Guitar Hero: Smash Hits review

The series that revitalized music games releases a greatest hits album

GamesRadar+ Verdict


  • +

    All master recordings

  • +

    Full parts for all instruments

  • +

    Relocated meters


  • -

    You might have played these before

  • -

    Next-gen versions cost more

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    Entire tracklist might not appeal to you

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The Guitar Hero series has usually had a stellar track list – seriously, how many people would be willing to shred out to a ridiculous looking plastic guitar if the tunes were lame? So on one hand, it makes sense for publisher Activision to release this compilation, which collects 48 songs from five previous Guitar Hero titles (Guitar Heroes 1 through 3 as well as Rocks the ‘80s and Aerosmith). What doesn’t exactly make sense is the fact that this costs $40 on PS2, $50 on Wii and $60 on 360/PS3, where the tracks could have just been released as downloadable content.

The good news is that everything is done using the original master tracks - even the GH 1 songs, which were covers the first time around. Everything has full parts for all four instruments, including Expert+ drum parts for those with two kick drum pedals – that could make it worthwhile for PS2 players who already have all the previous games and might pass on it otherwise. Finally, the star power and rock meters are located on the sides of the note ramps just like they were in Guitar Hero Metallica. Which is where they should have been all along.

Career mode revolves around your band playing at the various wonders of the world, which has given the development team a reason to include unusual settings such as the Brazilian rainforest and the Grand Canyon. There are unlockable costumes to match these settings as well.

But ultimately, this expansion will live or die based upon its song selection. Which is:

Guitar Hero
•Blue Öyster Cult - “Godzilla”
•Boston - “More Than A Feeling”
•Deep Purple - “Smoke On The Water”
•The Donnas - “Take It Off”
•The Exies - “Hey You”
•Franz Ferdinand - “Take Me Out”
•Helmet - “Unsung (Live)”
•Incubus - “Stellar”
•Joan Jett & The Blackhearts - “I Love Rock N’ Roll”
•Ozzy Osbourne - “Bark At The Moon”
•Pantera - “Cowboys From Hell (Live)”
•Queen - “Killer Queen”
•Queens Of The Stone Age - “No One Knows”
•White Zombie - “Thunder Kiss '65”

Guitar Hero II
•Alice in Chains - “Them Bones”
•Avenged Sevenfold - “Beast And The Harlot”
•Danzig - “Mother”
•Foo Fighters - “Monkey Wrench”
•Iron Maiden - “The Trooper”
•Jane’s Addiction - “Stop!”
•Kansas - “Carry On Wayward Son”
•Lamb of God - “Laid To Rest”
•Lynyrd Skynyrd - “Free Bird”
•Mötley Crüe- “Shout At The Devil”
•Nirvana - “Heart-Shaped Box”
•The Police - “Message In A Bottle”
•Rage Against The Machine - “Killing In The Name”
•Reverend Horton Heat - “Psychobilly Freakout”
•Rush - “YYZ”
•Stone Temple Pilots - “Trippin' On A Hole In A Paper Heart”
•The Sword - “Freya”
•Warrant - “Cherry Pie”
•Wolfmother - “Woman”

Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s
•Anthrax - “Caught In A Mosh”
•Extreme - “Play With Me”
•Judas Priest - “Electric Eye”
•Poison - “Nothin' But A Good Time”
•Ratt - “Round and Round”
•Twisted Sister - “I Wanna Rock”

Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
•AFI - “Miss Murder”
•Pat Benatar - “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”
•DragonForce - “Through The Fire And Flames”
•Heart - “Barracuda”
•Kiss - “Rock And Roll All Nite”
•Living Colour - “Cult Of Personality”
•Priestess - “Lay Down”
•Slayer - “Raining Blood”

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith
•Aerosmith - “Back In The Saddle”

Sound good? Then you’ll be in heaven with this new pack, especially if you bought Guitar Hero Metallica and have the dual bass pedals going. If these seem a little tired to you or you don’t want to pay for the whole collection, maybe just hold off and see if these make their way into the online shop eventually.

Jun 29, 2009

More info

DescriptionThis expansion pack adds 48 songs from previous Guitar Hero games to the latest version, new costumes, and the Brazilian rainforest. Still, unless you really want to play all master tracks with all four instruments, or are late jumping into the GH scene, this may be skippable.
Franchise nameGuitar Hero
UK franchise nameGuitar Hero
Platform"Xbox 360","PS3","Wii","PS2"
US censor rating"Teen","Teen","Teen","Teen"
UK censor rating"12+","12+","12+","12+"
Alternative names"Guitar Hero: Greatest Hits "
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)