Review by keyser27

Reviewed: 12/17/07

Guitar Hero 3, Now with more ads!

Everyone knows the Guitar Hero franchise was sold to Harmonix to Activision before they went on to develop Rock Band. Activision let Neversoft develop this game, and reportedly they built it from ground up, though you wouldn't know it to look at the mechanics, you'd know instantly from the feel and graphical style of the game that this is not the same developer.

New Features:

Boss Battles.
A big selling point for GH3 was boss battles. There are two (3 if you want a spoiler) and these occur within the first hour or so of the game and are easy and pointless. While it may be cool to have a new piece of music by Slash and Rage Against the Machine Axeman Tom Moreillo, its a very flat experience. You essentially have to "battle" the "bosses" by filling your meter and then activating your star power to "break a string", increase the other players difficulty, force them to play lefty, or something along those lines. While this may sound like a good idea, it has nothing to do with playing the game well and falls flat.

Graphical overhaul.
I suppose this is subjective. There is a pretty big difference between the other games of the series. Where those focused on maintaining a fun atmosphere, this one goes awry. It looks awful.

The songlist.
Great great songlist. Despite the (as usual) overuse of metal, they did manage to put some good variety in there, including a nice blues cut (SRV's Pride and Joy) and some great technical guitar pieces (Eric Johnson's Cliffs of Dover). It is reported that most of the songs are in fact originals, which IS true, but it should be noted that the cuts that are covers are so incredibly bad that they threaten to destroy the Space/Time Continuum. (La Grange is bad enough to create a miniature black hole).

The Gameplay.
There are two schools of thought here: 1. It's Guitar Hero... it should be HARD, so make it difficult to master and throw any realism out the window, and 2. It's Guitar Hero, it should be easy to pick up and play for the casual gamers. Why is this under gameplay and not a difficulty heading? Because the decision they made affect gameplay drastically. For the first school, they made it so that on expert, you often have to play 3 note chords when there is only a single note being played in the song. This makes it not "feel" right and makes you feel more detached and just a rhythm game instead of any kind of similarity to playing the song at all. For the second school, they increased the window at which notes hit, so that you can be off by a good bit and the note still counts. When you add the two together you get trouble. When playing the game it feels sometimes as if you are missing notes and its giving you credit for things you dont deserve. It's true. It doesn't play as sharply as the others.

The Bottom Line.
If Harmonix had went out of business and this was the resurrected title with no competition, this would still feel like a worse version of the other Guitar Hero's but would be the only game in town. As is, Rock Band is FAR superior, though easier on the guitar sections. This is guitar hero in name only.

Better than: Encore: Rocks the 80's
Not as good as: GH1, 2, Rock Band
Best reason to buy: To use the second guitar with Rock Band (Though you cant currently, be sure to check compatibility for buying: RB @ $170 is a FAR superior deal to this game @ $70)

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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

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