Guitar Hero III came into the world with a large reputation to live up to. For months, gamers have been waiting to get their hands on the newest hit in the Guitar Hero franchise. It represents one of the best party games around and with new multiplayer modes, and it’s better than ever.

Guitar Hero III boasts a brand new set list of over 60 songs and a ton of downloadable content.

If you have never played a guitar hero game, here’s a quick overview: you take the role of one of the game’s playable characters and battle through the career mode on four difficulties, ranging from easy to expert. There are five buttons on the guitar representing different frets. To play a note, you have to hold down the fret button and strum the guitar. Sounds easy right? Now just do that about 2000 times in 5 minutes. In this game, practice makes perfect, and sticking with it is the key. The learning curve is difficult , but once you get the hang of this game, you will be quite pleased. On to the review:

Guitar Hero III tried to go more in depth with a career mode, but this title isn’t going to be known just for a great storyline. The game starts off with you and some friends starting a band, and after playing five or six songs you move onto the next level and the next set of songs. You go through it all, including your garage band days, your music video and playing in sold out arenas. The storyline in general is quite humorous at times and is fun to watch as the comic book-like characters show their emotions.

While the Guitar Hero franchise isn’t known for breakthrough graphics, but for the spectators Guitar Hero III has done a great job of making the characters look better and the places where you perform are much more detailed. After the prequel was attacked for poor graphics you can tell they really worked to squelch the critics.

The song list is in a word, Excellent. The wide variety of songs make this a very versatile list and there’s something on it for everyone. Whether you’re an 80’s rocker or a fan of the metal, you will be pleased. Some bands featured in the game include Guns and Roses, Slipknot and Kiss. The bonus songs feature some obscure titles you probably have never heard of, but they are very fun to play.

The multiplayer has been improved on huge levels. There are now more ways to embarrass or cooperate with your friends while playing. The multiplayer provides a great way to spend a night with a friend. On the other hand, if your friends have something better to do, you now have the choice of signing into Xbox Live to find a partner or an opponent or bandmate.

Cooperative mode allows two players to play at once. In most cases one player will take the role of the bassist, and one will be the guitarist. In some songs, rhythm guitar and lead guitar are played. Most achievements will come through playing co-op songs and trying to earn huge note streaks and point totals, and the ever-sought after 1,000,000 points.

The Face-Off modes return. You can either try to match your opponents skill level in a Pro Face-Off, in which you are both given the same set of notes, or you can battle them in a Face-Off in which you can go at different difficulties and battle for highest score. This mode represents a great way to show off.

The new “Battle” mode allows players to instead of achieving star power (a power-up which doubles your note-score) you can gain the ability to attack your opponent. You can break their strings, make their note-screen flash, and even raise the difficulty level they are playing on. This was an instant fan-favorite with the people on Xbox Live.

Guitar Hero III is a great game, and an addicting one at that. It’s great fun to play, especially with a bunch of friends and once you start, you won’t stop until you’re the best.

Quick hits:

Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Neversoft Entertainment
Platform: Xbox 360, Wii, PS3, PS2
Genre: Music
Players: 1-2
Launch Date: October 28, 2007

Playability: [rating:5/5]
Learning Curve: [rating:4/5]
Sound: [rating:5/5]
Graphics: [rating:4/5]
Overall: [rating:4.5]

About The Author

Rick Fisk is a Blast Magazine staff writer

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