Developer: Beenox Studios
Publisher: Activision
Release Date:
US: June 16, 2009
Europe: June 26, 2009
Australia: June 24, 2009
Genre: Rhythm Action
Age: Teen

Ok I'm the first to admit that I didn't get into the whole rhythm action thing until the release of Guitar Hero 2, back in the crazy days of 2007.

Back then, it was something new and cool - it was a different way of interacting with my Xbox 360, and banging out those tracks felt kinda cool - we had some good post-pub Guitar Hero parties back in the day.

I snagged a couple of the DLC tracks that piqued my interest and when the third game Guitar Hero 3 came out - I just didn't see the point. Yea, it came with a new type of guitar, and different songs, and different multiplayer modes - but I tried it at a friend's house and just didn't see why they couldn't release the extra features as DLC for Guitar Hero 2.

I had kinda gotten bored with plastic Guitars anyway by that stage. But then Rock Band comes along - and, for a while my interest in the genre is renewed with it's all singing, all drumming fun.

But by the time Rock Band was released here in the UK, Rock Band 2 was almost on the horizon, and when it was announced, with it's better drums, and whatever else have you, I felt a bit shortchanged. Then Guitar Hero World Tour was mentioned and that was me done with plastic instruments.

I just wanted one set of instruments, that wouldn't be obsolete within a year, and one game disc, with all the DLC I could eat. Now I realise that these companies that make these games like their money. But as consumers in an age where DLC let's developers drip feed us goodness and filth in equal measure, I have to ask, why would I ever pay full price for Guitar Hero: Greatest Hits, when there's nothing on this disc that couldn't have been released as DLC?

It's in that spirit that I'll try to continue this review - why would you buy this? I dusted off the old Rockband instruments (although it's recommended by the game that you use the official Guitar Hero items) and began to play a bit of co-op quick play.

It's nice that in quick play all tracks come unlocked - so there's no slogging through the main game if you just want a quick party with friends. The control seems fine, I mean, these games are all essentially the same, with minor differences like the addition of an 'open' guitar strum, and optional double drum kick pedals, but really, you are hitting a plastic instrument in time with the notes coming down on the screen.

What I found first of all was that none of my Rockband tracks or Guitar Hero 2 or 3 tracks that I had downloaded worked with this, I expected as much I suppose, but it would be nice if somehow I didn't have to use 3 or 4 different discs to play all my rhythm action game songs.

The song list is fairly good, with master recordings used for a lot of tracks, and it has a good deal of classics from all the previous games, which all sond great. But not all the tracks are great - or at least, not what I would have chosen, and indeed, everyone's varying musical tastes will mean that although there is something for everyone on here, there's also tracks you won't want, and you'll simply wonder as I do, why didn't they just make these tracks as DLC for World Tour?

My affair with rhythm action ended the moment Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero World Tour were announced as standalone games with new peripherals. I just couldn't deal with paying through the nose for the new instruments, so soon after splashing out on the previous ones.

What I want is a standard set of instruments that won't undergo any hardware changes for at least 3 or 4 years, and ONE game disc, with any addon packs released as DLC.

You should buy this game if and only if you've never bought a previous Guitar Hero/Rock Band game, and if and only if you own or can get cheaply the newest instruments.

Otherwise, you are just going to feel shortchanged by what is essentially DLC on a disc - with a lot of tracks that you may not even have wanted to download.