“For those of you who have always wanted to be an ’80s hair metal star, your time has come. Or maybe you need something to compensate for your inability to play real guitar. With this summer’s release of Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the ’80s, your wishes have come true.””
For those of you who have always wanted to be an ’80s hair metal star, your time has come.
Or maybe you need something to compensate for your inability to play real guitar.
With this summer’s release of Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the ’80s, your wishes have come true.
The concept is familiar: Start with a plastic guitar with five colored fret buttons and strummer. As your favorite ’80s songs play, a series of colored notes corresponding to the music scrolls down the screen.
When the note or combination of notes hits the bottom of the screen, the correct fret button must be held down and strummed at the right time. Think Dance Dance Revolution, only with a guitar.
There are four difficulty levels, each adding more notes and chords, necessitating faster finger work and strumming. There are guitar solos galore.
The beginner setting is such that those who have never held a guitar can still get by and have fun. However, if you miss too many notes, you fail the song and have to start over.
At the end of the song, a rating is given based on your total score (points are given for hitting notes) and the percentage of total notes hit.
The soundtrack is great – if you love ’80s music by bands like Flock of Seagulls, Skid Row, Ratt and Dio.
There are certainly definitive ’80s bands that should’ve been on the game – Queen, Journey and Van Halen, to name a few – but the soundtrack is satisfying overall.
The number of songs, however, leaves a bit to be desired. There are only 30 in the main game, with no unlockable bonus tracks.
Compare this with 40 main tracks in the first two games with an extra 20 or so bonus tracks, and the game is over relatively quickly, unless you strive to beat expert mode, which may leave you smashing your guitar in frustration.
The difficulty is somewhere between the first two games, with fewer challenging tracks than Guitar Hero 2. The last track in ’80s edition definitely gives Freebird a run for its money.
For Guitar Hero fans, this game is worth picking up. For newcomers, pick up Guitar Hero 2 first. It’ll give you a better idea of what the series is all about.
Considering that this game was released to capitalize on the underground Guitar Hero craze and keep fans excited about Guitar Hero 3 (next month), it’s still impressive and loads of fun. It remains one of the best party games around.
GH Encore is good, but there has been and will be better. Look forward to a Guitar Hero 3 review next month. Rock on!