Becoming a Guitar Hero

Over the years, I’ve missed out on some good games. Metal Gear Solid, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Halo and Halo 2… the list can go on. Also on the list would be Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero II.

Now, I’ve seen people play the games, I’ve tried demos in various stores over the years and this year’s E3, but I’ve never played it for more than five minutes at a time, and definitely not on my own home setup. I decided it was time to rectify that. I went and spent a ludicrous amount of money on Guitar Hero III bundled with the wireless Les Paul guitar controller.  So far, I’m glad I took the plunge.

When the series was first introduced, I assumed it to be a wannabe of Konami’s Bemani game, Guitar Freaks.  I’d say that’s what it started off as, but it found a following here in the States because, well, the songs in Hero were familiar. I also thought the music in the game would be hair metal, a genre I don’t like.

I really can’t speak for the pre-GHIII installments, but this latest iteration features a variety of music from The Rolling Stones to Weezer to Dragonforce. It’s not all Ozzy Osbourne like I originally thought.

The game is rather easy to pick up, and despite seeing some others play it on expert, there’s really no need to feel intimidated.  Simply start off at your own pace and eventually with enough practice and dedication, you too can become a Guitar Hero.

The downside to the game, as with most music rhythm games, is two fold.

  1. You must use expensive peripherals to get the full effect. Playing with a standard controller just isn’t going to give you the same experience as playing with a plastic guitar.
  2. The graphics in the game are sub-par compared to what other games on a console may have. While you’ll probably be too busy pulling of crazy combos of notes, people watching the game may notice the horrible character models in the background jamming away.

The game is fun though, despite those two issues. Is it worth the roughly $100 investment I made?  Well, I wish the guitar could’ve been cheaper, say, $25 – $30. But in a day where the standard controller runs at least $40, it’s priced accordingly.

It’s definitely a game of skill that could keep me coming back, as it’s easy to pick up and play for 15 – 20 minutes, put down, and come back a week later.

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