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Guitar Hero | Encore Rocks the 80s | review | game | Lollipop

Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s

(RedOctane for PS2)
By Mike Delano

Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s took a lot of heat upon its release for its track listing. It's true that the game has too few tracks (30, compared to twice as many in GH II for the same price) and that it relies too heavily on '80s pop hits (nobody ever dreamed of one day rocking out to "What I Like About You"), but some of the offbeat song choices are straight from the legendary Guitar Hero playbook. Like Helmet mingling with Deep Purple, or Matthew Sweet with Megadeth on previous releases, obvious picks like Ratt and Poison mix it up here with rogue '80s artists like Dead Kennedys and X. The trademark GH gameplay still shines, but the overall package just feels incomplete. The tracks are satisfying, but not very ambitious in scope, no unlockable songs are included, characters and venues have been removed from previous editions, and the whole "big hair, neon colors" '80s makeover lacks conviction. On the strength of the Guitar Hero name, Rocks the 80s succeeds on a small level, but the entirety of its content might have worked better as a future downloadable package rather than a full release.


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