I went to rent a PS2 game last weekend and found Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s. Prior to that, I’d barely even heard of its existence. This game must not have received much ad and media attention as the others have. Having played all the games in the Guitar Hero series, I felt compelled to rent this one and check it out.
I have to say that overall this game is very mediocre. It only has 30 songs, and you cannot buy bonus tracks in career mode, as you are probably used to in the normal Guitar Hero series. There are indeed a few gems in these 30 tracks, but overall, they should have made a way better setlist with which to showcase the 80s. Those gems in the list for me are: Turning Japanese, Radar Love, We Got The Beat, Hold On Loosely, and What I Like About You. While still fun to play, the rest of the song list doesn’t have nearly as much appeal. There don’t appear to be as many stage characters to choose from, either.
It turns out that this game was released in July 2007, so it doesn’t have some of the snazzy new features that are in GH3, such as a splash indicator of how many perfect notes you have scored in a row. This Encore 80s game feels more like it was pieced together with leftovers from GH2. The menus and look and feel of the game are somewhat simplistic. Perhaps I am being overcritical here. I rented Guitar Hero 3 a couple of weeks ago and I think it is blurring my expectations a bit, since GH3 is way better than this one.
All that said, it is still a fun game to play since I love jamming on Guitar Hero. This game is just a little bit stripped down. I can understand them wanting to release an 80s-only game, but I wish they’d picked much better songs to put on it.