Yes, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock has been out for a while, but it took me a while to get it and I needed to complete it before I could give you an honest opinion. Now that I’ve made it through, let’s take a look at how it stacks up. The third game in the Guitar Hero franchise, and the second on the Xbox 360 in as many years, GHIII finally delivers on what the fans have been asking for. From the wireless Gibson replica guitar to online gameplay, both co-op and head-to-head are included, to the inclusion of songs by their original artists, Activision has made some impressive strides improving the game. With Rock Band also being released, they couldn’t afford not to.

Guitar Hero III maintains its familiar look, but the graphics have been enhanced a bit. The lead singer actually looks like he’s lip syncing to the actual song and the character animations of the drummer, bassist and your character have also improved. The real focus of Guitar Hero III though is the music. The set list is a decent size, but the most important thing is having the original recordings on a lot of the songs. While not every song included is by the original artists, a good majority of them are and it makes the experience more enjoyable.

The gameplay hasn’t changed much from previous versions is back, but there are a few notable variations in the differing game modes offered. The addition of online multi-player being and Boss Battles only add further playing enjoyment and mix up the standard gameplay a bit. With online multi-player you can choose to play co-operatively with a friend or battle against an opponent. A nice feature to the multi-player aspect is the ability to choose via the option menu what level you want to compete against with other gamers. That way you’re at your own level and you stand a fighting chance.

The other new feature, Boss Battles has you competing against a couple famous guitarists, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave and Slash from Guns ‘n Roses. In the battles you play small snippets of a song turn by turn like any normal head to head mode, but then you’ve the added conditions of being able to use special powers against the boss. Those powers could be double the amount of notes, a stuck whammy bar, or even a surge on their power amp. These allow you to gain an advantage over them as they miss their notes and their Rock meter drops, ultimately giving you the win… that is if you can survive the challenges from them.

While GHIII is a great game there are some drawbacks. Most notably the outrageously priced downloadable content. For some reason Activision won’t release songs as singles, instead they bundle them and charge a bit too much. Not to mention they’re lack of dlc doesn’t help when you look at how many songs you can buy for Rock Band, and as singles. Overall though, Guitar Hero III is still a great game with a lot of replay value. Activision has a hit on their hands, but they just need to keep the dlc going and for a reasonable price.