RedOctane Guitar Hero III

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RedOctane Guitar Hero III
  • RedOctane Guitar Hero III
  • RedOctane Guitar Hero III
  • RedOctane Guitar Hero III

Pros

  • Career mode is much more enjoyable than in any previous Guitar Hero, the best guitar peripheral yet can pull double duty with the PS2 version of GH3, downloadable content seems to be more consistent this time around

Cons

  • Some of the best tracks are locked in co-op career; a bit too many obscure metal tracks towards the end, while some great tracks are mired in the no-man's-land of bonus tracks; online is a notch below the Xbox 360's

Bottom Line

A far cry from the Xbox 360 version, Guitar Hero III on PS3 is a great game and you're still guaranteed a good time.

Would you buy this?

The Guitar Hero franchise has finally arrived on the PS3, but it doesn't quite match that momentous first time you plugged that wired Gibson into your PS2. With a superior version of the game on the Xbox 360, and a potential Hero-killer on the horizon in the form of Rock Band, Guitar Hero III on the PS3 is like catching a sweet second-stage show at a music festival -- you'll have fun, but you can't help but think that there's more entertainment to be had elsewhere.

Nobody rocks like... Springfield!

While the core gameplay may be the same old song, Guitar Hero III feels drastically different -- perhaps as a result of Tony Hawk developer Neversoft taking the reins of this title. The title is much more polished as a result, which has both positive and negative aspects. The track list, as a whole, is a bit stronger, particularly the bonus tracks which aren't as beholden to the Boston rock scene since Harmonix is out of the picture.

The addition of a bona-fide story-based career mode, replete with rock legends like Tom Morello and Slash really give the game the feel of a rock odyssey. On the other hand, there are some things that make us pine for a more innocent Hero, like the blatant in-game advertising, and the generic character design.

New gameplay additions to Guitar Hero III are slight but welcome. There's the Battle mode, which is fun, though purists might find it akin to adding turtle-shell tossing to Gran Turismo. The online mode is where the entertainment's at, allowing you to play any song, in any mode (besides career), at any difficulty against an opponent. That is, if you can find them.

We salute you, our half-inflated Dark Lord!

You see, the root of the PS3's version's problems comes from the console itself. The online mode isn't up to par with the Xbox 360's as there is a smaller pool of potential opponents, the inability to actively seek out your friends, or send them in-game messages, or voice chat on a consistent basis.

The slight annoyance of keeping some of the best songs locked in career co-op is compounded by the fact that the Les Paul guitar is not sold separately at this point, and it's the only guitar compatible with this game. You can, however, use your PS3 guitar to help out your PS2 pals with their version of Guitar Hero III, but the compatibility stops there, as the Les Paul is incompatible with the first two games, regardless of which console you play them on.

If you've got both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, your choice should be obvious. By virtue of being around longer, the Xbox 360 has more compatibility and a larger, more cohesive community to play with. While you're still guaranteed a good time on the PS3, it's tough to truly rock out when you know there's a bigger venue to play in and a better band on the way.

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