Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
Description official descriptions
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock is the third full game in the Guitar Hero series and fourth game overall. The gameplay remains similar to the previous games: using a guitar-shaped controller, you need to coordinate pressing the five fret buttons and strumming to the scrolling notes on screen. Missing notes will cause your performance meter to drop; if the meter drops too low then the performance is a failure and you will need to try again. This edition of the game features 71 new songs to play from various artists including Cream, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Guns N' Roses, Santana, Sonic Youth, Weezer, and many more. In addition to the available songs the game also features "boss battles" against famous guitarists such as Slash, Tom Morello and Lou the Devil. Several game modes are available including career mode, co-op mode, and multiplayer mode. In addition to the main game modes, training and practice modes are available to aid in learning the game or figuring out a tricky passage in a song.
In career mode you play the part of a wanna-be rock star. Beginning with easier songs in small venues, you need to successfully complete tracks to make your way up to a superstar. Each venue you play requires a certain number of songs to be performed before you can move on to the next larger venue. Successful completion of songs also earns money which can be used to unlock characters, outfits, new guitars, and other bonuses.
The co-op career mode is similar to the single player variation, except two players work together (one on lead guitar, the other on bass or rhythm guitar) to complete songs.
The multiplayer game modes allow two players to compete against each other. In the Face-Off variation, two players take turns performing a song. The Pro Face-Off variation allows two players to compete at the same time playing the exact same note chart. Finally, in the battle mode each player can earn power ups by performing well which can be used to disrupt the other player.
Credits (PlayStation 2 version)
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Average score: 86% (based on 147 ratings)
Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 82 ratings with 5 reviews)
2007 was arguably one of the best years that gaming ever saw, and it was an especially great one for rhythm games. The fall season of that year had not one, but two, new rhythm games hotly anticipated by critics and audiences worldwide: Guitar Hero III and Rock Band. The two games had an interesting development history which I won't detail here, but it only added to my anticipation of both. This was the gaming equivalent of such classic rock and roll rivalries such as the Beatles vs. the Stones. On one side, we had the game which was trying to capture the hearts of millions with incredible ambition and innovation, and on the other hand, we had the game which tried to win over audiences that relied on refining a tried-and-true formula to new levels of excellence. At least in theory. Although in the long run considered to be the inferior game, at the time GHII offered up a lot of fun if you were willing to pay the premiums of both price and learning curve.
Guitar Hero III was the first game in the series to be developed by Neversoft. Neversoft had previously broke ground in the extreme sports genre by creating the Tony Hawk games, which it would abandon after creating Guitar Hero III, which was their first attempt at a rhythm game. How did they do? Pretty good I'd say.
The most important part of any rhythm game is the soundtarck, and an admirable job was done in picking the songs available for gameplay. There are two parts to the setlist- the main setlist features tracks that average listeners would recognize, such as "Slow Ride" by Foghat, "Rock You Like a Hurricaine" by Scorpions, "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N' Roses, and "Pride and Joy" by Stevie Ray Vaughan, the last one being a particular favorite of mine to play in the game. The setlist was also well-liked as the majority of tracks were the original masters rather than the covers as featured in the first two games, a massive achievement in 2007 (though now it's par for the course). In the bonus setlist, all of the songs are done by lesser-known groups that you've probably never heard of. Highlights in here include An Endless Sporadic's shape-shifting "Anything", the catchy "Ruby" from the Kaiser Chiefs, and "Go That Far" from Bret Michaels, which has the dubious honor of having the series's first four-fret chord (in the rhythm part) Most of the songs are great fun to play, with some exceptions. I'm no metal fan, but Slayer's "Raining Blood" contained the deadly combination of being excruciatingly painful to listen to an painfully excruciating to play. I felt a great sigh of relief after passing it: Still, that's part of the beauty of these games: They offer something for listeners of all ages and tastes.
In addition, the game also featured cameos from two well-respected rock guitarists: Slash from Guns N' Roses, and Tom Morello, of Rage Against the Machine. While I've never really listened to either of those bands, just the fact that they were able to get these guys to do mo-cap and record new music specifically for the game was also very impressive.
The gameplay is unchanged from the first two games. You still, strum, hammer-on, and pull off notes on the guitar to follow the prompts given to you on the scrolling highway. Some of the more hardcore players were critical of the increased "timing window" which allowed for much forgiving note-hitting, but there was actually a pretty good reason for it. The songs were HARD. Nothing in the first two games even touched some of the later songs in the main setlist, and that's not even counting the bonus songs, including Dragonforce's fast and furious fantasy power-metal hit, "Through the Fire and Flames". That song was NOTORIOUS amongst the GH community, as most players, (including myself) couldn't even dream of passing it. The difficulty was good though, as it made the game incredibly fun to replay over and over and over again, trying to beat your own or someone else's highscores.
Finally, the game added an online mode, which was great fun, and it had the added bonus of being one of the first online-enabled games to really work well on the Wii. The team that helped bring Neversoft's vision to the under-powered console, Vicarious Visions, really deserves a pat on the back for this feature.
As fun as the core gameplay was, the presentation surrounding it was pretty disappointing. It's like a package that's been scuffled up a bit in the mail, yet the product inside arrived perfectly intact.
To begin with, the graphics were HORRIBLE, both artistically, and technically. The animations were stiff, the drummer in particular looked like one of those animatronic characters you would see at Chuck-E-Cheese's. The singer looked absolutely awful. The community nick-named him "The Chin" because he had hair that covered his eyes and an extremely exaggerated chin. He was UGLY. The guitarists that you got to play as weren't much better looking either. The designers decided to "edgy" them up a bit, and they look dreadful. The venues were unremarkable, with flat lighting and once again, stiff animations, par for the course for this game. Even the font choices were terrible- it was really difficult to read what song you were going to be playing as it started because the font was so bad. The first two games, running on PS2, still looked better than this, even running on an Xbox 360, all due to the poor, poor engine and art-style.
The game also had a horrible story. Basically, your band signs a contract with a mysterious man, who, in a twist I'm sure everyone saw coming, turns out to be the devil, who drags you down to hell for a final guitar showdown ( on, fittingly enough, an awesome metal cover of "The Devil Went Down to Georgia").
Speaking of showdowns, the battle mode was very poorly balanced and based largely on luck. At major points in the story, your guitarist has to battle another guitarist (such as the two famous ones listed above) in a duel. Essentially, battle mode was a Mario-Kart style game where playing certain sequences correctly would net the player powerups, which they could use on the other player in order to hamper their playing and win the battle. Where the problems start to come in are the balancing of the powerups and the fact that you could essentially combine powerups in order to maximize the devastation. One well placed triple-attack would easily win you the battle. While a good idea on paper, they weren't as enjoyable in game. The AI that controlled the guitarists that you battled was arbitrary as to when they would use their powerups or even hit notes at all. Needless to say, this feature was scrapped pretty quickly for subsequent games.
Finally, the Wii version was hated on for all it's missing features, though these problems would be fixed in future installments. First, the game offered no option to download new songs to the system. The more powerful systems, however, did get some DLC, including a pack from a band I greatly admire, Coldplay. I unfortunately, had to miss out on these potentially enjoyable tracks and stick with what was available on the disc. Second, the game was initially shipped without stereo sound, when it was advertised as having such. While this was not a problem for me, as I played on a cruddy tv with a mono speaker, for people who wanted to blast the game through their shiny sound systems in rock and roll fasion, the Wii version only disappointed. Activision, however, was kind enough to allow people to replace their discs for new ones with the stereo sound patched in, although most people think that Activision did that to prevent a lawsuit rather than out of the goodness of their hearts and their loyalty to their customer base. Still, a fine example for other Wii developers to follow.
The Bottom Line
Guitar Hero III, however flawed it was, was a great game in 2007, and even playing through these tracks again today can still be a lot of fun. Compared to newer GH games, it feels a bit limited, but it does have arguably my favorite setlist of any game in the series, which is more than good enough for this particular game. If you see it used, and you have the equipment but not the software, you should pick it up.
Wii · by krisko6 (814) · 2011
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 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.
Windows · by NeoJ (398) · 2010
One of the things guitar hero has on it's side is it's relative ease to pick up and play. After running through the tutorial's, few, if any, people could say they still did not understand how to play.
The graphic's have been significantly improved over those of Guitar Hero II. Gone are its bland plastic/wood feel, now replaced with vibrant graphics and better realism. O.k, they're not photo realistic, but at least you don't feel like your looking at a toy doll. The venue's themselves as well as the interface have also been significantly improved.
Add to that, the playlist is also one of the games strong points, the chances are, there will be something to most people's taste. Or in failing that, you could end up liking some of the songs featured that you had not heard before.
If you like a lot of the songs, it also has a fair amount of replayability to it, especially if you have none of the song's on your MP3 player.
It can be a bit daunting for new comer's to the plastic instrument genre, but the tutorials can be a big help.
If you don't like a lot of the songs, then you probably won't get much replay value out of it.
Finally, one of the big let downs of the GH series is that the instruments have an unfortunately well deserved reputation when it comes to reliability, so don't be surprised of the GH controller it comes with end's up packing in on you.
The Bottom Line
You will either get a lot amount of entertainment out of this, or not very much, depending on your skill and appreciation for the music. And be aware of the possibility of your instrument dying on you.
Xbox 360 · by Starbuck the Third (22628) · 2009
|Free disc replacements for Wii version coming soon
|Jan 17, 2008
|Will it blend?
|Dec 4, 2007
|Watch out for sound/guitar problems in Wii version
|Nov 1, 2007
- 2007 – #2 Best Dexterity Game of the Year
- Apple Design Awards
- 2008 - Best Mac OS X Leopard Game
- 2007 – #5 Wii Game of the Year
- 2007 – Wii Music Game of the Year
- 2008 – Special Achievement in DLC (for its release of Metallica's Death Magnetic)
- GameStar (Germany) / GamePro (Germany)
- March 28 - 2008 - Best Family & Lifestyle Game in 2007 (Readers' Vote)
- 2008 - Best of Show Award
Related Sites +
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
Official game website
So You Want to Be a Star
An Apple Games article about the Mac version of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, with commentary provided by Director of Development Glenda Adams (December, 2008).
Wikipedia: Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
Article in the open encyclopedia
X360A achievement guide
X360A's achievement guide for Guitar Hero 3.
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Servo.
Game added October 31, 2007. Last modified July 16, 2023.