Guitar Hero: Aerosmith

Guitar Hero is one of those "Why didnit anyone think of this before?" kind of games, so itis no surprise that the seriesi popularity eventually led it to the Mac. Aspyr Media licensed Guitar Hero III and published it for Windows and Mac at the beginning of this year, and now theyive followed that up with the Aerosmith edition, which is a standalone game, as opposed to being an expansion pack.

The gameplay in Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is the same as the original: Watch the notes cascade down the screen, hold your finger(s) on the proper fret(s), and strike the strum bar as the notes reach the bottom. Hit the star-shaped ones to build up your star power, which you unleash by tilting your plastic guitar up. Sorry, no bonus points for doing Pete Townsend windmills or lighting your guitar on fire like Jim Hendrix did.

Star power unleashed

If youire an Aerosmith fan, youill be in heaven with this game; if not, you may start to long for the diversity of Guitar Hero III. Of the gameis 41 songs, 29 are Aerosmith tunes, while the rest come from groups that have either played with the band or who inspired them. The storyline charts the bandis history from the early days to their gig at Super Bowl XXXV and induction into the Rock ini Roll Hall of Fame, complete with new video interviews with the members. As in previous Guitar Hero games, you unlock venues when you successfully complete enough songs there, and you can also unlock characters, guitars, songs, and other stuff along the way. Even when youive unlocked something other than a venue, however, you still need to buy it with the cash you earn from playing gigs.

One of the gameis bonus songs

Four difficulty levels let you work your way up to working all five fret buttons at a frantic pace. Iive watched experienced Guitar Hero players tackle the toughest difficulty and score big points -- if you paid me to play the game eight hours a day, I still donit think I could ever get there. I enjoy the first two difficulty levels, however, and I appreciate the fact that those other two difficulty levels sit there and taunt me.

Joe Perryis double-necked guitar in action

The multi-player action from Guitar Hero III also makes an encore appearance here. You can head online and watch others humiliate you with their plastic guitar skills. Luckily for uncoordinated people like me, thereis an option to jam with another player; one plays bass and the other plays guitar. You could arrange a virtual Woodstock.

Nipmuc High School, where it all began

If you bought the original Guitar Hero III bundle with guitar, you can pick up Guitar Hero: Aerosmith by itself, although Aspyr also offers a bundle that includes both games with the guitar.

List Price: N/A



The developers wisely decided not to muck with Guitar Hero\'s tried-and-true gameplay Lag can ruin the Guitar Hero experience, but the Aerosmith edition is mostly lag-free, as long as you don\'t try to max out the graphics settings on a mid-range system


Difficulty curve gets steep very quickly Aerosmith fans will be thrilled; those who don\'t care for the band will get bored by the song selection Not as much content as the original