Guitar Hero Smash Hits – Rock On!

June 18, 2009 at 12:10 PM 1 comment

When the original Guitar Hero hit the PS2, it was clear that the music genre that we’d known for a while, dominated by the likes of Dance Dance Revolution, would be changed forever. Guitar Hero II was met with even more enthusiasm as people who’d played the first for hundreds of hours wanted more, and it indeed delivered.

And then Guitar Hero Encore: Rock the ’80s was released. And then Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. And then Guitar Hero Aerosmith. And then Guitar Hero: World Tour. And then Guitar Hero: Metallica. And now we have Guitar Hero: Smash Hits, to be followed up later this year with Guitar Hero: Van Halen, Guitar Hero V and Band Hero. Oh, and then there’s the offshoot DJ Hero.

And let’s not forget about Rock Band. And Rock Band 2. And the forthcoming The Beatles: Rock Band. Or the three Guitar Hero DS games. Oh, and Rock Band Unplugged on the PSP.

I think you get my point. By my count, I’ve listed nearly 20 titles right there, and it looks like we’re only just getting started. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably played at least a couple of these games, and they’re probably starting to grow a little stale.

So that brings us to the version, I’ll say, at hand, Guitar Hero: Smash Hits. The game is a compilation of some of the best tracks from Guitar Hero 1, 2, 3, Rock the ’80s and Aerosmith. The song list is great, to be sure, though there are certainly some we would drop in favor of others (where’s Clapton, for instance?). But on the whole, it’s a great setlist.

Check out the HD trailer here

But, we’ve played all of these songs before. It’s possible that you’re relatively new to the franchise and in that case this will all be new to you. But whatever the case may be, it doesn’t change the fact that this is simply a rehash of existing songs with the only “new” thing being the ability to play them as a full band. While that’s cool and all, this really should have been DLC or even multiple track packs.

Virtual Band

Virtual Band

Yep, we’ve seen this before.

The game’s main feature set is largely the same as Guitar Hero World Tour, with a couple of the additions seen in Guitar Hero: Metallica tossed in, such as the Expert+ setting for drummers on select songs (roughly about half of them it seems). It forgoes the gig-based structure of World Tour and instead goes by the setlist-based setup of GH: Metallica, where you unlock the next handful of songs (and their corresponding venue) by accruing a certain number of stars. While the requirements in GH: Metallica were pretty low (I “beat” the game with only 40% complete), you’ll need much more to move on here, which I’m happy to see as it means you have to work harder to progress. But the result is the same where you can skip songs that you’re not good at (or don’t like) and still make it through the game, which is nice.

While the setlist is indeed great as a whole (featuring nearly 50 songs, all of which are master tracks, though two of them are live versions), there are three main problems that I have with the songs. Firstly, the note structure has changed on seemingly every track. If you’ve memorized these songs in other games, you’ll find that you have to play them differently here, and many times it’s not for the better. Note progressions sometimes don’t make sense when compared to how you’d play it on guitar, and things just generally feel “off” if you’ve played them before.

All in all, I recommend playing it if you are even a slight fan of guitar, rock or gaming general. I play the guitar and i can’t wait to compare to this.

Buy it

Buy it

Entry filed under: Gamer's Base. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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