24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Best Guitar Hero Yet,
This review is from: Guitar Hero Metallica - PlayStation 2 (Video Game)To put it simply, this game rocks. Since I picked it up the other day, I've played it almost non-stop and finished most songs on every instrument. I have work to do. I don't need another addiction. :)
Let's break things down:
Gameplay is pretty much unchanged from World Tour except you can now do double bass drumming and the Career mode progression has changed quite a bit. As in other Guitar Hero games, when you beat a song you get a rating of up to 5 stars depending upon your performance. Like Rock Band and unlike previous Guitar Hero games, it is possible to get less than 3 stars, but as in Rock Band it is unlikely. To progress from one tier to the next you simply have to get a total number of stars on previous songs. This system makes it very easy to "beat" the game since the star requirements are very low and the ratings from all previous tiers, not just the current one, count. So if you want to progress to tier 7 and are having trouble with tier 6 songs, you can just go back and finish whatever tier 2 or tier 3 songs you didn't finish. Since the star rating requirements are so low, I managed to "beat" the game only completing about 40% of the songs (though I went back to finish the others). Another thing that makes the game easy to beat is the fact that the only required songs are very easy. You have to beat the first two songs, "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and "The Unforgiven", and you have to beat the last song, "The Thing That Should Not Be". They're three of the easiest songs in the game, and since you only need to beat 40% or so of the songs to beat the game, you can just do the easiest 40%. So, beating the game is no real challenge, although beating every song is.
Also, there are no longer setlists, so for each tier, you can beat the songs in any order and even skip some of them.
Graphically, it's the best Guitar Hero game yet, although it's still inferior to the versions available on other systems. You'll see a lot fewer awkward animation moments than in previous Guitar Hero games. Remember the stiff drummer (a robot, maybe?) or the hideously ugly singer from GHIII? They're fortunately gone.
Some have complained about the storyline "cutscenes" being too cartoony, but I'd say it's less so than other Guitar Hero games. Still, the Ice Cave (the last venue) felt kind of out-of-place. The "storyline" definitely belongs in quotes as there is not much of a story, nothing worth mentioning at least.
The interface is similar to World Tour, but it's a little different. The songs are now listed like in Guitar Hero III, so it's easier to browse. Also, taking a cue from Rock Band, the game now lets you know during the song what star rating your current score will net you. It presents this as a small number that is hard to read instead of a sequence of stars like in Rock Band, so the system is flawed. However, it's still a fairly nice addition. Scores, however, are a bit problematic. In career mode, scores are no longer saved, only star ratings. This seemed kind of pointless to me, although at the end of a song, it does let you know if you set a new high score even if they won't tell you what your old scores are. Top scores are saved for Quickplay however, although you'll have to dig around through the menus to find them.
Character/guitar customization is just like in World Tour except there are some new bonus characters (Kind Diamond is the only one I recall, but I think there's more).
As stated in my World Tour review, character creation is kind of mediocre, but the guitar customization is nice.
Finally, they've found the sweet spot in terms of difficulty. It's easy to "beat" the game, but it's difficult to beat every song.
Guitar Difficulty: Basically, I like playing songs that I can beat but keep me on edge (stuff like tier 7 of Guitar Hero III). This game is packed with these kind of songs. Guitar Hero games usually go from very easy to very hard as you progress through the tiers. This game trims away the songs from both ends. That is, there are not very many easy songs, but there are no ridiculous ones either. Most of the early songs feel like tier 5 or so in Guitar Hero III and the later songs feel like tier 7 or the easier songs of tier 8. Slayer's "War Ensemble", the only song I have left to beat on Expert, is the hardest song on guitar. It's one of those songs that I've found hard to pass, but not so hard that I feel like I'll never pass it. Other songs like "Dyers Eve" and "Hit the Lights" are somewhere around "Cliffs of Dover" or "Cult of Personality" in terms of difficulty. I failed a few sightreads, but was able to beat everything except "War Ensemble" in just a few tries. So there's nothing as evil as "Jordan" or "Through the Fire and Flames", but there are quite a few "Hangar 18"'s and "Free Bird"'s in the game. One thing I did notice, however, is that there aren't as many 3-note chords as before (although I do recall one 4-note chord).
I'd say this is the hardest game yet for bass. Had trouble with "B.Y.O.B"? Well, just try and give "Dyers Eve" or "Fight Fire with Fire" a shot. The open notes are back and in full force. Overall, the bass difficulty is not unreasonable just like guitar, but it's still very challenging. I haven't finished every song yet, but I haven't had too much trouble so far, so expect a challenge but nothing too over-the-top.
I haven't tried Expert+ yet (drums are the instrument I'm worst on). Like Bass, I haven't quite finished the Drum career yet, but I think it's a lot more challenging than World Tour. Unlike guitar and bass, a few of the songs are simply ridiculous (Dyers Eve, I'm looking at you) and I've failed a good number of my sightreads (first tries). Fortunately, they do include some easier songs, so you can still find plenty to do even if you can't beat everything.
It's easier to get a 100% now, but the difficulty isn't too much different from World Tour. Maybe it's slightly easier on average, but there are a few songs which are simply painful (e.g. Queen's "Stone Cold Crazy", Mercyful Fate's "Evil").
I'm in love. This has to be the greatest Guitar Hero setlist yet. A few of the song choices from non-Metallica bands are a little iffy, but most are pretty good and the Metallica songs are killer. Even Metallica seems to know their early stuff is their best, so the biggest emphasis is on their 80's material (6 of 8 Puppets songs are included), although there are songs from every album including "S&M" and "Garage Inc." There are a few obvious omissions, e.g. "The Four Horsemen" and "The Call of Ktulu", but otherwise it's almost perfect.
Overall, the Black/Load songs and the non-Metallica songs are the easiest, the pre-Black songs are the hardest (with a few exceptions - "Seek & Destroy", "For Whom the Bell Tolls", and "The Thing That Should Not Be" are pretty easy), and the St. Anger/Death Magnetic songs are somewhere in between. Due to having to progress from easy to hard, one would expect to have to play their less exciting Black/Load songs before jumping into their good stuff. However, this is not fully true. For one, they seemed to have intentionally mixed up the eras a bit even if this means a few songs are slightly mistiered...although you are stuck playing quite a few non-Metallica songs in tiers 2 & 4 (on all instruments). Also, due to the low star rating requirements, you can play songs from the late tiers in just a short while. So don't worry. You'll be playing "Creeping Death" in no time.
Like Guitar Hero III and World Tour, saving still takes an eternity on the PS2 version.
I use the Rock Band drums. They work just fine.
Don't hesitate in the least. If you're a Guitar Hero fan or a Metallica fan, this is an absolute must-buy.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 17, 2009 11:35:32 AM PDT
B. C. Betcher says:
Dude, sweet synopsis on this hallowed GH tome. I just bought it yesterday, and as a pre Black Album Fan, I'm absolutely thrilled. This is seriously as fitting an homage as they could have done to Metallica. And I'm surprised overall at the graphical quality maintained on the PS2. They did a nice job here. PS2 Guitar Hero fans, if you're wondering whether or not to pick this title up, I echo Dedlock's sentiments here, don't hesitate to pull the trigger, especially considering the $40 price range. Throw those horns in the air!
Posted on Apr 24, 2009 10:34:22 AM PDT
A. Kulcsar says:
GREAT review. Thanks for it!
Posted on Apr 24, 2009 1:07:18 PM PDT
A. Wodon says:
Can you really use Rock Band drums on this? That would be sweet - since then I'd only need the game, and to find a Guitar Hero guitar somewhere.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2009 4:15:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 26, 2009 5:57:53 PM PDT
Leicester Dedlock says:
Yes, you can use Rock Band drums on this. Since the Rock Band Drums have 1 less drum than the Guitar Hero drums, the cymbals are charted to the red pad.
I haven't tried Rock Band 2 drums, but supposedly they work too.
Also, I use the Rock Band microphone. It works fine. Actually, any USB microphone should work (that's all the RB microphone really is anyway).
Still stuck on "War Ensemble" on Expert guitar. It's harder than I initially thought/posted. It's a one-trick pony, but the strumming speed is hard to determine. I think Slayer's "Raining Blood" from GH3 was easier (which took me dozens of tries to beat, but I at least beat it).
World Tour comparison: Haven't beat "B.Y.O.B." or "Satch Boogie" but I'm close to beating both. Closer than "War Ensemble" at least.
Harder game on guitar: About a draw, but I'll say GH:Metallica. I failed more sightreads on World Tour, but World Tour has more easy songs and fewer semi-hard songs...and no "War Ensemble".
Just have "Dyers Eve" left on Expert bass, but I'm close to beating it. "Whiplash" took me several tries to beat due to the simple but awkward intro. Failed a couple of others on sightread, but beat everything else within 2 tries.
World Tour comparison: Beat every song on bass. "Hollywood Nights" took me 5 tries (fewer tries than I've given "Dyers Eve") and "B.Y.O.B." took me 2 tries. Beat everything else on sightread.
Harder game on bass: GH:Metallica
Beat everything on Expert vocals...on sightread. 5 stars on most songs. 4+ stars on everything (with retries...3 starred "Toxicity" and "Stone Cold Crazy" on sightread). Almost failed on "Evil" (but still 4 starred it). I play guitar more than anything, but vocals are the instrument I'm best at, so that should be taken into account. I take back the "slightly easier" comment and I'll just say it's easier than World Tour.
World Tour comparison: Beat every song, but I at least failed some of my sightreads, e.g. "Good God" and "Never Too Late". I have a fair number of 4 star ratings and a few 3 star ratings, unlike GH:Metallica.
Harder game on vocals: World Tour, no doubt.
I have several songs left on Expert drums (though I technically "beat" the Expert career). I've had a lot of difficulty, so I'm going to start over and finish everything on Hard first.
World Tour comparison: Beat everything, although a few songs took me a ton of tries, e.g. "Hot for Teacher" (friggin intro) and "Soul Doubt". Note: I still haven't beaten either Rock Band game on Expert drums.
Harder game on drums: GH:Metallica. No contest.
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