Guitar Hero II

Guitar Hero II

Guitar Hero II is the second entry into Harmonix's popular Guitar Hero franchise, adding more songs and several new gameplay features as well as bringing the franchise to the Xbox 360.


 Getting ready to rock
 Getting ready to rock
Guitar Hero II is the sequel to the wildly successful original Guitar Hero by Harmonix and Red Octane. Utilizing the same tried-and-true gameplay found in the original game, this sequel featured a larger setlist and a number of new features, such as co-op play with guitar & bass. The game was originally released on the PlayStation 2 in November of 2006, with an Xbox 360 version that followed in April of the following year.

The game, like its predecessor, was wildly successful and sold over 3 million copies. This is due in no small part to the varied setlist that spans nearly all genres of rock history and successfully introduced a new outlook on music to a perceptive audience.

New features and modes

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The game play in Guitar Hero 2 did not deviate from it's predecessor much, but it did contain some new features. Guitar Hero 2 added the ability to play a new instrument, the bass guitar (local Mulitiplayer only), in almost all the songs. This also led to the creation of the Cooperative multiplayer mode where 2 players can work together playing guitar and bass to complete a song. Another multiplayer mode introduced was Pro Face-Off. This is different from the Face-Off mode because both players much use the same difficulty level and do not alternate playing parts throughout the song. Practice mode was another feature added to the Guitar Hero franchise. This mode let you play songs without the risk of failing and allows you to pick which sections, speed, difficulty and instrument you want to play the song with. Some changes have also been made to the note charts like the addition of 3 note chords and an improvement in the Hammer-on/Pull-of system. In addition to all these features there were also new venues to play at, new characters to play as and new guitars to unlock. 


Disc Track Listing

The PlayStation 2 version contains 64 songs, 24 of which are part of the bonus setlist. The Xbox 360 version contains 10 songs exclusive to the platform, as well as all of the songs previously released on the PlayStation 2 version. The setlist order of the primary songs differs slightly between the two versions, but are mostly identical.

Nearly all of the songs are covers, outside of those denoted with a " -*- " below.

1. Opening Licks

  • Motley Crue "Shout at the Devil"
  • Danzig "Mother"
  • Cheap Trick "Surrender"
  • Wolfmother "Woman"
  • Spinal Tap "Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight"
  • The Toadies "Possum Kingdom" -*- (360 Exclusive)
  • Rancid "Salvation" (360 Exclusive)

2. Amp-Warmers

  • Kiss "Strutter"
  • Nirvana "Heart-Shaped Box"
  • Police "Message in a Bottle"
  • Van Halen "You Really Got Me"
  • Kansas "Carry on Wayward Son"
  • Pearl Jam "Life Wasted" (360 Exclusive)

3. String-Snappers

  • Foo Fighters "Monkey Wrench"
  • Alice in Chains "Them Bones"
  • Iggy Pop and the Stooges "Search and Destroy"
  • Pretenders "Tattooed Love Boys"
  • Black Sabbath "War Pigs"
  • Alice Cooper "Billion Dollar Babies" (360 Exclusive)

4. Thrash and Burn

  • Warrant "Cherry Pie"
  • Butthole Surfers "Who Was in My Room Last Night"
  • Mathew Sweet "Girlfriend"
  • Rolling Stones "Can't You Hear Me Knockin'"
  • Guns N' Roses "Sweet Child O' Mine"
  • Deep Purple "Hush" (360 Exclusive)

5. Return of the Shred

  • Rage Against the Machine "Killing in the Name Of"
  • Primus "John the Fisherman" -*-
  • Sword - "Freya"
  • Thin Lizzy "Bad Reputation"
  • Aerosmith "Last Child"
  • Rick Derringer "Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo" (360 Exclusive)

6. Relentless Riffs

  • Heart "Crazy on You"
  • Stone Temple Pilots "Tripping on a Hole in a Paper Heart"
  • Stray Cats "Rock This Town"
  • Allman Brothers "Jessica"
  • Jane's Addiction "Stop" -*-
  • My Chemical Romance "Dead!" -*- (360 Exclusive)

7. Furious Fretwork

  • Anthrax "Madhouse"
  • Living End "Carry Me Home"
  • Lamb of God "Laid to Rest"
  • Reverend Horton Heat "Psychobilly Freakout"
  • Rush "YYZ"
  • Iron Maiden "The Trooper" (360 Exclusive)

8. Face-Melters

  • Avenged Sevenfold "Beast and the Harlot"
  • Suicidal Tendencies "Institutionalized"
  • Dick Dale "Misirlou"
  • Megadeth "Hangar 18"
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd "Free Bird"

Bonus Songs (all original recordings)

  • All That Remains "Six"
  • Anarchy Club "Collide"
  • Bang Camaro "Push Push (Lady Lightning)"
  • Brian Kahanek "Gemini"
  • Buckethead "Jordan"
  • Count Zero "Radium Eyes"
  • Dethklok "Thunderhorse"
  • Drist "Arterial Black"
  • Every Time I Die "The New Black"
  • Freezepop "Less Talk, More Rokk"
  • Honest Bob and the Factory-to-Dealer Incentives "Soy Bomb"
  • Made In Mexico "Yes We Can"
  • Megasus "Red Lottery"
  • Noble Rot "Kicked to the Curb" (360 Exclusive)
  • Ounce of Self "Drink Up" (360 Exclusive)
  • Shadows Fall "The Light That Blinds"
  • Strong Bad "Trogdor"
  • That Handsome Devil "Elephant Bones"
  • The Acro-bats "Laughtrack"
  • The Amazing Crowns "Mr. Fix It"
  • The Breaking Wheel "One For The Road"
  • The Last Vegas "Raw Dog" (Winner of the Be a Guitar Hero Contest)
  • The Neighborhoods "Parasite"
  • Vagiant "FTK"
  • Valient Thorr "Fall of Pangea"
  • Voivod "X-Stream"

Gameplay Terminology / Techniques

In addition to abbreviations of acknowledged "official" terms such as HOPO (hammer-on, pull-off), a number of abbreviations and additional terms have arisen from the Guitar Hero community to denote certain "advanced" feats and techniques. These include:

  • FC - "FC" stands for "full combo", or, hitting 100% of the notes in a song without losing one's score multiplier. This would require that the player not strum during a sustained note or in between notes (i.e. "over-strumming"), since such an action counts as a "miss" and throttles your score multiplier back down to its minimum. Many players have tried to compete against each other to see who could FC a certain song.
  • Squeeze - "Squeezing" refers to a point-maximizing technique that combines Star Power with the exploitation of the very slight leeway the game offers with regards to your timing. In other words, if you play a note only very slightly early or late, the game will still register a successful hit. Players have used this leeway to successfully play -- or "squeeze" in -- an extra note before the double-multiplier (granted while Star Power is activated) wears off, by playing said extra note early, thus granting double the points for that note or chord.
  • Early Whammying - "Early Whammying" refers to a technique that allows players to obtain the maximum amount of star power from held notes.  To early whammy, a player must hit the held note as early as the timing window will allow and immediately begin whammying afterwards.  Held notes under star power phrases can continue to give star power even after they've stopped giving points so this allows players to increase the star power recieved from an individual phrase.  This technique is usually used in conjunction with squeezing in order to maximize a players score.
  • Tap - As real guitarists employ "finger-tapping" to play extra notes by using the fingers on their strumming hands to "tap" the fret-board, Guitar Hero players have replicated this technique to play hammer-on/pull-off passages that would normally require almost impossibly-fast left-hand fretting. In Guitar Hero II, the quick trills of the bonus song "Jordan" by Buckethead are prime examples of where tapping can be useful. (An example of a finger-trapping guide on
  • -# - The minus sign, followed by a number, is a quickhand notation of how many notes were missed during a run of a song, usually used to denote just how close one was to hitting 100% of the notes. For instance, -1 indicates that one was a single note or chord away from hitting 100%. Note that interrupting a sustained note doesn't count against the player in the "Notes Played" section of the Extra Stats sheet, and thus doesn't count in the minus rating.
  • Ticks - "A "tick" is the individual increment that held notes increase a player's score at.  A single tick is worth 1 point with a 1x multiplier and 4 points at a 4x multiplier.