Monday, July 7, 2008

Not Rocking with Sweet Emotions.... The Guitar Hero: Aerosmith Review

The Guitar Hero juggernaut is pretty much everywhere being the cultural phenomenon it is in media today. With Activision and Neversoft in charge of the franchise, it feels like deja vu releasing game after game every year similar to hey they approached the Tony Hawk franchise. Guitar Hero III was the beginning of a new era, but not the new beginning hardcore fans wanted. It was criticized for being too hard in the end and the notecharts didn't have the magic that Harmonix had (who moved on to Rock Band). The developers have seem to learn their lesson slowly with Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, which is the last game with Aerosmith slapped on it. For the normal retail price of 60 bucks, you get about 40 tracks in which the majority of them are Aerosmith songs, but mostly the old-school ones from the 70s and 80s. That is actually half of what Guitar Hero III offered and for the same price, it is not really as worth it as the previous game. However, if you're a Guitar Hero fan craving for more rocking with new songs, this game is recommended for them, but you're better off saving your money for World Tour this fall.

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is pretty much the same old game with career mode, co-op, and online multiplater. The career mode is pretty short and can be beaten in three or four hours on the expert difficulty. The structure is similar to Legends of Rock with playing some songs and then playing the encore in various locations. There are also videos of Aerosmith recalling their glory days during the breaks of career mode, which is cool. The slightly different twist is that each set begins with two non-Aerosmith songs from bands that supported the band over the years that ranges from Stone Temple Pilots, Cheap Trick, Lenny Kravitz, Ted Nugent, and more. The rocking part is still the same of nailing notes for star power and then tilting the guitar for more points. Neversoft has indeed toned the difficulty down for an easier experience with slightly improved notecharts, so you can breeze through the game on hard or expert if you're really good at Guitar Hero. Once you finish the career mode, the game is pretty much over, but the co-op and online multiplayer does give it a more little replay value along with leaderboards and achievements. The online options are also the same from the last game of face-off, pro face-off, co-op, and battle modes. Performance wise, online works smoothly with little to no lag at all. The songs also make or break the game of having fun rocking to them, in which I'll mention later.

Graphically, the game looks like Guitar Hero III as a whole. Aerosmith themselves look accurate, but not amazing as Steven Tyler can be creepy at times if you're paying attention to his appearance rather than staring at the notes. The other Guitar Hero characters are there with different outfits. The video quality of the band talking about their memories might be as good as it could be. There are also the cartoony visuals at some moments which look great especially with Aerosmith looking like midgets during loading screens. The backgrounds are at least varied from high school auditoriums, clubs, and stadiums. Of course, Guitar Hero games are not really graphical powerhouses, but the game still looks good enough to rock out.

The music selection for this Aerosmith game is mostly hit and miss with the Aerosmith songs chosen along with the other bands. It also comes down to whether or not you're an Aerosmith fan as well as the majority of the list is from their early days of the 70s and 80s. There are some obvious favorites like "Sweet Emotion," "Love in an Elevator," and "Walk This Way" with Run DMC, but the lack of 90s songs like "Dude Looks Like A Lady" and "Cryin" does make the game feel a little incomplete with no plans of DLC for more Aerosmith songs. The sound effects are borrowed from Guitar Hero III of the same sounds of missing notes, star power, and completing songs. For more Guitar Hero songs to play, the soundtrack is decent, but certain songs stand out from the pack of being memorable.

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith feels like another cash-in for the franchise and should of have been DLC instead of being out in retail fully priced. It is a shorter affair like Rocks the 80s lasting only a few hours to unlock the majority of the content available of more characters, guitars, songs, and outfits on the shop. It is definitely Guitar Hero with trying to 100% songs, activating star power, and one boss battle in the end. The music that can be played does boil down to whether or not you're an Aerosmith fan. It does feel like you're just playing Guitar Hero III with Aerosmith integrated to the presentation. If you're craving for new songs to play since the DLC provided with Guitar Hero III are not your preference and a fan of Aerosmith, this game is worth checking out. It is a good rental for a week, but not worth paying 60 bucks for which should be saved for World Tour.

Score = 7/10

  • Its Guitar Hero with great Aerosmith integration
  • Some songs are worth it to play like "Walk This Way" and "Sweet Emotion"
  • The toned down difficulty makes the game easier compared to the last game
  • Pretty short - Can be beaten in an afternoon
  • Missing some of the 90s Aerosmith songs
  • Not worth it if you're not an Aerosmith fan
  • Overpriced at retail and should have been DLC

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