Spin the Black Circle

Music journalist Travis Hay drops some knowledge and insight about local and national music news, offers reviews and offers a place for conversation on all things music.
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Guitar Hero Aerosmith: Equal parts boring and entertaining

July 2nd, 2008 by travis hay

Since this is a relatively new blog, I might as well let you know now that I am a big dork. You were eventually going to find out if you kept reading Spin The Black Circle anyway, so I figured it would be best if you heard it from me instead of just stumbling upon the discovery of my dorkiness by yourself.

Now that my confession is out of the way, I wanted to let you know about my experience with the XBox 360 game “Guitar Hero Aerosmith.” See, I told ya you would have eventually figured out my dorkiness if you kept reading.

If you’re familiar with the Guitar Hero franchise then this installment should be nothing new to you, which is where a lot of the problem lies with this game. Other than basing this game around the career of a well-established band there is nothing innovative about this title; it is simply just another Guitar Hero game. However, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

I remember the first time I picked up a plastic guitar controller and jammed on a Guitar Hero game. It was almost too much fun and close to being the most fun I have had playing a video game. While I didn’t expect GHA to duplicate that process, I did expect to have some fun playing the game. Instead I was treated to a few borderline challenging songs and a scary looking virtual Steven Tyler.

The game tracks the career of Aerosmith through six stages, beginning with the band playing at a high school dance and eventually making its way to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. In between stages (each stage has five or six songs) players are treated to video clips of band members talking about the progression of their careers.

One of the biggest flaws in the game is its key selling point outside of being a Guitar Hero game: basing the game around Aerosmith. Now, I love Aerosmith. I grew up listening to “Toys In The Attic,” but virtually playing the songs on GHA that I grew up loving was actually pretty boring. Although when “Mama Kin,” “Sweet Emotion,” “Kings And Queens” and a few other Aerosmith classics came up during the game I did find myself smiling. But for all those times I was smiling when I ripped into a stellar guitar solo, I found myself pretty much bored other times during some lackluster songs that were included in the game.

The game comes with 41 songs, 31 of which you play during the story mode of the game and another 10 that you unlock. Not all of these songs are Aerosmith tracks. About one-third of the songs are by artists that inspired Aerosmith such as Joan Jett and Run DMC. But the lack of variety in song selection as well as the small number of songs available to play in the game made GHA too short and not that challenging. At least with other GH songs there was a strong variety of rock represented with everything from Pearl Jam to Slipknot on the playlist.

“Guitar Hero Aerosmith” could have used some innovative gameplay ideas and a larger track list but I do think the GH franchise chose the right band to base a game on. The only other band I could think of that would have made for a better GH experience would have been Metallica. And while I didn’t have a whole lot of over-the-top fun during the three hours or so it took me to blaze through the game, I will say it was better than “Revolution X.”

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3 Responses to “Guitar Hero Aerosmith: Equal parts boring and entertaining”

  1. Ian Says:

    Still waiting for Guitar Hero: Metallica, personally.

    Not a huge Aerosmith fan so this one didn’t really interest me, but I like the precedent it sets by having games dedicated to acts with a large fanbase. I hope they keep it up.

  2. Craig Says:

    I am ready for rockband 2. Please do a review of that once it is released.

  3. travis hay Says:

    Rock Band 2 is gonna, well, rock! Hit me up on XBL if you’re online. My gamertag is The Walwrus (and yes, I know it is spelled wrong).

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Music journalist Travis Hay drops some knowledge and insight about local and national music news, offers reviews and offers a place for conversation on all things music.