Guitar Hero Smash Hits takes some of the most famous and infamous songs from Guitar Hero, Guitar Hero II, Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, and Guitar Hero Aerosmith and allows you to play them in full band mode. Instead of being stuck playing the songs with just the guitar peripheral, now you can play these songs with the drums and microphone too. Plus, you can play with up to eight players at the same time if you play online. The songs are also all the original artists now performing them, which adds to the experience and authenticity.
Some of the songs included in the game are as follows: Godzilla, Monkey Wrench, Barracuda, Stellar, Rock And Roll All Nite, Cult Of Personality, Free Bird, Shout At The Devil, Killer Queen, XYZ, Cherry Pie, Message In A Bottle, and many more for a total of 48 tracks. Guitar Hero Smash Hits features groups, such as, Aerosmith, Poison, Warrant, Ratt, Lynyrd Skynard, Nirvana, Jane’s Addiction, Boston, Anthrax, AFI, Kansas, White Zombie, Ozzy Osborne, and others. For a full setlist for the game I recommend visiting the official Guitar Hero Smash Hits website. Guitar Hero and Rock Band games are all about the music and if you don’t like the songs in the game, then you won’t like it, so I highly recommend reviewing the setlist before making a purchase of any of these games.
Also, if you already own the previously mentioned Guitar Hero games that the songs in Smash Hits come from then you will need to decide if you really want to play these songs again in full band mode or if playing them as just a guitarist was good enough. The songs are by the original artists now, but is that enough to pay $60 for the same songs you may have already played and wore out in the previous games? If you haven’t bought Guitar Hero 5, Guitar Hero World Tour, Guitar Hero Metallica, Rock Band, or Rock Band 2 and want the full band experience then you may be better off with one of them instead of this game that rehashes all the songs from previous games in full band mode.
Guitar Hero Smash Hits is basically the same game as Guitar Hero World Tour with all the different modes of play and features. I recommend reading my Guitar Hero World Tour Review for more details about what the games based on Guitar Hero World Tour (GHWT) have to offer. The game lets you play online with up to eight players and lets you play offline with up to four players for the full band experience.
The graphics are the same as GHWT and look good except for the crowd looking a little flat and being too repetitive again. Too many of the people in the crowds look exactly the same. Maybe this is because the system can’t handle having more variety of people, but I have noticed it in all the Guitar Hero games I have played so far. Your band members on stage look good, are well animated and have a variety of outfits to choose from and buy as you progress through the games.
Sound in the Guitar Hero games has always been good. All the games revolve around the music and that should be one of the main focuses of the game. The music sounds great and I enjoyed these old tracks more now, since they were all performed by the original artists instead of being covered by bands that sort of sounded like the original songs. Missing notes still makes you play off-key notes as expected and the crowd noise sounds authentic.
Guitar Hero Smash Hits also features a simple story told via the standard animated Guitar Hero rockers that have been featured in previous games. The story isn’t very in-depth, but provides a nice break from the gameplay that helps progress the game through the different fantasy stages. I enjoyed rocking out in the Amazon Rain Forest, Grand Canyon, London Sewerage System, The Great Wall of China and other places. These stages are definitely not normal rock concert locales, but bring a nice change of pace to the standard concert halls and stadiums of previous games.
Playing the concerts involves the standard music game gameplay where colored notes fall down the screen and you have to hold the correct color key on the neck of the guitar while strumming the strum bar when the notes get to the bottom note region. If you are playing the drums then you have to hit the corresponding colored drum when the notes get to the bottom of the screen. Singing requires you to sing along to the song karaoke style and try to stay at the correct pitch to score big. You can also play as the lead or bass guitar player and this is where the four player action comes into play for the full band experience.
Everything works well and as expected in Guitar Hero Smash Hits, but if you already own the previous Guitar Hero games that feature the songs then you may want to pass on purchasing this game. If you never got into play Guitar Hero until Guitar Hero World Tour then you will probably really enjoy this game, since all the songs will be totally new and most of them are really good. If you don’t own any of the previous Guitar Hero games that the music from this game are from then I highly recommend buying this game. I think you will enjoy it, but for everyone else I think you would be better served buying one of the other Guitar Hero or Rock Band games for a new experience instead of the same songs with a new coat of paint.
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