I finally broke down and spent my gift certificate on a copy of Guitar Hero. What got me was Matt’s reminding me on here that it contains “More Than a Feeling” (as made famous by Boston), and this video of a guy playing on expert.
It really does deserve the hype it’s been getting; it’s awesome. Best things about the game, in order of awesomeness:
- They didn’t make it as much a guitar simulator as an air guitar simulator. It’s not about really learning to play guitar, it’s about the rock.
- It’s got a tilt sensor, so to enter star power mode you turn the guitar up on end. Rock.
- The difficulty progression is really well thought out. I went through the tutorial, played a few of the songs on easy level, and I was getting over 90% on each one. So I figured I could advance up to medium difficulty and all of a sudden it was throwing weird colors and solos and chords at me. I went back to easy and worked my way back up, and it’s a lot more rewarding than failing repeatedly.
- They didn’t have to put in a whammy bar, but they did anyway. Rock.
- All the covers are really well done; many of them I can’t distinguish from the originals.
- Supposedly, they really have hammer-down and pull-off moves, although I have yet to be able to pull one off. Rock?
So far the best I’ve done is 99% accuracy and a 332-note streak on “More Than a Feeling” at medium difficulty. And the thing is: just playing a cover version of it, pressing colored versions on a little plastic guitar, standing in front of a TV in my living room, naked, with little pixelated people clapping along, is so freakin’ awesome, that I can’t imagine how the real guy from Boston, playing the real song on stage in front of hundreds of real people, didn’t just explode from the sheer 70s Rock Majesty of it all.
Speaking of exploding, I saw on iTunes that N Sync did a mostly a cappella Boyz II Men style cover of “More Than a Feeling” on their first “album.” It’s almost Lovecraftian — you know in your rational mind that it’s horrible, but you can’t really understand how horrible it truly is until you experience it for yourself.
At the moment, my most hated song is “Crossroads” by Cream. It’s not just that I can’t play it; it’s that I can’t understand how anyone can play it. And this is on easy difficulty. I’m guessing Clapton had a little bit more practice than I have, or else the big colored buttons make it more difficult. Or the makers of the game have a cruel streak, which is why they didn’t use “Sunshine of Your Love” or “White Room” instead. Also, including “Killer Queen” is a little sadistic, because it’s such a goofy and cheesy song and that just adds to the humiliation as you’re reminded you’re no Brian May.
The Gamespot review was right in that the game needs some Van Halen. Some Led Zeppelin would’ve been cool as well. I’m hoping there’s going to be a sequel that uses the same controller.
Also, I don’t really play the game naked, I’m just wondering if people really read these things when I start talking about videogames.