Guitar Hero II
Distributed By: Activision
Reviewed by Ismael Manzano
Hello rock and rollers, movers and shakers out there in the world of ones and zeros. It is I, your favorite reviewer, here again with a brand new review of a slightly old game—but it’s new to me ‘cause I just got it…so there. Anyway, I bring to you, for you and your amusement, my thoughts and critiques of PlayStation 2’s Guitar Hero II. I was introduced to this game by a friend of mine who, like all of my friends of whom I’m secretly jealous, recently bought Guitar Hero III for one of those next-generation consoles that I can not afford and thus will not mention here. I played the game and was thoroughly and embarrassingly trounced—I mean horribly…horribly…HORRIBLY, run home to mama, kind of trounced! I decided to practice a little and come back strong, so I picked up the only version of the game I could get and practiced, practiced, practiced.
As a whole, Guitar Hero II bares little difference, either aesthetically or in game play. The premise is of course the same; your goal is to tour the country, rocking out and making money, while blowing the roof off of every arena you sell out. You will need a guitar remote control to play and, properly armed with your faux-instrument, you have to match the notes—symbolized as green, red, yellow, blue and orange buttons—with the frett buttons on the remote. If you can keep up with the speed and complexity of the song, you will earn money to buy new guitars, unlock new characters, songs and outfits, and simply improve your toy-guitar playing skills. I kid you not, after a week, you’ll be strumming an imaginary toy guitar to any song you hear on the radio and you’ll be seeing multi-colored buttons in your head as you do so. It’s that f”ing addictive!
The only two major differences in this version and the next-gen version are the songs offered and the ability to download new songs when you tired of the old ones. In GHII you get to pick from a list of characters, a list of guitars and a list of clothing to create your own rocker. A lot of songs and guitars are unlocked simply by beating a level with five stars—which is much harder than it seems. But beware, the unlockable songs may not be famous, well known, catchy tones like some of the regular songs offered in the Career Mode—like Guns N' Roses' Sweet Child of Mine and The Police's Message in a Bottle—but they are MUCH harder at any level than the norm. So if you’re looking to make things more interesting for yourself, play a few of the bonus—unlockable—songs and strung away.
But if you’re having trouble mastering the toy guitar, worry not. You’re given a practice mode to hone your skills, allowing you to play difficult songs at slower speeds and in specific sections only, until you get the handle of the cords. At four levels of gameplay—easy, medium, hard and expert—the GHII offers hours of enjoyment and challenges for any player. And when you get tried of playing by yourself and you’re sure you’re ready, you can always get a friend and utterly, trounce him the next time he comes to your home.
So overall, I really liked this game. It’s fun, interesting, catchy and addictive. You will not be able to put it down until you’ve beaten someone else in it and proven that the hours upon hours of practice have all been worth it. I recommend this game to just about anyone with two hands and ten working fingers. Enjoy.