Bargain Bin Gaming- Episode Nine: Guitar Hero 3

Guitar-Hero-3-Legend-Rock-1593Guitar Hero 3 comes complete with a guitar for just 32 bucks on Amazon and is just 15 bucks as a stand alone game.

Over the past half decade, the “Guitar Hero” franchise has become as evident in our society’s pop culture as the slinky and “Seinfeld.” However, this version of the game, despite new additions like boss battles that add to the fun, continues to provide a steep learning curve that may have finally reached its boiling point for casual gamers. The game is still undoubtedly the king of rhythm games; it’s just so hard at times that the casual gamer will feel lost, rather than embraced.

Despite the game’s lack of accessibility to noobs though, this game is chockfull of the same goodness that made the first two cult classics. It also offers several new additions to the series that make it feel like anything but a sequel with an updated song list.

After developer Harmonix, the company that produced the first two games, went to work on EA’s “Rock Band,” Neversoft, developers of the Tony Hawk and Spiderman games, took the helm and have managed to recreate the great atmosphere in the series without a hitch. They even managed to add in a boss battles feature that allows gamers to play against Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello and legendary guitarist Slash. Feeling something like Guitar Hero’s answer to the mini-games in between fights in “Mortal Kombat,” these boss battles give the gameplay a differentiation that the series just never had before.

Additionally, this version features more songs out of the box than ever before and offers a slew of downloadable content to keep the game fresh for as long as you want to play it. Making things even better is that there are only a handful of covers in the game, compared to the other games in the series that featured almost all cover material. Having the real artists perform these classics makes the game feel that more authentic and definitely lends itself to the greatness the game achieves.

Because of these new gameplay features and plethora of downloadable content, hardcore fans of the series will be extremely happy with the total package this game presents. However, to casual gamers, this may eventually be looked at as the apex of the franchise. Perhaps feeling the brand has to compete with “Rock Band,” Neversoft has tweaked the game’s difficulty, attempting to give hardcore fans of the series what they’ve always wanted.

In the process though, it completely ostracized its casual gamer base, creating a title that past the easy difficulty setting, leaves them out in the cold. If you don’t succumb to this notion, try this test. Let a newbie play the game on medium and measure their perspiration. Then do the same thing with the first or second game in the series. “Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock” is so tough that you’ll turn into one of Pavlov’s dogs every time you play the game, sweating through t-shirts after only a few chords.

For any veteran of the series, “Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock” is a worthwhile addition to your collection and is a worthy adversary in your attempt to become a rock god. However, if you are new to the series, you should either start back at the beginning or free up your schedule. Beating this game past the medium difficulty doesn’t come without a ton of practice and frustration.

About Patrick Hickey Jr. 12824 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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