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October 28, 2007



- Great feeling of "playing" music even if you're just pressing buttons

- Massive song list

- Guitar Battles can be quite fun



- Anyone but the most die hard will attempt anything higher than the "Medium" setting



Review: Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (PS2)

Review: Elite Beat Agents (DS)

Review: Donkey Konga 2 (GC)



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Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock

Score: 8.5 / 10


Having finally tested my mettle on the highest setting on Elite Beat Agents, I figured I was prepared to finally sit myself in front of a Guitar Hero game and see what all the hub-bub was about.


guitar hero iii          guitar hero iii


On the very face of it, Guitar Hero III boils down to holding the correct “frets” in sequence while “strumming” the guitar, and hitting the whammy bar occasionally or dipping the guitar to activate Star Power/Battle Power (depending on the situation).  The on-screen notes scroll from top to bottom and as the cross the bottom line you press the correct fret and strum.  That’s about it.  On paper, it’s about as exciting as a counting flies at any outhouse.  In execution it’s a completely different beast.


In large part, the feeling of “playing” is heightened by the guitar controller, which has weight to it.  And even though all you’re doing is pressing buttons, with the




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music turned up and the lights dimmed, the illusion is complete.  Standing there in your living room with a plastic guitar should make you feel like a loser, but it feels like so much more.


No less significant to the feel of the game is the huge song list.  Though some would no doubt dispute the inclusion of some songs


in a game subtitled “Legends of Rock” – say, me – what they lack in legendary status they make up for in just being a good song to press buttons to.  Though I’ve not unlocked or purchase them all (with money earned at your various gigs), there are more than 65 songs.  Everyone will have different highlights, but I’d give nods to “Welcome to the Jungle”, “Black Magic Woman”, “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” and “Paint it Black” as being my top four picks – songs I go back to after a good play session; something to wind down with.


guitar hero iii          guitar hero iii


The songs in themselves are enough to keep you coming back to test yourself, but Guitar Hero III also includes four difficulty settings.  On Easy, you’ll typically only use the first three frets.  The higher the difficulty settings the higher the number of frets in play.  There are five frets, exactly one more fret than you have fingers (hopefully), which makes for quite a challenge to keep your Rock Meter in the green.


On top of the typical challenge, you’ll also square off against legendary guitarists, including Slash.  These are the Boss Battles of the game, which require you to make the challenger “fail” prior to the end of the song.  Depending on the difficulty setting, the concentration required to be successful requires that you not blink.  After one song I actually had to put the guitar down and wet my eyeballs – they actually felt dry.  These Boss Battles are typically what you’ll experience when battle against a human opponent, which can also be played online.


I was surprised with Guitar Hero III – surprised that I actually enjoyed pushing buttons in time to music.  It’s not really rockin’ out, but it sure is fun and I’m a little sorry I missed the previous titles.


- Omni

(November 7, 2007)


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