Finally! Here at last, is Guitar Hero III. This review might be a little long, but you'll survive. I've yet to play every single song, but I've played the core of the game, and I'll give a "full" review when I get the game in a few days.
Graphics: 4.25/5 They really aren't impressive, I almost think the Guitar Hero II look is better. The character models in Guitar Hero III look pretty awesome, and the venues look pretty decent, but when compared to little things, like the fans, or the set on the venue, it just looks funky. It doesn't even matter though - who cares about graphics in Guitar Hero? Certainly not me.
Sound: 5/5 Has to be a five out of five. 46 songs in the game, mostly of which are master tracks. Even the covers, such as "Paranoid", sound almost exactly like the real thing. The soundtrack isn't the greatest thing in the world. There are a few boring songs in the mix, but for the most part, this is one fantastic soundtrack.
Control: 5/5 Most people will notice the "hit window" for the notes has changed - it's bigger, so it's easier to hit notes. It's not real big, but there's definitey a difference. With the new Les Paul controller, Guitar Hero III feels really good. [See bottom of page for Les Paul review.] Besides the bigger hit window, this game controls almost exactly the same as Guitar Hero II did.
Fun: 5/5 Awesome game. The one thing I don't care about is a small thing, but I don't like the leaderboards. They are more in depth, but there's a reason I don't like them. It shows your wins for certain modes in online play, but not your losses. You could be the worst player in the world and play a million songs a day and be on top of the leaderboard - higher than someone that's amazing at the game but rarely plays. Still, Guitar Hero III is nearly flawless. Sure, there are less songs than Guitar Hero II, but you'll live. The Co-Op career is fun, although there are some bass sections on songs that are quite lame. Some songs are also quite challenging on expert, including the "One" solo, and, as everyone knows by now, "Through the Fire and Flames" - but who doesn't like a challenge? Guitar Hero III is a lot of fun to say the very least, and with online play, and the new Guitar Hero Community at GuitarHero.com, Guitar Hero III will be played well into '08 and probably even '09 by many, I'm sure.
4.75/5 When I saw the pictures on the computer, I was hardly impressed. I thought the controller looked pretty stupid, honestly, but in person, it's great. It has a glossy black covering, and it just looks much better built than the Xplorer that came with Guitar Hero II, in comparison - there is no comparison. The Les Paul looks much better and realistic than the Xplorer. I'm not too crazy about the buttons on the controller, though. The strum bar is wider than the Xplorer, which is definitely a good thing, and it's quite a bit quieter when you strum, which is really good - but the fret buttons almost feel broken. They are a bit harder to push down, and they make less noise. I'm just not liking that feeling. You can also purchase faceplates for your Les Paul at the price of probably $20-$40 - I'm not sure. All-in-all, the Les Paul is almost perfect, although a little expensive. It's also wireless, which may or may not be a good thing. Sure, there is obviously no wire, but if you play for a long time, you will be using a lot of batteries up, so make sure to have rechargable ones - or use the Xplorer if you have that one from Guitar Hero II.