Although I find the very strong tendency of videogame recycling annoying — Ooh! Another gangster game! Hey, here's one where I can be a special ops guy! Yowza! Another big-haired dungeons and dragons game with more townspeople to get hints from! — I am pleased to see the final list of tracks from the upcoming Guitar Hero II.
The sequel, viewed in combat game terms, could simply be viewed as “more missions”, and when you really boil it down to its essentials, Guitar Hero (and its cousins, Dance Dance Revolution, Karaoke Revolution, Donkey Konga and others) is really a dressed-up version of Whack-a-Mole. That would be missing the point, which is to fulfill our rock star fantasies. I have yet to meet anyone with a serious emotional connection to Whack-a-Mole or fantasies about being a world champion at it, but George and I have fond memories of the music and rocking out in our capacities as DJs and bandmates during our crazy college years.
Take a look at the track list, and you'll find both tracks you'd expect — Carry on Wayward Son, You Really Got Me, Sweet Child O' Mine, and (groan) Free Bird — as well as some unexpected treats, including Rage Against the Machine's Killing in the Name Of, Butthole Surfers' Who Was in My Room Last Night, and Suicidal Tendencies' Institutionalized (“All I wanted was a Pepsi! Just one Pepsi!”).
Guitar Hero II is scheduled for release for the PlayStation 2 on November 7th, and the XBox 360 version is expected in spring 2007. Alas, Accordion Hero remains but a dream.