Guitar Hero: Smash Hits
Can classic tracks alone justify yet another Guitar Hero?
- It's still Guitar Hero
- Questionable value
Guitar Hero die-hards begging for a way to relive their past favourites with the band might find some worth within, and I certainly won't deny having fun revisiting many of these tracks, but your everyday rhythm game fan will likely find Smash Hits an adequate collection that falls just short of requiring a full-price purchase.
Following the barrage of new Guitar Hero games over the last few years, it's not too shocking that the newest thing to hit the series is a revised collection of old content. Still, Guitar Hero Smash Hits is a pretty sound concept: take the best songs from the first five guitar-only titles (Guitar Hero I-III, plus the Aerosmith spin-offs), make them all master tracks, and let the drummers, bassists, and vocalists in on the fun. But how does Smash Hits fare in execution?
Rather than devote a full review to what is largely well-worn territory (Smash Hits is based on the core features of Guitar Hero World Tour and Guitar Hero Metallica), we decided to focus on the pros and cons to offer a quick guide to prospective rockers.
- Diverse selection of tracks includes epic jams (Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird," Rush's "XXY"), mainstream hits (Foo Fighters' "Monkey Wrench," Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out"), and everything in between.
- Elimination of cover versions from earlier games means no more embarrassing track recreations (see the cover of Incubus' "Stellar" from the original Guitar Hero).
- Ability to play as a band or alone with drums or a microphone greatly opens up the possibilities with these previous guitar-only picks.
- All songs are available immediately in Quickplay mode.
- Fantastical settings let you rock out in the Grand Canyon and Atlantis, among other new locations.
- Full set of auxiliary features from World Tour and Guitar Hero Metallica, including Music Studio/GHTunes service and Expert+ double-bass drum difficulty on select songs.
- Varied band/solo online features. Luckily, you still get credited with a win when your sore-loser opponent drops out in the middle of a song.
- Only 48 tracks for -- compare that to World Tour, which had 86 songs. And since these are all existing GH songs, I think it's fair to expect a much larger set of tracks for the price.
- World Tour and Metallica also both introduced new features and had licensed in-game rock stars. Smash Hits has neither for the same cost of admission.
- Zero downloadable content support, so you can't bring in your previously downloaded tracks to use in these new venues.
- No option to download these songs into World Tour, let alone instead opt to purchase these songs individually as downloadable content instead of buying Smash Hits.
- Those who still play Guitar Hero primarily for the guitar gameplay probably won't have a whole lot of use for this collection.
I didn't expect Guitar Hero Smash Hits to dramatically change what has become a tried-and-true formula, but I definitely anticipated a better value proposition than this. Guitar Hero die-hards begging for a way to relive their past favourites with the band might find some worth within, and I certainly won't deny having fun revisiting many of these tracks, but your everyday rhythm game fan will likely find Smash Hits an adequate collection that falls just short of requiring a full-price purchase.
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