Review by Ledgo
With performance issues, the game loses grace.
Guitar Hero 3 brings in new gameplay to PS2. However, it is highly questionable due to gameplay problems and just down right performance issues.
The gameplay follows your traditional Guitar Hero gameplay. If using a guitar, you hold the fret button down according to the note gem coming down the fret board on screen and hit the strummer at the same time. If using a Dual Shock controller, you hit your according buttons in your guide the game comes with.
The game is still the same in old features. Nothing changed, but you are required to do three battles agasint the AI in career, which is new. You may think "How can I beat a bot if it can hit every note?" and which is why the new "Battle" mode comes in. Instead of star power, you get attacks that can sabotage your opponents own playing by switching Lefty or Righty, by having their own notes blink, or making them tap a button to be able to use that button again.
In Multiplayer, there is a new cooperative career, which is nice, but there is a lack or coop quickplay or traditional coop like GH2 or 80's, so you have to go through the entire career to play ALL the songs in coop. Battle mode with two humans is more down to luck than skill. Many attacks can easily be averted by just looking at the other fret lane of the other player if you didn't tamper them. Most matches usually come down to straight strategy, such as queueing a whammy break, where the play must whammy, and the string snap, where the player must tap their button to use it again. Pro-Face Off is still the same, and so is Face Off.
Coming straight down to it, the only new addition is just Battle Mode, which even with the 360 and PS3 versions, is ill-fated and usually grows old and makes you want to do coop or pro-face off instead.
ONE huge problem is the in your face advertisement. Even though past games may have had the usually guitar brands (Even though they basically had to, like Gibson Guitars and amp brands) there are products that are basically out in the open advertisement. It was quite annoying.
Another problem is that most charts are highly questionable where star power is placed, and better yet, if you're EVEN playing a guitar part which is the worst thing you can put in. Last I checked, I was playing Guitar Hero, not Guitar sometimes synth, Sitar, and what instrument is this I don't know just chart it Hero.
It's better off non-existant. You basically deal with stereotypical types of your characters. The stupid drummer, ego singer, and almost invisible bassist. The story basically follows the band from a backyard show to a bar where they attract the "evil" record company. Then they play shows and get mad at the record company because they want the band to sell out. And guess what? The extremely cliche' devil appearence is here! And you end up dueling him. The whole time, the cutscenes would be pretty good if they didn't speak a jibberish language that makes you feel like you're playing the sims. Overall, the cutscenes were nice, but the jibberish killed it, and the story is somewhat cliche.
PS2 lacked heavily on graphics. Compared to past games, GH2 and maybe even GH1 looked better than GH3. Characters look mushy and everything is quite dark and foggy look that reminds you of muddy water somewhat. However, it's not unplayable as the fretboard and notes can be seen easily.
They've obtained quite a few masters. And most of the covers are excellent and not within painfuly covers. However, missing a note still sounds horrible, in fact, worse than GH2, and not standable.
Well, this is why the game is a huge drag on PS2. There are mixed feedback, and most of the older PS2's usually lag when activating star power a bit and will easily throw you off balance. So to people who keep their consoles in good condition are treated quite bad if they have a console they've had for a while. Even some new PS2's have reported this problem. I've noticed at a friends house who had a slim PS2 that they didn't have these problems, and it made me wonder if the game asks too much from normal PS2's or if only a small amount of PS2's (Slim PS2's also have this problem, just not as much) can run this fine. However, don't blame this problem if you're not sure. Be 100% sure to do the lag correction and adjust the game or your TV settings to make sure it's not something else, not the console.
I will however, say if this was on PS3 or Xbox 360, I'd give the game 7/10, and performance 7/10. These problems simpley effect PS2 version greatly if you have it. I advise you purchase this on 360 or PS3 if you can because the problems are non existant, making the game play as it should and making it a decent game. I have not tested the Wii version as of yet, so I will not say anything.
Of course, you want to push yourself and continue to try and five star and even 100% more and more songs. However, the game just still has too many "LAWL WE THREW IN ALOT OF NOTES HERE THAT WILL AUTO-FAIL 95% OF THE POPULATION THAT ARE NOT NEEDED" songs that just frustrate you instead of wanting to play the songs.
Rent or Buy?
Honestly, it depends. Rent it to see if it at first interest you for the song setlist if you're into it, and to make sure you're PS2 is not effected by this. If not, you'd be foolish not to own it to expand you're playability range, especially since PS2 does not have downloadable content.
To be quite frank, the game is not any more impressive than GH2. The battle mode is not too remarkable and overall not as fun as GH2 gave you but still within acceptable ranges of gameplay though quite rough sometimes.
Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Product Release: Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (US, 10/28/07)
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