Guitar Hero: Rocking to the '80s
If your "Metal Health" has been going "Round and Round" since you were "Seventeen," then "Hold on Loosely" because Guitar Hero Encore Rocks the 80s is "Nothin' but a Good Time."
The perennial guitar-playing craze has a little more gas for the fire with the release of a new mix of 30 songs made famous by bands from the decade of big hair. Its release offers something to tide everyone over until Guitar Hero III ships later this year.
As with previous versions of the series, you play along with the music using the game's unique guitar, which plugs into your PlayStation 2 like a controller. You have to hit the right notes by following along on the screen, pushing the correctly colored button (or fret) at the right time and strumming the plastic bar, which represents strings from a real guitar.
Because Guitar Hero has become so popular, this time around it is a little easier to practice difficult songs. You can, in practice mode, slow a song so you can learn the transitions better. You can also play just one part of a song; so if the ripping solo from Skid Row's "18 and Life" is giving you problems, you don't have to waste four minutes playing the rest of the song each time until you catch on.
Songs include the Go-Gos' "We Got the Beat," Scandal's "The Warrior," Twisted Sister's "I Wanna Rock," the Police's "Synchronicity II," Scorpions' "No One Like You," Oingo Boingo's "Only a Lad," A Flock of Seagulls' "I Ran (So Far Away)" and White Lion's "Radar Love."
Although billed as an "encore" to the series, it's still a good place for beginners to start.
-- John Breeden II
Guitar Hero Encore Rocks the 80s Teen; PlayStation 2 ($50) Activision