6.5

Compared to the newer Guitar Heroes, GHII is simply an okay offline only game filled with a cover-infected setlist.

When I first played Guitar Hero II, it was an amazing experience. You truly felt like you were a rockstar playing in a huge arena filled with thousands of screaming fans. But after playing countless hours of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, Guitar Hero: World Tour, and Rock Band. Guitar Hero II simply feels like an okay rhythm game with no online play and setlist composed of nothing but mediocre cover songs (with the exception of Primus's master track of John the Fisherman). Guitar Hero II is much more limited in how many ways you can play the game. You can play a Career which lets you unlock songs and earn money to buy new things, Quick Play which simply lets you pick a song and play it, or two-player co-op or versus mode. The Career mode is fun, but completing it feels less satisfying than it does in Legends of Rock or World Tour. Arguably, the best feature of Guitar Hero II is the setlist. The only problem is that it's entirely covers. Ranging from Cheap Trick to Motley Crue, to Kansas, to Lynyrd Skynyrd, GHII's setlist covers nearly every genre of rock. And while it would be nice to have a few more 60's songs (as well as a Rolling Stones song that people would actually recognize) it's nearly perfect. And despite the covers, most of them sound great, while some sound awful (Rage Against the Machine's Killing in the Name Of cover is horrible). In terms of graphics, they are decent, but far from pretty. The framerate is excellent and the strumming and player's flying fingers on the guitar look excellent (In fact, it looks better than in GHIII). I never bothered playing co-op mode because I didn't have any friends who had a guitar controller that worked with the Xbox 360. (And heck, Xbox 360's were still somewhat hard to find when this game was new.) But the solo modes can easily keep you occupied. So if you've never played Guitar Hero before and you're debating over which version to buy, get Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock or Guitar Hero: World Tour, they're much better! But if you still want to give it a try, feel free. Just don't come crying to me if you don't like it as much as the newer ones.

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