Guitar Hero has become a phenomenon. Even though the series has only been available for a couple years there have been many variations and sequels. Instead of compiling a hodgepodge of tracks from different bands, Guitar Hero: Aerosmith focuses on the entire career of the boys from Boston. To sum up: if you like Aerosmith and/or cannot get enough of Guitar Hero, then this game is for you.
The gameplay formula remains the same, but is now becoming a little stale. Following the career of Aerosmith, the player will start playing at smaller venues and build up to playing sold out stadiums. Using the guitar controller, players hit notes as they scroll down the screen, giving the impression of playing a real guitar. But unlike, GHII or GHIII, Aerosmith’s difficulty level has been turned down. If you struggled on Expert on GHIII but could handle Hard, then you should no problem playing through Expert on Aerosmith. Besides fans of the band, if you are a new comer to the series, this might be a better place to start thanks to the more forgiving note structure.
Totaling around 40 songs, Aerosmith feels like nothing more than an expansion pack. The only real difference from this Aerosmith version over GHIII are new avatars, some video clips of the band, and a new set list. Selling for the full price of $60, I think I might have been happier picking and choosing my fave Aerosmith songs as downloadable content for GHIII. Unfortunately, only major fans of the band will recognize every song. For everyone else, gamers will play through these unknown songs just to see if a popular recognizable tune will later become unlocked.
There are around ten songs that are not Aerosmith songs. These cover tunes, even though they are not performed by the band themselves, they are still well done but isn’t nearly as cool if the band had performed them.
When you take a step back and analyze this game, it is basically the same game that we have been playing for the last couple of years. The same even goes for the graphical style of the game. Steven Tyler and Joe Perry’s signature moves were motion captured, but all the same Guitar Hero characters also make appearance throughout the game. And just like the other Guitar Hero games, the rest of the onscreen animation is a little on the stiff/lifeless side. To break up the gameplay, there are documentary-like videos of the band that give a little insight about the history of Aerosmith. But for some strange reason, not all video was captured in widescreen format so the occasion black bars will appear on the side of the TV.
Guitar Hero is a game solely based on sound. I don’t really know why, but the music just never seemed loud enough coming from my 7.1 surround sound system. I had this same problem when playing GHII and GHIII. While FPS’s like Halo sound fantastic, I always found myself turning up the sound level higher than I ever have before. Even after boosting this game’s volume and making adjustments in the options menu, it never achieved that “booming” feel that are present in other games. While the sound quality may not be at the highest point, the content itself can be seen as hit or miss. If you are a fan of the band, then you will be in heaven. But causal fans might find that this game is not for their ears—or wallets.
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is exactly what you would expect. Instead of paying $60, I would have rather spent $15 to pick and choose which songs I wanted to play through downloadable content using the GHIII disc. Overall, the game is a nice summary of the band, but only true fans will get the get the most out of this title. But thanks to the easier difficult level, newbies might enjoy this title a little more than the average gamer.