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Guitar Hero: Aerosmith Review

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Developer: Neversoft Publisher: Activision
Release Date: June 29, 2008 Also On: PS2, PS3, Wii and Xbox 360

The old saying goes “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Activision must have confused it with “if you succeed, try, try again, and keep trying until people stop buying your product.” That seems to be the line of thought behind the Guitar Hero franchise these days. Just three short years ago Guitar Hero didn’t exist. Now there’s not 1, 2, 3 or 4, but five different versions that have been released on consoles (PS2 has seen them all) as well as one for DS and another on the way this fall.

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is the fifth Guitar Hero on consoles and the first to be dedicated to a single band. With Guitar Hero: Metallica now announced, there surely will be more to come. But to limit their focus to one band is a risky move that narrows the appeal to fans of the band. Granted, Aerosmith has a lot of fans and are widely considered one of the best rock bands in history. Yet by limiting the scope to Steven, Joe, Tom, Brad and Joey, Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is relegated to obscure songs that I would have rather not played.

If you have been following Guitar Hero for any length of time, Guitar Hero: Aerosmith will be familiar to you. More specifically, this game copies almost directly everything from Guitar Hero III (including the characters) and mixes in an Aerosmith centered theme. Not all of the songs are Aerosmith, by the way. They mix in some classic artists, but only about ten songs are non-Aerosmith. “Dream Police” by Cheap Trick, “All Day and All of the Night” by The Kinks, and “Always on the Run” by Lenny Kravitz stand out as the best songs not done by Aerosmith. Not all of them are master tracks, either. Some are even done by cover bands.

Some of your favorite Aerosmith songs make the cut, as you would expect. Among them are “Sweet Emotion”, “Livin’ on the Edge”, “Rag Doll”, “Love in an Elevator”, “Walk This Way”, “Mama Kin”, “Toys in the Attic”, “Train Kept a Rollin’” and “Dream On”. Some of the ones I have never heard are “Beyond Beautiful”, “No Surprise” and “Draw the Line”. Altogether, there are about 40 songs to choose from new, old, familiar and not. For $100 with a guitar, it’s not a very good deal considering the asking price.

Graphically, not much is different from Guitar Hero III. You have new venues, all inspired by Aerosmith’s history as a band. You start in Boston and make your way from there. The developers included a few short interviews with the band in between the venues to give background information on their career. As I said before, the characters from Guitar Hero III are rehashed, although when you play an Aerosmith song, you play as Aerosmith. Steven Tyler is noticeably more cartoon-like, but he looks enough like himself, as does Joe Perry. Also worth noting is the Wii version, not being an HD console, has a lot of jagged edges when compared to the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions.

The Guitar Hero experience has not changed much from Guitar Hero III. Guitar Hero: Aerosmith throws in a bunch of classic rock songs from the legendary band from Boston and a few oddly placed non-Aerosmith songs to make up this fifth iteration of Guitar Hero on consoles. While there is online play, co-op and a campaign, nothing has changed except the song list (which is considerably smaller). What should be a budget title, given that this feels more like an expansion pack, is a full priced game. Unless you are a diehard Aerosmith fan, Guitar Hero: Aerosmith should be passed up for World Tour.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 7
Creativity: 6
Replay Value/Game Length: 7.5
Final: 7
Written by Kyle Review Guide