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Guitar Hero: Aerosmith

by Steven Rodriguez - June 2, 2008, 10:06 am PDT
Total comments: 15

Or: Guitar Hero III+ featuring Aerosmith.

If you're expecting to see any big new features or amazing technological breakthroughs in Activision's immediate next Guitar Hero game, you need to lower your expectations now. What I've seen during some hands-on time with Guitar Hero: Aerosmith basically confirms what most people have figured out already: it's mostly just Guitar Hero III with Aerosmith, their songs, and their likenesses put into the game.

This means that there aren't any new modes or gameplay features that you haven't already seen in the Wii version of Guitar Hero III. It still features a career mode. There are still the two-player modes, with face-off, co-op, and battle variations. It still has online play versus friends or against random players. It will still not have downloadable songs. (That will come in Guitar Hero: World Tour.)

What Guitar Hero Aerosmith will have, however, is improved character models, venues, animations, and more graphical pop than GHIII. Vicarious Visions, developer of the Wii versions of Guitar Hero, was able to build GH: Aerosmith from the ground up to best work on the console. Guitar Hero III Wii was released concurrently with the other console versions, but it was more of a "port" of the PlayStation 2 version than a version made specifically for the Wii.


Check out Guitar Hero: Aerosmith for Wii in action.

The Wii version of Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, therefore, looks leaps and bounds better than the previous game. From what I was able to see with my hands-on, everything was better animated, venues felt more alive, and Aerosmith themselves really looked like they belong in the game. Steven Tyler's lips and plastic face translate well to his digital doppelgänger. It's all the more believable when he looks into camera from the on-stage view, even shaking the camera around or putting his hand into it while he sings. Characters also interact with each other, which is something you never saw in the previous games.

It also appears that some of the “phantom strum” gameplay issues have been ironed out, although that's hard to say for certain given less than an hour of total playtime. In terms of difficulty, I found some of the middle-tier songs on expert a fair challenge, probably about the same difficulty as concurrent songs in Guitar Hero III. Top-end difficulty is still a question mark at this point, since Activision only gave us access to the first 25 songs. (For a confirmed list of songs in Guitar Hero: Aerosmith check out our new preview.)

The song selection choices, as you'd expect, are dominated by Aerosmith music. If you're a fan of the band or like a few of their songs, chances are high that you'll like the majority of the music featured in the game. Although Aerosmith has some fairly diverse music for a rock group, I still wonder whether or not a Guitar Hero game centered on a single band, as popular as that band may be, will have the same longevity or replay value as those with more varied song selections. Still, there are a lot of fans of Aerosmith, and to them, it probably isn't going to matter.

Talkback

MorariJune 02, 2008

It was built from he ground up for the Wii? It's not just a PS2 this time around? That's great, and definitely gives one hope for World Tour being much more impressive.

DAaaMan64June 02, 2008

Any ideas of DLC?

Quote from: DAaaMan64

Any ideas of DLC?

Not in Aerosmith.  In World Tour.

DAaaMan64June 02, 2008

Thanks James, it was probably there and I was just being a lazy bitch...

MorariJune 02, 2008

Wii owners haven't really missed out on much. Activision has barely even supported DLC with the versions of Guitar Hero III that are capable of it. They're too busy making ridiculous amounts of money off of those $70 guitar controllers to worry about kickbacks from additional songs.

I love GHIII and I'm desperate for new songs so I'm at least going to rent this one.

SixthAngelJune 02, 2008

Does anyone really care about the improved graphics or animation of guitar hero?  I sincerely doubt it.  New playable characters mean dick in a game where YOU are the player.  All it needs on the screen is the basic frets coming at you with some kind of design to make it look snazzy.

It is all about the music, I wish they would just release the exact same game as the previous Guitar Hero with new songs.  No one will care about the graphics in this game, they should purposely be kept as simple as possible to keep the game price down (or to make more money).

Rant aside I think the new Guitar Heroes based entirely off huge bands is cool.  I'm not a big Aerosmith fan but I like the idea and the upcoming band titles that are sure to come.  This makes me think that in the future whenever you buy an album the songs will come with a video game version that will let you play it on whatever guitar game is the biggest.

EnnerJune 02, 2008

Well, it'll be good if you're not looking at a blotchy band around your frets.

Which brings me to another point in that I won't mind some snazzy sprites replacing the 3D.

MorariJune 03, 2008

SixthAngel: I care about what the characters look like. To a further extent however, I'm much more excited about customizing characters in Guitar Hero: World Tour. Being able to connect with a character and make it your own is kind of the point of most video games, even ones with simple and repetitive gameplay like Guitar Hero.

The problem I have with these band-centric installments is that they'll grow stale quickly. There are plenty of songs that I dislike in every Guitar Hero, but with something like this you're going to get bored even if you love the band. There's just no real variety. Also, this kind of things should be DLC, not a separate title. For a game like Guitar Hero, it makes much more sense to nail the mechanics and then just release individual songs to integrate within. Nothing is different enough from game to game to warrant having to switch discs in and out. Now with World Tour, that's obviously different. I can only hope that they actually try supporting DLC (not just having it as a bullet point on the back of the box) when that time comes.

SixthAngelJune 03, 2008

Quote from: Morari

SixthAngel: I care about what the characters look like. To a further extent however, I'm much more excited about customizing characters in Guitar Hero: World Tour. Being able to connect with a character and make it your own is kind of the point of most video games, even ones with simple and repetitive gameplay like Guitar Hero.

But in guitar hero you aren't controlling an on screen character like in other games.  In guitar hero you are playing the guitar, it is in your hand.  If I want to play the guitar over my head I hold the guitar over my head.  The onscreen character basically plays along while you are the real guitar player (hero) because you have a guitar that lets you do any of the moves or notes you want.  The characters onscreen are just there to give you a more exciting way to see how well YOU are playing.

I do think a band centric game can get old if you aren't a huge fan but it just makes me think of the future.  A cheap guitar game that holds MP3 like files that let you play along and make your own "play"lists.  You make your own playlist and then play through the songs as they come.

Ian SaneJune 04, 2008

Last weekend I actually really enjoyed Guitar Hero for the first time.  Well actualy it was Rock Band but I was playing by myself with just the guitar so it's really the same thing.  Turns out the trick was to jump right into the harder songs.  Previously I had started on the easy ones and got bored.  But of course!  As a guitar player the fantasy element wasn't there because if I want to play a Ramones song I can learn it in five minutes.  But doing a note perfect Iron Maiden solo actually is a fantasy because it would take a lot of practice for me to do that.

So now I'm interested but there's a problem.  Looking through the song lists no one game will satisfy me.  No matter what I'll get some crap I never want to play.  Meanwhile however some awesome I want is only on the first game or Rocks the 80's which are only on the PS2.  But I want to play this on the Wii which only have Guitar Hero 3 and presumably all future titles.  And then of course there are the songs on Rock Band I like which requires a different game from a different company.

So they release these band specific expansions but really what I want is an iTunes kind of setup where I get to customize what I want with all the tracks from previous Guitar Hero games available.  So I can get all the Iron Maiden tracks but none of the Linkin Park.  Now they have DLC but that's not enough.  I want one Guitar Hero game that comes with 30 free downloadable tracks and I can pick whatever I want and then anything else you can charge me for.  Then instead of sequels there are just new tracks released to the store.

Really this is how TONS of games should work if the basic mechanics are such that sequels are just expansions with no new gameplay.  I want this kind of setup for DDR.  I think sports games should have this setup.  Something like Tony Hawk for example would benefit from being able to just download new courses as one sees fit.  And this doesn't have to be free.  This is World of Warcraft kind of money.  People will pay regularly to update their game.  It also will keep a game relevent for YEARS.  No need to develop a sequel when you can just add a few new songs every once in a while.

Now they'll probably abuse this.  But for something like Guitar Hero it's really the way to go.

Though if Activision releases Guitar Hero I and II on the Wii and the insturments for the upcoming World Tour are compatible with Rock Band then that will probably suit my needs enough.  But in the future this setup is perfect for any "ain't broke, don't fix it" game design that is so solid changing it will ruin it.

vuduJune 04, 2008

Quote from: Ian

As a guitar player the fantasy element wasn't there because if I want to play a Ramones song I can learn it in five minutes.

To be fair, I could probably learn a Ramones song in five minutes, and I've never held a real guitar in my life.

Quote from: Ian

But in the future this setup is perfect for any "ain't broke, don't fix it" game design that is so solid changing it will ruin it.

And this is why I never want to see Rock Band 2.
Rock Band (at least for 360 and PS3) has the potential to become that gaming platform that you dream of. Yes, you are stuck with the 58 on disc songs forever, but you can really customize what songs you want via DLC. Do you want one Jimmy Buffet song, an Iron Maiden song, Weezer and some Sabbath? So be it.

And although Activision has been (to my understanding) coy with their upcoming "GHTunes" for GHIV, I think they're thinking the same thing.

UltimatePartyBearJune 05, 2008

I doubt they make as much money off of DLC as they can by selling a sequel, or else they'd wouldn't bother with sequels.

Ian SaneJune 05, 2008

DLC is a relatively new concept though for videogames.  A big reason why annual updates disguised as sequels are common is because for the first 25 years or so of console gaming that was the only option.  If both series just release sequels I'm sure the status quo will remain.  But if one of them introduces full downloadable custom song selection the other will be forced to follow.  Or if a third company introduces the same thing.  For a game like this it's really the ideal way to do it and it really just needs one game to do it and and it will be an expected feature.

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Guitar Hero: Aerosmith Box Art

Genre Rhythm
Developer Vicarious Visions
Players1 - 2
Online1 - 2

Worldwide Releases

na: Guitar Hero: Aerosmith
Release Jun 29, 2008
PublisherActivision
RatingTeen
jpn: Guitar Hero: Aerosmith
Release Oct 16, 2008
PublisherActivision
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