Game Music, Reviews

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is Beyond Beautiful On the Inside Only (Review)

August 26, 2008 | | 2 Comments Share thison Facebook Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is Beyond Beautiful On the Inside Only (Review)on Twitter

Yeah, I know that while I’ve enjoyed Rock Band and Guitar Hero: On Tour, I still feel that rhythm games are getting tired and unoriginal, but after getting my hands on Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, it’s more obvious than ever that the song list will make or break these games. GHA features over twenty master tracks from the iconic rock group, and Vicarious Visions (developer of the Wii version) would have been hard pressed to create a bad game given the source material.

There are some questionable design decisions here, so I’m not saying the game is perfect. However, I feel this band-specific approach is definitely a wise move, as people who pick up the title will likely be happy with their purchase since they know what to expect. Any chance we can get a Megadeth or Alice in Chains version, Activision?

Read about the good, the bad, and the ugly after the jump.

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is the same game that you’ve enjoyed or hated about five times over by now. So what’s the draw? Aerosmith of course! While the game features the band’s music and visual style and likeness, that’s not all it offers. Other bands are featured as “opening acts,” and I was surprised to see some cool groups like Stone Temple Pilots and Lenny Kravitz making their way into the game. I would say the punk tracks by The Clash and New York Dolls were definitely out of place, but these were the only oddballs in the bunch.

In terms of Aerosmith material, there’s a great blend of old and new, with hits like “Dream On,” “Toys in the Attic,” and “Rag Doll” on the list as well as one of my all-time favorites, “Beyond Beautiful” and a number of other recent tracks. However, given the crazy amount of hits Aerosmith as under its belt, I question why some of the more obscure stuff was included. I did miss “Janie’s Got a Gun,” “Jaded,” and “Dude (Looks Like a Lady),” but perhaps the tracks were selected to make fans aware of some of their older material as well. “Kings and Queens” was a surprise favorite of mine, as I wasn’t familiar with the original from the 1970s, and it’s darker atmosphere was quite a treat.

As players progress, they perform two openers by other bands followed by two Aerosmith tracks, then another Aerosmith track for the encore for each of 6 sets. There’s also a duel with Joe Perry, ala Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, bringing the main game’s song count to 31. However, players can accumulate hard cold cash from rockin’ through the career mode to unlock some additional tracks (mostly Joe Perry’s solo work re-recorded by Aerosmith), as well as some cool video interviews with the band regarding their career.

So yeah, live video. On that topic, there’s a lot of different visual styles in GHA. First I’ll mention the in-game visuals, which are horrendous. Joe Perry and Steve Tyler are the main focus, and they look seriously messed up with giant, pudgy faces with their polygons showin’. The other band members look pretty good, so I don’t know what happened with these two (in the developer’s defense, Tyler and Perry are very unique looking individuals in real life). Aside from this, there are some cut scenes in a Japanese anime style along the above mentioned live videos, and even a different, cutesy cut-out cartoon style for the loading screens. Needless to say, the game’s visuals aren’t cohesive in any way, but they offer a nice variety of ways to enjoy the band (or turn away in disgust in the case of the in-game stuff).

Again, I have to admit that I suck at Guitar Hero. There is such a huge difference between hard and expert. I remember back in the day with the original Guitar Hero, I was able to complete every song minus “Bark at the Moon” on expert. Now, I can’t beat anything on expert! Way to make me feel inadequate! I’m a pretty impatient person, so I never make use of the training mode, but it’s there for you if you want to master every song.

Overall, I loved Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. I hope the title is successful and other bands ask to jump on the bandwagon. Like I said, I’d love to see some Megadeth, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, or Nirvana collections in the future. Granted, this could have easily been accomplished with DLC, so it’s a hard balance to strike. Anyway, even if you’re tired of this genre but are a fan of Aerosmith, pick this one up. You’re going to love it.

Do you think this artist-specific approach is the way to move forward with the music game genre? What are some bands that you’d like to see have their own Guitar Hero game?

Tags: , , , , ,


« Next Post

Previous Post »

More like this Post