Well, it's official. I'll never be a rock star. I know this because I start to choke even on the easy level of Guitar Hero, the new gimmick-controller game for the PS2. But this is irrelevant, because the game is a blast, and is up there with Shadow of the Colossus in sheer genius of game design. The controller (your "axe") is really well suited to the gameplay, and combined with the music score and play mechanics, really makes you feel like you're playing the music of some of the rock legends. All this is wrapped up in a polished and fun rock-themed interface and graphic style that makes you feel like you're clubbing it in your own living room.
The music ranges from Pantera to Boston, and the guitar hero avatars you can select range from angry teen girls (think Avril Levine) to aging rocksters (think John Lennon), so there should be something for everyone who likes rock music here. Best of all, each avatar has his or her own signature style for firing up the audience, which can be triggered by filling up a gauge by playing well, and then doing a rock pose with your guitar to activate it (serious!).
It really is a great game. Steep at $70 (or $140 for two!), but worth it - the tactile pleasure of holding a guitar in your hand and feeling like you are actually playing Symphony of Destruction or You Got Another Thing Comin' for a crowd of adoring fans is an experience you just don't get with the normal controllers. I give it two thumbs up...or rather, two fingers up: the index finger and the pinky.
Rock on, dudes.