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Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (Windows)

84
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.3
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  NeoJ (428)
Written on  :  Jan 24, 2010
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  2.8 Stars2.8 Stars2.8 Stars2.8 Stars2.8 Stars
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Summary

Hellyeah...?

The Good

The king (or at least, the first) of the music videogames satisfies again the players that enjoy playing their plastic guitars instead of real guitars! Guitar Hero series created an empire of frustrated musicians that wasn't good enough playing their real instruments and now they feel like gods with their self realization completed.

Beside that, there are many other kind of players for this game, like those who enjoy playing it as well as playing their real instruments. I usually play the electric guitar (oh well, I should clarify that I just try), and I have a good time playing this one, I don't know where's the problem, because here comes the other kind of people who says that they're so "true" that they hate games like that, because they have their own real guitars and they don't need to waste their times with toys, you know...

Now, talking about the game, it works as all the others. You play the correct frets by pressing the buttons in the right moment to play the song that you've chosen (or the one that you have to). There's a story mode in which you'll become a rock legend, playing in many different locations during the game and battling Slash and Tom Morello in some concrete points.

Fortunately, the main problem for a game like that is solved. A music game having synchronization problems could be the more frustrating thing on Earth (Elite Beat Agents had this problem as I've never seen), and this game hasn't.

There are four difficulty levels. The expert mode includes every single note (or just noise) in the song, as precise as hard it is. The game itself is not easy, but it's easier if you've played another games of the series and you know what's the game about. If you play this game for the first time you may have problems, but don't be impatient and try it till your fingers response to your brain orders (well, it's a good advice even for real guitar players).

There's also a funny co-operation mode. One of you will play the bass, which is usually easier, and the other one will play the guitar. The game uses the split screen for this mode. In some other songs one will play the lead guitar and the other one the rhythm. Co-operation mode is specially important because there are many songs that doesn't appear in the single player mode, not even in the practice mode, they're exclusive for that mode, so, play it.

You get points depending on your skills, with that points you can unlock new characters, clothes and guitars, and the most important thing, new songs. Not only a little pack of songs, there are a lot of songs available to be unlocked with the points (and they're cheap, so, don't doubt about unlocking them) to make the game longer. There are many songs in the whole game, nothing to reproach for this matter.

Guitar Hero III allows you to play the game with your mouse and keyboard as well as any controller (any gamepad). The game is made for the guitar, but it's a good point for the game that it allows it because they really don't have to. You can use your mouse (the two buttons to use the picking technique) as your pick, and moving it will take the same effect that the tremolo bar of a real guitar.

Some techniques of real guitars are here, like hammer on/pull of or the vibrato with the tremolo bar, but the game needs some kind of evolution. Instead of working abut that the developers tried another new concepts like DJ Hero or Band Hero.

The Bad

The worst thing is a consequence of the game, not something in the game itself. All the people thinking that they're the kings of metal because of their skills playing this game!

Guitar Hero III is the top of the series, only graphic and technical aspects could be improved because gameplay's at his top. You can't do it better, but there's a problem about that... the feeling that you've been playing the same old game since the first one, just with new songs and nothing more. Only the guitar duels are something new, but there are only three of them. You can't play that mode with a friend, it should've been funny.

I really miss more rock/metal songs. There are a lot of alternative rock songs, which I like too, but some of them looks the same. The selection of songs isn't so bad, there are songs from many different bands like Die Toten Hosen, Guns 'N Roses, Slayer or Iron Maiden, but there are many other from bands like Muse, Kaiser Chiefs or AFI (which are bands that I like, specially the first one). What I'm trying to say is that it looks strange to play Raining Blood by Slayer with your character from Hell and then play Ruby from Kaiser Chiefs with your same character. This game need some more powerful songs. Anyway, that's just a matter of taste, if you prefer that alternative metal style you'll enjoy this a lot.

As I said, I play the electric guitar, and I can say that there are many songs that are harder to play in Guitar Hero III than playing them in the real life! Another bad thing about the difficult is that it's progressive, you can start the game with a hard difficult because it looks that you feel comfortable with that level, bu once you progress the difficult rises and maybe you can't beat the incoming songs. You cannot change the difficult level then and you'll have to start all over again, so, be careful.

A bad point about the game that is a consequence of using the keyboard and mouse is the redefinition of the keys. If you leave them as default you'll have no problems, but it's possible that you redefine them to another keys, and then you have a big problem because sometimes you have to play chords which needs more than two keys, and the keyboard doesn't admit it. The standard procedure is to start the game with a normal difficulty level, and there you have no problems with that, but when you start playing the game in a harder level those chords will appear, and it's late to get used to the previous configuration again.

Another consequence of the use of the keyboard and mouse is that in the expert mode is impossible to play some songs, because you have to use the alternate picking technique with your mouse. It's possible with the guitar controller, but with the mouse it isn't because you have to use perfectly two fingers alternating them.

Graphics are good, but the characters some times are annoying or just out of place, specially the singer, which looks like a 80's hard rock singer that really suits with songs like Welcome to the Jungle but doesn't work in others like When You Were Young. Anyway the game doesn't need good graphics because it could detriment the gameplay (there are some problems with the frame rate in some concrete parts of the game).

Although it looks like the songs are really synchronized and that you need special agility with your fingers as well as a good sense of the rhythm, it's a big mistake to think that playing this game has something to do with playing a real guitar. Don't be mistaken.

The Bottom Line

Maybe if you don't have time to take some real guitar lessons you'll prefer playing this "simulation" of playing a guitar that really works as that. Far from being a revolutionary product, Guitar Hero III is the top of the experience of the series and a good game to be played alone or with someone in the co-operation mode, in spite of the fact that it's just like an update for the same game with new songs.