Guitar Hero II

Game review by
Chris Jozefowicz, Common Sense Media
Guitar Hero II Game Poster Image
Rock-'n'-roll party returns, better than ever.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 35 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages
Violence
Sex

Some songs include innuendo in the lyrics, like "I mixed up the batter and she licked the beater."

Language

Nothing that wouldn't play on the radio, but the song lyrics include sexual innuendo, drug and drinking references, and some mild cursing like "hell."

Consumerism

Includes references to real guitar companies like Gibson and Ernie Ball. Players can buy bonus material at a Guitar Center store. Most songs are from commercial bands.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Songs refer to drinking and drugs. Some of the settings are bars with bottles of alcohol on the shelves.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the songs in this game include sexual euphemism and drinking and drug references, and some of the game takes place in bars. Some profanity has been edited out of the songs, but kids will still hear "hell." Most of the songs are from well-known commercial bands, and the game promotes a guitar store and guitar gear. The game is best played with the special guitar-shaped controller, which adds to the price.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byjtnmom April 9, 2008
Adult Written bytinadow April 9, 2008
Teen, 15 years old Written byjm4392 April 9, 2008
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

The best guitar hero

This is the best guitar hero the really bad words in the songs are edited like in killing in the name in the original the guy says f**k you i wont do what you t... Continue reading

What's it about?

As in the first game, the appeal of GUITAR HERO II comes from the air-guitar-meets-karaoke thrills players get when jamming to some great rock-'n'-roll songs. Although the game can be played with a standard Playstation 2 controller, to get the full experience it is best to purchase a version that includes a guitar shaped controller ($80 versus $50 without the controller). Gameplay involves strumming the controller and pushing fret buttons in time to the music. The new cooperative mode lets two players tackle one song, with one player on lead guitar and the second player on bass or rhythm guitar, depending on the song.

Is it any good?

The Guitar Hero formula is so much fun that even if a sequel were nothing but a collection of new songs, it would still be worth playing. With two guitar controllers, Guitar Hero II is one of the most fun party games in ages. Single players will find a great new addition in the practice mode: On higher difficulty setting, the songs become very difficult. This time around, the songs even seem a bit faster on easier levels, making the game a potential challenge to new players.

Here's the bottom line: Guitar Hero II is just as much of a blast as the original. Players who missed the first game will find the sequel to be a friendly game even for the musically challenged, thanks to the practice mode. And players who already have the first game and have friends to play with may wish to consider spending a bit more for a second controller to go with the new game. Long live rock 'n' roll!

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about issues related to the songs in the game. Do songs about sex and drugs encourage kids to engage in risky behaviors? Does playing along to licensed songs make you want to purchase recordings by a band? Families may also wish to discuss the difference between playing a creative game like this one and a shoot-'em-up game. Which teaches you better skills? Which is more enjoyable and why?

Game details

Our editors recommend

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.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate