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Playstation 2









Neversoft / Budcat Creations



T (Teen)



October 28, 2007



- Great new battle mode played in single and two player modes

- Graphics and presentation have been improved

- Plenty of unlockable content to keep you occupied



- No online support on the PS2 (but there is with the other versions)

- Soundtrack may not appeal to everyone

- The rebalanced difficulty may throw off some veteran players



Review: Boogie (Wii)

Review: PaRappa the Rapper 2 (PS2)

Review: Burnout Dominator (PS2)



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Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock

Score: 9.0 / 10


Guitar Hero was certainly not the first game in the music rhythm category, but it has become the most popular and has drawn attention to the genre from gamers and non-gamers alike. A full two years later and we are hit with the third generation of the title. The only thing is, the original captain steering the ship is gone.


guitar hero iii          guitar hero iii

* Screens from Xbox 360 version


When Harmonix moved on to develop Rock Band, a lot of speculation about Activision’s new choice for primary developer (Neversoft) started to buzz the halls of the Internet. The long and the short of it is that they have not screwed it up, so you can relax.


The first thing that you will notice about Guitar Hero III is that it feels new yet comfortable.  The presentation screens where you choose your band and the song




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list have been revamped for a new, cleaner look. I personally didn’t care much for the old presentation and didn’t realize how much it bothered me until I saw how much better this one is.


The in-game graphics have received an overhaul as well. The singers have lip synch going on which makes you feel more like you


are part of an actual performance. The power meter and score meters are still there, but have also received some slight improvements. Oddly, the happy ending “You Rock!” looks somewhat out of place, with enough anti-aliased jaggies to shred a guitar case.


Speaking of shredding, one of Guitar Hero III’s biggest improvements is the inclusion of the “boss battle mode”.  At first, I was a bit skeptical of how they could include something from a traditional game in one like this. I’m happy to report that not only is it a great idea, it works well and elements from it are also incorporated into the multiplayer aspect.


During career mode, you will face three bosses: Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Slash (Gun’s N Roses) and Lou (the Devil). Instead of building up and unleashing star power, if you successfully build up a combo you will receive one of eight attacks.  You can actually combine up to three of these at once, and you unleash them on your opponent the same way you would star power. This works in both the boss battle mode (something you will only encounter in the career mode) or against another player when playing multi-player.


These attacks include things like increasing the difficulty level temporarily, flipping the fret board for a bit and even a ‘broken string’ that you have to repair by rapidly tapping the broken fret button. They are all unique, all troublesome, and work well as a reward for playing well. During the boss battles, it’s not just enough to survive until the end of a song – you must actually cause your opponent to fail.


guitar hero iii          guitar hero iii

 * Screen from Xbox 360 version


Unfortunately, the PS2 version does not support online play. I know the network adapter wasn’t the most popular add-on but many people do have it and it would be nice. (All other platforms are online, including the Wii.) At this time, due to proprietary networking on each console you can only play against someone with the same type of machine.  The Wii does not currently offer downloadable content, but this could be addressed in the future.


The track list is pretty big at 71 songs, and over half of them are performed by the original artists (albeit, the majority of this comes from the bonus tracks which are often bands you may have never heard of).  Still, it is impressive though the “Legends of Rock” subtitle may make you wonder when you see songs from last year mixed in with classics from KISS.  Most people will find this a mixed bag, but then again it’s quite difficult to please everyone no matter what choices are made.


As you play the game, you are awarded cash depending on how well you play. At times, you might even get a sponsor to allow you to buy things like additional songs, guitars, and outfits. I wish there was an option to customize your character more than just an outfit, but perhaps we’ll see that in the next version.


Initial comments I have seen are giving this game a lower score because it fails to innovate. I disagree.  The game has moved forward without abandoning those who love it for what it is.  It’s an incremental improvement at best, but that doesn’t knock down the score for me. Forget the other versions exist and enjoy this one for the boss battles, great multiplayer and all around good rockin’ time.


- Syd Bolton
(October 30, 2007)


Syd Bolton has been collecting game consoles for over 20 years and has dozens of systems and over 5,000 games. Do you agree or disagree with this review? Make sure you share with us here.


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