Guitar Hero 2, From Hero to Zero

posted in Games on Nov 10, 2006

Friends of mine know of my keen eye towards the video game scene. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. A few months ago it was brought to my attention that there is a rhythm game known simply as Guitar Hero, and my love for tha game grew steadily over the course of 2006. Oh how little Garret loved that game. I played it so much I decided to try and play it left handed, and succeeded in beating it on Expert with either hand. (You can take the second half of that sentence any way you want, but I assure you I’m referencing the game and not some other activity).

With the success of this first game, the producers of course wanted to make a second. And they did. The creatively titled Guitar Hero 2 was birthed from the wombs of some talented men, creating hype and so-and-forth until the game was released this week. I, being of sound mind and able body, rushed to the store and picked it up hoping for another round of gaming (read: nerding) bliss. What I got instead was a game that, while lives up to its predecessor in terms of gameplay, the song selection nearly licks the balls off a Yeti.

When I got my game back home, I eagerly ripped the box to shreds, pulled out the (new) red guitar and game, and set everything up. This was simple enough. What I found as I was playing the game (and play I did; I ended up beating the game that night on Expert) was that I felt no attraction to any of the songs save for a couple. Message in a Bottle by the Police and Carry On Wayward Son by Kansas poked their heads out of the dirt and quickly became favorites of mine. As I went down the list, a few others made me happy, like Jessica by the Allman Brothers and Crazy On You by Heart. Another honorable mention is YYZ by Rush. And, of course, Freebird is pretty cool. But what do we have here, about six tracks that are really good out of 40 (not counting bonus tracks)? Come on, this just sucks. There are a couple of bonus tracks that are good, but I’m not going to list them because there’s about a 99% chance you have never heard them. The rest of the list has stuff like Nirvana (seriously guys) and Suicidal Tendencies (they have the WORST song in the game).

Guitar Hero 1 was not without it’s clunkers, but there were so many other songs to make up for it that you never really cared. You played through the crappy ones and didn’t think about it. With Guitar Hero 2, you have to pick through the crappy songs to get to the good ones, and even then there are only a few that make you want to come back and play it some more. It seems like the developers just tried to hard to get a ton of rock/metal bands in the game and forgot the cooler, bluesy songs that made the first one so cool. Is there an equivalent to Texas Flood? No. Spanish Castle Magic? No. Crossroads? Well, probably the Kansas song. Anyway, the point is that there is way too much butt-rock for my tastes, and it ends up putting a bad taste in my mouth towards the game.

The multiplayer is pretty awesome though, I must say that, but it doesn’t make up for the lack of good songs.