Only 30 percent of GH: Aerosmith's tracklist consists of bands other than Aerosmith. Most of the songs, such as The Cult's "She Sells Sanctuary," The Kinks' "All Day and All of the Night," Ted Nugent's "Cat Scratch Fever," and Mott The Hoople's "All the Young Dudes" are classic rock. The rest of the songs, such as "Always on the Run" by Lenny Kravitz featuring Slash and "Hard to Handle" by the Black Crowes are a little more modern, but none are more recent than Stone Temple Pilot's "Sex Type Thing" from 1992.
There are plenty of multiplayer options in GH: Aerosmith, but none of them are new to the series. You can play songs cooperatively with another player, though it's not necessary to do so to unlock all of the game's songs. One person plays lead guitar while the other plays rhythm guitar or bass depending on the song. Be warned: Even on expert difficulty, bass isn't difficult at all, so one player might be in for a less-than-thrilling experience. You can go head-to-head with another person both offline and online. Face-offs have you each play on the same difficulty and alternate riffs; both people play the same parts in Pro Face-off but are able to choose their own difficulty. Last and least is the lame Battle mode that lets you "attack" your opponent with broken strings or double, flipped, or flashing notes. Losing because of a fake broken string wasn't fun before, is not fun now, and will never be fun. Thankfully, the only time you're forced into a battle is during the single-player career in a solitary encounter against Joe Perry.
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith's presentation isn't markedly better than the last game, but it does differ in several ways. Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Tom Hamilton, and Joey Kramer are all here (though only Perry, Whitford, and Hamilton are playable) in slightly realistic, mostly cartoony video game form. Career mode has also been tweaked a bit to take advantage of the band's presence. Each of the six venues has a special meaning to the band. For example, the high school gym was where they played their first gig, the Orpheum Theatre was the site of the band's big comeback, and the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame is pretty self explanatory. Before your first gig in each venue, a short video clip plays of the band members reminiscing about that particular location. These videos look low-budget and certainly aren't in-depth, but they're a neat way of integrating the band into the experience.
Band documentary or police footage of a victim describing a horrific crime? Play the game to find out.
While it's entertaining to see a virtual Steven Tyler prance about the stage in a high school gym, the band's music is the real highlight of the show. The music sounds great and the songs that the band rerecorded for the game ("Dream On" being one) sound just like they did on the albums--possibly even better. It's always nice to have the original version of a song, but a few of the non-Aerosmith songs such as "Hard to Handle" and "All the Young Dudes" are covers. All of them are well done, so it's not a huge deal.
The biggest knocks against GH: Aerosmith are that it only has 41 songs (versus 70+ in GHIII), and if you're a Guitar Hero fan who doesn't like Aerosmith, you're not going to like a huge chunk of the game. If you're a big fan of the group you might enjoy the brief documentary videos, as well as seeing the band in video game form, but there's not much here for you if you're not fan or were hoping for new game modes. What's here is a lot of fun, but there's not enough content to justify charging full price.