Dressed to Rock this Demo

October 20, 2006 By Glenn Turner

Longtime readers are no doubt aware that, despite loving the tchotchkes that come with them, I have the worst luck when it comes to pre-orders. Half the time, I'm lucky if I even get the game, much less the bonus. For example, remember that Okami art board I posted about? Yeah, it never made it into my hands. That Rule of Rose soundtrack? I'm sure someone hocked my copy on eBay.


So that's why I like Best Buy's current Guitar Hero 2 pre-order deal. For your five dollars, you actually (for once) get the bonus up-front, in a nice little plastic-wrapped box, as opposed to the loose t-shirts you normally get from Gamestop, shirts that subsequently cause you to wonder why there are grease stains all over your brand-new garment. Sadly the printing on the shirt isn't as vibrant as I'd like, so it looses a little luster because of that, but otherwise it'll keep your bones warm while you're rocking out this fall.


And speaking of rocking out, after conquering a week-long malaise I was finally able to take full advantage of this month's Official PlayStation Magazine's Guitar Hero 2 demo. If you had read me the demo tracklisting, I would have scoffed at you and said 'that doesn't rock nearly as much as I want it to,' but oh boy, if that fictional situation had occurred I'd be so deadly wrong.

The four tracks in question are:

Motley Crue - Shout at the Devil
Van Halen - You Really Got Me
KISS - Strutter
Rush - YYZ

Apart from a cursory playthrough, I've mostly neglected XYZ so take that as you will. The other three tracks are magnificently plotted, containing all sorts of fantastic fingerings and, yes, three-note chords. I was afraid that this sequel would lack some of the effusive sense of discovery the first had, but with this demo they really managed to pull out all the stops and have it feel as fresh as the first. In fact, I find myself much more ..animated with the demo than I ever was with the first game.

That's not to say that I don't have qualms. There's a funny bit of latency on the title and options screens, maybe only a half-second delay between when you press to confirm an option and when the selecting has been acknowledged. And the loading-screen "tips" aren't nearly as humorous and insightful as the first game (the one exception being "You only need one person with a mohawk in the band.")


But those are superfluous problems and, even if they remain when the title officially drops in November, they'll be very tiny blemishes on what looks to be a stellar experience.

Update 10/21/2006: Fixed 'YYZ' song title.

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