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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this rhythm game plays the rock 'n' roll scene for fun, but the lyrical content still includes some mild references to drugs and sex (though these cover versions omit the rare cursing present in the originals). The imagery of the game is likewise invested in a silly version of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll, and presents some drawings of smoking and bottles of alcohol. The game celebrates the commercial bands whose songs it features, as well as Gibson guitars.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
This energetic, fun rhythm game lets players feel like they are on stage along with some of the rockin'-est bands of the last 35 years. GUITAR HERO uses a special guitar-shaped controller that lets gamers play along with authentic-sounding cover versions of popular rock songs by following colored circles on the screen that scroll by in time to the music. The controller is simple to use, but feels surprisingly close to playing a real instrument.
Is it any good?
The gameplay is simple and addictive, and the range of difficulty is such that it should welcome non-musicians as well as push seasoned guitar shredders past their limits. The sound is excellent, from the electric hum of the amps to the cheers of the crowd when players unleash some successful rocking.
Some of the songs are a little off-color, but they are all tunes that are played on the radio. Since this is rock 'n' roll, players will encounter some occult imagery, lyrics about drinking, and some fairly blunt sexual innuendo, but in most cases anything that might be considered offensive really seems more cartoon-ish. These cover versions even omit the rare cursing present in the originals. All in all, it's quite a rush holding that silly little guitar and feeling like you're right up on stage with the Grim Reaper, strumming fast and furious along with Pantera's "Cowboys From Hell."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the creative premise here. Which way is the industry going? Are games becoming more creative (such as Guitar Hero and Karaoke Revolution Party), or less creative (run-of-the-mill first-person shooters)? Families may also want to discuss some of the racier elements of the rock 'n' roll image. Do songs about drinking and sex encourage kids to emulate them?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.