Reviewed: June 30, 2008
Released: June 29, 2008
Guitar Hero-mania has swept this great nation since its conception back in 2005. Not only did it revolutionize the gaming industry, but raised record sales and downloads to new heights. What was once a hit in the home has now spanned into the commercial sector with many businesses replacing Karaoke Nights with Guitar Hero Nights.
To be quite honest, I am by no means perfect by any stretch of the imagination at Guitar Hero. But regardless, I like the series because it is something different and I am an avid music listener. I currently own all of the Guitar Heroes, including the newest release, Guitar Hero: Aerosmith for the PlayStation 2, by Activision and RedOctane.
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is the fifth installment of Guitar Hero for the PS2 after Encore that is. However unlike the PS2 exclusive Encore, Aerosmith was given the full treatment so to speak with is release. Every system received bundles with special Aerosmith guitars and the PS2 saw a two guitar bundle as well.
Unlike my fellow reviewer who did the next gen versions of Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, I will admit that I am not much of an Aerosmith fan. Please no bricks or tomatoes. While I do like a handful of their songs, I prefer other rock bands. But one thing I go agree upon is that they are one of the greatest rock bands on the face of this earth. They rank Third only to Poison and Guns & Roses (in that order) in my book.
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith hits the PS2 using the same engine seen in Legends of Rock. However nothing is really new this time around, other than the obvious Aerosmith overhaul. The menus all feature Aerosmith-esque visuals and the load screens feature the band flying over a spinning jumbled assortment of locations.
As you pretty much have guessed by the title, the focus of this title is centered on the legends themselves. Like the latest titles in this series you have 6 venues to rock through. But unlike most Guitar Heroes, you’re in for a history lesson as well as rocking out. Each venue takes place at a location that was special to the band. You will start out at the band's humble beginning at Nipmuc High School to their Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Each set features two songs selected by Aerosmith themselves. Some of these songs are actually covers by other bands. You then get to perform two songs by the Tyler and the gang as themselves onstage and finally an encore Aerosmith song.
The one major difference with Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is that you are feed small servings of rock. Instead of seeing all the songs in your current set, they are given to you one at a time. This unfortunately restricts your path through the Career mode but at the same time leaving you wanting more.
Solo rockers can enjoy the career and quickplay modes in all the various difficulty levels, while two rockers can go at it locally or online in Face Off, Pro Face Off, Cooperative, and Battle modes. Battle Mode returns, but this time it’s primarily a multiplayer experience. Unlike the previous title, there is only one battle off and that’s against Joe Perry.
I will say that Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is much easier than the Legends of Rock, largely due to the style of Aerosmith’s songs. It won’t take long for most players to master this title and I, like my fellow reviewer, have gotten more five stars than any previous title. And yes I mean five stars as 100% is not something I see often.
The only major downside that I see with this release is that while there are 40 songs to play, this title will for the most part appeal to Aerosmith fans. Honesty my favorite songs in the entire game are “Personality Control”, “King of Rock” and “Walk This Way featuring Aerosmith”, all songs that do not feature Aerosmith singularly.
Again, nothing really changed has changed from my last ventures into Guitar Hero III. Since this is the PS2 version I am reviewing it is nowhere near as gorgeous as the next gen versions. All the usual rockers are present this time around. The videos are also a nice touch even though I had a hard time understanding half of what they were saying.
The “vault” is home to what seems like an endless supply of guitars, guitar skins, and character-specific costumes. What really annoyed me was that regardless of the character, guitar, and skin you choose, you only see those customizations for two songs in each venue. Once Aerosmith takes the stage you are locked into a default neck design, which quite frankly is very distracting and makes it hard to see the yellow note at times, something I do agree on with my fellow reviewer.
As I noted above this title is for all the Aerosmith fans of the words. This version for the PS2 retailing for $50 bucks is a bit more reasonable considering the content.
Here is the complete list of all 41 tracks including unlockables from the vault.
Tier 1: "Getting the Band Together" (Nipmuc High School)
Tier 2: "First Taste of Success" (Max's Kansas City)
Tier 3: "The Triumphant Return" (The Orpheum)
Tier 4: "International Superstars" (Moscow)
Tier 5: "The Great American Band" (Half Time Show)
Tier 6: "Rock N Roll Legends" (Rock & Roll Hall of Fame)
Bonus Songs (The Vault)
This title sounds fairly good for having the sound coming out of a basic set in Dolby Pro Logic II. There just is really no need to hook the PS2 up to Surround Sound, so it will undoubtedly not sound anywhere near the quality seen in the next gen versions. Trust me, if you own a PS2 your not into the games for their looks.
Value wise, Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, while good feels like a one track version of Encore: Rocks the 80’s. They could have added more songs both Aerosmith ones and others alike and I would be even happier. Guitar Hero III featured over 70 songs, so this version pales in comparison.
I played Guitar Hero: Aerosmith for pretty much a day and a half straight, before writing this review, and to be honest I like it for what it is. My first sitting consisting of playing for four hours straight, yeah yeah, I know bad for the eyes, mainly because I wanted to play Walk This Way DMC style. The songs selection is pretty cool even though I’m not an Aerosmith fan at heart.
I am by no means the ideal Guitar Hero player and I enjoyed the less rigorous songs that this version offers thanks to Joe Perry’s riffs. I found it easier to play than the previous titles with the exception of On Tour, which hasn’t left my side since I picked it up. If you’re not an Aerosmith fan then you’re better off waiting until World tour releases. However this is a great starter for anyone looking to pick up Guitar hero for the first time.