A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know there is no violence, sexual content, or swearing in this game, though some lyrics might offend including Accept's "Balls to the Wall" and the Vapors' "(I Think I'm) Turning Japanese." This a fun game for families to explore together because everyone who likes music will enjoy these music/rhythm games.
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What's it about?
Like the other Guitar Hero games, in GUITAR HERO ENCORE: ROCKS THE 80S you can choose an on-screen character, a name for your band, and whether you'd like to play an individual song or the meatier Career mode (where you to work your way up from a teeny bar to a huge outdoor stadium.) Song selections range from head-banging rockers such as The Scorpions' "No One Like You," Twisted Sister's "I Wanna Rock," and Quiet Riot's "Metal Health" to pop hits such as Flock of Seagulls' "I Ran," The Romantics' "What I Like About You," The Vapors' "Turning Japanese," and The Go Go's "We Got the Beat" -- they're all cover tunes but sound very close to the original recordings. Cooperative and competitive two-player modes add to the fun, allowing a friend to plug in a second guitar controller to jam (one takes lead; the other rhythm guitar or bass) or compete in a duel to see who can rack up the most points.
Is it any good?
Unfortunately, a handful of the 30 or so songs seem like filler material, such as obscure tracks from Faster Pussycat, Oingo Boingo, X, and Limozeen. Plus, in some cases, the game makers curiously opted for less popular cover versions of songs instead of the originals such as Krokus' "Ballroom Blitz" or White Lion's "Radar Love."
Aside from some questionable songs, another issue with the game is the $50 price tag, which is relatively high for a PS2 game, not to mention you need to pick up the guitar separately for about $60 for the wireless model. But fans of these Guitar Hero games should be satisfied with this interactive tribute to the '80s. Headband is optional.
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