Figuring out if Guitar Hero: Aerosmith - which, if not for character models and stage animations unique to the band, would amount to a pricey song pack for Guitar Hero III - is up your alley is a little like playing the game “Guess Who?” Ask yourself a list of general-to-specific questions that reduce an audience of buyers to a handful of candidates. Do you like Guitar Hero? Do you like Aerosmith? Are you a fan of the 24 songs that Activision licensed from the band ...and 18 tracks from associated acts? Are you willing to tolerate cover versions of some of those tunes? Would you pay $40 (or $80 if you want the guitar, too) for three CDs’ worth of virtual music?
Aerosmith manages to hit most of the tenets of a good musical rhythm game (it’s easy to play but hard to master, and tracks differ in musical style and note patterning) while honing in on a specific artist. Familiar hits like “Sweet Emotion” and “Dream On” feel dramatic on a plastic Fender, and there are well-programmed patterns for GH experts, too - like a lengthy solo of hammer-ons in “Nobody’s Fault” and the barrage of green/blue on “Train Kept A-Rollin’.”
The 18 tracks from Aerosmith-approved artists are the sour spot on the song list. They’re meant to broaden the game’s narrow appeal, but the supporting cast comes off as a bizarre mixed bag of groups that neither contrast nor fully complement Tyler & Co’s hits. Run-D.M.C., Mott The Hoople, Ted Nugent, The Cult, Lenny Kravitz, and Joan Jett are a chore to play, though “Dream Police” by Cheap Trick and “Sex Type Thing” by Stone Temple Pilots do better.
More disappointing are the holes in the Aerosmith library. “Jaded,” “Crazy,” “I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing,” “Cryin’,” and “Dude Looks Like A Lady” are omissions that most fans would count as the band’s best songs, and no amount of Black Crowes and The Kinks covers can compensate. Modest extras, like video interviews that bookend career mode’s five tiers (and more that you can unlock with in-game money), come off as a contractual obligation.
All details are overridden by your answer to this very simple question: Just how much do you like Aerosmith? Folks with a middling-or-less appreciation for Aerosmith’s brand of bluesy glam-rock and the falsetto tones that escape Steven Tyler’s snakelike jaws won’t miss a thing by skipping GH: Aerosmith.
PC Gamer scores games on a percentage scale, which is rounded to the closest whole number to determine the GamesRadar score.
PCG Final Verdict: 67% (above average)
Dec 16, 2008