In late 2005, video game publisher RedOctane brought out Guitar Hero. This game was a big deal because it was very innovative and different from any other video game before it. Players could play famous rock songs using a video game controller that looked and felt like a guitar. Even though the game was only out for a couple of months during 2005, it became one of the top selling games of the year.
In 2006, RedOctane released Guitar Hero II for Xbox 360 and PS2. Like the first game, Guitar Hero II was hugely successful. GHII improved upon many features of the original game, both graphically and gameplay-wise. GHII also included 50-60 brand new songs.
Earlier this year, RedOctane released a special Guitar Hero Rocks the 80’s edition of the series, featuring between 30 and 50 80’s hit songs. This was only released on PS2.
On October 28, 2007, a Sunday, RedOctane yet again released a new edition of the Guitar Hero series for PS2, PS3, Wii and Xbox 360. Dubbed Legends of Rock, Guitar Hero III seeks to carry on the rich legacy of the Guitar Hero Series. But does it do it?
So what makes Guitar Hero III different from the other two games? Well, actually a lot. Guitar Hero III’s new features include:
* A wireless guitar controller, ideal for those who don’t want to be limited while rocking out. The
Xbox 360 and Wii version of the controller is a Gibson Les Paul,
while the PS2 and PS3 version is a Kramer guitar
* Online Mode so that you can jam
with buddies or anyone around the world
* New Co-op Career Mode
* Three new playable characters: Slash, Tom Morello and Bret Michaels
* New Multiplayer Modes
* Tracks by bands like Metallica, Pearl Jam, Aerosmith, Cream, The Rolling Stones, Iron Maiden, ZZ Top and much more
If there’s one noticeable change among the three Guitar Hero games, it’s graphics. It seems like with every game, the graphics get better and better. GHIII is no different, as the graphics here look better than on the previous games. Famous characters Slash, Tom Morello and Bret Michaels look extremely realistic. Other characters also look very good. Venues are more realistic looking, while the fretboard appears to be even cleaner than before. Obviously, GHIII may not be as graphically impressive as Halo 3, but it is still very easy on the eyes–a definite plus for those who may find themselves playing GHIII for many hours at a time and do not want their eyes to get tired from looking at harsh graphics.
Admittedly, GH newbies have difficulty in getting used to the rhythm of the game. However, once they get the hang of it, it becomes very easy. If you’ve played any of the GH games, you’ll find no surprises with GHIII. Everything is laid out the same, from the green, red, yellow, blue and orange buttons to the starpower tilt. The only surprises come in Multiplayer mode, where things are a little bit different. That is because players can “attack” the opposition and attempt to throw off their game. These attacks are earned by successfully playing star notes–up to three atttacks at a time may be stored and then used on opponents. Attacks include:
* Broken String: where a player’s fret button does not work for a short period of time.
* Difficulty up: A player plays a song at a higher difficulty level for a short period of time.
* Whammy Bar: The player must use the whammy bar repeatedly before they can play notes again.
* Lefty Righty Flip: The fretboard is flipped and the player must change the way they play.
One thing that will feel different is the controller. The guitar neck feels thicker and perhaps a bit stiffer. However, it is still very comfortable to play, and while taking some time to adjust to, is an improvement over the Explorer controller.
GHIII features more modes than any of the other games featured. New this game are the Co-op Career Mode, in which players can team up and tackle songs together; the Battle Mode, in which players can compete with each other either locally or online; an improved Single player Career Mode.
The mode with the most anticipation is that of the Online mode. For the first time ever, GHIII players can compete against each other via Xbox Live. For the most part, the game play during online mode is pretty smooth, although there is some lag, depending on the player’s connection. However, despite the occasional lag, it is a very enjoyable game.
The Co-op Career mode allows two people to play a song together. This was allowed on the last game, but not in a full-fledged career mode. Players go through six tiers of songs in various venues, trying to become the ultimate Guitar Hero.
The single player Career mode existed in the last two GH games, but not nearly as involved as it is in GHIII. Players can go through six levels of songs and are able to compete in challenges with guitar gods like Morello and Slash. The cut screens for career mode are also an improvement from the other Guitar Hero games, and add to the overall experience.
There are also new features within the Battle Mode, including the aforementioned “attacks”.
GHIII features 71 playable songs, including the following:
* “Paranoid” – Black Sabbath
* “Anarchy in the U.K.” – Sex Pistols †
* “Kool Thing” – Sonic Youth
* “My Name Is Jonas” – Weezer
* “Even Flow” – Pearl Jam (Encore)
* “Slow Ride” – Foghat
* “Talk Dirty to Me” – Poison † (Vocals re-recorded by Bret Michaels)
* “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” – Pat Benatar
* “Story of My Life” – Social Distortion
* “Rock and Roll All Nite” – Kiss (Encore)
* “Black Magic Woman” – Santana
* “Cherub Rock” – The Smashing Pumpkins
* “Black Sunshine” – White Zombie
* “The Metal” – Tenacious D
* “Pride and Joy” – Stevie Ray Vaughan (Encore)
* “Raining Blood” – Slayer
* “Cliffs of Dover” – Eric Johnson
* “The Number of the Beast” – Iron Maiden
* “One” – Metallica
Unlike on the last game, a lot of the songs on GHIII are originals, not covers. This may not matter to some, but is a big deal to rock purists who don’t want to hear a song that sounds like a “cheap” rip-off.
The audio sounds good, just as it did on the last game.
Overall, GHIII is a great, highly addictive game. Even if you’re not a rock fan, nor a video gamer, you’ll still find yourself having fun while playing this game. GHIII makes many improvements on the last couple GH games, while still leaving many things open for the future (such as a create a guitarist mode, in which players could create themselves). Those who already own the other GH games may not think they should buy the GHIII controller/game package, but they would be wise to because the new controller is worth it. This game is a must-have for anyone who wants to rock!