Guitar Hero: Smash Hits Reviews

  • Mushy2008Mushy2008100,133 100,133 GamerScore
    16 Jun 2009 16 Jun 2009
    27 7 6
    ao33 from scorehero:

    I think the only reason i'm writing this review is because i've been reading alot of really negative comments regarding this game. Some are understandable ("it's missing a song I really like!") some retarded ("I refuse to buy this game because it has a five note chord!"). If you don't wanna read the following non-sense i'll summarize by saying, in my opinion, this is the best game in the series since GH:III.

    What's Good:

    Almost everything. I've noticed alot of people commenting on youtube videos about poor charts but I promise you this is not the case. I'll start off by saying i'm a multi-instrumentalist. My focus is mostly Guitar but I play everything on Expert. I'm good, sometimes great (I had 83rd on GH:III Cherub Rock for awhile and was very proud, lol) but not even close to the best. I'll probably focus this review mostly on Guitar because i've spent the most time with it.

    Alot of changes were made to the charts. Some small, some significant. Some songs easier (Rock N Roll All Nite) some harder (Raining Blood). If I made note of any of the changes in my head while playing, it was either because I liked the change or because it threw me off, expecting something else (one stupid chord change in Lay Down was a real pain in the ass. You'll notice, and miss it at least once. I guarantee.) There wasn't a single time I remember feeling like something didn't belong. The Bark at the Moon solo, in particular, I felt was charted much better. It's actually a bit of a challenge now. And Through the Fire and Flames, while more difficult in some ways, felt more fun to play. I can still only 3* it but I feel like i'd actually enjoy spending time trying to improve. And it's a great way to learn tapping for someone (like myself) who never took the time.
    Raining Blood, after finally getting my 5 star finish on GH:3 it kicks my ass again.

    The second thing for me was the timing window. It feels alot tighter but a little more loose than its been lately. With GH:WT, alot of time when missing a note, it didn't feel deserved. This time any notes I missed my fingers knew I was going to miss them before I actually did. With hammer-ons and strumming especially. Theres nothing more frustrating than missing strummed notes that you KNOW you should have hit.

    Finally, the soundtrack. I don't think it could be better. Maybe theres some notable omissions on paper but when you get through the game it feels complete. All the songs are originals. I was worried about Cowboys From Hell being live but man, you gotta turn that shit up loud. It will rock your face off. The tracks are properly arranged and the system is a bit of a throwback to guitar hero three in the way it's laid out. More the old setlist style. Pressing X in the career song list will give you your best scores and percentages on all songs you've beaten which is one of my favorite features.

    The biggest factor for me is playability. I've gone through the career once by myself, once with my girlfriend on medium drums and I HAD FUN!. At least two of the last three games it's been "Ok, let's get these achievements and get the fuck out of here". If I wanted to play competitively i'd throw on Guitar Hero III. But now I actually want to play. The drums are fun and challenging. Raining Blood is retarded on Expert+. Seriously retarded. The vocals seem to have been improved. At least for more casual players. The few songs I sang, it seemed a bit less impossible to do well.

    For anyone questioning whether or not this game is worth the purchase, I assure you it is. It may have half the songs World Tour has but every song is a gem. Unlike world tour, where three quarters of the setlist suck or just aren't fun to play. The system learned from all of world tour's mistakes and fixed alot of the flaws. And it looks great. HD is the way to be with this game. All the details in the background venues are beautiful. It feels like alot of effort went into the design.

    There are flaws. One of them being the achievements. Either too easy or seemingly impossible. I miss the "5* every song on expert* achievement.Maybe more but I can't really think of them now.

    But really, you can't go wrong. If you think about it... DLC costs $1.99 per track. So it's like the best DLC pack ever, with it's own achievements, a better game engine, a better look, and less than actual DLC would be.

    Go buy it. Seriously.
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    II TITCH IIgreat review and there are more 5* achievements on the way for GH:VAN HALEN check them out on
    Posted by II TITCH II on 19 Jun 09 at 07:57
    nickb2819Dude Raining Blood got much easier. It took me like around 30 tries to beat it in GH3 and I beat it first try here. I don't know maybe I got much better since then. lol
    Posted by nickb2819 on 23 Jun 09 at 08:01
    CliffyTheBeastWell done, Mushy. I pretty much agree with everything you said. This might be my favorite guitar hero.
    Posted by CliffyTheBeast on 19 Sep 09 at 07:01
  • nonzzerononzzero77,775
    21 Jun 2009
    15 9 4
    Guitar Hero: Smash Hits continues the trend of releasing thoughtless Guitar Hero spin-offs started with Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. Guitar Hero: Metallica introduced a few welcome improvements to the gameplay of World Tour, but this game is nothing more than Guitar Hero: Metallica with new songs.

    This game has two things going for it: the addition of drums and vocals to songs that were previously guitar-only, and the nostalgia factor.

    New Instruments

    The addition of the new instruments is a valid reason to want to try this game, but it should be noted that a whopping 12 (that's 1/4 of the entire tracklist) has already been released as Rock Band DLC. So we've been able to do vocals and drums on a lot of these songs already, with Guitar Hero not offering a substantially different experience.


    This leads me to the tracklist. It's not a bad tracklist, but some inclusions (Hey You, Hit Me With Your Best Shot) and omissions (Sweet Child O' Mine, Carry Me Home, Hanger 18) are puzzling. How exactly did they determine what songs were considered "Smash Hits"? Should the game have been called "Guitar Hero: Easiest Songs to Relicense"? The songs on guitar/bass have been recharted and outfitted with the new gameplay additions like extended sustains, tap sections, open notes, which makes the songs more interesting in some cases, but the recharting can also be less fun in other cases. Some songs suffer from being master tracks, like Rock & Roll All Nite, which lacks the solo which made it so fun in GH3.

    The nostalgia factor rest solely within the songs themselves, because the game has not tried to recreate the atmosphere of the previous games at all (with the exception of the look of the title screen menu). We have all the old characters, but we've had those since World Tour. They didn't even try to recreate the old venues, these venues are all new and have little to do previous GH games at all. We don't even get to unlock old GH/GH2/GH80 costumes for the characters that were in those games. None of the running jokes from the other games are there either (FREE BIIIIIIRD!!!) This doesn't seem old, but it doesn't seem new either. It feels recycled.

    DLC Rant

    Why did we even need this game? Why couldn't have all these songs been released as DLC so that we could enjoy them on the main series (World Tour, GH5)? I read some other review refer to this as a kickass DLC pack, but I don't think he understands the point of DLC. With DLC I get to choose what songs I want, in this game you either buy them all or you don't get to play any of them. With DLC I get to have the convenience of not having to switch discs every time I feel like playing a song on it, with this I have to hang on to this extra disc or I lose the ability to play the songs on it. With DLC I don't have to go out and buy another game just to get a rehashed version of the previous game with nothing new to offer except the songs.

    I have a few words on the achievements as well: impossible, tedious. Once you get past all the "gimme" achievements, it's either very hard or very time consuming to get the rest of them. You have to complete every song in the game to get credit for beating the game, but there are 5 careers to complete. You have to play every song in the game 5 times.

    Then there's some of the secret achievements. First, 4 star Through the Fire and Flames on Expert guitar. Well, that's really hard but may be possible with a lot of practice. Next: 100% the Mosh 1 section of Raining Blood on Expert guitar. WHAT?! Raining Blood was the hardest song in GH3 career, the Mosh 1 section was infamous for causing people to fail out almost instantly, and they want us to play it perfectly, without any mistakes? Okay, next: 5* Raining Blood on Expert+ drums. Now they're just screwing with us. There's no way this is happening unless you have actually drumming experience, and not only that, double-bass drumming experience. A lot of these are unreachable by 99% of the Guitar Hero population.


    This game is strictly a rental if you want to play these songs. It's the nature of these games that you'll play through them a couple times and then discard them for more deserving out games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero: World Tour. Don't give Activision your money for this, it'll only encourage them to release more stuff like this in the future instead of focusing on improving their main games and giving the customers what they want.
  • nickb2819nickb2819696
    15 Jun 2009 22 Jun 2009
    24 18 12
    DO NOT buy this game.
    It's a rental, period.
    End of story.

    Remember that really cool idea Activision had with the structure of the career mode in GH: Metallica? Well forget about that, and try to remember the way it was in the old Guitar Hero games. If you want to beat the career on expert, the entire setlist HAS to be complete. Yes, including Through the Fire and the Flames, by Dragonfarce, *ehem* force. Now I'm not sure if its the same way on lower difficulties but seriously, I wasn't planning on beating an entire setlist on expert which I have already beat on expert. And no, the really hard songs on the previous games are still really hard on this game. And the final tier of songs on expert guitar have the final career songs on Guitar Hero 1, 2, 3, and Rocks the 80's, yes Freebird, Raining Blood, Play With Me, and Bark at the Moon, plus Psychobilly Freakout, are all in that insanely frustrating final tier.

    The multiplayer in this game blows big time. One, there's not many players, it's rare to find an 8 player band vs. band match, 85% of the people who has to select the song seem to pick The Beast and the Harlot, TTFAF, Cowboys From Hell, or Play With Me, which doesn't sound too bad but if your going for the win 50 matches achievement, the songs get really old, really fast. Also the point differential is really, really, REALLY stupid and frustrating for expert players playing against someone on easy or medium, since players have much easier charts on medium and easy, they can beat expert players who miss a handful of notes, easily.

    Also, it seemed to me like the HOPO system (hammer-ons and pull-offs) was really screwed in this game(think about a dumbed down precision mode). The achievements are really tough and time-consuming, which is a major turn off because the game features songs us true Guitar Hero freaks have already played.

    Of course it's not all bad though, the idea of taking old songs and expanding them to the full band was a good idea, still would have been even better with the introduction of new songs, but hey, drummers and singers aren't complaining. Charts are upgraded as well, some for the good, some for the bad, and all are now master tracks. WHOOPIE! (sarcasm)

    All in all the game is decent at best:
    -Master Tracks
    -The good re-charted tracks
    -Songs previously unavailable on full band, now are
    -Super. Mario. Bros.

    -Careers(at least on expert) require all songs to be beaten (again)
    -Poor multiplayer
    -Poorly re-charted tracks
    -Difficult game for casual players
    -HOPO's = poo
    -The inclusion of lame, boring songs(Barracuda, Hit Me With Your Best Shot)
    -The exclusion of good, fun songs(Hangar 18, Jordan, Sweet Child O'Mine)

    -Even in full band, how much enjoyment can you squeeze out of songs you have seemingly played over and over and over again...??