Review by funky1

"Great set list, but..."

By now, people should be coming to the conclusion that with Guitar Hero, the only major difference is the set list. I, personally, have no problems with that, because the series really doesn't have a lot of room to improve in terms of gameplay. But anyway, let's talk about the good first.

In my opinion, the set list is great. Not as good as GH1, but I think it easily edges out GH2's set list. It's got a lot of catchy songs, without sacrificing challenge. Aside from a few missing songs I personally would've enjoyed (Megadeth's Holy Wars? Or Tornado of Souls? And STILL no Crazy Train? People've wanted that one in for a LONG time), the list is pretty solid. And again, despite the fact that the game doesn't really have much room to grow gameplay-wise, the idea of boss battles was actually pretty cool. Note, I said the IDEA of boss battles; I'll get to that in a second. Now let's talk about the bad.

The thing that really annoyed me was that, in GH1 and GH2, I plateaued at Hard mode. And I'm okay with that, because it's close enough to the real song, without being too challenging for me. But apparently, Activision decided, in an effort to put the online YouTubers in their place, to up the difficulty. In past GH games, I could at least pass the harder songs, and get the hang of them more after a few more playthroughs. With GH3, I literally failed the harder songs many many times. I guess it's just a pet peeve, but it's just really annoying.

My biggest gripe with the game, though, is the boss battles. Yes, the concept is cool, but again, Activision seemed to want to up the difficulty to show the most hardcore of players up. Problem is, the boss battles seem to come down more to luck than actual skill. You don't know frustration until you actually lose multiple times to all three bosses on EASY and MEDIUM modes, let alone Hard mode. Seriously, it becomes so frustrating, that it's almost not even worth it. I've come to the final boss battle in Hard mode, and I've played it over forty times (no, that's not an exaggeration...), and I STILL can't beat it. The final song is hard enough to the point where I nearly always miss my chance to get a powerup, then when I DO nearly get one, the boss launches one of his attacks, making me miss it. It all just feels so cheap, rather than challenging, and you can't even use Practice mode with the final song to at least learn it better.

So to sum it up, the set list is great, but what really brings the score down, in my opinion, is the cheap difficulty, especially in boss battles. In fact, if the boss battles didn't feel so cheap, I very likely would've given this game a 9/10, just for the set list. I'm not against challenge, but Activision just made the game cheap, rather than difficult to appeal to the really hardcore fans.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 12/10/07

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

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