Music is a sort of a big deal for the series. Guitar Hero II features a wide range of musical selections, ranging from rockabilly ("Psychobilly Freakout") to classic rock ("Carry on Wayward Son") to pure instrumental tracks ("Jessica"). The game even features "Freebird," ensuring that all of your virtual concerts end in style. The 360 version expands the song list of the PS2 version by at least 10, offering at least one new tune in each section. Among the new entries are covers of “Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo” (Rick Derringer) and “The Trooper” (Iron Maiden) as well as “Possum Kingdom” (The Toadies) and “Dead” (My Chemical Romance), both of which are performed by their original artists.
Twenty-four unlockable bonus tracks are available in the store; most are from indie groups, though there are a few, like “Jordan”, that were written especially for Guitar Hero II. “Trogdor” (of HomeStar Runner fame) and “Thunderhorse” (from the Adult Swim show, Metalpocalypse) are also available. The overall selection is good, though I would still love some Tenacious D.
Guitar Hero II retains the same visual style as the first. The game's outlandish cast of characters touches on nearly every rock star stereotype. The visuals aren't the most impressive, but at the same time, they work for the game so there isn't much room for complaint. The onstage theatrics have been ratcheted up for the 360 version and feature more elaborate light shows that go on and off in time with parts of songs. It should probably be noted that the game uses lot of rock imagery, including the odd pentagram or demon head. None are used in a malicious way, so they shouldn't present much of a turnoff. Besides, your attention is usually focused on the fret bar.