STAFF REVIEW of Guitar Hero: Aerosmith (Xbox 360)


Wednesday, July 16, 2008.
by Rick Wallace

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith Box art Activision has decided to milk the Guitar Hero series for everything it can, and why not? It seems there are plenty of folks willing to buy the same game multiple times even though the cover is different and there are a few different songs inside. Hmmm, I thought thats what downloadable content was for? You know to add new songs to a playlist. Well regardless, we now have Guitar Hero Aerosmith to play and toss aside. Especially since it seems well be getting a Metallica version of GH later this year and then Guitar Hero 4 arrives in the late fall. I understand there has been many folks calling for band specific versions of the game, but after playing this I have to think that its really not such a good idea.

So is Guitar Hero Aerosmith worth your $60? Well, I guess if you are a diehard Aerosmith groupie then the answer would be yes. Otherwise, Guitar Hero Aerosmith is the same game as Guitar Hero 3, only with different songs and a slightly different progression through career mode. You see as you play through the career mode youll be forced to play a certain number of songs and an encore to get to the next venue. The only difference is, the first 2 songs of each set are from folks that have opened for Aerosmith on tour at one time or another. Once you play those 2 songs, youll then play as Aerosmith for the rest of the set including an encore. You'll also go up against Joe perry in a head to head battle. Yup same type of battle that you played in Guitar Hero III. Have you caught onto the pattern yet?


Between each set you complete youll get to watch a short documentary video of the guys talking about their career and their path towards where they are today. Are there any interesting tidbits? Eh, not really. But again, fans of the band might find it amusing at some points or even entertaining. I for one can only take so much of Steven Tyler to begin with and he honestly becomes quite annoying in these short video segments as well. The one good thing about the video segments is that they are short and you can press the A bbutton to bypass them if you like. Thank goodness.

There are forty plus songs included in the game, most of which are Aerosmith tunes of course. Youll find hits dating back to the 70s all the way to their most recent album in 2007. Many of the songs that have made Aerosmith who they are today are included in the mix. I was disappointed to see the Dude Looks like a Lady was not one of those songs, even though there is an achievement by this name included in the game. I predict theyll squeeze your pockets for more money with downloadable content at some point and include this one then. Sure why not, you already have my $120 from buying the same Guitar Hero game this year but with different songs. Sarcasm intended.


Gameplay has not changed at all in this title. As stated, if you played GH3 then youll know exactly what to expect from this game with the exception that its centered on Steven Tyler and the boys. Included is co-op play, battle mode, single player career, and practice. The same levels of difficulty are included in the game but the game does seem easier even on the harder levels. I normally cannot play on hard at all, and I can actually finish songs completely. Expert is still difficult for me, but I am sure the GH masters will come to find it a bit easier as well. But youll find that everything else is the same. Heck even the tutorial is ripped straight out of GH3 word for word including the God-like and Devilish instructors. I mean come on, couldnt they have at least did Tyler and Perry voiceovers or something.

Graphically speaking the game is right on par with Guitar Hero 3 once again. At times Steven Tyler looks quite creepy, but then again it lends itself to sort of realism when it comes to real life. Ive seen Tyler look just as creepy performing live. The venues are basically ala Guitar Hero style graphics and animations. Honestly, I really dont think there was a whole lot of effort put into this game graphically as they already had the basics and just needed to change some colors, shapes and lighting. They did capture some of Steven Tylers signature movements on stage but thats about the extent of any deviance from the GHIII game. The coolest venue is probably the Half Time venue which is basically supposed to emulate the stage and arena that Aerosmith played while performing the Super Bowl Half Time show a few years back. But again, nothing over the top or eye popping. And I honestly think they carried over the same crowds from Guitar Hero III. I mean really, where are the groupie chicks sitting on their boyfriends shoulders falshing their....well nevermind.


Overall, for me personally the game is just a cash cow for Activision and truly not worth the $60. It would be so much more worth the purchase if it were a 30 or 40 dollar title, especially when its basically the same GHIII game that just came out a few months ago. If you are a true fan of Aerosmith than youll probably want to have this in your collection, but if you are the standard gamer that enjoys the GH series. Just wait for Guitar Hero 4 later this fall, and rent GH Aerosmith to satisfy your possible craving for this game. For first time Guitar Hero players, then maybe one will want to pick this up with the wireless guitar included, but even then I would have to suggest just picking up Guitar Hero III instead, then renting this one at a later time.


Suggestions:
If you are going to make band specific games then at least make effort to somewhat change the game and focus on some new content or gameplay specific to the band. Please dont start releasing tracks as DLC that should have already been in the game to begin with ala Dude looks like a Lady.


Overall: 7.2 / 10
Gameplay: 7.5 / 10
Visuals: 6.5 / 10
Sound: 6.0 / 10

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