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August 6, 2008
Guitar Hero Aerosmith - PS3 Review
Release Distributor Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
1/7/2008ActivisionRed OctaneNeversoft1-22
Media HDD Space Resolution Sound Format Tilt Controls OFLC Rating

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It's the wonderful Aerosmith stage.
When discussing music games one can't go past Activision's Guitar Hero franchise for inspiration. With millions of sales around the globe any new release, be it a song pack on the Playstation Store, or a full disc based release always generates interest. Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is a departure for the franchise as it marks the first time the developers are focusing on a single band, rather then a compilation from numerous artists. Does it succeed? Read on...

In Guitar Hero: Aerosmith you will experience Aerosmith's Grammy award winning career, from their first gig at Nipmuc High School to becoming rock royalty. As players progress through the game, they can rock out to some of the bands greatest hits, as well as songs from other celebrated artists that the band has either performed with, or has been inspired by, in some way.

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Steve Tyler is screaming his vocals.
As with previous games in the series the key selling point is to use the Wireless Guitar controller to 'play' the music. If you've ever played a previous game then prepare for one of the most enjoyable experiences in gaming. The game plays as follows... As the songs play the guitar riffs fall down the screen. It's your job to hold down the corresponding fret button, and then hit the strut bar as the notes pass the bottom of the screen. It's all about timing - miss the note and you'll start sounding terrible, and your Rock Meter will drop. Should it drop too far the song will end to the boos of the crowd and you'll need to restart.

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Characters really do look great!
Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Tom Hamilton and Joey Kramer have all participated in the development of this game with motion capture sessions, input into the games creation, and video interviews as extras. Guitar Hero: Aerosmith includes venues from the numerous 'key' moments in the bands career. Starting with their first-ever concert at Nipmuc High School the game then moves on to other venues such as Max's Kansas City (a nightclub in where the band played their first ever gig in New York), Moscow, and the Superbowl XXXV Half Time Show in 2001. Progression in the game is similar to that in previous titles in that you must clear two non-Aerosmith songs before you unlock the two Aerosmith songs, and then the encore in each location before going to the next.

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It's not just Aerosmith that appear in the game.
While we still love the Guitar Hero franchise there are certainly some issues with this release that disappoints us. Without a doubt our biggest issue is simply that the developers haven't included many of Aerosmith's 'key' songs. While they may not provide the best guitar riffs, but they do provide the songs that most people would know. Songs including 'I Don't Want to Miss a Thing', 'Dude (Looks Like a Lady)', 'Crazy', and 'Janie's Got a Gun' are all missing from this compilation with a lot of the bands earlier, and less well known, tracks featured. If you want a prime example of stupid you need look no further then the Half Time Show for the Superbowl. At the actual even Aerosmith played "Jaded" and "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" before all the artists combined to sing "Walk This Way". None of these songs appear at that location, and in fact only "Walk this Way" appears in the game at all.

Adding to the disappointment is that you can't download songs from the Playstation Store to use them in this game. Previously downloaded tracks for Guitar Hero III aren't selectable and while there are 31 tracks in the main game, and a further 11 unlockable through the vault you are still left wanting more to do. Unless you have Guitar Hero III you are going to be stuck with these included tracks.

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Now that's a great concert hall.
Graphically Guitar Hero: Aerosmith looks impressive from the menus to the gameplay. The developers have been able to motion capture each of the five band members from Aerosmith including extensive facial motion capture featuring Steven Tyler's lip movements to every song to ensure authenticity. The venues all look quite wonderful, in particular the stadium for the Superbowl.

Having said that there were a couple of areas where I think the game could have been improved further. Primarily the crowds could be improved as they all move together, giving them an unnatural look at times. Secondly I would have liked to see an option to turn off the subtitles during the video clips of the band members being interviewed. They do speak English you know!

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Jamming on a blue guitar.
Sonically this game doesn't do anything out of the ordinary. There is limited use of surround sound, but the ambience certainly ramps up as you play well. Fortunately the game manages to use most of the original masters to ensure authenticity, however some tracks such as "Make It" had to be, and have been, re-recorded by Aerosmith for inclusion.

Don't get me wrong, I think that the idea of having Guitar Hero releases based on a single band is a great idea, but it has to be done right, and with more of the bands most popular songs. While some of these may not be the best 'guitar' based songs the popular ones are those likely to draw in the crowds. Guitar Hero: Aerosmith lacks these key songs, and therefore can really only be recommended to die-hard fans of the band. Let's see more of this, but better, in future Activision.

Review By: Dave Warner

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GRAPHICSThe band looks great, the venus impressive, crowd could be better.
SOUNDThe crowds are average. The original and covered songs sound great.
GAMEPLAYIt plays as well as other games, but lacks the 'big' Aerosmith songs.
VALUEIt would have been nice if the GH3 downloaded songs could be played here, fun online.
OVERALLGuitar Hero: Aerosmith is another solid entry in the franchise, but is really only for Aerosmith fans.

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