Guitar Hero Review

Guitar Hero is not a free-form musical jam fest – it actually is a game. You score points by hitting notes, with the points continuously racked up while you hold the long notes. Hit enough notes in a row and you’ll start to earn score multipliers that will double, triple, and eventually quadruple the points that you earn. You’ll lose the multiplier as soon as you miss a note, and you’ll have to work your way up again. Some notes will be star-shaped and if you hit them you’ll enable Star Power mode. In this mode you can tilt the guitar upright to double the points scored by each note that you hit.

The game also tracks the audience’s reaction to your playing. Hit your notes and you’ll pump up the crowd to the point where they won’t even care if you miss an occasional note. Miss too many, though, and the crowd will grow restless and eventually will boo you off of the stage. You’d be pissed too if you just paid a cover charge, bought a beer for the price of a six pack, and then were forced to listen to some poser who can’t even hit his notes. I think the onscreen avatar, band, and audience is a pretty cool touch, but it is more for the amusement of those watching you play as your eyes will be focused on the notes coming your way.

The songs are grouped into five song sets, and you’ll need to successfully play through four of the songs in a set to unlock the next level. Each level will take your onscreen avatar to a bigger venue and give you a bigger audience to entertain. Of course the songs will also get harder to play as fans are more demanding of superstars. Unlocking a new set of songs will also make them available for play at any time in the game’s quick play mode.

Another one of the game’s strong points is the excellent song list. You get thirty guitar rich rock songs that span the rock timeline from Smoke on the Water to Franz Ferdinand’s Take Me Out. I only need to mention bands such as Black Sabbath, Bad Religion, and Queen and you can see that metal, alternative, glam, and other rock styles are well-represented. Suffice it to say that if you can appreciate good music with a range of styles you’ll love the song list. There are also bonus songs that can be unlocked, but these are, shall we say, lesser known tracks, but I don’t mean to imply that they’re bad by that. I really hope that there will be a Guitar Hero 2, 3, and more as I’d love to jam with more great rock bands past and present like AC/DC, Rush, Van Halen, Smashing Pumpkins, The Offspring, …

I had a lot of fun playing the game and even in writing its review, but I can sum it all up in one sentence: If you’re a gamer and a fan of rock music, then you owe it to yourself to play this game.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 94%. That one guitar, slung way down low, is a one way ticket, only one way to go. Be a Guitar Hero and get stars in your eyes.


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