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Available for PS3, Xbox, Wii
Released: October 26, 2008
Developed By: Neversoft
Published By: Activision
ESRB Rated: Teen

Guitar Hero is no longer just for guitars. You can now play with Guitar Hero instruments or Rock Band ones, unless you have a Wii then the instruments are not compatible. There is support for Guitar, bass, Drum, and vocal musicians. This is Neversoft’s strike back against Harmonix’ Rock Band. Guitar Hero World Tour (GHWT) supports online battles and music submission. Another new feature is the ability to custom create your own rocker. The typical Single and Band campaigns are available. When playing in a band, the leader has to be present but the other players can be local or online. Songs for Quick Play are unlocked as you complete the campaign modes. The boss battles are different now as they don\'t rely on power ups anymore.

Along with the typical difficulty levels (easy, medium, hard, expert), a new mode called Beginner has been added. In the beginner mode you don’t have to worry about the fret buttons since you just have to strum, and on drums, they allow the player to hit any drum. This is a great mode for younger kids. The basic game play goes as follows. You have different colored fret bars on the guitar and different color drums and when you see a colored note line up on the bottom you have to strum and press the corresponding colored fret bar or hit the corresponding drum. It takes some coordination and getting used to but it’s pretty easy to pick up. There are some tutorials that will show you the basics, how to gain and use star power, and advanced techniques. I highly recommend watching them if you’re new to this game. For drummers, Rock Band has a much better experience as star power is extremely difficult to pull off, at least on Rock Band drums. You have to hit both center pads at the same time, which is not easy in the middle of a song with no breaks. Rock Band gives you places to use it. Bassists are now required to only strum at times, there is still a good amount of fret work for them too.

Whether you play solo or in a band, the campaign mode is pretty much like the previous titles. There are typically five songs in a gig with an encore at the end. You\'ll earn money based on how well you play the songs and on what difficulty you played them at. If you fail you can change the difficulty of the song you\'re playing at; you\'ll have to restart the song, but your progress in the gig won\'t be lost. I like how when you resume a song it will give you a five second count down to ready up. Gigs are typically unlocked as you progress but some of the gigs can by purchased at anytime. You can also make your own gigs of up to six songs if you need to earn some money.

The song list is pretty impressive and all of the tracks are original masters, as there are no cover bands. There are eighty six songs bundled with the game. Some of the songs are classic rock, some are pop, and some are heavy metal. In other words there’s something for everyone here. Some of the bands include Nirvana, Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Foo Fighters, Eagles, Michael Jackson, Pat Benetar, Lenny Kravitz, Van Halen, Willie Nelson, Blondie, Korn, Jimi Hendrix, and more. I didn’t like a few of the tracks and some of the songs aren’t even in English. I don’t mind La Bamba (especially with Ozzy singing it), but there are some other heavy metal foreign tongue songs here.

If you have at least four members in your band you can compete online in a Battle of the Bands. The single player head to head battles are fun. In the Head to head battles the music track is divided up and whoever plays better, wins. I certainly don\'t miss the power up based boss battles.

The downloadable content is pretty impressive. There are songs from Queen, Nirvana, Eagles, The Smashing Pumpkins, Wings, Queen, Motorhead and more. The Metallica Album Death Magnetic for Guitar Hero 3 is compatible with GHWT. All of the downloadable content and many of the in-game songs will be playable in Guitar Hero 5 and Band Hero.

The graphics are great in this game and the 3D rendering of Jimi Hendrix, Ozzy Osbourne and Bill Corrigan are great. The facial expressions and mouth movements are spot on. The venues are colorful and wonderfully detailed. I have no complaints here.

Since this is a music game, the music has to sound great. The music for the most part, sounded good. There is a song performed by Jimi Hendrix that has a lower quality recording but you have to take into the consideration the age of the recording.

From an Appropriateness standpoint, this is clearly a Rock \'n Roll game. If you don’t like Rock \'n Roll, this isn’t the game for you. There are good Christian alternatives like Heavenly Harmony and Guitar Praise. There is some language and drug references and some of the female rockers can use more clothes. A couple of the questionable songs include Da***it by Blink-182 and The Joker by Steve Miller Band, Good God (blasphemy) and Ozzy’s Mr. Crowley is in the song list as well. There are some super natural and death animations in some of the gigs. One of the gigs is very tripped out and disturbing.

Overall this is a good offering for a Guitar Hero game. There is a lot of replay value with the bundled songs, downloadable content and the user created music. There are definitely some great songs in the list and in all fairness; I think there are some duds as well. The game play is fun, but I have to admit that I’ve been converted to a Rock Band fan already. This review is based on the game only, I have not played with the new Guitar Hero instruments so I cannot comment on their quality.

Game Play: 17/20
Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 8/10
Interface: 5/5
Stability: 5/5

Game Score: 44/50

Appropriateness 36/50

-2 for swearing
-5 God’s name in vain
-3.5 for sexual references
-3.5 for lack of clothing

 

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