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PS2 Review: Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s

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Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s leaves nothing behind from the formula that was last used in Guitar Hero II. In fact, it doesn’t add anything either. Instead of jamming to songs that are popular today, Rock the 80s lets you jam on oldies such as “Turning Japanese” from The Vapors.

Rock the 80s has an impressive song list from the 80s. Sadly, besides from the 30 tracks from the main game, there are no extra tracks.  That really cuts down on the replayability of Rock the 80s forcing you only to play the original 30 tracks.

What does keep you playing the game is the fantastic multi-player. The co-op, which was introduced in Guitar Hero II, allows two players to take on separate roles (lead guitar and bass, melody or rhythm). This feature is the greatest addition to the series, allowing you and your friends to rock out together. In this mode, you also get rated on six stars (1-5 and a gold star for 100%).

Pro-Face Off is another exhilarating mode in Rock the 80s. This mode pits you head to head against your friend to see who can make the most points. The difficulty is set to both of you, (easy, medium, hard, expert), to make it fair game.

Single-player is entertaining while it lasts. That said, the game can be beaten in less than three hours on the hardest difficulty if you’ve played the other games in the series. Each of the 30 songs is spread across six levels and six themes.  The themes range from “Opening Licks” to “Furious Fretwork” – familiar territory to most Guitar Hero players by now.

Guitar Hero Rock the 80s The extras in Rock the 80s are shameful. You can only buy guitars, guitar skins, and one extra character (Grim), from the shop. Each of the characters is outfitted in nice 80s attire. For instance, Grim has 3-D glasses and huge clock chain.

With the lack of extra songs, you really feel like this was just a game to fill in the gap between Guitar Hero II and Guitar Hero III. Although, if you are a fan of the 80s and absolutely LOVE the Guitar Hero series, this is obviously a good buy.

Hitting the Notes

  • Rockin' 80's Soundtrack
  • Great Multiplayer

Missing the Notes

  • No extras
  • Nothing new from Guitar Hero II
  • Small cast of characters
  • Feels like its a game to fill in the gap between the GH2 and GH3.
  • Steep price ($50)

Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Lyrics.


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About Matthew Valdez

  • http://carapescado.blogspot.com/ Cara

    I’m pretty sure Encore is just to tide us over until later this year when they release Guitar Hero 3. And sure, it doesn’t have that much extra stuff, but it is still a blast. I don’t know about you, but I don’t stop playing a game once I beat it. If I did, I’d probably rent from gamefly and not buy any games. So it’s fun, but then I’m obsessed with 80s music haha.

  • Matthew Valdez

    I admit, it is a fun game. I haven’t stopped playing it, especially with family. Like I said, Multi-player surely saved this game.