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Guitar Hero: Aerosmith

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is a music rhythm game developed by Neversoft, published by Activision and distributed by RedOctane. It was released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles, with Budcat Creations solely developing the PlayStation 2 port, Vicarious Visions solely developing the Wii port, and Aspyr Media solely publishing the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X ports. The game was released on June 26, 2008 in Europe, on June 29, 2008 in North America, August 6, 2008 in Australia and October 9, 2008 in Japan. Guitar Hero: Aerosmith sold as both a bundle with a specially designed guitar controller as well as a game-only package.

The game is considered an expansion in the Guitar Hero series, extending upon the general features of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. As with other games in the series, the player uses a guitar-shaped controller to simulate the playing of rock music by playing in-time to scrolling notes on-screen. It is the first game in the series to primarily focus on the work of one rock band, with Aerosmith songs comprising approximately 60% of the soundtrack, while the remaining songs are from bands that have been influenced by or opened for Aerosmith. The single player Career mode allows the player to follow the history of the band through several real-world-inspired venues, interspersed with interviews from the band members about their past. Aerosmith re-recorded four songs for this game, and have participated in a motion capture session to create their in-game appearances. Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is the final installment of the series to only feature guitar and bass as possible instrument choices. The next entry would introduce other roles to create a full band experience.

While Guitar Hero: Aerosmith maintains the same gameplay as past Guitar Hero games, it has received criticism for being shorter and easier than the previous Guitar Hero titles and difficult to justify its price point; furthermore, with the game's strong focus on one band, reviewers felt that the game's ultimate enjoyment rested on the player's appreciation for the music of Aerosmith.

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith Plot

A departure from other games in the franchise, Guitar Hero: Aerosmith follows the career of Aerosmith, by playing significant songs in their catalog in a 'rough chronological fashion'. The gameplay follows the band through various periods in its history, spanning from its first show at Mendon Nipmuc Regional High School in 1970 to the 2001 Super Bowl XXXV halftime show, to their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 19, 2001. The player starts as Joe Perry, and will eventually be able to unlock Brad Whitford and Tom Hamilton. The game does not focus on the internal strife and stress within the band; Guitarist Joe Perry stated that the game would focus on the positive aspects of Aerosmith's history. Perry has stated that "Having a game built around Aerosmith has been a huge honor and really a great experience for us. We've put a lot of ideas into the game so that fans can have fun interacting with our music, getting inside our body of work and learning about the band's history."

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith Gameplay

he gameplay in Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is based on the same gameplay elements from Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. Players use a guitar controller to hold down fret keys and strum on the strum bar in time with the note patterns as they scroll down the screen in order to complete a song. The player's performance is tracked by a Rock Meter, and if it falls too low, the song ends prematurely. Star Power can be collected by completing marked note phrases correctly, and by using the whammy bar during sustained notes; Star Power is released by lifting the guitar controller vertically or by pressing the Select button in order to double the scoring multiplier and dramatically affect the Rock Meter. The player is rated after successfully completing a song from 3 to 5 stars, and can examine statistics related to their performance, and in Career mode, awarded money to be used to unlock ten bonus songs in "The Vault" and additional guitars, outfits, and other videos about the band. Each song can be played at one of four difficulties: Easy, Medium, Hard, and Expert.

The game offers several gameplay modes. Career mode is broken into six tiers of five tracks, each based on a period in Aerosmith's history. Furthermore, within each tier, there are two Opening Acts, featuring non-Aerosmith songs, that must be completed before the Aerosmith songs can be played; the final song in each tier is an encore once the other four songs are completed. As the player completes this mode, they will also be presented with video clips talking about the band and other trivia about the band. The Career mode features one Boss Battle (against Joe Perry) as introduced in Guitar Hero III. Any unlocked song can be played in Quick Play mode, Co-operative mode, with one player on lead guitar and the other on bass, and Competitive mode, including the Battle modes. Unlike Guitar Hero III, there is no Co-Operative Career mode. One significant upgrade from Guitar Hero III is the addition of score balancing in Pro Face Off multiplayer mode, which allows each player to choose their own difficulty while still allowing each side to play the full note chart, instead of switching back and forth within regular Face Off.

The game has received generally mixed reviews. Many reviews found the game avoided some of Aerosmith's "more popular sugar-coated hits...like 'Amazing', 'Crazy', or 'I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing' ", but felt that other major Aerosmith songs could have also been included. Game Informer noted that "creating a band specific game was smart", but that "very little has changed from the base game". They also complimented the great job that Activision did with their motion captures of Aerosmith. The difficulty of the game was not to be found as hard as Guitar Hero III due to the "very riff-friendly guitarist" Joe Perry; while reviewers felt this was a good correction from the previous game, they also noted that the easiness of Guitar Hero: Aerosmith led to some bland tiers, repetitive musical sections, and lack of any significant difficulty curve. The length of the game was poorly received, with reviewers commenting that it is difficult to justify the title priced equivalently as other next-generation console full games. Eurogamer commented that one's appreciation for the game "lives or dies based on fondness for Aerosmith", and that ultimately, with other available music games that offer additional downloadable songs, a game that focuses on a single band would need "to offer gameplay innovations, spectacular fan service, or a lot more material" than what Guitar Hero: Aerosmith provides. Reviews also noted the sparseness of downloadable content.

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith sold more than 567,000 copies in its first week and grossed more than $25 million. The game has seen more than $50 million in sales in the first three months following its release, with over one million copies sold. The band itself saw a 40% increase in their catalog sales in the weeks following the game's release. According to Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, Guitar Hero: Aerosmith has made more money for the band than any sales of their previous albums. The game surged in sales in April 2009, with 110,000 copies for the Xbox 360 sold in North America, due to retails discounts on the title following the release of Guitar Hero: Metallica, and actually outsold the newer title. By April 2010, the game has seen more than 3.6 million units sold, 2.7 in North America, and is considered the best selling band-centric music game across both Guitar Hero and Rock Band series.

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