Reviewer: Max Everingham
It wasn’t that long ago that we reviewed the last game in this series, Guitar Hero II, on Xbox 360. This time, however, there’s a new axe on the block and we’ve decided to look at the Nintendo Wii version.
Guitar Hero, for those who don’t yet know, is generally a superb game that gives you a guitar (you absolutely must pick up the cool guitar controller, whatever games machine you own!), some rocking beats and a great progression system that allows you to work your way steadily through to rock stardom. You stand there with your guitar, watch the onscreen prompts that pulse in time with the music and then thrash along with what you see, using a ‘strummer’ button, fret keys and of course a whammy bar! It’s the kind of game we all originally bought videogame consoles for – basically the game you’d play in an arcade and want to take home with you – and it’s great for playing with your family or when you have mates round the house.
The Nintendo Wii version of this game is very similar to those on the other consoles, only with the guitar controller, you place the Wiimote actually inside the guitar before you play – one small but entertaining benefit of doing this is that, if you miss a note, you get a kind of ‘twanging’ sound actually coming from the guitar, courtesy of the Wiimote’s built-in speaker. Another, given the motion sensing ability of the Wii, is that holding the guitar up for your bonus hits feels much better, and more accurate.
The tracklist is amazing, this time featuring around 70% of the songs being played by the original band that recorded the track in the first place, including Metallica. In an amazing PR coup for publisher Activision, even the Sex Pistols ‘reformed’ and went back to the recording studio to lay down a new version of Anarchy in the UK for the game – kudos to Activision for bringing that level of commitment and authenticity to the gaming experience.
For a game that’s been so easy to pick up before, it’s weird that the developer has made the game so difficult on the higher levels. But I guess there are a lot of experienced gamers who have played previous versions of the game and need an extra, extra hard challenge, so let’s leave the ‘Expert’ difficulty level to them!
The game can be played online too, if you want to take one of your mates on but he or she lives the other side of the country, but we still think the most fun way to play Guitar Hero is at home with a friend in the new co-op career mode, ‘cos it’s such a sociable game. Of course you can play Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock on any of the major videogame consoles. We just think that, given the family and friends-friendly reputation the Nintendo Wii has so quickly, and deservedly, established, you’re best grabbing the Wii version of the game and rocking till your neighbours drop!
Guitar Hero II is available for Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 2.
Additional pricing info
The price above is for the full pack for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 platforms. The full range of standard retail prices and options is:
- Wireless Guitar & Software Bundle: $169.95 (Xbox 360, PS3), $149.95 (PS2), $159.95 (Wii)
- Software Only: $69.95 (PS2), $89.95 (Xbox 360)
- Wireless Guitar: $79.95 (Xbox 360, PS3 & Wii)