, which is the long board in the middle on the screen that carries the notes towards you. At the bottom of the board are the same notes only stuck in place. If you've played any of the DDR games, this'll look kind of familiar. Notes will roll towards you down the fret board and pass through the replicas on the bottom. When they do, you must push the correct fret button on the guitar to match it, then you press the strum bar to play the note. It's pretty simple once you get it. Now, to the left of the fret board is the scorekeeper, which is a small box with a number of things on them. At the bottom of the score box is a blank space. Scoring ten notes in a row without missing with make a x2 symbol appear there, indicating that with every note you hit now is worth double the amount of point. It resets itself once you miss a not. At the top of the box is where your total score is kept. And finally, too the right of the board, is the Rock Meter. This is a meter that shows you how good you are doing. You basically want to keep it in the green at all times, which means that you are doing extremely well. If you continue to miss notes, then the meter might drop down to the yellow section, which means that you are doing just alright. However, if you are missing almost every not that comes your way, it'll move on down to the red section, which indicates that if you don't start playing right, you'll fail the song and be kicked off the stage. Above the Rock Meter is the Star Power Meter. This shows how much Star Power you have.

Star Power is the special stuff you get when you hit the notes that are shaped like stars. The star notes aren't harder to hit, and when you do hit all of them in a row, the Meter fills up. Once it's filled up enough, you'll be able to use the Star Power, which is activated by lifting your guitar skyward so the handle (if that's what you call it) is pointing to the sky. Doing so gives you major points and gets the crowd pumped up. Also, your character will do a signature move on the stage to impress everyone.

The main part of GH2 is the career mode where you name your own band and pick your character and guitar. From there you can travel to different venues and do live concerts. This is the way you unlock new songs. On the Medium, Hard, and Expert difficulties, you can earn money from the concerts to buy new characters, songs, outfits, videos, guitars, and paint jobs for the guitars.

Also available is the training mode, where you view the tutorial or go to practice, where you can select a song, pick a section of the song you have trouble with, and choose the speed, from normal all the way down to extremely slow to nail those tough notes.

This game really pushed the PS2 hard. The characters on screen look fantastic, and the different places you can do concerts at look really good. The many guitars look very realistic also. This is pretty much all I can say about this section. So basically, GH2 is beautiful!

The most important section for this game is the music. I was pleased with the soundtrack for GH2 and how well the songs were chosen. There are a ton of famous songs from famous bands, like Shout At The Devil by Motley Crue, Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns ‘n' Roses, Surrender by Cheap Trick, and many more. Some of the songs, however, are not very good, take, for example, the annoying Message In A Bottle by The Police. There are also some tracks where a female sings, and while this adds variety to the game, they don't really fit in well with some of the other tracks. Also, most of the tracks are over five minutes long, which makes the game better!

Something else that should be mentioned is that you also need to buy songs in career mode. There are a lot of these. Some of them you've never heard of before, like the song Jordan by the band Buckethead, which was created specially for GH2 and is easily the hardest song in the game.

All in all, this game really shows how different people can make things. Like I mentioned in the introduction above, this game has a ton of variety by not using a regular controller and other things as well. If you don't like rock music, you'll love this game. If you don't like music at all, you'll love this game. If you don't even like video games all together, you'll STILL love this game. Guitar Hero II is an instant classic.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 05/17/07

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