Guitar Hero: Smash Hits
Is it too early for Guitar Hero nostalgia? Seems premature, but we live in an accelerated culture, and video games move fast. Here we are, only four years after the release of Harmonix's original PlayStation 2 Guitar Hero title, facing Smash Hits. As the name suggests, it's a greatest hits compilation of tracks from earlier GH titles, now featuring the full band play introduced in World Tour.
The title is designed with one thing in mind: creating for revenue for Activision. This is especially odd in light of the fact that it feels like something that could be addressed through downloadable content, as Harmonix has done so well with Rock Band. While my instinct is to be a curmudgeon, once I dug in, I got caught up again in playing the songs that taught me what music gaming was all about, like ''Killer Queen'' or ''Bark at the Moon.'' It's especially edifying to find out how much fun it is to play old favorites like ''Freya'' by The Sword on drums. In addition, some of the GH I and II songs that were covers are now straight from the original masters. While some of the note charts have been altered (and not always for the better), for the most part it's great fun.
Smash Hits does absolutely nothing to advance the GH brand in any way, but if you've long since packed up your PS2 it's a great way to get your hands on some old-school favorites. You're basically paying $1.25 per song, which is lower than DLC pricing. Not a bad deal if you can handle jamming yet another Guitar Hero box into your racks.