Guitar Hero II
Guitar Hero II is a rhythm game developed by Harmonix. It is the second installment in the Guitar Hero series, and known to be one of the best games in the franchise.
Why It Rocks
- Each character represents a different style of rock music. For example, Eddie Knox (rockabilly), Casey Lynch (hard rock/grunge), and Lars Umlaut (extreme metal).
- Unlike Guitar Hero I, the main setlist finally has master recordings ("Stop" by Jane's Addiction, "John the Fisherman" by Primus, "Dead!" by My Chemical Romance, "Possum Kingdom" by Toadies). In the first game, only the bonus tracks were by the original artists.
- Its setlist is very broad, with covers of bands like Guns N' Roses, Nirvana, Avenged Sevenfold, and Lynyrd Skynyrd, Megadeth, Rage Against The Machine and more.
- Pretty good graphics on both versions.
- Great song charting.
- Very good sound design for its age.
- Introduces the famous Xplorer, which is a heavily loved guitar by the community. And the PS2 version has a red SG which looks better than the original SG.
- Also introduces Practice Mode.
- Encores shake up the venues, for example, during Free Bird, a UFO will circle the stage, then the song will start.
- The Xbox 360 version added extra songs, such as "Billion Dollar Babies" by Alice Cooper.
- Awesome bonus tracks like "Jordan" by Buckethead.
- Its HOPO engine is very much improved from the first game, because now you can hold them before they come, and you don't have to worry about missing them or strumming them.
- It also has a calibration system, which helps anyone out if they are playing on PS2 with an HDTV. Because the game is optimized for older TV's, it is almost impossible to play without calibrating the game.
- The insane animations that happen while you are playing on stage look very cool, such as the character walking around the stage, spinning their guitar, and even throwing and catching it.
- The main setlist is mostly covers, and a lot of them, such as Heart-Shaped Box, Laid to Rest, and especially Beast and the Harlot, are AWFUL!
- The Xbox 360 version is also a nightmare to play because for some reason, it has a strum limit, and it is harder to hit notes, which makes FCing songs like Trogdor impossible on NTSC, meaning you would likely have to use Swap Magic to FC Trogdor.
- Some questionable inclusions on the Setlist, such as Trogdor, which came from the web series Homestar Runner.
- The small hit window can make the game very unfair sometimes, especially on the Xbox 360 version.
The game received critical acclaim from critics because of the freshness, improvement over the first game, setlist improvements, and even the quality of the guitar.