|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Budcat Creations||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 29, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
Everyone is bound to enjoy Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, although there are a few groups that will derive more pleasure out of it than others. These include fans of Aerosmith and newbies to Guitar Hero. This is the first venture of the series to focus on one particular band. But even though the focus is on Aerosmith, there are still plenty of other bands and cover songs included which should appease those indifferent to Aerosmith tune-age, and I'm pretty sure anyone who strives to play guitar will definitely find something to like about Aerosmith. If anything, the game will at least get you familiar with some of their older material, and let me tell you, it friggin' rocks.
Sure, it's a risky move putting most of your eggs in one basket, but Aerosmith does have mass appeal. They are revered by hard rockers, classic rockers, death-metal heads, and even teenage girls that fall under Tyler's spell when he croons a power ballad. The tune selection here is great. It spans the band's history from their days as a run-of-the-mill high-school band to their status as one of the most popular rock bands on the planet. Sure, Walk this Way is here, but how about classics like Toys in the Attic, Back in the Saddle, and Train Kept a Rolling? Man, those are rockers. Even if you're not a devoted Aerosmith fan, by the end of this game you're bound to be.
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is part game and part documentary, tracing the band's development over the years from humble beginnings to the present with interviews from the band members. It's fascinating to be along for the journey if even just to learn about the music industry. Aerosmith have also hand-picked tunes from other bands that they cover in the game including the Black Crowes' "Hard to Handle" and Mott the Hoople's "All the Young Dudes." Other artists have been added to the mix to spice things up so you don't O.D. on Aerosmith (they did that pretty well by themselves back in the day). Other artists on the roster include Joan Jett, Ted Nugent, Lenny Kravitz, The Clash, Cheap Trick, and Stone Temple Pilots. Of course, you'll also get to unlock the Run DMC collaboration on Walk this Way.
As I mentioned, beginners are going to love this game simply because it's not very difficult. Joe Perry's riffs are big, fat, juicy, and straightforward. He doesn't even do a lot of lead work, and when he does, he's no showboat. Perry knows how to play for the song, so you won't be in any danger of developing carpal tunnel trying to emulate his licks. You'll have to wait for the Van Halen and Yngwie Malmsteen version. But seriously folks, there is a Metallica Hero in the works.
Control-wise the game offers nothing new. Icons travel down a conveyor-style ramp requiring you to press all the right buttons on your plastic guitar. It's a blend of hand-eye coordination and rhythm. Timing is very important. The fewer mistakes you make, the more points you get. See if you can get a 400-note streak, but be warned that because of the garish stage show in the background, some colors such as the yellow icon can be difficult to see. Using the whammy bar at the appropriate time is also a point generator. Even though the name of the game is Guitar Hero, you're not always playing the guitar part. You end up playing the most dominant part of the song including drum fills and bass lines. It may not be the authentic guitar parts, but it keeps things moving and makes you seem as important to the song as a conductor is to a symphony orchestra.