Review: “Guitar Hero Smash Hits” [Nintendo Wii 2009]

Amazon GH SmashSeveral months ago, one of my 9th grade history students, knowing that I spend far too much time playing games from the Guitar Hero franchise (even though I am a pretty sick real guitarist) asked me if I was going to buy Guitar Hero Smash Hits this summer. I shook my head and replied, “Nah, not feeling it.” My wife asked the same question as my student a few weeks later. “Nah, it’s a waste,” I told her. So what do I do on the day of the game’s release on June 16? I zip over to Target and purchase a copy of the game, bringing my GH expenditures to over $300.00 since December. I guess you can call me an addict at this point, a sad and pathetic case.

Why should I purchase Guitar Hero Smash Hits if I already own Guitar Hero 1, Guitar Hero 2, Guitar 3, Rocks The 80s, and Guitar Hero Aerosmith? You should not buy this game if you own the originals and only enjoy playing the guitar and bass parts. If you are obsessed with the drum kit (like myself), then it is certainly worth owning because some of the best tunes from the pre-World Tour releases are in the game. If you are one of the ten people in the world that plays these games for the vocals, then you too should get them game.  Additionally, all songs are the original artist recording, which was a rarity in the early days of the franchise.

Other than the song list, is Smash Hits any different from World Tour and Metallica? Smash Hits plays the same as the previous two console releases. This game has a new story line, which is similar to the old story lines, and the menu screen contains a new vibrant color scheme…oooooh, ahhhh.

Were the best songs and smashiest of hits really included in the game? For the most part, the game makers included the best tracks from the early games’ set lists, but several flaws must be noted. From Guitar Hero: The Exies and The Donnas are included instead of Black Sabbath (“Iron Man”) and Megadeth (“Symphony of Destruction”), not to mention Motorhead and Cream. From Guitar Hero II: Reverend Horton Heat and Avenged Sevenfold instead of, again, Black Sabbath (“War Pigs”) and Megadeth (“Hangar 18”). From Guitar Hero III: Priestess and AFI over Black Sabbath (“Paranoid,” see a pattern?)  and Pearl Jam (“Even Flow”). The Encore Rocks the 80’s track selection is pretty good and there is only one Aerosmith song (“Back in the Saddle”) included in the set which is perfectly fine with me.

3 StarsAll in all, Smash Hits contains a decent selection of the greatest hits, but only worth the money if you must have the full band feature and online capabilities (by the way, on the Wii it is virtually impossible to find anyone willing to battle on expert drums). In the meantime, World Tour and Metallica should be enough to hold you over until the release of Guitar Hero 5 on Sept. 1, 2009. -Meds

Set List:

Guitar Hero
Blue Öyster Cult – “Godzilla”
Boston – “More Than A Feeling”
Deep Purple – “Smoke On The Water”
Franz Ferdinand – “Take Me Out”
Helmet – “Unsung (Live)”
Incubus – “Stellar”
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – “I Love Rock N’ Roll”
Ozzy Osbourne – “Bark At The Moon”
Pantera – “Cowboys From Hell (Live)”
Queen – “Killer Queen”
Queens Of The Stone Age – “No One Knows”
The Donnas – “Take It Off”
The Exies – “Hey You”
White Zombie – “Thunder Kiss ’65”
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
AFI – “Miss Murder”
DragonForce – “Through The Fire And Flames”
Heart – “Barracuda”
Kiss – “Rock And Roll All Nite”
Living Colour – “Cult Of Personality”
Pat Benatar – “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”
Priestess – “Lay Down”
Slayer – “Raining Blood”
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith
Aerosmith – “Back In The Saddle
Guitar Hero II
Alice In Chains – “Them Bones”
Avenged Sevenfold – “Beast And The Harlot”
Danzig – “Mother”
Foo Fighters – “Monkey Wrench”
Iron Maiden – “The Trooper”
Jane’s Addiction – “Stop!”
Kansas – “Carry On Wayward Son”
Lamb Of God – “Laid To Rest”
Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Free Bird”
Mötley Crüe- “Shout At The Devil”
Nirvana – “Heart-Shaped Box”
Rage Against The Machine – “Killing In The Name”
Reverend Horton Heat – “Psychobilly Freakout”
Rush – “YYZ”
Stone Temple Pilots – “Trippin’ On A Hole”
The Police – “Message In A Bottle”
The Sword – “Freya”
Warrant – “Cherry Pie”
Wolfmother – “Woman”
Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s
Anthrax – “Caught In A Mosh”
Extreme – “Play With Me”
Judas Priest – “Electric Eye”
Poison – “Nothin’ But A Good Time”
Ratt – “Round and Round”
Twisted Sister – “I Wanna Rock”

GOR Recommendation: Guitar Hero Metallica


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