It’s time to rock out with Guitar Hero 2. I know this one’s been out on the 360 for some months now but it’s still selling well and I’ve only just got hold of it due to a ‘guitar shortage’. The the neighbours can see and hear me doing all sorts of strange things in my lounge and this time I’m not going to get arrested for it.
The premise is simple. You look at a fret board on screen as lots of coloured blobs that correspond to the five coloured buttons on your guitar work their way down. Hit the buttons at the right time in time to the music and you’ll be a rock legend in your own house.
We’ve seen this type of game before with PaRappa the Rapper, Guitar Freaks and Guitaroo Man but what makes this is the guitar peripheral. To actually have an axe around your neck you can swing around and gurn with can’t be beaten and you really do get the hairs go up on the back of your neck when you pull off a perfect combo, get you whammy bar into action and even activate star power mode by flipping the car up 90 degrees to get more points.
The songs have something for everyone too. Personally I like Nirvana’s Heart Shaped Box, Message in a Bottle by the Police, Monkey Wrench by the Foo Fighters and Sweet Child Of Mine by Guns and Roses to name but a few. You’ve actually got almost 50 songs on the 360 version, 10 more bonus tracks and you can download extra content from Xbox live. Speaking of online play, it’s a shame there’s no proper online battle and duet modes but there is a leader board. If you’re very VERY good at this game and play it on the hardest level you may just get on there.
My only gripe with the game is it makes me anyway feel very very sick after just a couple of songs. Because of the constant movement of the fret board, when I look away I get a weird moving sensation in the centre of my vision as my eyes try to make sense of what they’ve just been staring at without blinking for 10 minutes. I also get hand cramp but with practice, that should go.
This game may be punishing on the senses but it makes you feel like a true rock legend. For that reason alone, air guitar is dead. Long live Guitar Hero, 9 out of 10.