Giant Bomb Review

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Guitar Hero: Aerosmith Review

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  • X360

Even if you are a hardcore Aerosmith fan, this game's short and spotty track list makes it hard to recommend.

Steven Tyler wants to wear your skin!
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is, according to Activision, just the first of many band-specific Guitar Hero games--a concept that I inherently find to be pretty questionable. It doesn't help that Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is a pretty slapdash product which features fewer songs, a narrower range of songs, and no DLC support, yet it commands the same premium price as Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. A deep appreciation for Aerosmith is an obvious necessity to really enjoy this game, but even then it's missing a number of tracks by the Boston quintet that seem rather essential.

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith uses the same familiar single-player progression as previous Guitar Hero games, challenging you to complete songs in groups of five before moving on to the next set. Cleverly, the game presents each set as a full concert performance at some critical point in Aerosmith's career, starting with Aerosmith's very first performance in a high-school gym, and ending with their induction into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame.

It's not All Aerosmith All the Time, though, with the first two songs in each set being provided by bands that have actually played with Aerosmith, including Cheap Trick, The Clash, Run DMC, The Black Crowes, Ted Nugent, and more. With the exception of Run DMC's “King of Rock,” which unnervingly features a digital DMC mouthing both vocal parts, the opening bands are all portrayed by the same house band seen in Guitar Hero III.

Once Aerosmith takes the stage, though, you'll be treated to a muppety, dead-eyed version of the band. The mo-cap looks authentic, but the exaggerations of real, recognizable people border on grotesque, with Steven Tyler looking more like an iguana than usual. There are grainy, quick-cut interviews with the bones-and-bones members of Aerosmith in between sets. The details here are thin, and it's disappointing, if not terribly surprising, that the game glosses over the band's drug-fueled meltdown in the late 70s.

Hey look! Guitar Hero!
The Grand mal disappointment of Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, though, is that it's oddly lacking in Aerosmith. There are but six sets of songs in the game, and with the first two songs in each set coming from opening bands, that means you get a scant 18 songs in the single-player game from the band whose name is on the front of the box. There's an additional 11 Aerosmith and Aerosmith-related songs you can unlock outside the main game, including a number of surprisingly good, bluesy Joe Perry solo songs, but there are some considerable gaps in the Aerosmith catalog.

You get most of the greatest hits, as well as a good amount of late-period filler, but the game all but ignores the band's best-selling 1993 album Get a Grip, omitting essentials like “Cryin'” and “Crazy,” as well as “I Don't Want to Miss a Thing” from the Armageddon soundtrack. Yeah, they're big, cheesy power ballads, but they're some of the band's most recognizable songs. It's telling that “Train Kept a Rollin'” serves as the big finish here, when it appeared a good six months earlier as just-another-song in Rock Band.

Besides charging the same price as Guitar Hero III while providing just a fraction of the songs, what bothers me most about Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is the fact that, not long after its release, it was made essentially obsolete by the announcement that the next full installment in the Guitar Hero franchise would follow the Rock Band template of letting you play a variety of instruments. I think there's some merit to the notion that games like this may be the future of commercial music, but the execution here reeks of an outdated mentality.
65 Comments
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Posted by Kraznor

Couldn't agree more. Though my favorite song in this game wasn't even by Aerosmith so perhaps I'm not the target audience (All the Young Dudes btw).

Posted by DARKIDO07

Agreed, buying Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is pointless with the price tag. Now if the game costed $20 that would be one thing, but it doesn't and its sad that Guitar Hero has sold out to be like Rock Band, instead of being just Guitar Hero, and what the hell are Fall out Boy doing on the Guitar Hero 4 song list?

Posted by Damonation

Why didn't Activision just release all these songs and characters as DLC? Sure they wouldn't be able to charge as much but I bet they'd get more sales which almost evens out in the end.

Posted by ObsideonDarman

I played it and I thought it was fine

Posted by Zaapp1

What kind of game makes you play through the entire game eight times for all the achievements?

Posted by vgmkyle

I shoulda got a 3.

Posted by Everyones_A_Critic

I loved it when it first came out but I've found it to just lack staying power due to really really easy achievements and the sparse song choice.

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Posted by jangofett88

Great. Guitar Hero has become the music game equivalent of Madden.

Posted by kajankua

never really had faith in this game, i think GH will always be better with a wide variety of songs

Posted by Artie

Are you guys always going to release reviews a week after the game comes out? I value your opinions, but it's so late in the game it's like it doesn't even matter.

Posted by pause422

They didn't just release all this as DLC because they could milk the franchise even more by the idiots who buy this shit,for a whole 60 bucks. And yeah some of the reviews are a bit late(not much though) but remember how much they have had on their table these past few weeks,once everything gets flowing well and they get all the games they plan to get ahead of release,I'm sure it'll catch up.

Posted by GameFreak315

Good review...I enjoyed the game while I had it for the week I rented it, but I'm glad it wasn't longer.  It was pretty fun, but doesn't last.

Posted by AthleticShark

I think it deserved at least 3 stars. I mean it was WAY better then Rocks the 80's. Also this had added more clothes and guitars + whatever Gh3 had. I mean it was still a pretty good game. 2 stars is kinda harsh. Thats why I prefer a 10 point rating scale.

Posted by Pezjulo

Although the gameplay is as good as with all the previous GH games, the setlist just doesn´t seem enough to build an entire game from it...maybe a hardcore Aerosmith fan would love it though

Posted by Milkman

Wow, this review kinda came out of nowhere. But, I definitely agree.

Posted by joey

This game has "King of Rock" by Run-DMC, not Rock Box.

Posted by TonicBH

No "Janie's Got a Gun"? No "Dude Looks Like a Lady"? What the hell, seriously. I don't even care much for Guitar Hero, but to ignore most of the late 80s-early 90s Aerosmith, where the majority of GH players grew up listening to when they were young?

You've gotta be kidding me.

Posted by sdodd02

Good review, for sure deserved the 2 stars.

Posted by pbhawks45

Yeah, the game sucks. Big time.

Neversoft have become experts at driving franchises into the ground.

Posted by Berkie

 This seemed like a bad idea from day one. And those character models......ugh, I get the chills when I think about them. Good old fashioned nightmare fuel.

Posted by Shocker

That review is spot on

Posted by RawRockKills777

You know, I think that it's good as long as you rent it, not buy it.  My friend rented it, and both of us got all the achievements in a matter of 2 full days.  If you were to rate this game by only a rental, I think it would probably be 3 stars, maybe 4.  I do think that the Aerosmith songs have the best fretwork (in my opinion).  So I agree with the review, but this low of a review doesn't mean it sucks.

Posted by TheGTAvaccine

Yeah, they should have never made this.

Posted by Bulldog19892

Making a Guitar Hero type game that is based solely on a single band is nothing more than a six hour long, interactive advertisement. It's less about the music and more about the marketing. Just more corporate bullshit for us to try and ignore.

Posted by sneaky77

I have to say this review is horrible. They fixed the engine and tightened the timing in ho/po's, the setlist is great, fine it doesnt have all the top of the charts power ballads, but thats a good thing, this is a guitar game and most of the songs here are fun to play. And also the charts are much improved over GH3 specially where it comes to hard difficulty they balanced it much better. I think this game deserves 3.5 stars just because the setlist is only 41 songs.

Posted by p4ddym1607

Why does it say this is for the Xbox360 release. Shouldnt it say PS3 too. Even if he only played 360 version.

Posted by charma

Good honest review.  Don't care for GH myself, even though I have GH3 and never play it anymore.
I'd rather play Rock Band.

Posted by Enigma2099

This should have been an expansion pack... plain and simple... there aren't enough fans of this band to justify this, are there?

Posted by elektrixx

It's not worth it.

It would be great as a large DLC pack, but otherwise it's a rip-off.

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Posted by Zalzargahoughanstine

Even though I bought and enjoyed this game it is pretty disappointing.  A small set list and distinct lack of effort makes this a game for Aerosmith fans only.  And even then....

Posted by TC

To pay forty of my British sterling for this now seems absurd.

I remember the days I'd pay anything for a slice of the GH action....
Let's hope 4 can rekindle the magic!
Either that or a Beatles game.......
Posted by Megalon

"...Steven Tyler looking more like an iguana than usual"

That's just...perfection.

Posted by JakJ

@TC:
We've moved on over here. It's all about Rock Band and next month's Rock Band 2. I think GH just gets old after a while, and Rock Band fixes that by making your friends become part of the game. It's hard to explain the 'Rock Band feeling,' but you'll know it when you feel it. Maybe GH4 will have it since they directly ripped off RB, who knows. Hopefully it'll get to you guys someday and not cost an arm and leg.

Posted by Snipzor

Finally, a review that gets the facts rights.

Posted by Venatio

Judging by the reviews and the boxarts displayed for various games makes me wonder if this site knows that there are PS3 versions of third party game

Posted by HitNRun

Good call on the 2 stars. You can't break out of the 7-9 scale unless you try, and there's no better time to try than a new site.

You guys should try to emulate the old NextGen magazine scale. 5 is revolutionary, 1 is godawful, 3 is reasonably satisfying.

Posted by tineyoghurt

I hate myself for buying this game. I kinda consider myself a Aerosmith  fan, or at least a fan of their kind of music. But, it was like 3 good Aerosmith songs in the game. The only good experience with this game was that i discovered "Always on the run" but that song kinda sucked ingame 'cause you had to play two guitars at the same time...

Posted by reich_joyce

Guitar Hero has gone down a dark road and I am happy to say I want no more part in it. I mean would Neversoft have the balls to put a tune like Squeeze's Cool for Cats in GH4? No. You are dead to me guitar hero.

Posted by TastyBurger

I played this at Circuit City and even on the last set-list, the songs didn't seem that challenging. I'm glad my friend bought it and not me...

Posted by Smoolander

Look, it's Guitar Hero: Ageing Rock Band Need Some Extra Cash

Posted by Gamer_152

I didn't really like the idea of a Guitar Hero game based around the work of a single band to begin with and never thought a game like Guitar Hero Aerosmith could match up to something like GH3 but it seems like this game has fallen even lower than my expectations.

Moderator
Posted by Derios

Stupid game, whats more stupid is that one of my friends actually bought this game. What a fucking idiot.

Posted by Donoram

When did the world get so god damn cynical? I bought the game and love it. Granted I'm a die hard GH fan but you people are giving this game the sort end of the stick.

Posted by Knigge

I think the review is a bit harsh. I don't think the game is worth 60 bucks. 40 is about right though, especially if you're an Aerosmith fan. Thing is, on a technical level, the game is better than GH3. But yeah, it's a bit disappointing that they neglected to include a good portion of the music that makes Aerosmith the Aerosmith the world knows.

Posted by SpiredCrescent7

they should just use dlc instead of an entire game for one band

Posted by Caddy

I just got finished with this and I completely agree. It was a big disappointment, and I am an Aerosmith fan.

Posted by TwoOneFive

good review, its really everything you mention here why i wont be buying it. 

"outdated mentality" is right on. 
Posted by snide
but even then it's missing a number of tracks by the Boston quintet that seem rather essential

Hilarious.
Posted by PLWolf

Song-wise, I agree, this does not deliver. Hell, where's Dude Looks Like a Lady? One of the most commercialized songs for the band and it's not in the game made specifically for them.
Anyway, on a technical stand point it's awesome, the note charts are so much better than GHIII.
I can actually play on Hard this time around. lol The best part is it gets me excited for GH:WT more so than RB2. Especially since, I'm a PS3 owner and won't be playing RB2 right away. But whatever, ay what you want about the price and the track listing, the gameplay is what I'm loving in this game and it's got me playing this more than RB.
It's got me back to loving Guitar Hero again. I love it.

Posted by twenty0ne

I hate this game.

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