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Xbox 360 Review: Guitar Hero: Van Halen

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Guitar Hero: Van Halen, the latest Guitar Hero title, contains twenty five epic Van Halen tracks with three classic Eddie Van Halen signature solos. You’ll find many of Van Halen’s most popular songs including “Hot For Teacher,” “Jamie’s Crying,” and “”You Really Got Me.” The game also contains nineteen guest acts including Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” and The Offspring’s “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy).”

In terms of genres, there are a number of classic rock songs including Van Halen, Foreigner, and Queen but there are also some newer rock songs from groups like Blink-182, The Offspring, and Weezer. Because of this, the Guitar Hero: Van Halen game will appeal to both kids and adults that are kids at heart. I was a little disappointed that more of the songs on the game aren’t by Van Halen themselves. Over half of the songs are Van Halen, 28 Van Halen vs. 19 guest acts, but it's not an overwhelming majority. All the Van Halen songs featured are from before David Lee Roth left the band so there are no Sammy Hagar songs. I'm not a big fan of Sammy Hagar but there are probably some fans out there who will wish a few Hagar songs were included.  Probably they ought to have included "Drop Dead Legs" as well. 

All in all though, it's a really great variety of songs which encompass several different difficulty levels.  You can enjoy playing Foo Fighters’ “Best of You” if you’re a beginner to Guitar Hero (like I am) or you can try a more complicated song like “Eruption” by Van Halen if you’re an expert Guitar Hero player (like the kids are).

The animated characters are fairly good. David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen are probably the best done of all the characters. They chose the older versions of the musicians for most of the game. You don’t get to see the band members at the height of their success until the end. The game also lacks the behind the scenes videos included in the Aerosmith version of the game.

The title is not without other extras however.  As you complete a song in Career mode, Guitar Hero: Van Halen introduces players to information from each song throughout the set list in Rock Facts. Even the band’s biggest fans will learn something as they improve.

Guitar Hero: Van Halen can be played with the guitar controller alone or with all three instrument controllers (guitar, drums, and microphone). This is a high energy Guitar Hero game and their fans will rock along with the group’s high energy and attitude.

Guitar Hero: Van Halen is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Mild Lyrics and Mild Suggestive Themes.  This game can also be found on PS3, PS2, Nintendo Wii, and Windows PC.

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About Ellen Christian

Ellen is a busy mom of two teenagers who left the corporate world in 2008 to focus on a more eco-friendly life. She lives in rural Vermont where she juggles family, two blogs and a career in social media. You can find her at http://www.confessionsofanover-workedmom.com/ and http://the-socialites-closet.blogspot.com/.