I want to make clear right up front that if you don’t like Aerosmith music then you probably won’t like Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. I think that is pretty obvious, since Guitar Hero involves you trying to play music on a plastic guitar peripheral. I just thought I would make sure everyone knows that the majority of the music in Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is made up of hits from the Aerosmith library of music. Granted, you will get to play music by Cheap Trick, Joan Jett, Lenny Kravitz, Run DMC, The Clash, The Cult, The Kinks, and a few others, but don’t expect the variety of music in this game like other Guitar Hero games have had in the past. Also, don’t expect as many songs, since Guitar Hero: Aerosmith only has around 40 songs where Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock has over 70 to choose.
But, on the flip side of this, if you are an Aerosmith fan then Guitar Hero: Aerosmith might be the best Guitar Hero yet in your eyes. It really is a great tribute to the band and they went the extra mile with this game. Instead of just having the same characters and stages from Guitar Hero III with Aerosmith music to choose, Neversoft actually created all new stages and render the Aerosmith band members in full 3D Guitar Hero style using motion capture techniques.
The stages that are in Guitar Hero: Aerosmith are made to represent different clubs and events that the band has performed at over the years. This includes the Nipmuc high school gymnasium they first performed at to the Super Bowl halftime show to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They also created cartoon animation for the intro and ending with the Aerosmith band members in it. Live video of the band members talking about different aspects of their career was even recorded. You see short clips of this live video in-between levels, but you can also unlock more in-depth videos to play and learn more about the band as you progress through the game.
Besides playing as your standard Guitar Hero characters you also get to play on stage with the Aerosmith characters. You can earn money in career mode to buy new guitars, guitar paint schemes, clothing, extra characters, and videos. If you are familiar with other Guitar Hero games then this should all sound very familiar. As you progress through the game you earn money for playing gigs and you can use the money to buy previously mentioned stuff from The Vault. The game is made of the standard Career mode that allows you to unlock more songs and other things, plus a practice and tutorial mode.
There is also a multiplayer mode that allows you to play on or offline with one other person playing against each other (Face-Off), cooperatively or in battle mode. Battle mode is similar to the Face-Off mode, but in Battle you send different attacks at the other player to make them break a string or overload their amp, which hopefully causes them to mess up. I tried playing online twice on my PlayStation 3 and both times there was nobody to play against. Maybe it was the night and time I chose, but this doesn’t bode well if you plan on playing multiplayer online a lot.
You play Guitar Hero: Aerosmith the same as any of the other Guitar Hero games that have come before it. You have a special guitar peripheral that has five colored buttons on the neck and a strum and whammy bar where the strings and whammy bar would normally go on a guitar. You hold one or multiple colored buttons down to match the falling circles on the screen and when the circles get inside the matching circle at the bottom of the screen you push the strum bar like you would be strumming a guitar’s strings. You can also shake the whamming bar on long notes for extra style and points. If you do well enough you will get access to activate Star Power by tilting the guitar upward. This Star Power mode in Guitar Hero: Aerosmith allows you to double your points for a short period of time. And, if you do this all correctly you will play the song exactly as it should sound and if you mess up the game will let you know it by playing off key sounds or no sound at all.
The sound effects and music in the game are as expected. The music sounds good, even the songs covered by other bands sound decent, and the sound effects of you messing up work well and sound out-of-place like they should if you mess up. The music, as mentioned above, will be great to you if you are an Aerosmith fan or it could suck if you don’t care for them or any of the other bands that they selected to be in the game. These other bands are in the game because Aerosmith either likes their music or has performed with them in the past.
The graphics in Guitar Hero: Aerosmith look as good as the sound in some ways, but in others it seems like they could have done more. The band members, stages, and instruments are all well done and the animation is fluid because of the quality motion capturing of the Aerosmith band members. The only problem I have with the graphics is the audience. They look in some ways flat and there are not enough different crowd members to make it seem real. You will see the same girl a couple people over with the same clothes and appearance. It seems like they could’ve at least given her a different color shirt or hair. Maybe I am just knit picking with this but it was something I noticed at the beginning of each song and it started to bother me.
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is just as much fun as other Guitar Hero games as long as you like Aerosmith’s music. If you don’t like Aerosmith then I would probably steer clear of this game. Plus, if you don’t own Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock then I would recommend picking it up instead of Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, since it has more songs and more bands for variety in it. If you are a fan of Aerosmith then you will maybe enjoy Guitar Hero: Aerosmith even more than any other Guitar Hero game and I would probably bump up the score at least one point.
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