Did Guitar Hero 3 Live Up to the Hype?

Did Guitar Hero 3 live up to the Hype

When the Guitar Hero series first came out on Playstation 2, it was relegated to a tiny column in most gaming magazines and received little fanfare.
But once people realized how innovative and fun the game was, word spread and Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero 2 became the games everyone wanted for the 2006 holiday season.

Now, as the 2007 holiday season approaches, Guitar Hero 3 is sure to be on the top of tons of gamers’ lists, and for good reason. The game takes just about everything that was good with the first two (and a half if you count “Encore: Rocks the 80’s”) and makes it better.

First off, the songs themselves are excellent this time around. Classic air guitar favorites like Guns N’ Roses ” Welcome to the Jungle” and Scorpions’ “Rock You Like a Hurricane” make the cut, as do several newer songs by both established bands and lesser-known ones, the latter as unlockable bonus tracks. Classic rock and blues fans will also be satisfied with songs like the Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black” and Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “Pride and Joy” on the slate this time. The track selection provides a nice variety of songs that will please fans of all the different genres of rock.

The best news, however, is the fact that almost all of these songs are now the original versions as opposed to cheap knock-offs. While past Guitar Hero games had admirable covers, nothing compares to rocking out to the actual songs while playing every note as if you’re really strumming alongside your favorite guitarists.

The career mode is basically the same as in past releases, but that’s not a bad thing. There are a few cut-scenes added to help tell the story of your band as it works its way from small-time to headliner. The scenes are soundless but brilliantly animated in the style of the band Gorillaz’ videos. All of your brilliant performances along the way lead up to a surprsing and clever end in which you stage an epic guitar duel against a certain Biblical creature all to the tune of a certain famous song. That’s all I’m going to give it away, but it is a fitting end to a great career mode that also allows two players to team up in co-op mode, a welcome new addition.

One other interesting new feature is the addition of guitar battles and legends like Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Slash of Guns N’ Roses. These battles are original compositions that take place in career mode, giving the player the power to disrupt the opponent in various ways by hitting the right notes and gaining special powers that can be triggered at any time. While these battles are fun, there aren’t a whole lot of them and the whole feature seems to be a little bit rushed.

Altogether, Guitar Hero 3 takes what makes the series great and improves upon it, and that alone makes it worth the purchase for all the Guitar Hero fanatics out there whose idea of a good time is spending hours trying to get 5 stars on every song. Casual fans will like the game too simply for its excellent track list.

But for those who got a little bored with the first two games and are looking for something a little more innovative, it might be save up for Rock Band and all of the musical instrument controllers that come with it and just rent this game in the meantime.