(Imported from old blog 2008-07-27)
After a bit of thinking and deciding I wasn't going to grab this "new" Guitar Hero game, I arrived at the store and saw the game selling for a fair bit less than it should, so, figured that was the sign I needed to give Aerosmith a shot!
I'm not really into Aerosmith at all, all I can tell you about them is that they did that theme for Armageddon and... they had the utterly annoying song Same Old Song and Dance in Guitar Hero 3, which blocked me from progressing on Expert a while back, so, not fond thoughts in general.
The game isn't much different at all from Guitar Hero 3 really, though, I wasn't expecting it to be either. The main difference that I see is that every tier of songs has two non-Aerosmith songs initially, and then you "play as Aerosmith" with two more songs, before there's an Aerosmith encore. Furthermore, there's only one guitar battle, against mr Joe Perry towards the end (on the final tier before the last three Aerosmith songs), and beating him seems to be optional, as you can progress to the later ones without beating him.
The difficulty of this game is seriously reduced from Guitar Hero 3. I'd actually place it as the easiest Guitar Hero to date, on the point that it has no songs even near as hard as the last tier on GH2, and none as hard as the last two tiers on GH3.
When I played this game, I decided to set out and start at Hard and just keep playing till I failed a song. Shortly after, I was through Hard and had started Expert... this went on till the guitar battle, at which point me playing at 2x Hyperspeed was a bit rough when the screen is split into two and you get twice the Expert speed to react on, so had to run off out and turn off hyperspeed, and then finished the boss battle. I managed to fail again at the last song, though, chalked that up to hyperspeed not being re-enabled! :) Too used to playing with it makes it a fair bit harder when I all of a sudden am playing without it.
The Guitar Battle is a complete joke for anyone who's played them in Guitar Hero 3. First off, they let *you* start with the first powerup chance, and then you alternate, which in practice means that you can just hit your notes and powerup as he's trying to get his starpower to keep him permanently locked out. Furthermore, they've decided to remove the lefty-flip it seems, meaning most of the powerups you get against you are relatively harmless (save maybe double at Expert).
Overall difficulty in the songs seem to have shifted from making it hard to complete a song to making it hard to maintain a high streak. There's a fair amount of long hammeron/pulloff-sequences that for no apparent reason just adds a little note you need to strum to keep the streak going, my favorite version of this was one particular section where you'd play it once, and when you played it again a second time, you needed to strum something in the middle of the sequence, despite the two segments sounding *exactly* the same. Another issue here is the "play as Aerosmith" songs, when you play as your character, you get the "character-specific" background, this changes when you do Aerosmith though, and they've managed to make their background interfere with the yellow notes if the timing is just right, so you can miss notes by either not noticing them at all, or way too late.
The "final" song chosen is Train Kept a Rollin, which is fair enough... it's a decent semi-hard song, but, it's also a song in Rock Band! Which makes it slightly less special in my opinion. Furthermore, it's following the GH3 tradition of unlocking a song when you beat career mode, like Through the Fire and the Flames. I was expecting something similar to that, however, it's unlocking the song Kings and Queens, which by NO means can compare to anything harder than a tier 1 song, huge disappointment there in my view.
There are some positives in the game though, the only worrying part of this is that all the positives are the non-Aerosmith songs. I find Joan Jetts song to be strangely addictive, and Ted Nugents' Cat Scratch Fever to be one of the more fun songs to play at Guitar Hero.
All in all though, I think they should've picked another band! :) The next version in this scheme seems to be Metallica, releasing in 2009. Based on what I've seen from the Rock Band Metallica downloads, there'll at least be a fair bit of challenging songs to pick from there. I'm just hoping Metallica will pick a background that doesn't screw up the yellow notes...