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Guitar Hero Smash Hits

Guitar Hero Smash Hits

Written by John Yan on 5/22/2009 for PS3   Wii   360  
More On: Guitar Hero Smash Hits
When Guitar Hero moved to full instruments, some songs got left behind. Songs from Guitar Hero 1 - 3 only supported one or two guitars but there were some really good old songs that I would love to play using all instruments or sing. Here comes Guitar Hero Smash Hits to help bridge the gap of old and new.


Not all old songs are included of course but there are some great ones to play in the preview we got from Activision. Now, music's a tricky thing since everyone has different tastes but I think Beenox Studios did a good job at mixing up a little variety from past games. These are some of the songs that are on the preview build that Activision sent us are:

Back in the Saddle        Aerosmith   Guitar Hero: Aerosmith
Barracuda          Heart Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
Carry On Wayward Son          Kansas Guitar Hero II
Cherry Pie          Warrant Guitar Hero II
Godzilla           Blue Öyster Cult Guitar Hero
Heart-Shaped Box           Nirvana Guitar Hero II
Hey You           The Exies Guitar Hero
Hit Me with Your Best Shot           Pat Benatar Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
I Love Rock 'n Roll          Joan Jett and the Blackhearts Guitar Hero
I Wanna Rock           Twisted Sister Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s
Killer Queen           Queen Guitar Hero
Killing in the Name           Rage Against the Machine Guitar Hero II
Lay Down            Priestess Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
Message in a Bottle            The Police Guitar Hero II
Miss Murder AFI Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
More Than a Feeling  Boston Guitar Hero
Mother Danzig Guitar Hero II
No One Knows Queens of the Stone Age Guitar Hero
Rock and Roll All Nite Kiss Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
Round and Round Ratt Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
Shout at the Devil  Mötley Crüe Guitar Hero II
Smoke on the Water Deep Purple Guitar Hero
Stella Incubus Guitar Hero
Take Me Out Franz Ferdinand Guitar Hero
Them Bones Alice in Chains Guitar Hero II
Through the Fire and Flames DragonForce Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
Thunder Kiss '65 White Zombie Guitar Hero
Unsung (Live) Helmet Guitar Hero
Woman Wolfmother Guitar Hero II

So with Smash Hits you get a gamut of songs from All three Guitar Heroes, Encore : Rock of the 80s, and one from Guitar Hero: Aerosmith.

A great change from the old songs is that all of the recordings are now master tracks. There won't be anymore coverbands so you'll hear the sounds of the real band members this time around. Some though are live performances by the actual band and not studio recordings. This can be good and bad as I did enjoy some of the covers featured and wished there was a way to switch between the two. In any case, those wanting master tracks will be happy to hear this is now all you will hear on the old songs.

I started out playing the guitar as I was used to some of the old songs and found each song has changed up a bit. Since I am a big Queen fan I started out with Killer Queen. The note pattern has been adjusted to incorporated the new features of Guitar Hero World Tour such as the sequential long notes and allowing the use of the slider bar in some songs. After three songs, I finally found one that did have the slider bar incorporated in Killing in the Name by Rage Against the Machine. The bass will also get some songs utilizing the open string E note where you just strum the guitar without pressing on a fret button. All the songs I played many times in the past have some changes to them so it was a little new to experience. While I would breeze by the old songs on the older versions of the game, there were a few areas that threw me off a bit on all the songs. So even if you mastered some of the old songs on expert, you'll find some new little wrinkles here and there when you replay them in Guitar Hero Smash Hits.

What's nice is the inclusion of the drums and mic into the old songs for you to play. Just going through the songs I was familiar with using the drum or singing was a nice experience. I know when I used to play some of these songs i would imagine how fun it would be to drum to them. Now with Guitar Hero Smash Hits, this is now a reality. Now drums is an instrument that I'm not too proficient in so I only played on Medium through each song. Still it was fun to experience the song with a different instrument other than guitar. Those that are great drum players can use Expert+ mode that was introduced in Guitar Hero: Metallica for dual bass pedal action. Again, if you played them all to death on the guitar or bass, you can find some new challenges trying to drum along or sing the lyrics.


Since it's sort of an expansion to Guitar Hero World Tour, there's nothing new in terms of gameplay added to the game. There's a career mode as usual and it features cut scenes of characters using the familiar cartoon style. You'll have to earn a certain amount of stars to be able to move on to the next venue. There are new venues to play though so you won't just be playing in the same ones as in the previous games. For those that like to create songs, Guitar Hero Smash Hits also features the music maker that World Tour had. While I never did like the music maker as much as some people, there are those that will enjoy the feature in crafting their own songs.

While I did enjoy replaying some of the old songs in both guitar and drum mode, the thought comes to my mind as to why wasn't this just done as a DLC. From what I've read you won't be able to use any DLC you picked up for World Tour on here as well making it an interesting decision. There are a good amount of songs for the price though but coming from Rock Band 2 I do like the integrated experience. Still, if you are a fan of these songs from the previous Guitar Hero games and would like to get the full band experience, Guitar Hero Smash Hits might just be up your alley. Expect a full review shortly after the game's release on June 16th.

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.

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About Author

I've been reviewing products since 1997 and started out at Gaming Nexus. After writing for a few different sites that went under, it's nice to bring back a site that's not dependent on revenue and just wants to deliver news and reviews of products.

I'm married, and enjoy first person shooters, sports games, and real time strategy games.

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