Guitar Hero II (PS2)

A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE By Matthew Fraser I sat alone in my bedroom as I looked at the notepad before me. The candlelight flickered, sending waves of light and dark flying across the paper on which I was

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  • System: Sony PlayStation 2
  • Genre: Rhythm
  • Max Players: 1-2
  • Age Rating: Teen 13+
  • US Release: November 2006
  • Developer: Harmonix
  • Publisher: RedOctane

A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE
By Matthew Fraser

I sat alone in my bedroom as I looked at the notepad before me. The candlelight flickered, sending waves of light and dark flying across the paper on which I was writing. Scribed at the top: “Christmas List.”

Listed down the page was every gift I could imagine. But it seemed incomplete, lacking a vital piece. I stared at the page once more. After a small time of deep thought, I realised the gift I would need.

The day finally came. December 25th. The man in the red suit had come and I saw a long box poking out of the top of the stocking. It was here. It finally was within my grasp. I walked toward the stocking and retrieved the present from the mouth of the glorified sock, ignoring all other gifts. With no care for the preservation of the paper the gift was wrapped in, I broke through the only barrier between me and my dream.

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The discarded shreddings of paper lay still around me. Time stood still as I gazed at the box, inscribed with the name of the present. I flipped it over, seeking out more information about the product. Seeing if all I heard really was true.

I inserted the disc into the console after connecting all I needed to. I held the controller—shaped like a guitar—in my hand. It was sleek, well made. There were five fret buttons on the fingerboard, all differentcolours, corresponding to the notes in the game. There was a whammy bar poking out underneath the strumming bar, which gave me extra points on longer notes.

The menu designs were in classic rock style: hard, messy and awesome. You could navigate the menus with the guitar itself, and I began career mode. Everything about my character wascustomisable—the clothes he wore (after buying an extra outfit), the guitar he played, everything.

Then the game began. A fretboard careened towards me, and small coloured circles representing notes appeared. I held down the colour on the fretboard and pressed the strum bar, and my guitar let out a delightful, lyrical note. Another came, and another, and another. When it finally finished, the game gave me a score and a rating on how well I did.

The gameplay had been perfected since the previous game, I thought, as I rested from my rock outburst. The hammer-on and pull-off mechanics worked much better in this game, and it felt much more slick in general.

I walked over to my computer soon after completing the game, and began to write my review of the game for GameCola. I wrote how the mechanics had been perfected. I wrote how the setlist was great for the most part, the occasional tier of songs containing only some tunes you really can’t stand. I then had to add that it isn’t a true criticism of the game because music taste is subjective.

The game was worthy of great, great praise. Easy modes for new players coming in at parties where this game was sure to be cracked out, and expert modes for people whose sole purpose in life is to play this game. The training mode for the game was much improved, allowing you to slow down individual sections of a song giving you trouble, and also the two-player mode made for fantastic fun.

The game was decidedly simple in premise, but it became a greater game the more I played it. The higher in difficulty I went, the better it became. And once I got to the end of the career, and played the greatest possible choice for a final song, I became more than a Guitar Hero: I became a Guitar God….

  • GameCola Rates This Game: 9 - Excellent
  • Score Breakdown

  • Fun Score: 10
  • Novelty Score: 9
  • Audio Score: 9
  • Visuals Score: 7
  • Controls Score: 10
  • Replay Value: 9
2 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 10 (You need to be a registered member to rate this post.)
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About the Contributor


From 2006 to 2008

Matthew Fraser is a former staff member from GameCola's early days as a monthly email newsletter.

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