First Impressions: Guitar Hero II for the Xbox 360

Explorer GuitarSo today I was lucky enough to try out Guitar Hero II for the Xbox 360 which is due to hit stores one week from today. I’m sure you’re already aware of what Guitar Hero is, but just in case check out this link for some more information.

Play wise, the 360 version of Guitar Hero II differs very little from its PS2 counterpart. Same five bars, same “notes coming towards you in time with the music,” etc. The graphics are definitely improved due to the 360’s graphical boost, but the most noticeable change (and what I’ve been most anxious to get my hands on) is the new Explorer guitar designed specifically for this version. Compared to the standard guitar that came with the PS2 versions of Guitar Hero, the Explorer seems a bit heavier, giving it less of that toy feel I felt with the original controller. For some reason the whammy bar seemed a little further from the strumming mechanism though but with the new button configuration (see the picture for reference), you won’t accidentally pause the game or hit the select button with your wrist. That means you’ll actually have to work to burn your star power for the 2x bonus by tilting the guitar instead of taking the easy way out.

In short, after getting a taste for the 360 version of Guitar Hero II, I feel that my choice to hold out for this instead of purchasing the PS2 version is validated. Its improved graphics, new controller, ten new exclusive songs, and the addition of Xbox Live for achievements and new downloadable content make this game a no brainer for anyone that has a 360 and has even contemplated trying this game out for themselves.

Guitar Hero II is set to release on 4/3, and if you want to get a taste of what’s to come head down to your local Best Buy as they should all have their demo kits setup and beckoning you to become the rock star you were meant to be.

About the Author

Having over 25 years of gaming experience, Zach knows a thing or two when it comes to one of his favorite entertainment activities. Additionally, he has also written many articles previewing and reviewing titles which can be found in various places around the net, including