Fans of the band will want to Walk This Way, but otherwise it feels like the Same Old Song and Dance.
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is Activision's first crack at a band-themed Guitar Hero spin-off title, and with that first attempt comes some high points, but also some severe faults. As a game centered around one band—and therefore, one style of music—it can only truly cater to one type of Guitar Hero fan, which is obviously anyone who enjoys the music of Aerosmith. And as big as Steven Tyler's band is, that means a lot of people will still be happy playing this game.
However, that also means that people who want a wide variety of songs or a large selection to choose from will be abruptly disappointed by what the game has to offer. If Aerosmith isn't your cup of tea, this game is obviously not for you. The majority of songs are provided by the titular band, although Aerosmith did hand-pick songs from other artists from the likes of Joan Jett, The Kinks, Lenny Kravitz, Stone Temple Pilots, and Run DMC. That variety is short-lived, since three out of every five songs per venue in career mode are from Aerosmith, as are all of the bonus songs.
While I do enjoy listening to the band, and some of their iconic songs just beg to be played with a plastic guitar, bringing all their most popular songs together in one game just doesn't do it for me. It is especially deflating that there are only 41 songs in the game (29 from Aerosmith and derivatives), which is a lot less than GH players are accustomed to for a game that costs the same as the flagship titles.
The setlist will probably be the ultimate factor in whether or not Guitar Hero Aerosmith is a game you'll want to pick up, but for those on the fence, there are some remarkable improvements to other areas of the game. Most obvious among those is how great the Wii version looks. Vicarious Visions did a great job with their from-the-ground-up production. Characters are fantastically animated and the virtual Aerosmith fits in perfectly. The audio quality sounds pretty nice (and it's really in stereo and surround sound this time), and it feels like the strumming issues from Guitar Hero III have been resolved for the most part. Of course, all the online gameplay modes have been preserved and work great, complete with on-screen notification when your friends want to challenge you to an online rock-off.
It's for those reasons why Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is still a good game for those interested. The relatively small selection of tracks, lack of track variety, and laughable amount of bonus content are potential negatives for those on the fence, but the bottom line for this Guitar Hero game is that you either like Aerosmith or you don't. If you love them to death, this game should be in your collection. If you don't care for them, don't get it. If you think you're somewhere in the middle, you should ask yourself if you really need to spend the money on what amounts to a glorified expansion pack with Guitar Hero: World Tour looming on the horizon.