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Guitar Hero: Greatest Hits Review

Written by FooFan on Monday, 3 August 20092 Comments

Format: Wii

Price: £29.99

Wi-Fi: Yes

Players: 1-4

Age: 12+

Developer: Activision

The Guitar Hero series is now firmly one of the biggest selling game franchises on the market and you would be hard pushed to find someone who hasn’t heard of it. It has millions of fans worldwide, but it also has several pessimists as well, who can’t see the appeal or criticise the game for taking away people’s interest in playing ‘Real’ instruments.  As a background to myself, I’ve played various instruments throughout my life and currently play the drums and guitar. I’m a big fan of the Guitar Hero games and enjoy playing them, but also understand that it’s no replacement for ‘Real’ music. So there’s no need for me to go into the basics of a Guitar Hero game as pretty much everyone will know what they’re about(If you would like a more in-depth Guitar Hero review, please check out my GH:World Tour review: http://www.wiitalk.co.uk/reviews/129/guitar-hero-world-tour-review/). So I’m just going to go over what this game offers to the Guitar Hero player and any changes/improvements they’ve made since the World Tour release last year.

Each GH game has a very basic plot or story that is told through cutscene animations. We’re talking the most basic of plots here and on Greatest Hits, you have been summoned by the Rock God to help him power up the GH artifact that he has found. To do this, you will travel around the world playing gigs at the various wonders of the world. So your stages in this game are the likes of the grand canyon and the Great Wall of China. In terms of graphics, it’s almost identical to world tour(Something I’ll be saying quite a bit in this review!) with a few touches up here and there. For example, there are now pyrotechnics that will go off at key moments during the song and actually look pretty good. The overall graphics are more than acceptable, despite the flat looking crowd, but this really is the least of your worries in a GH game!

The layout of the screen(Below) when playing has been tidied up as well. One of the annoyances of GH:WT was that the Rock-o-Meter was in the top left corner and this was quite awkward to look at if you wanted an idea of how well you’re doing. That has now been moved to the bottom left of the screen and split in 2. Your actual score is now at the bottom right and has a new feature added to it which tells you when you have passed a certain star rating(This has been shamelessly stolen from Rock Band!), which is nice to have.

I mentioned earlier that the game is very similar to World Tour in a lot of respects, so what can you expect to see again? Well the Music Studio is back along with GHTunes, so the ability to create your own GH songs and upload them for others to download is still there(See World Tour review for more info on this feature). There’s all the same game modes as before, except for Mii Freestyle and there’s no option to download songs from the Music Store or any playback of previously downloaded songs through World Tour. All the customization is still there so you can not only create a band name + logo, but also several characters, guitars, basses, drums and vocals. All can be customized to a very high detail and there’s some new accessories and hardware that wasn’t in World Tour for you to have a play around with.

Now, for a Guitar Hero game to be called ‘Greatest Hits’ you’re going to be expecting  a killer setlist of songs to play. Let me just clarify that this game is a compilation of songs from previous Guitar Hero games(GH1, GH2, GH3, GH 80s and GH Aerosmith), with a selection of songs deemed to be ‘great’, taken from each. The final setlist is 48 songs in length and I can safely say it doesn’t let the title of the game down! These are the creme de la creme of Guitar Hero tracks and, of course, now they are available to be played on Drums and Mic, whereas they weren’t before. Sure there are some songs that you wished were on there that were left out and others you wonder how they made it and some didn’t, but as an overall list, this is the best Guitar Hero setlist to date. I won’t go through all the songs and a full list can be found here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guitar_hero_greatest_hits

One thing to note is that the note-tracking on the songs has been redone from scratch, meaning that, in some cases, if you remember playing one of the songs on a previous version of Guitar Hero, you will notice that some of the notes are different. This is due to the new features presented in GH:World Tour and the fact that the songs are now being tracked for the whole band and not just the one guitar. In most cases, I’ve found this leads to easier songs. On my first play-through I have managed to complete most of the songs on Expert to 5 star standard, something which I would’ve struggled at quite a lot on GH3. I also managed to complete the game’s hardest song ‘Through the Fire and Flames’ on Hard setting. Now, there’s no way I would ever be able to do that on GH3! I put this mainly down to the fact that most of the hard solos that used toi be a constant meander of Hammer-ons and Pull-offs have now been replaced with the ‘See-through’ notes which were introduced in World Tour to take advantage of the neck slider. These are a lot easier to hit and you don’t need to hit the note before them! So don’t expect the same experience that you got from playing these songs on previous versions of the game.

There’s just a few more things to note about the changes made from World Tour and one of the things I noticed fairly on was that the sound seems to have been better balanced than before. The drums sound a lot more fuller and can actually be heard, whereas before they were usually drowned out by the player themselves! Also, when star power is activated, it no longer takes over the rest of the song, it’s more of a deep sound and doesn’t distract you as it did in World Tour.

The online is much the same as in World Tour, except with a new set of Ranks and a more streamlined menu. The World Tour online menu was quite complex and this has been changed so all the options can be found in one place and adding new players to the party can be done quickly and easily. I have had problems finding online games however. So far I’ve only managed to get a game once out of 3 times of trying and this indicates that few people have the game in the UK at the moment, so you have to play fairly late or at the weekends when more US players are about. Once in game, it works exactly the same as World Tour, with each player taking turns to select a song and I didn’t experience any kind of lag or any other problems. They have also fixed the problem where money you had earned online, didn’t save to your profile. Now all money you earn in online matches is saved and your rank is increased accordingly.

Summary

At the end of the day, the only way you can decide whether Guitar Hero: Greatest Hits is a worthwhile purchase for you is by what other Guitar Hero games you own. The first GH game on the Wii was GH3, so that’s the only one I own(Apart from World Tour) and the chance to play songs from GH1 and 2 was too good an opportunity for me to turn down! Along with the ability to now play the GH3 songs as a band and on drums, this has been a worthwhile purchase for me. I would recommend this to anyone who doesn’t own the early GH games and especially those who just own World Tour. I managed to get this for £22, which is a very good price and I think a more realistic one than the £30 you see it for in most stores. Having said that, it isn’t offering anything new and these songs could’ve been released as DLC, but(Particularly for the Wii) the cost of this would’ve been more than the current retail price and it doesn’t take up any space on your SD card! Guitar Hero 5 is due out in September and the full setlist for that has been released. In my opinion, GH:GH has the better setlist and would be a strong addition to any Wii Guitar Hero’s collection!

85%

2 Comments »

  • MilkyMalky said:

    Great review Foo.

    Its a difficult one for me, this game. I really enjoy World Tour, and especially enjoy the drums. I have experience of GH2 and GH3 and being able to play drums on both of those - especially the songs from GH2 - does appeal.

    But it just seems like “another GH game” and with GH5 coming out later in the year (which I hope will have improved on the concept presented by WT) I’m really in two minds whether to get this.

    I imagine most people are the same, hence why you struggle to find people to play online with.

  • Kann man Songs auf Guitar Hero 3 für die Wii Uploaden? | Wii die Revolution said:

    [...] Guitar Hero: Greatest Hits Review | WiiTalk - Nintendo Wii Blog [...]

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