Any song you want, so long as it’s metal

PSYCHOBILLY FREAKOUT! That one lyric is the only way I can differentiate that song from the eighty other relentless guitar solos. Honestly.

Now I’m not saying Guitar Hero 2 is bad — far from it. The practice mode is a welcome change, the co-op (while I haven’t gotten to try it out yet) seems fun as all hell, and playing three note chords feels strangely awesome to me.The problem is the songs. Music games like Guitar Hero live and die by the quality of their soundtrack, which is why the first game sold so damn well. It had its fair share of hardcore death metal, but it also interspersed pop, country, and funk songs that most people were pretty familiar with.This time around, not so much. After the third tier of songs (which include some pretty good ones, like Strummer, You Really Got Me and Search and Destroy), the soundtrack seems to become almost solely hardcore metal. Whereas the guitar almost always accompanied lyrics in the first GH, everything after the halfway point of GH2 basically boils down to one extended guitar solo, with the lyrics having little to no effect on what you’re playing (see: Institutionalized). I can’t even mentally differentiate any of the songs from each other at this point. Maybe I need to be a bigger fan of metal to appreciate what GH2 has to offer, but the game didn’t get me hooked on any songs I hadn’t heard before in the same way that the first one did (e.g., No One Knows and Ace of Spades).I’m not saying don’t get it, just, you know, be warned that someone with potentially subpar music taste had a hard time getting into it. Freebird is still fun as hell, though.

Anthony Burch