With over 70 master recordings, Guitar Hero III is great fun, even if the learning curve is especially steep.

Those not willing to drop 200 dollars on Rock Band, or anyone who thinks they're a Guitar Hero expert should consider this game a definite buy. Even those new to the music genre will probably enjoy this game more than the previous entries in the series.

Guitar Hero has the same concept and career mode as it always has. The core gameplay is still there, which is expected. Aside from the few minor changes like animated cutscenes transitioning you from one venue to the next, revamped visuals, and new characters, guitars, and finishes, it's essentially the same game.

Newcomers can rest easy since the easy difficulty is pretty forgiving, allowing for people to start out the game without getting frustrated.

There is one thing in Guitar Hero III that will stand out above Rock Band and its predecessors. And that thing is its difficulty. Previous entries in the Guitar Hero series have maintained a good balance in difficulty. The songs got more challenging without becoming overwhelmingly difficult. In Guitar Hero III, that isn't so.

The songs are all divided into 8 tiers, each with their own venue. The eighth and final tier is where most players hit a wall, causing even the most talented GH players to get stuck. This balancing issue as far as difficulty goes will cause some experienced players to back down a difficulty level or so, just to be able to complete the career. Although Hard and Expert players may hit a wall, this huge slant in difficulty is also the perfect challenge for people who think they're good at Guitar Hero.

Guitar Hero III is a great addition to the series, and with its new battle and co-op career modes, its a great step forward. Although there isn't much customization involved, the wealth of content can keep most players going. The difficulty can get a little overwhelming, even if you're an expert player, but that doesn't mean that the practice mode won't help you with that.

Gameplay: 8.3
Sound: 8.5
Graphics: 8.2
Replay Value: 8.6

Final Score: 8.4