Review by wolverinefan

"Guitar Hero has sold its soul"

I've loved the Guitar hero series since the very first one and despite a small let down with the 80's disc and the change of hands, I must admit this Guitar Hero is the best of the bunch.

You're an up and coming band who sells its soul to the devil to get famous. Psh, as if my great skills wouldn't net me a deal. Anyway, it's a slightly interesting story and to not ruin anything I'll just say it actually has a rather cool ending.

Graphically the game has gotten a new clean look. I like it despite a few bland character designs. The backdrops seem more animated and the characters seem to do a lot more. The singer and guitarist really seem like they are playing and singing the songs. The different meters also have a cleaner look and I like it a lot.

Sound is the most important part in a music game and frankly this game has the best soundtrack yet. A mix of some classics, some new stuff and very few so-so songs I must say I enjoyed these songs more than any other in any music game to date. We have tunes by The Killers, Metallica, Weezer, and Poison. Plus a ton more. And to keep it going we also have a number of downloadable tracks from Velvet Revolver, Foo Fighters and we even have the Halo 3 theme.

You can buy this game with the wireless controller but from what I hear there seem to be some minor problems with them. Besides that this plays just like the others. Buttons are responsive on the guitar, easy to handle. The game is still a little tough to play with a 360 controller due to the triggers being so odd.

The basic Guitar Hero formula is still here. You still hit the colored notes as they reach the button of the screen and to be honest nothing much has been changed.

The song list is one of the strongest yet but how come it took me so long to write this review? The entire time I played through the easy mode I couldn't help but feel it was just way too easy.

That couldn't be why. It had to be something else so I went through medium. Nearing the end of medium it downs on me that despite playing exactly like the old games, this new installment has filled itself up with long guitar solos and longer strings.

It's fantastic idea if you're a strong player but I'm good at best and usually not very good past medium. But the final songs ripped me a new one on medium. The strings are long, the notes all over the place and there I was wondering why this drastic change happened.

It could be nothing. It could be because I was tired from playing over 10 songs straight. That couldn't be it though. This game has an odd curve to it and it's more for those who want to prove something than have fun. Maybe that's what's bugging me. I play this for enjoyment. To relax and have fun with friends. Not get frustrated on medium difficulty.

But that isn't the only tweaks around here. The game now features boss battles and they work the same as the duals on-line. You each play notes and instead of star power you get attacks. Unleash an attack to cause some effect to the other player's board. Be it blinking notes, reversed notes, difficulty up or a broken string. It's a fun idea but one attack can cripple a player so it becomes uneven quickly.

The game does offer a robust selection of on-line play. You can play co-op story which is nice and will also net you some achievements. There is the battle mode as mentioned above, a normal score contest and one other that slips my mind at the moment. So the on-line is fun but its tough finding an opponent that is of the same quality as you.

Another problem with the on-line is that you can pick easy and they can pick hard or the other way around. What's the point of that? Why not force both players to play the same difficulty. It makes more sense and would even the playing field a lot better.

The game also offers downloadable songs. Some have been free, some are a little pricey and some require you to buy the soundtrack to get 3 new songs. I find that a little silly and would prefer buying them on the Live marketplace instead of having to buy a cd I don't want. Oh and fans of the leader boards should know you need to get your code off your game and then go on-line and create an account and then log in just to show up on the leader boards. I see the reasoning behind it (so all console releases share the leader boards) but a part of me wishes it was done via solo console.

It's not that Guitar Hero 3 is a bad game. It's actually rather good. The problem is that it has lost a little of its soul along the way and just doesn't feel as fun as it use to. The new on-line is a stellar addition but it has some flaws. The new boss battles are a welcome addition as well. In the end though, sometimes we need a little more new and less bad tweaking.

Story - 7/10
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 10/10
Control - 9/10
Game Play - 8/10
Replay value - 9/10

Final Score - 8/10

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 12/21/07

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

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