Guitar Hero: Metallica, the second game the Guitar Hero franchise to be based around a specific musician is now out. I, being a cheap gamer, can’t afford to get that at the moment, and being a cheap bastard, decided to pick up a new copy of Guitar Hero Aerosmith from Gamestop for $10. That and I like Aerosmith. Now, I had my reservations about Guitar Hero 3, particularly with the game’s learning curve, and how well it handled anything above “Easy” in difficulty. Does the Aerosmith-based spinoff of Guitar Hero 3 address my complaints?
The game’s “narrative” basically follows Aerosmith’s career from their first gig playing, literally, a High School Dance all the way to their induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with each venue in the game being taken from one of the actual venues the band played at.
The High Points
All my complaints about the learning curve are fixed. While in Guitar Hero III I was failing out of songs from the first set (which is supposed to be the easiest) on normal, here I didn’t have any problems, and made it almost halfway through the game before I failed out of anything. Additiionally, all of the songs that can be unlocked through career mode can be unlocked through Easy, and there are some additional songs that you can unlock with the money earned through career mode.
The framing documentary sequences also work very well, and while they aren’t as in-depth as an episode of “Behind The Music” or the band’s official documentary, it sets up the next gig, which is really all that’s called for in Career Mode. If you want more there are longer documentary clips that can be unlocked using funds earned in career mode.
The “special appearance” songs – songs by artists other than Aerosmith, fit in nicely, either as bands Aerosmith toured with, influenced Aerosmith, or were influenced by Aerosmith. Honestly, the only band on here that isn’t, that I would describe as being “conspicuous” by their absence is The Yardbirds, and even then unless you know about how they influenced the band, you wouldn’t miss them.
One of the high points from Guitar Hero III is no longer present here – to proceed to the next set you must beat every song in the set, you can’t skip a song you’re having problems with and still be able to continue through the set, which is rather disappointing. The fact that everything can be unlocked on Easy alleviates it somewhat, leaving it in the category of “annoyance” rather than anything else.
I do have a new pet peeve though, which may have been applicable to Guitar Hero III, but I didn’t notice it – for all the awesome real guitars you can buy with your career mode cash, and the verying-degrees-of-lame “novelty” guitars that you can also buy, they can’t be shared amongst the various career mode characters. It’s a nit-pick more than anything else, but it annoyed me.
There is no exclusive DLC for this game, and DLC from Guitar Hero III can’t be played in this game, which is rather annoying. This isn’t too much of an issue for me because I paid $10 for the game, which is less than most track packs, but you may want to keep this in mind before shelling out your cash.
In short, this is basically a glorified track pack and should be considered as such when making a purchasing decision. Basically, if you can get a physical track-pack disk for Rock Band for less then what you’d be paying for this, than you’re paying too much. That said, if you can get it for about $25, then I’d say it’s worth the money.
Unless, of course, you’re buying the game with a guitar, than expect to pay more, not that there’s anythign wrong with that – the game comes with the Guitar Hero III guitar, which will be compatible with Guitar Hero: World Tour and Rock Band, for whatever platform you’re on (except for the Wii), which makes for a good way to either get your first guitar, or an extra guitar for your bassist.