Guitar Hero: Smash Hits
Can classic tracks alone justify yet another Guitar Hero?
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?
- 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.
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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