gamers (69%) found this review helpful
Something was obviously lost when development switched hands from Harmonix to Neversoft. Guitar Hero 3 is still a blast to play, and it looks a lot better than GH2, but it just doesn't feel as good. Part of the problem is that the timing is different. I often found myself strumming too fast, hitting notes in anticipation of them being within the circle, and a lot of times my notes were missing. It only took about two plays through the same song before it wasn't a problem anymore, but each song moves at a different speed and sometimes requires that adjustment all over again. Also, Easy seems harder than GH2, Medium feels about the same, but then when you get to Hard on GH3, it feels like Expert on GH2. It's just WAY too hard.
I did find that most of the songs, even ones I didn't particularly like, were still pretty fun to play. There were some songs on GH2 that were just kind of boring, but that's definitely not the case here. In this area, GH3 is a definite step in the right direction. A step backwards, however, is the multiplayer. You actually both have to go through Xbox Live and the multiplayer menus to play 2-player on one box. It's not a major deal, but it doesn't really make a whole lot of sense. Also, there's a battle mode where you try to make the other person fail a song, which really isn't very fun. Instead of just trying to see who plays better, the idea is to get power-ups that are used to mess up your opponent and make them fail the song. So instead of "winning", you're making the other person lose. It's very disheartening. Online battles can be over in as little as 20 seconds. Maybe some people would get a kick out of Battle Mode, but I personally didn't like it.
Overall, if you like Guitar Hero 2 and are mainly just looking to expand that experience with more songs, check out GH3. If you're looking for an improvement on the GH2 formula, this ain't it.
Also note that the X-plorer guitar from GH2 works perfectly well with this game.
gamers (65%) found this review helpful
Did Guitar Hero III jump the shark with its new owners? No. The battle mode is a little misguided and far from balanced, but on the whole, everything about Guitar Hero III is better than the previous installments. The song list is excellent (although the bonus tracks from Guitar Hero II were better), and the only disappointment is the limited availability of some songs outside of battle or co-op play. You can go online to satisfy those urges, as it's easy and fast (like the game itself), but it's hard to trust complete strangers to "rawk" alongside you.
Thing is, Guitar Hero III feels like a complete package: it has a story, it has cut-scenes, it has boss battles, and it has a slick learning curve. It has more than a few songs that may wreck your controller ("Barracuda" and "Raining Blood"), but it also has slick riffs like Tenacious D's "The Metal," The Scorpions' "Rock You Like a Hurricane," and Muse's "Knights of Cydonia." Not sure how much more diverse you can get.
Start to finish, Guitar Hero III is nothing but satisfaction (though I've heard complaints about the peripherals), and from the instant load times to the crisp graphics, more attractive character models (What? It's nice to have something other than colored buttons to look at), and more responsible HOPOs, it's a smoother, "rockier" game.
Something definitely changed in this game when the
posted by BigBen24 (ASHLAND, VA) Dec 28, 2007
Member since Jan 2005
gamers (57%) found this review helpful
Something definitely changed in this game when the developers switched from Harmonix to Neversoft. It just doesn't have the same feel as GH 2. It's not that the tracks aren't just as good or the songs aren't as fun, but it's just not the same rockin' good time that the other one was. First of all, Casey Lynch looks absolutely ridiculous. One of my favorite characters from the previous games had a complete makeover down to the hair color. Her skimpy leather costumes simply don't match her tomboy look from the last game. Also, they replaced Eddie Knox with Midori, a character who would honestly fit in better with a cheesy DDR knockoff than a game like this. Her bright Barbie doll apparrel simply does not fit in with any of the songs or the other characters, while Eddie Knox was one of the most popular characters. The multiplayer was also weaker than GH 2. Battle Mode, a mode where instead of Star Power you get powerups to activate to make your opponent fail the song, simply did not impress me. Focus should be put on who can actually play the game better, not just who can withstand effects made to make you play worse. Also, many of the difficulties were off in the game. Easy and Medium were about the same, but many of the upper level songs were more like Expert than Hard. I haven't even tried Expert, but I am going to assume that they made that much harder as well. While this may satisfy the upper 1% of extremely advanced players, players like me who found the difficulty of the second game perfect, this was simply too hard. Nevertheless, Guitar Hero 3 was a solid game with a great soundtrack and fun songs and I did like that they included real rock legends, but the feel that Neversoft put into the game simply wasn't the rockstar feel of the previous Harmonix-made game. Most of the changes that Neversoft made were for the worse, leaving a reminiscent feeling of a Harmonix developed game.