The fact that they can fill a Guitar Hero game with consistently great tracks is testament to Aerosmith, a group often labelled America's greatest rock and roll band. Formed in 1970 when guitarist Joe Perry and bassist Tom Hamilton met Steven Tyler while he was holidaying in New Hampshire, the Boston quintet has sold more records than any other American hard rock act.
Their illustrious career informs the structure of Guitar Hero Aerosmith's career mode, which recreates some of the most memorable venues to have hosted them, from their first performance in the gymnasium of Nipmuc High School to their appearance at the half-time show of Superbowl XXXV.
Each new venue is preceded by an interview with the band members discussing its significance, which will be of great interest to this game's target audience - Aerosmith fans.
Guitar Hero enthusiasts will feel at home with the general structure of Career Mode. After selecting the difficulty and one of eight characters, players must strap on their guitar controller and play their way through a setlist. If they do so successfully, they will be asked to play an encore, completion of which unlocks a new venue and a more difficult setlist.
The main differences in Guitar Hero Aerosmith are that the player starts out each concert as the guitarist in a support band and that instead of playing encores, Aerosmith take to the stage to run through some of their biggest hits. While the majority of the game's tracks are by Aerosmith, there is also room for some of the bands that have influenced them, such as The Kinks, and that they have influenced, such as Stone Temple Pilots. This does add some variety and makes the game more accessible to those less familiar with Joe Perry and Steven Tyler.
As you would expect from a Guitar Hero game, the controls are incredibly intuitive when using the guitar controller, and sell the illusion that you are actually playing the song. Aerosmith tracks, with their repeating riffs, power chord choruses and blues solos, lend themselves well to Guitar Hero and pose a stern challenge, particularly on hard and extreme modes.
Playing well at gigs is rewarded with cash that can be spent on guitars, characters and bonus tracks in The Vault. You'll find a host of Gibson guitars, such as the Les Paul and the Flying V, all available in various finishes and colours. Four secret characters can also be unlocked, as well as nine additional Aerosmith songs.
The ever popular multiplayer games make a return, with Face-Off and Pro Face-Off pitting two guitarists against each other in a duel, Co-op allowing one player to take control of the bass line while his partner takes the lead and Battle, in which players can gain weapons to disrupt their opponent's flow. And if you have a Sony Entertainment Network account you can go online and shred with other players from around the world and view the Guitar Hero leaderboards.
Aerosmith has legions of fans and this game is the ultimate tribute, with a comprehensive array of songs and lots of interviews with the band. The classic Guitar Hero gameplay is as satisfying as ever, so you don't have to be a fan of Aerosmith in particular to enjoy this title, and there are plenty of songs from other bands to keep things varied.
In short, Guitar Hero Aerosmith is an essential title for fans of the band and an excellent addition to the Guitar Hero series on PlayStation 3.