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Aug 14, 2008

Review: Aerosmith Guitar Hero

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith
Activision, Red Octane
Available for PS3, Xbox 360, PS2 & Nintendo Wii

I have to admit, amongst all the Rock Band and Guitar Hero hype, I have managed still to avoid purchasing any of the games in either series so far. But I have finally caved; I got a copy of Guitar Hero Aerosmith to finally pop my Rock God cherry on and all you lucky people get to hear about my first encounter with the phenomena known as Guitar Hero.

Though most people would probably start off their first trip into the world of Guitar Hero with one of the main title games, I decided to get the Aerosmith bundle because I figured if I know 90% of the songs then I know I might have chance in hell of actual playing the game on medium or even expert. Those thoughts soon turned to dust after I played my first session and discovered that playing this game is pretty damn hard even when you know the song. If I couldn't get a decent score on easy, I knew there was no way I was ever trying medium or expert.

As I write this review, I've been playing this game for about week now and though I still suck, I can at least get 90% or higher on the first 5 songs on easy which is better than before. Maybe if I memorize the notes and practice really hard, maybe I’ll be able to play one of the harder songs perfectly in like a million years from now.

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith one of the first games in the series to be dedicated almost entirely to a legendary rock band and it won't be last; with other bands like Metallica and the Beatles possibly getting their own Guitar Hero games, fans of the series can except more add-on titles dedicated to legendary rockers. Non-Aerosmith mega fans shouldn't toss this game by the way side though as GH:AS has tracks mixed in from past Aerosmith opening acts like Lenny Kravitz, The Cult, and The Clash, in order to break up the all-Aerosmith, all-time channel.

For Mega Aerosmith fans, this game has all the right features to delight you: past historical venues for you to rock out in, interviews from the band members about specific events and songs, songs from every generation and album and best of all, a boss battle with Joe Perry. Fans will be happy to know they get to play with a virtual Aerosmith during career mode while they travel through a virtual history lesson of the band's career and there are tons of unlockables.

Newbies will probably like this game compared to the main titles in the GH series, because the tracks are a little bit easier to play and the content is a lot easier to unlock. I picked up GH 2 just to compare the two games and I found myself running back to my easy, familiar Aerosmith after only a few rounds of Foo Fighter's Monkey Wrench and Guns & Roses' Sweet Child of Mine. I didn’t unlock those tracks by the way, someone in my household who’s more talented at the game did.

Visually I don't know how much you can rant and rave about how cool a virtual Steven Tyler looks before someone is going to look at you cock-eyed, but honestly I have to give the art designers and motion capture guys credit because virtual Steven Tyler looks and performs just like real Steven Tyler. Kudos to the designer who made the hottie Japanese school girl guitarist, because she is the best character to date in the GH series, and I can say that without even needing to play the other games.

Audio ... do I even need to go there? The whole game is master tracks from Aerosmith which rock as much as they did the first time I heard them. Best of all, no sappy Aerosmith love ballads were included in this game, so no one has to put up with their girlfriend playing "Don't want to miss a thing" over and over again.

I know there are going to be a lot of GH fans that will be questioning their need for an add-on game dedicated to a single band, but as my first experience with the Guitar Hero series, I really liked this title and found it to be a better starting point for me then Guitar Hero II. But really I think your decision for buying this game comes down to two things: how big your dedication to owning every game in the series is and how big of an Aerosmith fan you are. Answer those and then decide to buy it or not.

Rating 8 out of 10
Buy it!

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