I think I’ve fallen into the "Guitar Hero" generation gap.
I found a game — "Guitar Hero: Aerosmith" — that I thoroughly enjoy but that my junior high sons could easily live without.
The T-rated game — basically an expansion of by Red Octane and Activision’s "Guitar Hero 3" — is packed with songs that I loved when I was a kid. Of course, there’s plenty from Aerosmith, including "Toys in the Attic," "Back in the Saddle" and "Beyond Beautiful." The only big gap seems to be "Same Old Song and Dance," which appears on the standard "Guitar Hero 3" song list.
In addition, there’s "Dream Police" from Cheap Trick, "Cat Scratch Fever" from Ted Nugent and "King of Rock" from Run DMC, a special guest who also performs "Walk This Way" with Aerosmith in one set.
However, there are very few songs that I didn’t listen to on vinyl records at one point — an indication that they might not connect with the iPod generation. In addition, the tight focus on Aerosmith isn’t likely to endear the game to non-fans. The dozen tracks from other artists don’t really add up to much diversity.
The game’s career mode is a combination of traditional "Guitar Hero" and a rocku-mentary. Each level features interviews with the guys from Aerosmith and is set at a venue that was significant in the band’s career. Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and the rest tell you about their gig at Nipmuc High School, the Super Bowl or the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, and then you head there to play.
Each level features two songs by "opening acts." After beating them, you play several Aerosmith songs while the band’s avatars perform on screen. Red Octane did a lot of motion capture with the band members — including some sessions focusing on Tyler’s impressive lips. However, it seems some of the edge was lost in the Wii version, which I tested.
Game play is the same as in other "Guitar Hero" titles. You press the colored buttons on the guitar neck and hit the strum bar to match the notes running down the TV screen. It also features the regular modes of play — career, Quickplay, face-off, battle and co-op.
The game is a bit shorter than "Guitar Hero 3," with fewer levels and few tracks that don’t appear in career mode. However, there was certainly enough music to generate a full dose of fun.
Platforms: Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2On the Web: www.guitarhero.com/ghaerosmith/us/