If you aren't a self-masochist, you'll be disappointed. If you are, there's a lot here to entertain you.
NewCode12 wrote this review on .
To continue with the game's flaws, I'll point out the totally uselessness of star power. Sure, it doubles your multiplier, but that one positive does not make up for the negatives. You must lift your guitar controller upwards to activate it, often causing you to miss a note while you do so. Once activated, the colors on the notes on-screen disappear, replaced with a light blue, so you lose that advantage and often miss a note due to it. If star power had activated slow-motion, it might have actually been useful in the harder songs, but the developers had not the insight to include that necessary feature. Also, there are problems with having to use your pinky finger; most people aren't skilled pinky users, though I suppose having to use the pinky finger was unavoidable.
There are four difficulties; easy, medium, hard, and expert. In the latter three, you can gain money from your gigs to buy new stuff at the store, including songs, guitars, characters, and more. The easy difficulty is perfect; it is difficult enough to allow for serious rocking but is very enjoyable to play; it gives the feeling you're a real rockstar without too much stress. After that, things change drastically. Medium is playable, but becomes very, very hard towards the end. Hard is the equivalent of insane, or legendary. Notes come so fast you have to hit multiple notes while strumming multiple times, thus crashing the universe like a copy of Vista. It. Is. Near. Impossible. Now, expert . . . Do a youtube search for "Carry Me Home" and watch "Carry Me Home on Expert." Humans can't do that. This extremely retards what could have been a great game; casual players are limited to the first difficulty. I consider myself a hardcore gamer, but I'm not a self-masochist; thus, I cannot contend on the higher two difficulties. And, due to the game's mechanics, to unlock all the stuff in the store, you must beat the top two - obviously frustrating.
Now, finally on to the good of Guitar Hero II. There is an impressive line-up
of great songs; both young and old will enjoy them, and young may learn to respect the old stuff. Sadly, there is no Led Zeppelin, but a heretical splash screen declaring "Remember, NO STAIRWAY!", an idiotic insult to new guitarists wishing to play the epic of Page. There is YYZ, but the publisher spelled Geddy Lee as Getty Lee in the manual; another foul heresy against the rock gods. Other than those two travesties, the song list is great. Voice work is generally good, except on "Woman;" I can hardly stand that skill-less squeal.
What, you say? No more to add to the good? This game is a frustrating foul-up by the first time you lay a chord on the hard difficulty. But, for the first few days, it is incredible fun. Veterans of the series will love it. Casual players will hate it. The list of songs if fantastic, and the promise of downloadable content will attract PS2 GHII owners. As a bottom line: Don't waste your money if you're not into unbearable frustration and/or hours of practice to get on to the next level of unbearable frustratation. Broken guitars not excluded.