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Wii

North America

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith

by Steven Rodriguez - September 21, 2008, 3:55 pm PDT
Total comments: 3

7

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.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
8 8 7 7 6 7
Graphics
8

The venues and atmosphere are standard Guitar Hero fare, but the animation of the characters on the stage is really impressive. Guitar Hero: Aerosmith looks much, much better than the last Wii GH game.

Sound
8

The music sounds good - as well it should - but whether or not you like what you're playing ultimately depends on how much you like Aerosmith.

Control
7

Phantom strumming issues have been improved from Guitar Hero III, but there's nothing special to say about the controls otherwise.

Gameplay
7

Solid, fun, and enjoyable Guitar Hero gameplay, no matter what songs you're rockin' out to.

Lastability
6

Forty-one songs won't seem like a lot after you breeze through the six-tier career mode, with only 11 of them being unlockable bonuses. Replay value is standard for a Guitar Hero game, but it really feels like there is some meat missing from the Aerosmith version.

Final
7

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is simply another good Guitar Hero game with a different set of songs, that's technically improved from its predecessors in many ways. That in itself is not a bad thing, but only big fans of the band will get the most enjoyment out of it.

Summary

Pros
  • Great if you love Aerosmith
  • Very much improved graphics from Guitar Hero III
Cons
  • Featuring one band means less variety in song selection
  • Not as much content compared to other Guitar Hero games
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

shammackSeptember 21, 2008

Good review.  Even though I'm not a big Aerosmith fan, I just picked this up the other day to tide me over until World Tour comes out.  I was actually pleasantly surprised by how much they'd improved from GH3, and there are some really fun note charts in there.  It shouldn't have been full price, but compared to the '80s edition ($50 for only 30 songs and only the most minor cosmetic changes) it's actually a considerably better deal.  Except that you have to be able to tolerate a lot of Aerosmith.

I love the abstract!

BTW, I watched Young Frankenstein just a few days ago...which is where the band got the inspiration for "Walk This Way"....or so I've heard.

LuigiHannSeptember 24, 2008

I probably would have docked a few whole points off the Graphics score, simply because the in-game characters are all horrific and frightening abominations. This particular combination of photorealism and cartoon proportions is really unpleasant, particularly for people who are this scary-looking to begin with.

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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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