Guitar Hero: Smash Hits (called Guitar Hero: Greatest Hits in the European region) is a music video game and the fourth expansion game to the Guitar Hero series. The game will feature 48 songs taken from five previous games in the series—Guitar Hero, Guitar Hero II, Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Guitar Hero: Aerosmith—expanding them to be based on master recordings and to include support for full band play first introduced to the series in Guitar Hero World Tour. The game is being developed by Beenox and will be published by Activision for release on the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360 systems on June 16, 2009. It is unknown whether the game will be released on this date in Europe as well, or at a delayed date like most other Guitar Hero games have been.
Guitar Hero: Smash Hits will play similar to Guitar Hero World Tour, featuring support for a four instrument band: lead guitar, bass guitar, drums, and vocal. In addition to using master recordings for each song, the songs have been charted to use gameplay features introduced in World Tour including the open bass strumming & slider sections for intense solos using the touchpad on the guitar bundled with World Tour. Certain songs have been recharted or remixed to be more accessible to the full band; for example, "I Love Rock N Roll" includes a drum and vocals solo without guitar portions that was omitted in the original Guitar Hero, while the piano introduction in "Killer Queen" will be tapped out by the lead guitar player. The game will also include the "Expert+" mode introduced in Guitar Hero: Metallica that uses double-bass drum pedals. The game borrows the graphical interface from Metallica, including the rearrangement of on-screen meters for band mode. Smash Hits will have a Music Studio creation mode and will be compatible with the "GHTunes" custom song sharing service already present in World Tour and Metallica. Smash Hits includes all the game modes present in World Tour, including single player and band career modes, and the 8-player "Battle of the Band" mode.
The game presents a story sequence that ties in with the Career mode, as has been present in more recent Guitar Hero games. In Smash Hits, the players are challenged by the "God of Rock" to play at venues at various Wonders of the World. After completing each venue, the players will earn venue-specific clothing to customize their avatars.
[[File:Ghsm venue.jpg|right|thumb|Beenox Studios developed venues for Smash Hits at various wonders of the world, including the Amazon rain forest.]] Guitar Hero: Smash Hits was announced in early 2009 along with two additional titles for the Guitar Hero series in 2009. Though the game was initially called Guitar Hero: Greatest Hits, the name had changed to Guitar Hero: Smash Hits when the cover art was released to various vendor sites.
Paul Gadbois, developer at Beenox Studios, identified that their goal for the game was to focus on the music from the past games in the Guitar Hero series, and that the selection of the soundtrack was one of the core features they focused on first. They also thought of playing the "greatest songs" in the "greatest places", and developed eight new venues based on Wonders of the World, including "Amazon Rain Forest", "The Polar Ice Caps" and "The Grand Canyon". The team opted to reuse the original Guitar Hero characters instead of attempting to bring in musical celebrities as was done in Guitar Hero World Tour and Guitar Hero: Metallica, fearing that the star power would have outshone the music selection.
The game's full setlist was revealed over the course of April and May 2009 by allowing users to vote on the order of the remastered tracks from the four previous games.
All 48 tracks in the game are master recordings of songs previously featured in the first five published games of the Guitar Hero series: Guitar Hero, Guitar Hero II, Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, and Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. While the game will support user-created songs through the "GHTunes" service (common to Guitar Hero World Tour and Guitar Hero: Metallica) other existing downloadable content will not work with Smash Hits. The following songs have been confirmed to be included in the game.
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