Guitar Hero Aerosmith

If there’s one game that doesn’t need a review it’s Guitar Hero Aerosmith. I mean, it’s Guitar Hero. With Aerosmith tunes. How much more do you need to know? Oh, alright then…

Grafted onto the Guitar Hero III chassis, this title serves as a vehicle for the musical warblings of Steve Tyler, Joe Perry and co. All the usual Guitar Hero plastic axe twiddling features are present and correct, including online multiplayer battles. The only thing that’s different are the tunes.

The career mode follows a regular format. You select one of the usual Guitar Hero axe-wielders for the first two “support act” songs. Then Aerosmith hit the stage for two of their tracks as well as an encore. Thankfully, there’s only one boss battle in the game.

With a reduced setlist of around 40 songs you’d think that Activision might have been tempted to knock a few quid off the asking price. They probably think that you should be happy they didn’t price this one the same as their downloadable content packs. After all, if they’d sold all these tracks to you online you’d be expected to pay over £50.

But, if it was available as downloadable content, you could probably pick and choose which packs you wanted. The problem with this title as a standalone game is that there are just too many fillers and not enough thrillers. With the exception of some notable tunes, such as The Cult’s She Sells Sanctuary, the support songs in this release do little to excite. You’d imagine that they’re keeping the best songs for this autumn’s Guitar Hero World Tour.

Even the Aerosmith tracks fail to live up to their top billing at times. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great songs. Walk this Way is a classic, either in its original form (thankfully available as an unlockable extra) or as the more famous Run DMC collaboration. Other songs like Love in an Elevator, Pink and Livin’ on the Edge will probably be just as familiar to most people.

Neversoft, though, have obviously had to select songs that fit the Guitar Hero play mechanic. As a result tracks, like the popular Due Looks Like a Lady, miss the cut due to the lack of interesting guitar parts and they’ve ended up with, perhaps, too many songs from Aerosmith’s early career. Too many for my liking, anyway. You can’t help feeling that Rock Band, or the forthcoming Guitar Hero World Tour, would have been a better showcase for Aerosmith’s songs especially their extensive collection of power ballads like the fan, but not band, favourite Crazy.

Neversoft have obviously saved a lot of cash by just performing a minor paint job on the existing Guitar Hero III game. There are some places where time and money has been spent, though. The in-game representations of the toxic twins aren’t flattering caricatures but they’re decent virtual avatars. They prance around on stage authentically, thanks to extensive motion capture sessions with the guys from the band. Not that you’ll notice because you’ll probably be too busy struggling to hit the notes streaming towards you on the lower part of the screen.

Speaking of struggling, unlike half of the gaming population, the guys at Neversoft apparently didn’t think Guitar Hero III was too hard. They did, however, concede that maybe it got a little too hard too soon. As a result, you’ll find things a lot easier in the early stages of the game this time round. Easy and Medium difficulties shouldn’t present a challenge to anyone who’s picked up the guitar controller before. I’ve even made a decent amount of progress on the Hard level, something that was way beyond my mediocre ability in GHIII. Fret board presses on the easier levels also fit the songs better this time around. You’ll spend more time feeling like you’re actually playing than you will just randomly button mashing.

The achievement difficulty level has also been lowered. In Guitar Hero Aerosmith they’ll come at you thick and fast as the game churns them out like a broken candy machine. I earned more points during the first two tiers of Aerosmith than I did in the entire Guitar Hero III game.

In theory, I like the idea of these games. Having the actual performers onscreen adds an additional sense of authenticity to the experience. It’s always seemed strange to me to see Guitar Hero characters singing another bands songs. They really need to sort out the pricing or come up with a different delivery mechanism, though. Take out the extra songs and sell it as an additional downloadable set list or drop the asking price of the disk to under £30.

Overall, real Guitar Hero fanatics will probably buy this one simply for the extra songs. It’s also an essential purchase for Aerosmith fans. Achievement junkies will probably find the lure of easy points too difficult to resist. Playstation 2 and Wii owners may find that it works out as quite good value for their consoles.

What about the rest of you? At full price, you’d be better off investing in a copy of Rock Band or putting your money aside until later this year (when Activision will be asking you to fork out on more plastic tat to clutter up your living room).

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One Response to “Guitar Hero Aerosmith”

  1. A simple answer: No, thanks. :o)

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