Discover your chops with Guitar Hero III

CanWest News Service
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CALGARY - Following the age-old gaming tradition of If it aint broke, dont break it, Guitar Hero III makes just a few adjustments to its predecessor earlier this year, and the few differences are mostly for the better.

CALGARY - Following the age-old gaming tradition of If it aint broke, dont break it, Guitar Hero III makes just a few adjustments to its predecessor earlier this year, and the few differences are mostly for the better.

But thats whats a little disappointing about this relatively safe title. Guitar Hero III is mostly Guitar Hero II with new songs.

For those unfamiliar with the series, the game has you strum on a mock guitar controller in rhythm to falling notes on the screen. Time it just right, and it sounds like youre the one playing electric guitar to a host of great tunes.

The best new additions? The guitar controller is now a more comfortable Les Paul wireless, allowing you to trash out without worrying about tripping over wires. There are also more licensed recordings of classic rock songs (51 of them), meaning you dont have to rock out to a guy who sounds like Kurt Cobain, you hear Kurt himself. There is also a new battle mode, meaning you and a friend can have a Ralph-Macchio-Crossroads-style duel, attacking each other by hitting perfect notes.

And there are now three legends of rock featured in the game - Slash (Guns N Roses), Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) and Bret Michaels (Poison).

The song selection is fantastic: Beastie Boys Sabotage, Pearl Jams Even Flow, The Rolling Stones Paint It Black, Smashing Pumpkins Cherub Rock, Metallicas One, Guns N Roses Welcome To The Jungle - its almost as if Slash himself picked the tunes.

Then again, the tune selection is a little, um, white-bread. Wheres Jimi Hendrix, Funkadelic, Ben Harper, or the granddaddy of rock himself, Chuck Berry? The other thing is that for a game thats subtitled Legends of Rock, Slash seems to be the only legend present.

Had the character-create mode been fleshed out better, we could have easily made our obscure guitar heroes and played as them. Instead, we have the same caricatures from Guitar Hero II.

Still, these concerns are minor and dont get in the way of this pretty addictive title, which is arriving just in time for the indoor season. But with $100 million in sales in its first week, you might be lucky to find a copy in stores.

Organizations: Rage Against The Machine, Beastie Boys, Rolling Stones

Geographic location: CALGARY

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