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Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock Reviewed by Dan Clarke on . The game itself is an enjoyable experience for fans of the series - it's tweaked just enough to warrant a purchase and the soundtrack is phenomenal. The lack of online and the new guitar controller are a bit of a disappointment, but the game still rocks and is recommended for those that have yet to take the next-gen console plunge. Rating: 71%
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
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Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
  • Review Score:

  • B
The Guitar Hero franchise got started on the PlayStation 2. Without this console, who knows if the game would have even seen the light of day? The original developer (Harmonix) was bought by another company and they've moved on to Rock Band, and so while Neversoft, a developer who has made many great games like the Tony Hawk series, developed the next generation games, they outsourced the PS2 version to Budcat Creations. Unfortunately, this means the online feature on the other versions of the game don't exist on the PS2 version. There's also another issue, and it's the controls.

Guitar Hero 3 comes packed with a PS2 wireless guitar, but wow—it's not good. The wireless reception is fine, it's just the controller feels "off" and if you're used to the original Guitar Hero guitar, it is much more enjoyable even with a wire. It's difficult to explain - the controller just doesn't feel as good as the original.

Guitar Hero III (PlayStation 2)

With that being said the gameplay is the Guitar Hero we've all come to know and love - this time around there's more original songs in the game (funny how everyone now wants to be included in the game -we've come a long way from the all covers from the original), but they aren't all originals. The Pat Benatar wannabe doing Hit Me With Your Best Shot is bordering on atrocious; trying to replicate a voice like Pat Benatar is difficult and really why would you bother - there could have been other songs to use instead.

Fortunately the game seems to give you a little more response time in hitting the notes rather then the nanosecond response required on the original. More than once I have thought I missed the timing of the note but instead I still received credit for getting it correctly. In the end, though, the difficulty has been ramped up considerably for this version and even hard-line players may have to take things back down the medium difficulty.

Since it's a PS2 game, it's difficult to talk about graphics. The display has been redone but quite frankly, even if the graphics were fantastic it would be tough to tell because you're always so focused on hitting the notes correctly. New in this game is a "consecutive note counter" which is fun to have on screen and actually adds to the pressure of hitting the notes correctly - what is frustrating is at milestones like 50 or 100 notes a big message comes on screen and disrupt your concentration. They should have kept it off the guitar map.

A new feature of the franchise are "Boss Battles" against well-known guitar players like Slash playing all new compositions. It's an interesting concept however basically it becomes a game of getting all the power ups you can and using them on your opponent until they lose. In the end it comes off sort of gimmicky.

Guitar Hero III (PlayStation 2)

While there is no online mode, leaderboards or content download for the PS2 version (which means you'll never be able to play the Boss mode songs outside of boss mode, unlike with the 360), there is same console multiplayer which for the first time has an online co-op mode. It's a great addition with one caveat - you must have a friend to come over to play if you want to unlock every song possible with the game. All of my gaming friends are online than offline so if I want to play, I'm out of luck.

The game itself is an enjoyable experience for fans of the series - it's tweaked just enough to warrant a purchase and the soundtrack is phenomenal. The lack of online and the new guitar controller are a bit of a disappointment, but the game still rocks and is recommended for those that have yet to take the next-gen console plunge.
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