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Guitar Hero: Smash Hits Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . One could certainly argue that Guitar Hero: Smash Hits is nothing more than a glorified expansion pack. But there's definitely enough content in this game to warrant a look, even if you already own these songs in older Guitar Hero games. I just wish Activision would have done more with this idea than throwing us new songs. Rating: 71%
Guitar Hero: Smash Hits
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  • B
It's easy to be cynical about a game like Guitar Hero: Smash Hits. By design this package contains no new licensed music and adds nothing to the standard Guitar Hero formula. It's a full-price game that features half the songs of either Guitar Hero World Tour or the upcoming Guitar Hero 5. And while all of this is undeniably true, I found myself having an incredible time playing a bunch of songs I fell in love with in other Guitar Hero games. Smash Hits may not be Activision's most innovative release this year, but it's nice fan service for all of the gamers who made this franchise such an overwhelming success in the first place.

Guitar Hero: Smash Hits (XBOX 360)

Guitar Hero: Smash Hits recycles some of the best known songs from the first few Guitar Hero releases (including the first three installments, Rocks the 80s and even Guitar Hero: Aerosmith). Not only are some of these songs making their Xbox 360 debut, but they are also ready to be played with the full band, including guitars, bass, drums and vocals. At its core this is nothing more than a Guitar Hero track pack, but there's just enough in this package to push me over the edge and recommend it.

Recycling content from past games is nothing new. Every time Nintendo releases a new Mario Kart game, they pad the level select with some of the best tracks from previous games. Activision is also guilty of this, often recycling old stages in each installment of their Tony Hawk series. These companies do this because it gives people a chance to see what it would be like to play these classic stages years later, with brand new abilities, power-ups, special moves, etc. But while that works for Tony Hawk and Mario Kart, I had to wonder if the same was true for Guitar Hero. Have there really been that many improvements over the release of the original game back in 2005?

Guitar Hero: Smash Hits (XBOX 360)

It turns out that there actually have been a lot of substantial advances to the Guitar Hero franchise. I guess the most obvious is one I've already mentioned, the fact that you can play any of these songs as a full band. That's something new for all of these songs, all of which came from games that were released prior to Guitar Hero World Tour. That reason alone should be enough incentive to make many fans of the series excited by this release.

But it's more than just being able to play every one of these songs as a full band, there are a surprising amount of additions that most people have completely forgotten about. For example, when most of these songs were released in their original game they were nothing more than covers. Let's not forget, the first two Guitar Hero games were made up almost exclusively by remakes of well known songs. That has been remedied in this release. Instead of questionable covers, each one of the game's 48 tracks is a master recording.
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