Itâs tempting to rant about how Guitar Hero isnât an original title: about how it simply steals from Konamiâs Guitar Freaks and how the acclaim itâs received across the Pacific is unwarranted. Such a condescending diatribe would be the product of a âBemaniâ fanboy: Guitar Freaks has never been legally released outside of Japan. Instead, one needs to look at what Guitar Hero is: perhaps the best game in the rhythm/action genre today.
Guitar Hero contains a lot of complex gameplay that deserves paragraphs of in-depth analysis: hammer-ons, note-bends, sliding power-chords; but such a discussion would largely ignore what makes Guitar Hero the must-own title that it is: The Guitar Hero SG guitar.
It seems rather silly to suggest that a Fisher Price guitar could add so much to the game. But anyone who has played any of Konamiâs âBemaniâ games with a joypad will contest that it is the peripherals that makes those games what they are. The same applies to Guitar Hero.
Indeed, it is possible to play the game with the joypad; and for many, multiplayer will only be achieved with the second player using a Dual Shock. But this will immediately prove to be one of Guitar Heroâs negatives: it only comes with one Guitar Hero SG.
The game isnât the same without the controller. The microphones in SingStar are a necessary requirement; you cannot tap buttons to represent your vocal input. However, they help set the mood when youâre warbling the final chorus of The Final Countdown. Itâs all part of being a star: which is exactly how you feel when playing Guitar Hero.
With the Guitar Hero SG in your hands, you will feel the urge to ârock outâ. In an uncharacteristic moment of personal indulgence, I simply must tell you about my girlfriendâs experience with Guitar Hero. After initially being dismissive of such a concept â why on Earth we couldnât be content with SingStar was beyond her â she eventually couldnât help but âbopâ along to the music as she strummed the guitar.
And thatâs the effect that Guitar Hero has on people: it brings out their inner rocker. The more extroverted/drunk will find themselves playing the guitar behind their head, with their teeth, or simply attempting to set that rather expensive piece of plastic on fire.
However, for $150 (RRP) you only get one Guitar Hero SG â one â and a second guitar is not easily obtained. And there is no option to play âshortâ versions of songs like you can in SingStar. No one realizes how long Smoke On The Water is until they're waiting for their turn.
Which, of course, neglects any multiplayer functions and whether they are worthwhile; and that is a matter of opinion. While both players compete, they share parts of the song. So if youâre playing a simple song on the âEasyâ difficulty â something that most novices will demand â youâll find that monotony doesnât even begin to describe the simplicity.
Hence, Guitar Hero then remains a largely single-player experience. Itâs certainly an excellent single player experience; sliding your âpower chordâ down from two buttons to two others is sure to make you feel like youâre a disciple of the school of rock. Successfully completing Bark At The Moon on âMediumâ difficulty is a truly rewarding experience; and âExpertâ mode is a nightmare: thereâs plenty of gameplay tucked away in this title.
Which is for the best; the title is expensive. Unlike SingStar, youâre paying a lot for the peripheral. Unfortunately, Guitar Hero is nothing without the SG controller. Itâs lucky then that the experience is definitely worth the $150 (RRP).
If youâve ever played the âair guitarâ, Guitar Hero is for you. Itâs also for you if youâve ever been at a party that focuses on SingStar and youâve thought, âGee, singing sucks.â Guitar Hero is one of those titles that make people glad they own a PS2. In fact, itâs one of those titles that make people go purchase a PS2 if they donât already own one. Itâs expensive, but itâs worth the price of admission. Purchase immediately.