|System: X360, PS2, PS3, Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: NeverSoft||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Red Octane, Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 28, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The game is quite obviously geared towards Guitar Hero veterans, yet on easy mode new players will find it possible to get used to the gameplay before kicking it up a few notches. Rockers of all skill levels should be forewarned: a few solid hours of playing Legend of Rock on higher difficulty settings - especially as you progress deeper into the main portion of the game - will turn your finger muscles into soup.
In terms of graphics, the Wii version is fairly weak in comparison to the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions. They still look pretty good, and in the end it won't matter much unless you're watching from the sidelines. Honestly, who buys a Guitar Hero game to look at the pretty visuals in the background? Legends of Rock does incorporate some fun animated cut-scenes in between tiers of songs which provide a bit of as story - albeit scant at best - as your band works its way from backyard gigs, to record deals, and onward to hell for the final showdown.
The addition of a battle mode is a wonderful step in the right direction, but there's room for improvement. As you build battle power (works similarly to star power) you can execute a guitar chop to unleash one of many attacks to mess up your opponent. You can break one of their strings, temporarily increase their difficulty, overload their amp, hit them with a lefty flip, and even steal their power-ups, among other nasty moves. This aspect is a lot of fun in multi-player battles, however, the developers would have done well to include some additional unlockable celebrity guitarists to fight against in the single-player campaign. In career mode, you'll face off in shred fests against Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Slash from Guns and Roses in original compositions. Players are forced to beat them before the song ends or they'll hit you with a face melting solo that will put you down for the count. You'll also run into good old Lou at the end. The dweller among the fires of hell puts up a good fight but he doesn't really count as a well-known guitarist. This is Legends of Rock after all, so it would have been nice if there were more legends to rock against.
Battle mode, a co-op multiplayer campaign, online competition, and eventual downloadable content is going to stretch the game a lot further for a lot of players. The main game, however, is already amazing in and of itself. You'll easily spend months playing through the different difficulty setting to unlock new tracks, guitars, playable characters, and other excellent features. The song selection is so good you'll be going back to re-play your favorites long after you've exhausted the voluminous amount of un-lockable content. Despite a few minor adjustments here and there, Legends of Rock is still 100 percent pure Guitar Hero action through and through. New developers Neversoft have done an excellent job of carrying on the torch, electing not to mess too much with the core gameplay. It's unconscionable to let this one sit on the store shelf if you own a Wii. What are you waiting for?
CCC Freelance Writer