Review: Guitar Hero II

Guitar Hero IIWith a little practice, you can become the next Slash, Hendrix, or Peter Frampton!

Well, at least in your own mind. Fresh off the success of Guitar Hero, Red Octane has released the first sequel to the highly acclaimed game. Guitar Hero II features new songs, more songs, new venues, and new characters. The Xbox 360 has even additional features, thanks to the ability to download content, making this game the best Guitar Hero to date.


This game continues in the style of the original. Players press buttons rhythmically to the music as a song plays. The player must press the correct note or series of notes in order to score points and successfully pass a song. The best gameplay occurs with the use of the special guitar controller. Players can feel like they are actually playing a song as the notes scroll across the screen. Take my word for it, this game is addicting! As an added benefit, Guitar Hero II has made hammer ons and peel offs easier this time around, for you experts out there.

For those of you wondering, Guitar Hero is only similar to other rhythmic games (such as Dance Dance Revolution) in that you must keep time with the music. Beyond that, the feel of Guitar Hero II is much different than the dancing games.

The Music

Hopefully, if you are interrested in Guitar Hero II, it is for the right reason… the music! The graphics are fine but do not particularly matter in a game like this. The music selection covers bands such as Guns N Roses, Aerosmith, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, The Police, The Rolling Stones, and more. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the music is played in the game by cover bands. The good news is that it is very hard to tell the difference on most of the songs. Overall, the music sounds great and is a treat to “play.” Still, original music would have been a big plus.

Replay Value / Lasting Appeal

With a boatload of songs, and four levels of difficulty, it is hard to see anyone who likes this style of game putting this one down anytime soon! Again, those of you purchasing the Xbox 360 version have even more to look forward to, as there are ten additional downloadable songs as well as other content. For those of us playing on the PS2, do not be discouraged! There is still enough music here to keep you entertained for a long time to come.


One quick note on the price of the game. If you did not purchase the first game, I highly recommend buying the bundle that comes with the game and guitar controller. A fair price of $79.99 for PS2 or $89.99 for the 360 will make you happy. Otherwise, if you want to purchase the game and remote seperately, prices will easily run you over $100.00, as the wireless guitars are priced at about $60.


Guitar Hero II will keep you entertained for hours and hours. The game presentation is fantastic, the music is great and plentiful, and the gameplay addictive. I’ll be losing a lot of sleep over the next few weeks on my way to rock star fame (in my own mind). Practice makes perfect, and this game requires a lot of practice! The music is mostly superb, with only a few of the cover tracks sounding not quite right. Still, original music would have been great! But this small issue is not enough in my mind to penalize the score of the game. As such…

Score: 5 out of 5

Making sense out of drscotto’s five point scale:

1 – This game is horrible. Do not bother.

2 – Only hardcore fans of the genre or brand should consider this game.

3 – Pretty good game. Several flaws make it difficult to give a higher score, but fans of the genre will love it, as well as some others.

4 – Great game! A fabulous game that either has one or two mechanical (or minor) flaws, or a superb game that just would not appeal to everyone. Also, games may fall into this category because they just do not quite live up to the level of a 5.

5 – Spectacular game! Nearly perfect in design, playability, and expectations. This game can also be enjoyed by everyone, no matter what genre of game it is.


  1. What’s an example of a game that you would give a 1? (excluding such obvious choices like Last Action Hero for the SNES)

  2. Extreme Paintbrawl is always a classic example. If you’ve ever played this game you would know what I am talking about… I’d give it a zero, but there are no zeroes on the five point scale. Otherwise, it would be a six point scale.

  3. joshx0rfz says:

    Damn you and your zero indexing, damn you to hell.

    I’ve thought about picking this up for the 360 and now you’ve made me think about it even more. Right now the 360 is suffering from a lack of party style games. There does seem to be some FPS cornucopia for the xbox 360, it’s nice when other games get spit out as well.

  4. I’m suprised you didn’t mention anything about Harmonix’s next game, Rock Band! Needed for the game is a microphone, two guitars, and a drum kit totalling about $250 in peripherals, but the game is rumored to feature all original music from the actual bands this time around (mainly because Harmonix can actually afford it now).

  5. I’m looking forward to playing that at the homes of other people, because I do not think I’ll crank out $250 for a game. Except possibly when I have a job again.

  6. guitars are gay

  7. Gavin’s a troll. πŸ˜‰


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