For those who aren’t familiar, this PS2 exclusive game is the ultimate challenge in rhythm and fast finger action – giving you a classic Gibson guitar shaped controller and pitting you against some of the most rocking guitar riffs of recent memory. Some would even go to say that it was the best rhythm game ever created for mankind. And without further ado the sequel is finally here. It’s a godsend for all those people who have been waiting for it (mainly the masters of Bark at the Moon, the hardest track of the original). The good news is that Guitar Hero II packs more of everything you all loved about the original. New modes are incorporated like co-op mode, where one player plays guitar and the other plays bass or rhythm (shear brilliance and a great addition from Harmonix!). A totally needed training system and a difficulty that is sure to please the finishers of the first game. The sequel is just bigger, badder and damn harder than ever before. You thought Bark at the Moon was a nightmare?
Just like the prequel, Guitar Hero II lets you play the game with the RedOctane Gibson Guitar controller. To be honest it’s the only way you should play this game. Using a dual shock controller just isn’t a choice, EVER. If you are the proud owner of the first game then you can buy the game separately from the guitar peripheral, although this time the game comes with a red cherry SG guitar, rather than the black one. Playing the first game also means you will be highly familiar with how the game works, it’s pretty identical to the last. As the coloured notes travel down to the bottom of the screen, the player must hold the identical colour on the guitar controller and get ready to strum the strum bar as the colour passes through the strum circle. It’s really easy to get to grips with but to master it is a completely different story. To pass a song the player is required to keep the rock metre up. To do this is to consistently hit the notes to gain points, keep going and you’ll earn multipliers to really bump up the score. Failing to do this makes the rock metre fall into red and get ever so close to the crowd giving you a bottle in the face.
Guitar Hero II is Guitar Hero on steroids. It takes every formula that made the original a classic and pumps it up full of goodies. All the new features are a welcome addition, especially training mode. The increase in difficulty is sure to please hardcore fans and co-op mode can be a lot of fun. It may cause some arguments between who is going to play lead, although that can be easily sorted by playing Pro Face-Off to see who is worthy of the position.