Guitar Hero II Review

artist: Music Simulator date: 07/17/2009 category: games

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Music Simulator: Guitar Hero II
Release Date: November 7, 2006
Game Platforms: PlayStation 2, Xbox 360
The addictive latest edition of GH is a success, featuring a new bass/rhythm guitar option as well as a diverse soundtrack.
 Experience: 8.8
 Extras: 9
 Overall Impression: 8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (9) 202 comments vote for this game:
overall: 9.7
Guitar Hero II Reviewed by: A3r0sm1th, on october 08, 2008
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Experience: This was the first Guitar Hero Game I played. Let's just say, after playing it at my friends house for 30 minutes, I was sold on this game and went out to buy it the next day! The game has a great setlist of tracks spanning from the 70's to now! I wasn't to thrilled about the bonus tracks (now I know why they weren't included in the setlist... ), but there are a few good ones here and there. Songs from popular artists like Guns N' Roses, Black Sabbath, Nirvana, and many more all attracted me to this game having listened to these Artists' songs before hand. The strumming was a little hard for me at first as well as the multiple-buttons-at-once chords. After practice, I was able to keep up with my friends and beat them on expert songs! A great game for finger exercise and for having partys with your friends! // 9

Extras: Adding Hammer Ons and Pull Offs to the game made it more realistic and similar to the real guitar, being a guitarist myself. The whammy bar added a fun dimension to the game by allowing the player to distort the sound of a long note in order to make the song sound a little different. Star power has always been one of the coolest features of the game! By nailing notes with stars on them enough times, the player could tilt his/her guitar straight up and gain bonus points while watching the different characters do tricks on stage with their guitar. The store allows you to purchase new characters, outfits, songs, guitars, videos, and guitar finishes by using money earned from gigs(performances). A cool feature, for sure! You can buy videos which show how the game was made as well. Lots of awesome stuff on this game! // 10

Overall Impression: This game gives a great variety of rock and metal music so that most everyone can find a song that they like. I love the multiplayer aspect which is great for having a friend or two over. Like I said before, I'm not thrilled with the bonus tracks, but that's just me. I love and play almost every single song on the setlist, which is amazing considering how many songs were out there to choose from for the creators of the game. My favorite tracks are "Hangar 18" by Megadeth, "War Pigs" by Black Sabbath, and "Sweet Child o' Mine" by Guns N' Roses. I love playing this game with my friends and even have Guitar Hero II Partys! I'd buy it again if it broke or wore out from overuse. An excellent Game for guitar lovers! // 10

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overall: 9
Guitar Hero II Reviewed by: Guitarmaster94, on november 06, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Experience: The revolutionary gameplay from the original guitar hero has been taken to Guitar Hero II and it has been upgraded. The game now plays incredibly smoother, and the multiplayer has been upgraded, adding a co-op and new competitive mode. Red Octane has also added a practice mode where you can slow down all of those painfully hard solos. // 10

Extras: From the Rolling Stones to Aerosmith to Nirvana to Van Halen to Rush to Guns N' Roses, the sampled bands here are some of the biggest the world's ever seen. Nope, there's still no Led Zeppelin, Metallica or AC/DC unfortunately, but maybe next time. While most all of the tracks are covers as was the case last time out, Primus and Jane's Addiction turned over the master recordings to "John the Fisherman" and "Stop", respectively. // 8

Overall Impression: Late last year, a then hardware-only manufacturer put it's name on the map with the release of what is almost inarguably the best music game ever released. RedOctane used it's experience making dance and drum gaming pads to design a guitar controller while it simultaneously hired veteran developer Harmonix to create the software half of the package. The result was Guitar Hero, a game that went from almost complete obscurity to selling over one million units in under a year, an especially impressive number considering the bundle runs for $70, but surprising to no one who has played it. It's a year later and RedOctane and Harmonix are ready for their encore performance. Guitar Hero II expands upon the smash-hit original game in almost every way with a greatly expanded (and arguably better) track list, improved multiplayer support, a practice mode and more. The result is a game that seems to have almost everything you could have wished for in the sequel, aside from maybe a pack-in case of beer. // 9

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overall: 10
Guitar Hero II Reviewed by: JL Sevenfold, on november 06, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Experience: Being a lifelong rocker and with a passion for music, when I first heard about this game I was skeptical, thinking it wouldn't nearly justify what real guitar playing is like, although I knew at one point I would have to check it out and see what it was about. When I finally got around to playing it for the first time, I was hooked. The game doesn't really compare to playing guitar, but it's a load of fun anyway. It's really just a button-matching game in the form of air guitaring, but for anyone Who just likes to rock, this is a good game to try. There is a massive range of song styles, from techno to southern rock to heavy metal, so pretty much everyone can find a few songs they like on the game. Even for skeptics, it's worth a try at this game. // 10

Extras: I really like how the game allows you to use techniques like hammer-ons and pull-offs, even if it gets unrealistic (you can pretty much strum once throughout the entire length of certain sections of certain songs and hammer/pull like 100 notes in a row). The game even incorporates a whammy bar, which really serves no point except to help get you star power, which is basically a bonus multiplier. The guitar controller realistically mimics an actual guitar, minus the fact that there are only five fret buttons compared to six strings and 22 or 24 frets on most real guitars. Another cool feature of the game is the ability to play bass, rhythm, or lead guitar tracks, though in career mode you're stuck to lead gtr. // 10

Overall Impression: The game is addicting, and has tons of music to play, but there are a few negatives. You can't play bass in career mode, and gets almost too unrealistic at times. Anyway, if you are thinking about getting the game, get the XBOX 360 version (better graphics, more songs) if you can find it. The only other problem is the guitar controllers- I've heard the whammy bars have been breaking a lot and not working, this happened to my friend but luckily not to me. Also I can never find extra controllers for the 360 version of the game, but that's because it's new. Overall, I give this game 10 out of 10. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Guitar Hero II Reviewed by: Cicatrize, on november 06, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Experience: The user experience in Guitar Hero II is nothing short of spectacular. In fact, the only reason I don't feel it deserves a 10 for this category is because it is much more difficult to "strum" the paddle as quickly as you can strum a real guitar with a pick, and still be on beat. For this reason, some songs on Expert (like Dick Dale's "Misirlou") are extremely destructive to your ego, as well as your wrist. However, the gameplay is so satisfying, the difficulty goes somewhat unnoticed and you can still feel good about yourself "playing" songs "almost" as good as the bands that originally wrote them. This game is every guitar player's dream, and is an exciting alternative to gamers who are addicted to other note-based Games such as DDR and Beatmania. Hell, anyone Who is anyone should have this game in their home. It is without a reasonable doubt one of the most exciting interactive game experiences I've ever had. // 9

Extras: GH2 is packed with so many loveable features, you may want to reconsider purchasing it if you have a spouse Who still loves you. For starters, the thing has a whammy bar. How cool is that? It's used mainly in conjunction with "Star Power" holding notes to build up the star power for later use, but can also be used just for plain fun, and I love that. The paddle on the guitar can be either pushed down or pulled toward you, closely (enough) resembling up/down Strokes on a real guitar. This is a great feature that if the game did not have, it probably wouldn't even be that great, nor would some of the songs even be possible to complete. The biggest feature in the game to me, most likely appreciated mainly by guitar players, is the ability to use hammer-ons and pull-offs. This adds a really nice authentic feel to the game, especially with mean solos, and a few agonizing triplets. The Practice mode is absolutely fantastic. Without it, I don't believe I would have ever passed Megadeth's "Hangar 18" on expert. They allow you to pick virtually any piece of the song, and you can start and end wherever you want. For example, you can start your practice sesson with the 2nd chorus, but also play the bridge, the 3rd verse, and into the first part of the guitar solo. You have four speeds to choose from: full speed, slow, slower, and slowest. And yes, there are a few songs that you may want to practice on Slower or Slowest before you even think about trying it on Slow. Some of the solos are really that difficult. // 10

Overall Impression: With all of that said, GH2 has to be one of the greatest, most solid video Games created in the past few years. If you pick up the guitar and start playing, you will love it. I'm 24 years old, and right after I played my first song in the game, I forgot about the fact that I'm 24 with a plastic guitar around my neck, pressing colorful buttons, and tilting my guitar upward in a very cheesy '80s rock fashion to activate my Star Power for a bigger score. It all just really doesn't matter, because the game is so entertaining, it will steal your maturity for a while, and you won't care. If there was one thing I would change about the game, it would have to receive an online multiplayer mode. If GH2 was online multiplayer, it would easily receive an overall 10 from me, provided the online experience was as accurate as the solo experience. Everyone needs to have this game. Stop reading this review and go buy it. Now. // 9

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overall: 8.7
Guitar Hero II Reviewed by: Donkey Fly, on november 06, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Experience: When I first heard of this game I thought cool, but it's really not for me. My friend then got it for his Xbox 360. I had ago on it the first time and failed miserably. Then next time I went we played it again and I got hooked. So that weekend I went to GAME and bought it for 50. I was hooked on the game for a week or two. After that the passion died out a bit and I lost a bit of interest. It's one of those Games you don't want to overplay which I kind of did. After 2-3 weeks I'd finished the game on all levels and I was trying to 5 star all of hard on expert. The controller is what makes the game. It's very hard to play anything past hard on the pad so the controller is almost a neccesity for a big part of the game and the gaming experience. // 9

Extras: The songs on the game are generally good. You find yourself discovering a few songs that are really awesome. There is a lot of diffent styles from punk to rock to metal to death metal. There isn't really any blues or jazz on here but you won't find yourself craving any. A few of the artists on the game include Spinal Tap, Danzig, Heart, Police, Lamb Of God, Megadeath, A7X and Van Halen amongst others. You'll find classic songs like YYZ by Rush and War Pigs By Black Sabbath (Ozzy Era). There is a multiplayer sections which is decent but I haven't had much time to play it on the PS2 version but I doubt it's any different at all to the Xbox one. It's a good game 2 player but it's best if you have 2 guitar controllers if you want top scores. There is also a practise mode to perfect certain songs. // 8

Overall Impression: This is a great game for the first two weeks but you'll find yourself getting bored after a while. If you play in moderation though you'll get alot of playing time out of it. With the new 'expansion pack' Rocks The '80s coming out soon you'll have more songs to play which will be cool so it's worth getting GH2/1 for the controller for the future. Even though I have been so oftenly frustrated with the game and punch out ina fit of rage due to some songs that seem impossible, it has still been one of the greatets Games I've played for a while and I'm looking forward to Rock the 80's and GH3 which will be out sometime in the future. // 9

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overall: 7.3
Guitar Hero II Reviewed by: Snuffles, on november 06, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Experience: I heard a lot of bad things about this game, they are wrong, it's a very good game, fun, and you can pick a real guitar. I found it interesting, not as hard as I though, but thet might be because I already play guitar. It took a bit of getting used to, I stopped playing it though because I didn't want to pick up and bad habits. It's still a fun game though, be careful not to get addicted though, you will find yourself sneaking home during lunch at school to play it! // 7

Extras: Well it's has great features for a video game, but real guitar is way different and way more challenging then a video game, it's pretty realistic though, sort of, it captures a real guitar but it's also kind of unrealistic too, one string, sorry, it's a bar that moves up or down, 5 frets, oh wait! 5 buttons. But it does use real guitar and have a wammy bar. It's still a pretty fun though. // 8

Overall Impression: Well, I dislike a lot about it because I play real guitar and I find it as a bit of an insult because some people are really good at Guitar Hero II and think they will be way better at guitar then some one that actually plays guitar, wrong, there's too many unrealistic things about Guitar Hero II. Also some people might be kind of good at Guitar Hero II and go but a very expensive guitar thinking thell be Steve Vai in a week, but give it up because it no longer becomes fun and becomes frustrating. I do like on thing though, it's pretty fun but way to addictive and bad habits are going to happen on a real guitar if you play Guitar Hero II. Anyways, I would reccomand this to anyone Who likes video Games and guitar too! // 7

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overall: 8
Guitar Hero II Reviewed by: Sasms, on march 17, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Experience: Well, looking at the song list at the back of the case and the impressive front cover of the game, I was expecting a really good game after playing Guitar Hero III\: Legends Of Rock (I bought GH2 after GH3). When I loaded up the game, I noticed that it was a bit scratchy and the way the whole game was set out, I really wasn't used to it compared to GH3. The one thing that really annoyed me was the timing and graphics of the notes. You had to press the buttons a tad after the note had gone which I wasn't used to and got me really annoyed at. I found myself actually having to try hard (the difficulty) instead of dominating all the songs on expert like I usually do. // 7

Extras: None of the features were new and great to me, but I could see how these would have been really cool when it first came out. The idea of a handheld guitar as a controller is brilliant and I thought was really original. The coloured buttons make it easy for beginners to start enjoying the game instead of being frustrated about missing the notes which is why I also really like the 4 different difficulty levels on each song. And with the amount of songs on there, that shows the game makers have a lot of dedication. // 9

Overall Impression: What I love about this game the most, is the amount of diverse songs on it. This game even got me into some really cool bands that have actually improved my real guitar playing skills after I've downloaded the tabs for them and practiced them! It also helped me a lot with timing and my hand-eye co-ordination and reaction time. Apart from some lousey graphics and a bit off-timed notes, I actually thought this is a really addictive game once your used to it. Get past the first couple of hours, then you'll love it. // 8

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overall: 8.7
Guitar Hero II Reviewed by: I am punk "BF", on july 17, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Experience: Guitar Hero 2. It is a very awesome game, I had Guitar Hero 4 before I bought this and I was actually very surprised at how great this game was. The layout of the screen during gameplay is different from the newer and more recent games but I would have to say I prefer the old look. The fretboard on the screen during gameplay is much wider then the new Guitar Hero games and it is easier to see. One thing that you get in this game that you do not get in the others is the option to choose your characters guitar, and as you progress through the game you can earn money and purchase new guitars and songs and more unlockable items. // 9

Extras: The thing that really was a great feature was that after completing career mode you can still progress and play whatever song you choose, and if you do well you can make more money. I also liked how even after career mode you can purchase songs, and gear, and videos from the in game store. There are lots of things to do with this game such as bass, lead and rythym guitar. It is a great game. // 8

Overall Impression: Overall I would give this game a 9 out of 10. It has such a wide variety of songs from bands like Lamb Of God, All That Remains, Buckethead, Cheap Trick and so many more classics. The only thing I was not extremely happy about was the hammer on feature, it is not too good in this game but it does work. In conclusion, buy this game if you like Guitar Hero, you will enjoy it. // 9

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overall: 6.7
Guitar Hero II Reviewed by: UG Team, on november 06, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Experience: If you just bought Guitar Hero II and are anything like myself and the mass of other GH addicts, you could very well still be hidden away in your room, awaiting the magnificent high you receive upon mastering Free Bird. The game that has been praised by critics and gamers alike is back with a fury, and it's evident that the makers of the game took into consideration any glitches that held back the first edition. For those unfamiliar with Playstation 2's Guitar Hero, players use smaller-scale guitar controllers with five buttons to play along with various songs. The colored buttons correspond to different notes that are shown on your TV screen during a song, and depending on the difficulty level you select, you'll have 3 to 5 buttons to push. If you don't hit all the correct buttons/notes, you fail the song and an animated audience sighs and groans in discouragement. For the average Joe Who might only play guitar (or air guitar for that matter), Guitar Hero has the ability to make you feel like Dimebag Darrell - if only for 3 minutes or so. Everything that made the first edition so memorable - the classic rock anthems, the quirky characters, and mini-guitars complete with whammy bars - has returned, but there's a lot more to the game this time around. The setlist includes everything from Mother by Danzig and Message In A Bottle by The Police to Misirlou by Dick Dale and The Beast and The Harlot from Avenged Sevenfold. The main setback, and it may not bother some players at all, is that a few of the Expert level songs seem impossible at times, with the solos in Hangar 18 and Free Bird being the main culprits. But it's likely that the added challenges on Guitar Hero II will probably make successfully beating Free Bird all the more gratifying. Probably the most helpful addition to the game is the Practice mode. When you do get stuck on a particularly agonizing solo and failing the song, the menu automatically pops up a Practice option. Rather than having to go through the entire God-forsaken song again, you can choose whichever section is giving you grief: the intro, verse, chorus, solo, you name it. You can take another stab at it in full speed or go at a slower tempo to better understand what exactly is going on in the lightening-fast portions of the song. The Practice mode is a beautiful, beautiful thing, and it single-handedly allowed me to get past the intro in The Living End's Carry Me Home. Tackling the hammer-ons and pull-offs has gotten a bit easier this time around. In the first Guitar Hero, there was just too many times that you'd attempt a hammer-on and all you'd hear is the unpleasant sound a guitar makes when you fumble up a note On the latest edition, you barely even need to touch the buttons a lot of the time and you'll hear exactly what you want to hear. Before this glitch was worked out, one too many guitar controllers would almost be destroyed out of frustration. This doesn't mean the songs will be easier, however, so prepare yourself. If you do get easily discouraged, there are some Expert songs that may seem unbeatable, even with the Practice mode. I'm still stuck on Free Bird (the final song) after many hours of effort. However, there are plenty of people Who have successfully completed the Lynyrd Skynyrd classic, so it looks like it will just take a massive amount of patience. // 9

Extras: Characters have become more ornate as well, and you can change the outfits on the 11 characters on top of it. Even a top hat is available for one of the characters, making all Slash worshipers proud. The guitar brands and adornments have changed as well, with choices ranging from one called The Fish to a patriotic, Ted Nugent-esque guitar called The USA. And thankfully, the Grim Reaper is back with his scythe. Multiplayer-wise, you'll still need to get your hands on 2 controllers, but the payoff is big if you do. You can still compete side by side with a GH opponent, or if you want to simply be a quasi band, select the Cooperative mode. If you decide to play John The Fisherman, one player can take the bass part and player 2 can take the lead guitar. Not so surprisingly, the Les Claypool bass part is a tad more challenging than the lead guitar. // 10

Overall Impression: Guitar Hero II is highly recommended for pretty much anyone, even if you haven't tried any other video game in your life. If you work at it, you'll go from the Easy level to Expert in time. To those Who thought the first edition's songs were too easy, you'll be happy to know that Free Bird on expert could very well break your sanity. The game will absolutely give you your money's worth. There's been plenty of back-and-forth talk about how Guitar Hero doesn't take the place of playing a real guitar. That's right. It doesn't. That's settled. Just take it for what it is: entertainment. Guitar Hero II is an enjoyable escape just like any other video game, but the genius is that it adds a killer soundtrack and gives the illusion of being a rock star. Even though most wouldn't admit it, playing along with War Pigs does make you feel a tad like you're stepping into Tony Iommi shoes. And that's not such a bad thing. // 1

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