Guitar Hero II is a music video game developed by Harmonix and distributed by RedOctane, and is a sequel to Guitar Hero. The game was released first to PlayStation 2 in 2006 but later released for the Xbox 360 in 2007. Guitar Hero II challenges players to recreate the lead guitar portions of many rock music songs using a specially designed guitar-shaped controller, based on either a Gibson SG for the PlayStation 2 version, a Gibson Explorer for the Xbox 360 version, or else a standard console controller. As notes scroll down the screen towards the player, the player must hit both the fret buttons on the guitar controller and the strum bar at the same time to successfully hit the notes. Successfully hitting notes improves the player's performance in the game and also raises their score, while missing notes will reduce the player's performance, and a poor performance may end the song prematurely. Each song can be played at one of four difficulty levels: Easy, Medium, Hard and Expert. These levels reflect the number of fret buttons used and the number and frequency of the notes to be performed.
Most songs in the game are covers of the original songs performed by WaveGroup Sound, but there are some master recordings as indicated below. Each song has a lead guitar track and either a bass or rhythm guitar track that can be played in practice or cooperative modes.
Like in the original Guitar Hero, the player uses a peripheral in the shape of a solid-body electric guitar to simulate playing rock music as notes scroll towards the player. Most of the gameplay from the original game remains intact, and provides new modes and note combinations. The game features more than 40 popular licensed songs, many of them cover versions recorded for the game, spanning five decades (from the 1960s to the 2000s). The PlayStation 2 version of Guitar Hero II can be purchased individually or in a bundle that packages the game with a cherry red Gibson SG guitar controller. The Xbox 360 version of the game is offered in a bundle that packages the game with a white Gibson Explorer guitar controller.
Guitar Hero II was originally announced for the PlayStation 2 on April 17, 2006. A demo version of the PlayStation 2 version of Guitar Hero II was released with issue #110 of Official PlayStation Magazine on October 5, 2006. Features of the demo included four playable songs on four difficulty levels for single player and co-op modes. Demo releases do not feature the ability to flip the notes for left-handed players. Demo versions feature the songs \"Shout at the Devil\", \"You Really Got Me\", \"Strutter\" and \"YYZ\". The retail game was released for the PlayStation 2 on November 7, 2006, in North America, November 15, 2006 in Australia, and November 24, 2006, in Europe. It was released as both a stand-alone game, and as a bundle containing the game with a cherry Gibson SG guitar controller.
The Xbox 360 version was released on April 3, 2007, in North America and Australia, and then on April 6, 2007, in Europe (only as a bundle containing the game and a wired Gibson X-Plorer guitar controller). It was released as a stand-alone game for the Xbox 360 in the UK on January 25, 2008. The arrangement of the songs were also altered, and the graphics were slightly improved.
Gameplay is based on the successful formula created for the first Guitar Hero game; the player may use the guitar peripheral to play scrolling notes by holding the corresponding fret button on the guitar neck and simultaneously pressing the strum bar. Alternatively, one can play with the DualShock 2 or Xbox 360 controller by using four shoulder buttons and a face button, mapped to specific fret keys.
Several changes have been made to the gameplay mechanics for Guitar Hero II: hammer-on and pull-off functionality has been improved, and three note chords have been introduced, scored as triple points if played correctly. There are additional statistics available for a song upon completion, and the scores achieved in either Quick Play or Career mode are saved to the same in-game high-score list. The handedness of the guitar can now be toggled from the Pause menu when playing a song (previously, this was only available from the game's main menu). For the Xbox 360 version, scores can also be compared with other players through Xbox Live via the Leaderboard feature, and there are 50 Achievements that can be earned in the game.
Only the lead guitar is available to be played in the Career mode. Over the course of the Career mode the band plays at eight available venues. The venue system from the original game has been altered slightly and has the band traveling geographically from town to town in order to play at the next arena. The venues are Nilbog High School, The Rat Cellar Pub, The Blackout Bar, The RedOctane Club, the Rock City Theater, the Vans Warped Tour, Harmonix Arena and Stonehenge. The venues feature lighting and pyrotechnics that are synchronized with the music.
Successful completion of a song on Medium or higher difficulty during Career mode will earn the player in-game cash. Higher difficulty levels and better scoring performances are rewarded with more cash. In-game money can be used at The Store to buy various items. Some items are available only after completing all songs at higher difficulty levels or 5-star performances. Within The Store, the player can purchase new Gibson guitars, guitar finishes, three additional characters, alternate outfits for the eight characters available from the start, bonus songs, and videos. For unknown reasons, the bonus videos are absent from the PAL version of the game. Within the Xbox 360 version, there is also an option to access the Guitar Hero II content on the Xbox Live Marketplace.
Practice mode is a new addition to the game, allowing a player to practice certain sections of a song (\"Verse 2,\" \"Chorus,\" \"Bridge 3,\" \"Gtr Solo 4,\" etc.) on different difficulties and instruments. Practice mode gives the player the ability to toggle the speed of the notes (Full Speed, Slow, Slower and Slowest) and does not stop a song no matter how many mistakes are made. Players can play the bass guitar lines on most songs. On others, a rhythm guitar line is available instead.
Guitar Hero II features many popular real world Gibson, Epiphone, and Kramer guitars, including the Gibson Les Paul, Gibson SG, Gibson Flying V, (these three being the only ones available from the start) Gibson Sonex 180 and Gibson Explorer. Oddities such as the double necked Gibson EDS-1275 and unusual looking Gibson Corvus also make an appearance. Several available finishes are also recognizable from popular guitarists, including Zakk Wylde's bullseye Les Paul. As play progresses, several custom shaped guitars become available, although some are notable in the real world such as the US and Battle Axe (a similar looking bass is played by Gene Simmons, and the guitar was played by John Christ of Samhain/Danzig fame). Basses, such as the Music Man StingRay, Gibson Thunderbird, and the Höfner bass (as made famous by Paul McCartney, the bassist for the Beatles) are also available for co-op play.
The band itself plays with Orange amps and DW drum kits, along with more in-game endorsements. When the player passes each set of songs in career mode, his/her band is rewarded with money and equipment endorsements, including Ernie Ball strings, Boss effects, Line 6 guitar amplifiers, VHT amplifiers, Mesa Boogie amplifiers, and Roland keyboards. These products then appear on stage while the band plays the ensuing setlists.
Two models of the X-Plorer controller were released for the Xbox 360 version of the game: model numbers 95055 and 95065. Of the two versions, the 95055 has an RJ-11 jack for effect pedals near the controller cord and is subject to having an unresponsive whammy bar. RedOctane later responded, saying that they \"isolated this issue to two model numbers that can be found on the guitar's packaging\". Customers are able to exchange these models for new models.
On April 13, 2007, Activision revealed that the issue was not a problem with the hardware, and that the guitars were not defective. The cause of the problem was anti-cheat protection software, and Activision released a patch on Xbox Live on April 14, 2007, to remedy it. However, this patch may have caused some unintended side effects. Starting on April 16, 2007, numerous users began reporting lockups and failures of their system after downloading and installing this patch. RedOctane stated, \"We're aware of the problem and we're looking into it.\"
Numerous game players have also reported problems with static shocks to the X-Plorer guitars causing various fret buttons (usually the green one) to permanently malfunction. Multiple exchanges of guitars have not solved the problem, as exchanged guitars also exhibit the problem. To date, RedOctane has not solved the problem, and has refused to extend warranties to replacement guitars, time limiting the warranty back to the original date of purchase.
Guitar Hero II, the follow-up to the PS2-only game Guitar Hero, expands upon the gameplay and features of the original game. As a wannabe rockstar, you need to play songs by pressing combinations of five fret buttons on a guitar-shaped controller, while working the strum bar, along with an optional whammy bar for distortion. The sequel contains 64 songs, of which 40 have been licensed. One of the tracks was discovered through a contest at beaguitarhero.com, where unlicensed bands could send in a demo to be included in the game. Most of the tracks have been covered in-studio, but a few use original recordings.
In the multiplayer mode, you can still play the traditional mode from the first game, where sections are traded off between players. The co-op mode is new: both players play the same song at the same time, but one is given the lead guitar, while the other handles the bass or rhythm guitar. Unlike the traditional mode, you can fail and both player share the score, rock meter and multiplier. To activate star power (a short power-up mode where the score multiplier is doubled, built up in a meter by playing a number of star-shaped notes without flaws and best saved for difficult sections) both players need to raise the guitar at the same time. You cannot practice together in this mode, but the different sections are available in the singleplayer practice mode. The final mode is called Face-Off. Here, both players play every single note at the same time. In the multiplayer mode, each player can now choose an individual difficulty level. Upon completing Face-Off, Pro Face-Off becomes available, where both players need to use the same difficulty level. 59ce067264