Former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash showed the rock world what a bit of name recognition can do for a video game and Aerosmith has taken it to the next level.
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is essentially an extension of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. Unlike previous games in the franchise, Guitar Hero: Aerosmith requires players to perform each song in the set lists before moving on. Each set list starts with two songs from various artists followed by two from Aerosmith. As expected, the encore is a third Aerosmith song.
More and more bands are becoming interested in reaping the benefits of being a part of the Guitar Hero franchise. With that in mind, Guitar Hero: Aerosmith does an excellent job covering the band's career and discography.
Throughout the game, video interviews with the band give insight on different stages of Aerosmith's career. Another cool aspect of the game is the venues. Each stop on your virtual tour represents a significant period in the band's career. The venues are the places the band performed at some point during its career.
When you play Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, you'll notice the feel of the controller mimics Guitar Hero III. Activision claims the new guitar controller is more precise and at first glance, it feels a bit more solid. But so far, the controls are as smooth as the previous guitar. The buttons may loosen up over time, but for now they seem more solid. What does seem different is the song difficulty.
I consider myself an advanced novice. Let's face it, I work for a living. I just don't have the time (or honestly, the desire) to devote the hours it takes to become Kirk Hammett on this game. But I can hold my own on hard and have relatively no trouble making it through all the songs on the new game. That can't be said for me on Guitar Hero III. I doubt I'll ever bee able to play "One" on hard. In a way, I enjoy this game more because it's more entertaining to use all five fret buttons consistently, something I have yet to master on the previous game.
One of the coolest things I noticed is the concerts themselves. On some of the band's songs, the crowd sings along. If you've ever been to an actual Aerosmith concert, you can understand why that's so cool. It really gives you a better game experience, at least from a musical perspective.
Some may not like that Neversoft left off the band's power ballads such as "What it Takes", "Amazing" and "Crazy". I for one like those songs but understand the need to reintroduce the band's earlier stuff. There are a few glaring omissions though. "Janie's Got a Gun" and "Dude Looks Like a Lady" didn't make the cut. I would have rather seen these two songs make the list, but it didn't happen.
What are you expecting here? Steve Tyler and Joe Perry look as creepy in this game as they do real life. You can't beat that.
This rating is mostly subjective. If you're an Aerosmith fan, you'll love this game. If you've never heard any of their stuff, you'll probably be disappointed.
If you're a Guitar Hero junkie, you probably need to get a job. Oh wait, I mean this game will probably bore you to death once you've completed all the tracks.
The wireless controller is unchanged from the axe that came in GH III and remains silky smooth. Experienced players will rip through the concerts but there is something to be said for original tracks. The lack of downloadable content brings this down a notch.
Drop $100 for the bundle (or $60 for the game) if:you need a second guitar, you're the casual player looking for some new tracks or of have just now gotten into the Guitar Hero craze.
Rent it if:you don't like Aerosmith's music and would rather wait until Guitar Hero: World Tour comes out.
The bottom line
If you are a fan the of legendary Boston band, you should enjoy lengthy jam sessions and may undoubtedly play Guitar Hero: Aerosmith more than Legends of Rock. If you're a hack like me, you too will like the new game as the track selection seems a bit easier overall than Guitar Hero III. But if you're an experienced rocker, don't ruin it for the rest of us who want to plug away. Guitar Hero World Tour will be out soon enough.
Overall rating - 7.5