Guitar Hero

For those about to rock, we salute you - AC/DC

IMAGE(http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/files/images/gameplay_01.thumbnail.jpg)

My gamer self is mostly moribund. Her thumbs have atrophied, her hand-eye coordination has diminished, and even a fine party game like MarioKart can hardly hold her attention long enough to complete a race.

But now she has awakened. A game has called her name with irresistible dulcet tones, summoning her to the living room, guiding her to pick up the controller, and whispering into the curved hollows of her ears, "It's time to rock out."

That game is Guitar Hero.

Guitar Hero rocks. It rocks hard, and it makes you believe that you can rock too. It says, "Here, pick up this guitar. You and me, we are going to rock down the house."
The game comes with its own controller, a guitar-shaped thing about the size of a ukulele, with five fret buttons up on the neck and a strum lever and whammy bar on the body. There are also the obligatory "start" and "select" buttons, but you can't rock with those, so forget them. The three-stage tutorial guides you through the basics of playing notes and chords, hammering-on and pulling-off, and then turns you loose on the catalogue of classic guitar rock waiting for you and your diminutive plastic axe.

You can go straight to Free Play which has a few of the songs available for you to play right away and allows you to switch between Easy, Medium, Hard and Extra Hard whenever you choose. In order to access more than the first five songs however, you will have to take on Career mode, in which you work your way up the ranks of posers, playing in sleazy bars and clubs until you emerge as the true Guitar Hero, rocking out to a stadium of thousands. The game offers the choice of six characters and three guitars, but so far as I can tell, these are purely cosmetic details.

I started a career in Easy mode after watching Shawn struggle through the middle of Medium and was glad that I had. Unless your fingers are unusually nimble from, uh, whatever activities you pursue that build nimble fingers, I'd recommend that you start there too. Guitar Hero has a pretty well designed learning curve but things get hard fast in Medium and I was grateful for the grounding that Easy had given me.

IMAGE(http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/files/images/gameplay_05.thumbnail.jpg) IMAGE(http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/files/images/gameplay_04.thumbnail.jpg)

The basic gameplay is this: notes descend from the top of the screen and when they get to the bottom, you play them. The audio track of your playing registers missed or flubbed notes with screeches and plinks and correct notes with glorious, glorious rock. There are two meters on either side of the screen. One shows how much the audience likes your performance and the other shows your score for the song, which tallies as you play. There are a couple ways to boost your score. Enough correct notes in a row will give you a multiplier bonus which can be boosted again by using your Star Power.

Ah, Star Power. Possibly my favorite aspect of Guitar Hero. Some notes are special, marked with stars around them. If you correctly play a sequence of these notes they add to the Star Power bar on top of the audience meter. When you fill up the meter you can activate your Star Power by tilting your guitar upright and pointing it at the ceiling. This is important for two reasons: activating Star Power doubles whatever multiplier currently active on your score meter AND makes the audience love you. This can be a lifesaver when you start to lose it on a difficult song and the audience is starting to boo. Jack that sucker up at the rafters and suddenly you are sex on wheels all over again, baby.

Brace yourself - you get reviewed at the end of each performance. Your percentage of notes played and your score out of five stars pops up on a background of a newspaper article about your show. Once you get into Medium difficulty you also get paid for each show. Better performances mean better money, which you can spend on new songs, new guitars and new characters. You can also buy videos. Of what, I don't know. I've been too busy rocking out for that crap, man. I'm all about the music, you know?

IMAGE(http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/files/images/gameplay_03.thumbnail.jpg) IMAGE(http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/files/images/gameplay_02.thumbnail.jpg)

And what music. Guitar Hero features thirty songs from some of the hardest rockers known to man. They are all guitar rock standards, starting with Joan Jett's "I Love Rock and Roll," and ending with the truly insane "Cowboys from Hell" by Pantera. My favorite is "Take Me Out," Franz Ferdinand, although "Smoke on the Water" and "Ziggy Stardust" are also a lot of fun to rip through. In addition to the more famous tunes that you unlock as you progress through Career Mode, you can also purchase 17 indie tracks. This was a smart and frankly awesome thing for RedOctane to do. They get some kickin' songs for cheap and the indie bands get some great publicity.

I love Guitar Hero. I love the stupid guitar-shaped controller, I love the cheesy cartoonish graphics and the clichéd rock-star posturing and I love the whole concept of Star Power, which is that if you have enough style you can make the audience forget that you suck.

Most of all I love the finely tuned, sharply honed sense that I am, in fact, rocking out. This becomes more pronounced as you move into more difficult songs and harder modes but it is present from the very start, right from the first song in Easy Mode. You feel ridiculous standing there with the little plastic guitar strung around your neck...and then you play that first note and you feel like a f*cking rock star, man. Yeah.

For those who made it possible for me to rock, I salute you.

Licensed songs, and the bands that made them famous:

• Motorhead - "Ace of Spades"
• Ozzie Osbourne - "Bark at the Moon"
• Audioslave - "Cochise"
• Pantera - "Cowboys From Hell"
• Cream - "Crossroads"
• Sum 41 - "Fat Lip"
• Edgar Winter Group - "Frankenstein"
• Blue Oyster Cult - "Godzilla"
• Burning Brides - "Heart Full of Black"
• The Exies - "Hey You"
• Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Higher Ground"
• Joann Jett - "I Love Rock and Roll"
• The Ramones - "I Wanna Be Sedated"
• Bad Religion - "Infected"
• Black Sabbath - "Iron Man"
• Queen - "Killer Queen"
• Boston - "More Than A Feeling"
• Queens of the Stone Age - "No One Knows"
• ZZ Top - "Sharp Dressed Man"
• Deep Purple - "Smoke on the Water"
• Jimi Hendrix - "Spanish Castle Magic"
• Incubus - "Stellar"
• Megadeth - "Symphony of Destruction"
• The Donnas - "Take It Off"
• Franz Ferdinand - "Take Me Out"
• Stevie Ray Vaughn - "Texas Flood"
• White Zombie - "Thunderkiss 65"
• Helmet - "Unsung"
• Judas Priest - "You Got Another Thing Comin"
• David Bowie - "Ziggy Stardust"

Indie tracks:

• Acro-Brats - "Call Out"
• Anarchy Club - "Behind the Mask"
• Artillery - "The Breaking Wheel"
• Black Label Society - "Fire It Up"
• Count Zero - "Sail Your Ship By"
• Din - "Fly on the Wall"
• Drist - "Decontrol"
• Freezepop - "Get Ready 2 Rock"
• Graveyard BBQ - "Cheat on the Church"
• Honest Bob and the Factory-to-Dealer Incentives - "Hey"
• Made in Mexico - "Farewell Myth"
• Monkey Steal the Peach - "Theme from Guitar Hero"
• The Bags - "Caveman Rejoice"
• The Model Sons - "The Story of my Love"
• The Slip - "Even Rats"
• The Upper Crust - "Eureka! I Found Love"
• Shaimus - "All of This"

Guitar Hero
http://www.guitarherogame.com/
Nov. 2005 (PS2)
Harmonix
RedOctane

Comments

oldmanscene24 wrote:

I can see it now - Heavy Metal of Honor: The Battle of Woodstock.

-10 points for missing the easy pun. +20 for sticking it to the hippies.

That's a net +10. I can live with it.

Fletch - I got approval from the powers that be (namely oldwomanscene24) to make the purchase. So, if I can get my hands on it, we will be jammin' this weekend!

oldmanscene24 wrote:

That's a net +10. I can live with it.

Fletch - I got approval from the powers that be (namely oldwomanscene24) to make the purchase. So, if I can get my hands on it, we will be jammin' this weekend!

w00t. You are now my favorite brother.

Fletcher wrote:

w00t. You are now my favorite brother.

Finally!

DrunkenSleipnir wrote:

Out of curiosity, does anyone know what impact it might have to try and use the guitar on a more traditional game? I wonder how it works...

I tried with Amplitude The first last and middle frets coincided with the right, middle and left spaces on the tracks, but there was no way for me to move from track to track so the game was impossible to play. I thought you could use the strum and whammy bars to move up down left and right but was unsuccessful. I think you might be better off play games with a DDR mat

Arovin wrote:
DrunkenSleipnir wrote:

Out of curiosity, does anyone know what impact it might have to try and use the guitar on a more traditional game? I wonder how it works...

I tried with Amplitude The first last and middle frets coincided with the right, middle and left spaces on the tracks, but there was no way for me to move from track to track so the game was impossible to play. I thought you could use the strum and whammy bars to move up down left and right but was unsuccessful. I think you might be better off play games with a DDR mat :)

Damn, that's exactly what I was thinking of trying!

Maybe there's a way to cross wire something...

did you try tilting the controller for left/right?

I hear that if you grab a regular controller holding Left on the D-Pad fools it into thinking that it's a Guitar. Maybe the gyro is like left/right.

re: the Whammy Bar (tm): You do use it for increasing your 'rock out meter', waving the notes powers it up. When i found myself using it on regular notes just to feel the power of the whammy, i knew i was far gone. Definitely in my top 3 game experiences of the year.

Has anyone played the multiplayer? I watched a piece of a match on G4, and noticed that you appear to trade off with the other player at times, looked totally cool. Despite being on G4.

jonnypolite wrote:

Has anyone played the multiplayer? I watched a piece of a match on G4, and noticed that you appear to trade off with the other player at times, looked totally cool. Despite being on G4.

Was showing off a bit in Best Buy and got a VS round going on. It was pretty neat there is a gauge in the middle the shows who the audience likes better and there is kind of a "dueling banjo's" thing going on. All in all it was fun. I might look into getting the second controller for when friends come over.

Well, I started working my way up through Hard tonight, and I think I pulled some sort of crazy muscles in my hand. That's pretty rough stuff

Danm you orange fret! You pain my pinky!

Arovin wrote:
jonnypolite wrote:

Has anyone played the multiplayer? I watched a piece of a match on G4, and noticed that you appear to trade off with the other player at times, looked totally cool. Despite being on G4.

Was showing off a bit in Best Buy and got a VS round going on. It was pretty neat there is a gauge in the middle the shows who the audience likes better and there is kind of a "dueling banjo's" thing going on. All in all it was fun. I might look into getting the second controller for when friends come over.

I have the second controller (Cherry SG) sitting in my den, waiting for me to receive the actual game and first controller on Christmas. Like oldmanscene24, I am planning on rocking out with my peeps on Christmas day at the folks' house.

And the talk of when the whammy bar does or does not affect your score confuses me, but one thing I can aver: it feels badass to use. In my many in-store demos I've been using it on all sustains.

I purchased it last night and played around in quick play mode for about 30 min. (consider it an early Christmas present) It was a blast! I only tried the easy setting, but it shouldn't take me long to move up to medium. I am looking forward to trying the career mode and becoming a rock legend!

I will say this, though, my kids had a hard time with it. My boys (ages 5 & 6) did ok when I helped (I worked the frets while they strummed). They will probably be able to do it after some coordination lessons. I am going to try to leave it alone until this weekend so the playing field is somewhat even this weekend. I'm sure it will be in constant use then.

You are my sunshine. Don't ever let anything I may say in the future or may have video taped, voice recorded, broadcast, sky-written or advertised in national newspapers convince you otherwise.

Wait, you have videotape?

With the help of a wonderfully kind friend (he lurks here, so I won't use his name), I am now the proud owner of Guitar Hero and my first PS2 ever. Imagine my surprise of coming home from work after a long day and finding Guitar Hero on my doorstep. Not owning a PS2, and given the lateness of the hour, I had to scramble. After a retail nightmare at my local EB Games, I had the necessary equipment (who knew you needed a memory card as well...consoles come without hard drives?).

After all of that, I had to get back to work. I have already decreed that Friday night will be Guitar Hero night. It might have to start off with a little This is Spinal Tap . . . . I've been staring longingly at the box ever since. I got up once during the night to gently caress the box . . . .

To steal Hoochie's line, for those who made it possible for me to rock, I salute you (especially that extremely nice guy in Austin)!

Quick question -- do I need to pick up the PS2 controller-cord extension cords? Would it be helpful for the Guitar Hero controller (can they even be used with the Guitar Hero controller)?

Edgar_Newt wrote:

Quick question -- do I need to pick up the PS2 controller-cord extension cords? Would it be helpful for the Guitar Hero controller (can they even be used with the Guitar Hero controller)?

I have an extension, and it works fine. Also, it's very helpful. Otherwise, the game might chide you for Rocking Out Too Hard, as it did to me

It's certainly not required, though - the cord is long enough unless your TV is massive.

Well this thread has drove me wild with desire:>) And I've passed it on to my wife and she's got the bug so bad that we may have to 'steal' away her daughter's PS 2 some dark and dreary night (where's my Splinter Cell guide!;>) Anyway, not being all that savvy with hooking this stuff up, do I need a switcher to hook this up with my already hooked up, old X-Box? Or do I need do the old 'unplug and plug' routine?(course we now have to come up with the moola for the game bundle. Probably for a present to the daughter, but we have to 'stress test' it first *Chuckle*

If you don't have enough inputs on your TV, Best Buy sells this thing that lets you switch between devices, and works with all manner of inputs, including composite video (RGB). I have one and I love it.

Edwin and I played for a couple of hours tonight... needless to say, my hands f*cking hurt. I must brag though because it pains Edwin, who tried maybe 5 times to get past the beginning of "Bark at the Moon" on medium, and I beat it on the first try... hence the current pain in my left hand... but it was sooooo worth it.

I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking this, but if Out of Context Theatre were to present jmdanny's last post, it would be a smash hit.

It really writes itself, doesn't it?

Arghhh! Crossroads on hard is frustrating!!!

Where is my Hendrix lighter....

Fedaykin98 wrote:

It really writes itself, doesn't it?

The first sentence alone is fine.

Very interesting read.

IMAGE(http://img364.imageshack.us/img364/7008/untitled11ge.th.jpg)

Prederick wrote:
Fedaykin98 wrote:

It really writes itself, doesn't it?

The first sentence alone is fine.

Word.

Man, only 12 hours or so until I'm finally playing Guitar Hero!

Second (Red Cherry SG) controller: check!
PS2 hooked up to parents' awesome home theatre: check!

I am so ready.

This is the Game That Ate Christmas. We have friends over, and we've been at it for what, 6 hours now? My son finally demanded time to play We Love Katamari.

The only hitch is that the second controller has a bad tilt sensor, making it useless. Not sure if I'm gonna open it up or just send it back.

But oh man, what a game!

You can activate star power by hitting select since your tilt sensor doesn't work.

Well...Actually, I activated Star Power by removing all 16 screws (not realizing the neck and head were a seperate piece. A vigorous shaking of the tilt sensors was sufficient to wake it back up, so it works now.

And two-player, here we come!

Robear wrote:

This is the Game That Ate Christmas. We have friends over, and we've been at it for what, 6 hours now? My son finally demanded time to play We Love Katamari. :-)

IMAGE(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v512/jmdanny/x_nadal2.gif)