Review by Sacred_Crotch
I really wanted to like this game.
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock has effectively taken a potentially legendary franchise and brought it down to average. I had a hard time justifying the purchase of this game after I had spent a night playing it at a friend's house, and had even more problems enjoying it. This game is almost like that "special " kid who somehow gets stuck in your P.E. class. You really have to look past some ugly faults to accept him as one of your own species.
If there's one element that hasn't been changed much in the series, it's the way the game is played. Notes still scroll towards you, you still have your guitar shaped controller, and you are still playing these scrolling notes in time with the music by pressing the corresponding button on your guitar and strumming. You may be asking yourself "Wait... isn't that the point?". It definitiely IS the point of the game, but it just isn't fun anymore.
Entertainment Value 2/10
For one, the song list is less than stellar in comparison to the previous two iterations. Sure, there are some great songs, and many are the original master tracks, but it seems like Neversoft tried to make this game appealing to too many people at once. I found maybe a handful of songs that I would enjoy playing again and again, but the rest I put down as trash. The ratio of good to bad songs has plummeted, so much that the solo career felt like a torture test to play through.
I wouldn't have been as offended by the lacking set list given that the songs were fun to play, but most of the songs fail even in this category! The note charts have taken a serious step backwards in terms of how fun and realistic they are. There were few times when I felt like I was really rocking out as in the first two games, and it seems that extra notes were thrown in random places just to up the difficulty. Sure I enjoy challenging songs, but Guitar Hero III is overkill. I could pass every song on the older Guitar Heroes without breaking a sweat, but put me on 3 and I don't even try.
In all honesty, this game is its own double edged sword. It's crazy difficult near the endgame, but I can't even bring myself to listen to, much less play the songs more than once before I lose interest. I don't feel the same rockstar vibe that the other games gave off, and that was what kept me playing the difficult songs before. Now it's all but gone.
You expect a game that revolves around music to have excellent sound quality right? Being drawn in by the music is one of the huge selling points of this series, but even the sound seems to have been lowered in quality compared to the other Guitar Heroes.
Once again, I bring in to play this game's bad set list. Maybe this game lost its immersiveness because the songs just don't sound as good? It's not the bad quality of the sound that killed it for me... It's the fact that the sound is just noise. I'm not standing up and wailing on the guitar anymore because I just don't feel into it. Something was lost in the game that made it sound like you were a rock god, and now it just sounds like you're playing just for the sake of playing.
Many changes happened here that were good, but at what cost? The new interface is the way it should have always been, now showing your combo on the score display, but the rest of the stuff just looks too flat and boring. The star power meter is no longer a shiny bar, but now a bunch of lightbulbs? The amps that show your score and status are just flat bland square-ish things? And the characters no longer look cartoony as they were before??? This game no longer has an appealing art style anymore! Realistic is not better Neversoft!
The entire game has seen this kind of change. When you scroll through the track list it's almost too clean! I miss the older, more "rocky" look that was prevalent in the older games. Now it's just another game that looks average.
Replay Value 4/10
Once you've played through the songlist once or twice, unless you are dead-set on 5 starring every single song (don't get your hopes up for that), there's almost no reason to touch it ever again. It just isn't as fun anymore. I'd pop in The original Guitar Hero long before I'd consider playing 3.
Neversoft did the unthinkable and sold out on an awesome franchise. I'm not even going to detail the inclusion of battles and the so called "Legends" they put in as playable characters. They do little to warrant the purchase of this game, and like most things in a sellout, feel tacked on.
I tried to like this game, I really did, but I may as well have been having fun in an iron maiden. It was a mess...
Final Score: 4/10, Unremarkable, Flawed
Rating: 2.0 - Poor
Product Release: Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (US, 10/28/07)
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