'Guitar Hero: Aerosmith' gets preview

'Sweet Emotion,' 'Walk This Way' among songs

NEW YORK -- Real-life Aerosmith fans screamed as loudly as the animated ones in a video sneak preview of "Guitar Hero: Aerosmith" played Friday during a news conference at New York's Hard Rock Cafe. All five band members attended the event to answer questions about the game, which fans got a chance to test-run before it hits stores Sunday.

The premise of "Guitar Hero: Aerosmith" is for players to progress through the band's nearly 40-year career. Gamers have the opportunity to play seminal Aerosmith songs, all taken from the band's master recordings, as well as tracks from artists who have played with or influenced the band such as Joan Jett and Run DMC.

Among the Aerosmith tracks used in the game are "Sweet Emotion," "Livin' on the Edge," "Walk This Way" and "Dream On." The game will be released for Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 2 and 3.

Singer Steven Tyler said the process of animating the band was not easy. Game creators "wrapped me in a rubber suit, and I spent seven hours a day for two weeks getting in there with my hands and making this thing be all that Aerosmith is," he said. Bassist Tom Hamilton joked that the game reminded him of the first time the band was animated, which was on "The Simpsons."

Players begin as guitarist Joe Perry, but completing different levels allows them to also play as guitarist Brad Whitford and Hamilton. The band starts out with club gigs and makes its way to stadium shows.

"Playing the 'Guitar Hero' game put me in that mode of the old songs," drummer Joey Kramer said. "I went back and started listening to the old albums. It's just really amazing. It made me really proud of all of us because I haven't listened to those records in so long."

Perry said the "Guitar Hero" series, regardless of which band's music is used, shows the significant changes in the music business. "Everybody's wondering how they're gonna [sell] their music [and] how the musicians are gonna get paid for it," he said. "I think this is one of the avenues that is gonna be an outlet and it's actually as important as albums used to be."

"Guitar Hero: Aerosmith" is the fourth game in the best-selling, but the first based on a specific band. The fifth edition, "Guitar Hero: World Tour," is slated for a late October release. As tipped here earlier this month, Guitar Hero franchise publisher Activision is expected to announced another special edition of the game featuring Metallica.