The latest incarnation of the video game juggernaut, "Guitar Hero," celebrates the memories of '70s and '80s hair bands that long ago succumbed to overindulging, old age or reality TV. And what a rock-filled jaunt down memory lane it is.
I'll admit I'm a little behind — I only just got a Wii a few months ago. I hadn't picked up a video controller in years, much less spent an entire weekend camped out in front of a TV with friends cheering.
Enter "Guitar Hero 3," a game that prompted so much hair metal whooping, my upstairs neighbors knocked on my door to make sure everything was OK.
Like its predecessors, the game's third installment prompts players to take their band (we named ours Megahurtz) through their career, which begins in divey clubs and goes on to getting record deals, making music videos, and going on international tours. The difference in this version, however, is the song selection — and a superior one at that.
Rock out with the Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the U.K.," Weezer's "My Name is Jonas" and Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black." You never realize what a great song "Rock You Like a Hurricane" is until you've strummed it on your Wii controller.
Along the way, players are treated to (and for me, defeated by) guitar battles with Slash and Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello, whose avatar soundly beat me several times. (If I never see the words "Tom Morello Rocks" again, I will die a happy woman.)
As would-be rock stars play various gigs, they earn nominal sums, which they can spend in the Guitar Hero store, on guitar faces, outfits and, most important, songs. Note to developer: Game needs more like Stone Roses and Kaiser Chiefs, less of the metal bands no one's ever heard of.
Players can choose which level they want to travel through — easy, medium or hard. The easy level gets almost boring after a few songs; the medium level is manageable, and the hard is extremely difficult — at least, at first.
The game finally ends in a face-melting battle with "Lou," or Lucifer, after which you celebrate with your friends and start at the next level. And here was my main complaint — albeit a nitpicky one — with the game; the songs in each level are all the same. I love Heart as much as the next child of the '80s, but if I have to play "Barracuda" one more time at any level, I might stab my ears with drumsticks.
Wait — that's pretty rock 'n roll.