Guitar Hero is one of the few opportunities most of us will have to ever becoming a guitar legend. While some of us may have experience with a guitar, the fact remains that most of us won't become the next Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton anytime soon, at least without a liberal amount of practice. Guitar Hero realizes this, but still wants to make you feel as if you are one of the greats. The idea behind the game is simple, though amazingly effective. Set up similarly to games such as Amplitude and Frequency, you're presented with a vertical bar composed of five different colored sections. As the music plays, the bar scrolls downwards and different colored notes (represented as colored nodules) appear, each representing one of the five sections, indicating which button you need to press. As the note reaches the bottom of the bar, you need to press this button in sequence with the other notes around it, thus creating music.
The game comes with a guitar peripheral, an instrument for you to play in lieu of using a traditional controller. This guitar has no strings and is something of an enigma at first. The neck of the instrument features five colored buttons, each one representing a note on the screen. Green, Red, Yellow, Blue and Green are the five colored fret buttons and will be utilized during every song. Remember those notes that come down the screen at you? Those colored notes that represent music? Each one of those notes corresponds to one of the frets and must be pressed accordingly. Of course, there are no strings, as I said before, so how does one play along with the song if they can't strum? Well, they strum, but on a long strum bar that ideally represents strings. The strum bar is what you'll use to actually play the note that appears on the screen. Pressing the correct fret button isn't enough; you also have to strum out the note as it appears in sequence. If you've never played a guitar, this may feel foreign to you, but rest assured, the game is made for everyone to enjoy and beginners will find themselves belting out power chords in no time. There is also a whammy bar, which allows you to bend notes that have to be held (you'll know which notes need to be held, as they appear on the screen as long colored lines that go on until you need to let go of the note), which works really well! The best part is that many guitar techniques work well during the game. Hemmer-ons, pull-offs, I mean, if you know how to do it on a guitar, it will work in the game.
The look of the game is great. Those familiar with Harmonix will undoubtedly recognize the whole Karaoke Revolution styled appearance. The different gigs each present a unique location and the characters themselves are quite well animated and presented. The detail might lack a bit and the textures may seem fuzzy at times, but you won't be watching that. You'll be too busy playing. I do have to say that it was fun to watch my guitarist break his guitar in the style of The Who or light his guitar on fire ala Hendrix. Seriously, it's sweet. Not the best I've seen on the PS2, but good enough.
As I said before, the musical element is nothing short of amazing and you'll be loving every song from the get go. Cream, Boston, Ozzy, it's all there and all good and I defy you to find a song you don't like. Ok, well, I don't really defy you to do this, because there were a few songs I really didn't care for, but you'll still love playing through them. It's good stuff.
Guitar Hero is a fun game, period.
What did you think of this review?
Fun to Read
About the reviewer
Kevin Pak (kevinism)
I'm a total nerd. I like comic books, science fiction books and movies, and I like LOST. I also used to be a huge World of Warcraft junkie but I don't have a whole lot of time for that. The X-Men are … more
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.
More features to expand on the Guitar Hero II experience Online multiplayer featuring Pro Face-Off, Battle and Co-op modes Boss battles featuring the legends of rock Co-op career and head-to-head battle.