So I got Guitar Hero III. At 80% through expert, I think that's enough to write a review. I'm not gonna lie to you guys, it's a definite improvement in terms of graphics. Everything is smoother and cleaner. However, there's ups and downs. I'll start with the ups, because I like to think positive.
In GH I, you'll recall that hammer-ons and pull-offs were nigh impossible. They were NOT FUN. In GH II, they improved that by not requiring you to incite Satan's name in order to actually pull them off. In GH III, they actually took it a step further and one can now pull them off without too much precision, i.e. you can actually hit the notes a little earlier or later. This leeway actually applies to many of the notes in GH3.
Another nice little ditty is the animations that occur between venues. The animation flows very nicely, and I rather like the artwork.
No doubt some of you have noticed the brand new "Battle mode". For those that haven't, the battle mode basically turns the star power into a weapon, jumbling up the opponents notes, doubling them, breaking strings, etc. Now while I'm not a big fan of the game mode, I applaud the innovation. It definitely brings something different to the table. Now if only I could find the songs from the boss battles....
Oh right, boss battles. Those are a little difficult. Often I've found that if you miss the chance to grab ONE power-up, you pretty much forfeit the match, as the computer is like a power-up Jesus.
Got some all new venues, nothing like that GH 80's crap. They are ultra detailed, and crazy colorful.
The final point I'd like to make is the calibration in concerns to lag. In GH II, the "calibrate lag" function was useless. In fact, I ended up doing worse with the lag calibrated. In GH III, it feels like the lag simply disappeared when it was calibrated.
Ok, the good's done. Now for the bad. The character designs seem to have taken a turn for the worst. The lead singer's lower jaw only seems to have grown over the course of the games, looking like any fat on his skinny body as migrated to his chin. He literally has a gigantic square for a jaw. The animations for the characters are a little stiff as well. They're almost mechanical.
The track list, while impressive in number, is ok in my opinion. Granted, this is highly debatable. They decided to include more death metal pieces, though not the ones that are more to my liking. For example, some death metal songs have incredible riffs that are complex and intricate, making an incredible sound. These are.... meh. Again though, this is debatable, as to each his own.
Now the biggest point I want to hit on here is regarding the hammer-ons and pull-offs. You'll recall that in GH II, the ho's and po's (HAW.) were incredibly easy, and looked impressive at that. Usually there were 30 second riffs that were nothing but that without strumming. In GH III, the creators have decided that it was too convienient, and have placed strum notes where normally there'd be none. Now, maybe I'm just spoiled on the ho's and po's, but it feels like having some of the strums were completely unneccesary, and only complicate the game where it shouldn't be.
I think I've hit everything that needs it. If I remember anything else, then I'll post that up. I give the game a 6.5 out of 10. I'm not quite as impressed as I was hoping I'd be. From this, I can gather that you guys should probably go save up for Rock Band. Just go play GH III at your local Best Buy.
EDIT: I beat Guitar Hero III yesterday. PRAAAAAIIIIIISSSSEEEEE
Listening to: UN