Aerosmith has been rocking for years and these guys are still playing music today as if they were first getting started in the music business. Aerosmith has not slowed down in their later years and that is good as many bands start to really take it slow later in their careers, but these guys love what they do. ‘Guitar Hero: Aerosmith’ is based off of the ‘Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock’ engine and is the 5th Guitar Hero title in the franchise. I will get this out of the way right off the bat, if you are not a fan of Aerosmith, the $60 price tag may have you cringing due to this not being a full release.

I am a huge fan of Aerosmith, didn’t mind spending the $60 on this release, but I also do feel like it is sorts of an expansion. ‘GHA’ follows the same exact formula as GHIII from career to unlockables. This is not a bad thing, due to keeping things familiar for fans, but there are a few things that I do wish were made different for this release. Personally, if you are going to go out and get a band to grace your branding for one title release, why not make this feel a little more special?

Other reviewers are off and complaining about the formula being the same over and over again with the ‘Guitar Hero’ franchise. I am ok with Neversoft copying and pasting the ‘GHIII’ career, which is essentially the same as the rest of the ‘GH’ games. The approach taken here for ‘GHA’ is a mixed bag, since it could have been so much more. In Career mode, we are using the same tier system that the ‘GH’ franchise is well known for since the original release. I like that a somewhat timeline structure is also introduced into the mix for the career mode. In Tier 1, we have our first gig at Nipmuc High where it all began for Aerosmith. That is fine and dandy since we are going to hit the main points of Aerosmith’s career. Neversoft even went as far to incorporate documentary like footage between each Tier, which gives off the sense that we are following their career in a chronological order. While this is awesome and thought what a great idea to help make this release even more special, there are a few other things that bug me. I hope that Neversoft and Activision are listening to everyone, because in Q1 2009 we are to get another release title ‘Guitar Hero: Metallica’.

Where things go awry for me in Career mode is the addition of 10 non-Aerosmith songs. In each Tier, we get 2 non-Aerosmith songs at first from different bands that also were out of Boston. Having these 2 songs as opening acts for each Tier is ok to a degree, but it just doesn’t feel right when this should have been all Aerosmith songs. Use the license to the full extent and even if the band didn’t want you to dig deep into their greatest hits, they have some good songs that never made it to “Greatest Hits” status that could have replaced these 10 songs. The documentary portion of the Tier’s is well done, but the songs don’t fit in the chronological order at all. In Tier 2, I was playing songs from 1993 with songs from 1979 and 1984. What is wrong here?

Then to top it all off, if we are going to take a semi-chronological approach here, why not have Aerosmith look different over the Tiers. In the 70’s, 80’, 90’s, and 00’s Aerosmith have looked different in appearance and of course age. It would have been cool to have their different looks over the years and also offer them as unlockables.

The track list of songs is pretty good for ‘Aerosmith’ fans, but could have been better. It makes you wonder if songs were being held back for ‘Guitar Hero: World Tour’ or possibly DLC for ‘Guitar Hero III’. ‘GHA’ is much easier this time around when compared to ‘Guitar Hero III’, but the difficulty does ramp up a bit later on in the game as opposed to the previous games.

Graphically, the game is similar to ‘Guitar Hero III’ bringing back the characters from the last game down to each inch of pixel. ‘Aerosmith’ has been visually represented very nicely and the cartooney look really goes well with the band. Joe Perry and Steven Tyler did the motion capturing for the game. There are still some awkward animations, but that is all forgiven since the band looks so spot on.

I am coming off rather negative with this release since my expectations were a little higher hoping that this game would be more authentic and the structure comes off rather confusing with the documentary style approach. With complaints aside, ‘GHA’ is a nice addition to ‘Guitar Hero’ franchise for fans of rhythm games. I will be playing this till both Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero IV release in the fall. ‘Aerosmith’ fans will be in all their glory with this release and non-Aerosmith fans could also enjoy this release since we have 41 new songs to play. For those counting, this equates to $1.46 a song.

Feel free to discuss in our forums