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Guitar Hero II Review

JP_Hurh By:
JP_Hurh
04/16/07
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Rhythm 
PLAYERS 1- 2 
PUBLISHER RedOctane 
DEVELOPER Harmonix 
RELEASE DATE  
T Contains Lyrics

What do these ratings mean?

Let there be more rock!

Editor's Note: This review originally claimed that wireless play was supported in the 360 version of Guitar Hero 2, but we have since learned that it is not. Oops!

Hello, welcome to Guitar Center. My name is Stu, and I’ll be helping you find that killer axe today. You may have heard of my band, Crunchknuckle Handgrenade. No? Really? We opened for Truckasaurus Sex once. We were about to make it before our drummer got married to that nutjob he knocked up. We’re still huge in Oregon. Take one of our flyers. I did the graphics on that baby. Sweet, huh?

Now, whatcha looking for dude? Guitar Hero 2 for the Xbox 360? Yeah, man, we got one of those, right in the back here behind these Squire Strats. If you’re looking for the sound of value, that’s what you should be playing. I can slay an audience with a Squire. Like Billy Squire, get it?
 
click to enlargeHere we are. Guitar Hero Twoooooo! Rock on! You ever play it for the PS2? No? Oh man, you’re in for a treat. Let me show you how this baby works.
 
You take the guitar controller and play it like a real guitar. Tweeeeedle-La-La-La-Eowww! See that? I’m awesome. The trick is to hold down the colored fret buttons with your left hand while you “strum” them with the little “pick” lever on your right hand. You know when to strum by watching those little colored notes come at you on the screen. The music is, like, coming at you. At your face, dude. Tweedle-Eoww!
 
Here, plug in another controller. See, we can play together or against each other, just like in the PS2 version. You take the bass line. It’s easier. Oh you suck. Unplug that controller. 
 
How is the Xbox 360 version different from the PS2 one? Well, to tell you the truth, not a whole lot different. The graphics are crisper, as you might expect, and the online leader board let’s you know just where you stand in the rocking world. Keep practicing and maybe you can catch up with me! Just kidding, dude. No one can catch me.
 
click to enlargeThere are a handful of new songs, about ten in all, but if you ask the Stu-man, they don’t add that much. When you’ve already got ripping tunes like the Reverend Horton Heat’s Psychobilly Freakout and Rush’s YYZ, adding Pearl Jam’s Wasted Life or The Toadies’s Possum Kingdom doesn’t really up the rock-on meter. Rick Derringer’s Rock and Roll, Hootchie Coo might be the best of them, if you get my drift.
 
But you can download songs off that interweb jobbie. Right now, you can download songs from the first Guitar Hero, which is kind of like getting twice the game right? Or is that the same game twice? Anywho, a batch of three old original Guitar Hero songs requires you to blow six bucks. Maybe when Crunchknuckle Handgrenade wins the Naperville battle of the bands, I’ll be able to afford that. 
 
The guitar controller itself is different. The Gibson Xplorer design looks friggin’ awesome doesn’t it? I mean, it’s so futuristic! Eowww! But it doesn’t rest very comfortably in your lap—see this long spiky body design might be fine for long spiky alien bodies, like David Bowie or Sting, but it gets in the way of normal human appendages. There’s a reason why Gibson stopped making the Explorer after a single year of production.
 
click to enlargeStill, the fretboard is better than the first guitar hero controller. The buttons are closer together and more responsive. The pick lever is also quieter than the first incarnation. Not that you’ll notice when your stereo is turned up to twelve. Eleven is for losers.
 
Yeah, I wouldn’t recommend this one for anyone who already shelled out for the PS2 version, but you gotta admit that it’s an excellent port. Here’s an analogy. Your 360 before Guitar Hero 2 is like an innocent Catholic schoolgirl who has never heard an electric guitar before in her life and who probably thinks the Captain and Tennille is pretty heavy. Your 360 after Guitar Hero 2 is the headless yet paradoxically headbanging body of that schoolgirl after her mind was literally blown away at the loudest rock concert in hell. So there’s only one question you gotta ask yourself: Cash or credit, bro?
B+ Revolution report card
  • Guitar Hero 2 for the 360
  • Crisper graphics
  • Downloadable songs
  • Which are overpriced
  • Xplorer Guitar design uncomfortable
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