|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Vicarious Visions||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|
The percentage of Aerosmith tunes to other tunes is about a 60-40 split, which is a disappointment considering the majority of the opening band songs are way too easy in comparison. The difficulty and complexity of these songs is noticeably less than the headliner's cuts. My suspicion is this is something either done at the band's request or by the developers to ensure the band got proper rock star treatment. After all, folks tend to get pissed when they're outshined by the opening acts. You certainly won't find that here; everything was clearly done to ensure Aerosmith came out on top.
Career Mode follows the band's rise to stardom, beginning with their first gig at Mendon Nipmuc Regional High School in 1970 and progressing to other notable stops along the way to their induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. A bevy of local and Wi-Fi multiplayer options stretches the rock further, which is a necessity in this case. The main game is unfortunately shorter than most players will like. It's an excellent supplement for Wii owners who already own Legends of Rock and are looking for more tunes to rip through, but only hardcore fans of the band will find it worthwhile to pick up the game and guitar peripheral for the first time. Even so, the smaller number of tracks makes the cost feel even steeper.
The Wii's meager graphical capabilities are not pushed much farther than they were with Legends of Rock. Some shots of the crowd are oddly pixelated, though the camera angles have improved. Otherwise, the game looks good and the band members appear surprisingly close to their actual likenesses. All other areas of the game are plastered with Aerosmith-themed menus and visual elements. The handful of goofy, cartoonish animations scattered around are over-the-top, but the behind the scenes interviews with the band that kick off each new venue make up for this. Players will learn some interesting and humorous tidbits about their history, but it all focuses on the group's positive aspects rather than on their other issues.
This is a game serious Aerosmith fans absolutely shouldn't do without, but I'd also argue it has plenty of appeal to the general gaming public - at least Wii owners who have more limited Guitar Hero options than other console owners. On higher difficulty settings, Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is a blast to play. The group's music is a great fit for the gameplay. Most players will ultimately derive a good deal of enjoyment from bashing the band's tunes on a fake plastic guitar, even if it is a short-lived experience.
CCC Staff Contributor