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Review

Guitar Hero: Greatest Hits (Wii) Review

When a company creates a hugely successful franchise that becomes incredibly popular world-wide, it is normally not long before that company starts to milk the franchise as much as possible. The development of video games, after all, is a business, so it is no surprise that milking franchises for all they are worth is common practice. Guitar Hero: Greatest Hits is the newest addition to the Guitar Hero franchise, and while a solid game, has milking written all over it. The game, in essence, is more of an expansion pack, but at the price of a full release title. Greatest Hits has 49 tracks from previous Guitar Hero games that have been deemed the ’Greatest Hits’, though this is a matter of personal opinion. For me, there were a number of tracks from previous games that were omitted which I thought should have been included in a collection of the best ever Guitar Hero songs. But alas, personal taste means few people will be 100% satisfied with the set list. Regardless, it is a decent collection of songs, some of which are from the first two Guitar Hero games, which is a bonus for Wii owners who never got a chance to play them.

One of the positives of Greatest Hits is the ability to play some older songs in full band mode. Essentially, any song from Guitar Hero 1, 2, or 3 can now be played with drums and vocals, which does breathe some new life into the older songs. Guitar charts have also been changed in some circumstances, which means you’ll have to learn how to play your favourite songs in a slightly different manner. While Greatest Hits is just a collection of recycled songs, the full band compatibility certainly provides value to the game. Personally, playing through Dragonforce’s ’Through the fire and the flames’ in full band mode provided an epic rock and roll experience. On top of this, the songs are all master tracks too, so the quality is spot on.

Guitar Hero: Greatest Hits also has a rather silly storyline attached to it which revolves around the God of Rock taking the Guitar Hero characters around to various venues in the seven natural wonders of the world (e.g., Amazon jungle). Not entirely sure why a storyline needs to be included in such a game, but it works on a basic level. The career mode is far more simplistic than previous Guitar Hero games, and the basic aim is to earn enough stars to open up a new set list. However, one change to previous games is that you can play any of the songs straight away in multiplayer mode or quickstart. This is good, as it means you don’t have to play through the less entertaining songs (and despite the ’Greatest Hits’ claim, there are some dud songs) to open up the better ones. On the other hand, it also means there is little reason to play through the career mode.

Other features from previous Guitar Hero games that have made a return include the create-a-character mode and the song creation mode. These modes have been covered in reviews of the previous games, so I won’t repeat myself apart from saying they are essentially the same with no major additions or changes made. It should be mentioned that there is no downloadable content for Greatest Hits, so you are stuck with the 49 master tracks plus any song you might make yourself.

One aspect of the game that seems to have decreased in quality is the visuals. Guitar Hero, on the Wii at least, has had a history of fairly average graphics and in this case, they appear to be even worse than in the previous games. There are a lot of rough, square edges in the game, and the in-game crowds consist of one or two models copied and pasted over and over. Graphics are not terribly important in the Guitar Hero games, but to take a step backwards is a little disappointing.

Overall, Guitar Hero: Greatest Hits is by no means a bad game, but it is a perfect example of franchise milking. Whether this is a bad or good thing ultimately depends on the quality of the game, and in this case, Greatest Hits still has merit to it and still offers the same awesome Guitar Hero experience we are having quite frequently these days.

That said, the game is a little shallow in parts and it is clear that the game was slapped together quickly to be released while everybody is still on the Guitar Hero bandwagon. If you haven’t played much Guitar Hero before (e.g. the first two which weren’t released on Wii), then Greatest Hits is definitely worth a look. Also, if you want to be able to experience some of your favourite songs in full band mode, it is also worth considering. If you do not fall into either of these categories, than think carefully before buying the game. It only has 49 songs, which is far less then previous releases, and there are still quite a few dull songs, though this is a matter or personal opinion. If you can pick it up at a bargain price, then it is probably worth it, but as a full priced game, Greatest Hits doesn’t quite cut the mustard.

Graphics 5.0

Disappointing visuals that seem to be worse then previous Guitar Hero games.

Gameplay 8.0

It is the same Guitar Hero experience we have come to love. Classic songs now supported by the full band experience.

Sound 8.0

Master tracks is a big positive, 49 of the best songs, though is debatable. A solid collection of tracks with full band support. A good effort, but could have been better.

Tilt 5.0

49 songs is good, but more would have been nice. No downloadable content either.

Value 7.0

Would have made a brilliant expansion pack but at full RRP, it doesnt quite offer enough.

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About The Author
Toby Mizzi
First gaming experiences were with my older brother playing Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Master System and Sega Mega Drive. I was about 12 years old when the PS1 and the N64 were just about to be released, and I wanted to get a PS1 based on my experience playing some demo PS1 games at a Video Games Heaven store. On the day we came to lay buy the PS1, they had demo N64 consoles set up in the middle of the shopping centre and we naturally took some time to sample the goods. Dad, who barely played games, decided that the N64 would be a better console and I have never looked back since then. Don't get the time to play games as much as I did when I was younger, though I still enjoy nothing more than sitting back on the couch and being absorbed into a totally different world.

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