3.8
13 reviews
77

Guitar Hero II


$80.00 Released November, 2006

Product Shot 1 The Pros:Simple, addictive gameplay for all. Many song choices. Excellent multiplayer (head-to-head or co-operative).

The Cons:Some songs don't sound quite right ("Heart Shaped Box", "Can't You Hear me Knocking"). Songs can get annoying to listeners. Very small, "clicky" controller.

Guitar Hero II is RedOctane's follow-up to the popular guitar rhythm game available for both the PS2 and Xbox 360. The bundle includes an innovate guitar controller to play your chords, riffs, and licks.

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Product Shot 2 The Guitar Hero series plays much like the popular "Dance Dance Revolution" by Konami, but instead of stomping on a dance pad, you mash on buttons and strum the controller along with the music. Released for the PS2 on Nov. 7, 2006 and the Xbox 360 on April 3rd, 2007. There are rumors of a future version for the Nintendo Wii and the DS. Guitar Hero II costs about $80 for the single player bundle that includes the game and one guitar controller.

Gameplay

Guitar Hero II successfully mimics the experience playing a real guitar. Your goal is to press combinations of any one (or more in the case of chords) of the five fret buttons while simultaneously flicking the strum bar. This action must be timed and sequence accurately to the song that you are playing. You are graded on how close you match the song's rhythm and notes. There is also a whammy bar that you can use to gain bonus points in a long sustain (or just to show off). The gameplay includes other more advanced techniques including three-button chords, hammer-ons, and pull-offs. New to Guitar II is the ability to flip the controls so that you can play lefty like Jimi Hendrix or Kurt Cobain.

The game includes many songs (see the complete track listing) belonging to any one of four difficulty levels. Songs can be played in single player or multi-player modes. In the case of multi-player, you have a further choice of battling head-to-head or playing in co-operative mode wherein one player plays lead and the other takes rhythm.

There is a single player career mode where you play as lead guitarist in a band that is scheduled for eight gigs at different venues. You must play a set of three or four  songs (depends on difficulty setting) at each venue (plus encores) to make it to the next gig. Along the way, you earn money that can be put towards upgrades of guitars, guitar finishes, your fashion sense, characters, bonus songs, and videos.

Differences between the PS2 and Xbox 360 versions

The Xbox 360 version was released several months later, and, therefore, includes all of the features and of the PS2 with some notable improvements. Also, the included guitar has changed from an SG Controller based off of a Gibson SG Standard to the X-Plorer controller reminiscent of the Gibson Explorer.

Summary of what's new for the Xbox 360 version:

  • improves on the visual aesthetic of the game by making it HD and adding some new lighting effects
  • the sound is improved as well as the game can be played as Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Exclusive new songs and bonus tracks
  • Downloadable content (look for "Dead!" - My Chemical Romance and "Possum Kingdom" - The Toadies at launch)
  • Xbox Live! leaderboard - see how you compare with the world
  • Achievement - unlock achievement as you thrash

User Reviews (14)

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Add Pros & Cons
77
ProScore
Pros
  • 10

    Simple, addictive gameplay for all

  • 9

    Many song choices

  • 8

    Excellent multiplayer (head-to-head or co-operative)

  • 7

    360: Downloadable songs from Xbox Live! Marketplace

  • 6

    Sweet guitar controller (PS2: SG, 360: X-Plorer)

  • 6

    360: Xbox Live! leaderboards and achievements

Cons
  • 7

    Some songs don't sound quite right ("Heart Shaped Box", "Can't You Hear me Knocking")

  • 3

    Songs can get annoying to listeners

  • 1

    Very small, "clicky" controller

  • 1

    Aging somewhat when compared to more recent titles of the genre

Comments (8)

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Omar
Omar: #guitar_hero_ii I FINALLY beat all the main songs on Expert. Just this morning I completed Free Bird for the first time, and it was sweeeeeeeeeeet. It was a LOOOONG time coming as I've had this game since LAST YEAR! I couldn't beat Free Bird for the longest time since I physically couldn't move my fingers fast enough.

I think what helped is playing Guitar Hero 3. I'm on the last batch of songs on Expert now, meaning my fingers have gotten a lot of workout lately, and I've actually gotten a lot better. I knew it in my heart that I could beat the song, so I loaded it up and on my first try... .failed. But then I wasn't as cocky and saved my star-power for the difficult parts and BOOYA, completed with relative ease. I think I could almost beat it without star-power. But that can wait.

Now the question remains, do I try to beat all songs on 5 stars or move onto Guitar Hero 3 and take out Slayer and Metallica first? Both challenges daunt and scare me. Jun 21, 08
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Special K
Special K: #guitar_hero_ii

As a guitar player, i thought this would a) be lame, or b) be nothing like guitar...but i was wrong.. This game is incredibly fun, and very remincent of actually playing guitar. I have to admit some of the song choices are a bit to "hair metal" for me, but i guess that's what a "guitar hero" is supposed to be??? See my "Legendary Guitar Heroes and their Guitars" Article, and you be the judge...

Nov 21, 07
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Erik
Erik: #guitar_hero_ii Got it! And it's awesome. Jun 12, 07
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Erik
Erik: #guitar_hero_ii AARGH. Sold out everywhere! Apr 10, 07
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KD1964
KD1964: #guitar_hero_ii I love guitar hero. A friend of mine says it helps me with timing when he plays an acoustic guitar. Apr 2, 07
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Erik
Erik: #guitar_hero_ii It comes out tomorrow. I've been pining for this game for quite some time. Anytime I go into a store that has it as a demo there is a queue for people waiting to play. It's fun, and that's all there is to it. Apr 2, 07
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Erik
Erik: #guitar_hero_ii Still waiting... Jan 17, 07
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Erik
Erik: #guitar_hero_ii I played the original Guitar Hero at a local Best Buy for a few minutes, and was completely hooked. I'm looking forward to it coming out for the 360 in March. Nov 8, 06
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