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Guitar Hero II Review April 15, 2007

Posted by dpcough in 360 Live Reviews.
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After raking in $175 Million Dollars on the PS2 Guitar Hero II has been reworked for the Xbox 360 with ten more songs, updated visuals, audio, and -ugh- downloadable content. Despite a few bad choices in the port over to Xbox 360 Guitar Hero II shines in many spots. In the first of our continuing coverage of Guitar Hero II see the Live Gamer Review after the break. 

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For those not familar with the Guitar Hero games it has five colored buttons appear on screen, green, red, yellow, blue, and orange. Just like DDR The notes go to the bottom and when they get there you have to hold in that note colored fret button and strum. And this gameplay yet simple is addicting and fun. The game comprises of 74 songs, ten have been added to the Xbox 360 version of the game. You unlock the songs as you progress through the career mode where there are four difficulties – Easy, Medium, Hard, and Expert. Most of the songs have been re-recorded but sound close enough to the original song.

The career mode is nearly identical to its PS2 counterpart other than the additional ten extra songs. You have a set of five songs. You beat either four or five depending on the difficulty and then do an encore song. If you beat it a new set is unlocked. The career mode has 48 songs, the other songs can be purchased in the shop for $550 in-game cash each which is relatively easy to get depending on your skill. The other items you can purchase are characters, guitars, finishes, videos, and downloadable content.

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Downloadable content sounds like a good idea for this game. It has 74 songs in it which is a lot and satisifies you enough. Red Octane stated the purchasing model would be similar to iTunes, which is $0.99 USD. So I thought every song would be individual with 80 Microsoft Points a piece. Instead Red Octane made a mistake and overcharged. You have to buy the songs in pack of 3 for 500 Microsoft Points. The songs are over $2 each! The downloadable content doesn’t take away from Guitar Hero II as it is just songs from Guitar Hero added so we can play them because Guitar Hero was a PS2 exclusive. But at the price you won’t likely buy this content. Hopefully the petition by gamers to lower the prices gets future downloadable content cheaper. If you ignore the downloadable content you won’t get aggravated at Red Octane but when I think about it I get annoyed that they thought they could charge such a high price for it.

For the Xbox 360 version of Guitar Hero the Gibson SD Controller was replaced with the X-Plorer Controller. It feels different then the PS2 version, I prefer the Gibson SD to the Gibson X-Plorer but you won’t notice anything if you’ve never played the PS2 version. The Whammy Bar feels a bit different and wasn’t very responsive but if you have Xbox Live a patch is now out and corrects the problem. The Whammy Bar is more responsive now and works great. The guitar model is good to because it includes a pedal jack for future iterations of Guitar Hero (or Rock Band.)

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Despite the complaints I have made about the new controller and downloadable content that’s the ONLY complaints I have. The rest of the experience is great and the game is very mainstream, almost anyone can pick up and play it and enjoy it (well, you may need to explain it to some poeple.) If you don’t own Guitar Hero go and buy this game. If you have the PS2 version you can sit out and wait till the 3rd one comes out in November and Rock Band releases also. I didn’t own Guitar Hero and now I do and it’s a great game.

Live Gamer Final Verdict – 9.0 out of 10

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