I’m not gonna throw any SG-like novels at you, but let me just start by saying that the set list is EXCELLENT. There are a few songs I think it definitely could’ve done without, like the Allman Brothers, but overall I was very impressed. There were a tonne of songs I never heard that I thought were pretty great, and a lot of the songs I thought I’d hate turned out to be some of my favourites to play, like “About A Girl” by Nirvana. Now, I’m not gonna try to pass them off as extremely talented or anything, but I’ll be damned if that song’s not a charmer.
There is no Dragonforce equivalent for this game, but “BYOB” is a fucking wrist exploder, can’t lie about that, no matter how unimpressed I am with the real System of a Down. “Pull Me Under” by Dream Theater is supposed to be the monstrously challenging unlockable song, but both BYOB and Scream Aim fire are probably way harder, and the live version of Purple Haze is way up there too. Overall, the challenge is there, but it isn’t there in spades like it was in GH3. If you’ve already mastered expert in GH3, don’t expect anything really new to be thrown at you.
There are a bunch of new features that allow the songs to be played more REALISTICALLY though. For one, there’s a touch-sensitive tap/slide bar on the higher frets of the guitar. I don’t want to explain how it works, the game will do that for you, but I thought I’d mention that it’s there. Also, the long notes that you had to hold in GH3? You can now hold them while playing other notes OVER them. It makes for some interesting new phrasings in the game. And thirdly, a lot of the finger flailing you had to do over storms of white notes in GH3 is replaced by INVISIBLE NOTES that you can just tap away at for easier, more natural “soloing.” The game also seems to be a lot more forgivable when it comes to hammer-ons and pull-offs too.
To sum up, good set list, low challenge.
There is a built-in song creation tool, though, that deserves to be brought up. Basically, you can create your own songs and download others’ online. So while there are no face-meltingly hard songs in-game, some will probably surface online after a while.
There are a few other things I want to mention that don’t have any real effect on the game, but are just really, really cool. For one, the stages in the background. You’ll notice, for example, when playing a Tool song, that instead of the run-of-the-mill stages of most songs, there’ll be huge eyeballs and psychedelic ghosts and shit flying around in front of flashing, colored strobes, in the spirit of a Tool music video. Two, on top of guests guitarists like Hendrix and Zakk Wilde, there are guest SINGERS like Billy Corgan and Hayley Williams, in cutesy, GH-ified GLORY. I thought these things were very very cool even though they don’t enhance the actual gameplay in any way.