Guitar Hero 2

Over Xmas I tried the demo of GH3 on my 360 and confirmed what I’d already suspected – that I’m a sucker for the series. However, having listened to Granik and Rafter talking about GH games, I also had a hunch I might be less inclined towards GH3 than 2. Although I was playing the demo on a regular gamepad controller my biggest difficulty playing the games was not playing the song.

In truth, GH is a coup-de-gras of game development. Its a rehash of an old, most basic game/toy; the console implementation of the old Simon Says toy. Sprinkle on a few other factors that are almost so trivial they would seem ridiculous and you get a mindblowing game. Any console game has to have music, right? So use the music to determine the light patterns so you can learn them, and make the control pad look like a guitar, make the console cheer and shout like a crowd, and we foolish mortals will convince ourself we are tasting stardom, not just playing the most predictable simple simon game ever ;)

So I ordered GH2 with a controller and when I got home tonight, it had arrived…

Guitar plugged in, cat occupying the lazy boy and quite intrigued, I ran thru the tutorial and launched into my first career gig. I thought the guitar would be easier to use than the gamepad but the guitar adds the twist of a strum “switch”. And I’ve yet to find a comfortable stance, so my fingers always feel like they are drifting. I think they’re actually not but in compensating for it I’m making mistakes.

I played my first song on easy. I got 91% and excrutiatingly frustrated because the button presses seemed completely unrelated to the rythm or notes of the song. I’d suspected easy mode would be like that, so I switched to medium.

In no time I had finished my first set, played my encore, plowed thru the second set and into the third. In the third set I started restarting songs, taking 2 or 3 attempts on a couple of songs. I was averaging a meagre 92% (89 my lowest, 95 my highest). I consistently do best first time playing thru a song. I did freakin’ awesome on one song, got a 150 note streak until I snagged the XBOX button while trying to engage star power and after that it went to the crapper.

I decided to try Wayward Son for my 4th song in set 3, and bam. After my 5th attempt I decided to go back to set 2 and try Life Wasted. Doh. Practice time for. One time thru in Very Slow, One in Slow, Full Speed and then played it live – 96%. I just keep wanting to play more of the notes (and no, I don’t just mean my timing off, in medium the solo kinda drifts along with the solo rather than actually reflecting the notes). I’ve not played Wayward Son yet, because I decided to call it a night with a quick go at Hard: I decided to try Tonight I’m Going to Rock You Tonight. Hard mode kicks ass. If medium feels more like playing the song than easy, hard feels 10x more like you’re actually playing the same tune. Of course, I’m playing playing most of the wrong notes but yeah, that feels like playing a guitar – not that I was ever very good at that.

I think I’ll finish Medium and then I’ll work my way thru hard one song at a time :)

I really, really can’t believe I didn’t buy a GH game sooner.

And finally – in a tiny stroke of irony – it seems I will need to find a taller stand for my TV or else after all these years of bad posture and watching tv slumped in my lazy boy, I might finally develop a bad neck from looking down at the TV as I strut up and down infront of it playing message in a bottle … :)

29 Comments

If my kids were just a little bit older, I would have a good excuse to by a console just to play that game. It sounds addicting, with the crowd interaction for good play, you can almost feel that on stage rush.

3 yr olds on youtube play it breed. It’s crack. I’ve got GH2 and 3 on my xbox, it’s practically welded in the console. I love it!

BTW, I think the funnest song for me to play on hard is Hearts Barracuda.

I’ve played (keyboards) to a 3,000+ audience on a stage with a 12 piece soul band (I’ve shared stages with Ben E. King and The Four Tops). GH lacks the butterflies and stark terror :) It has its own buzz to make up for it tho ;)

If you feel like spending the money (and can actually find a copy for the 360) I highly recommend Rock Band. The guitar part is very similar to GH a few new features but nothing major. RB adds drums, vocals, and bass guitar to the mix though. That gives it more legs than GH as you can mix it up by doing the different instruments (though drums are friggin’ hard). The game shines (and far surpasses GH) when you can get multi-player going with your own virtual band.

RB also has a fun character creation/customization system so you can make your rock avatar be the rocker you always wanted to be. Bring out your inner Gene Simmons kfsone you know you want to.

I’m holding off til next year, maybe you will be able to buy a Wii off the shelf.

The oldest is 4 I’m trying to keep game night to board games (candy Land, Chutes and Ladders). If Pong and the Atari 2600 turned me into the gamer that I am today, just think what the consoles of today will do.

Do you mean coup de tat?

I was leaving it alone, but since Bloo brought it up… isn’t it coup de grace (avoiding looking up accents because I’m lazy)? Or coup d’etat, for Bloo’s reference?

You HAVE to watch this episode:

http://www.southparkzone.com/episodes/1113/Guitar-Queer-o.html

My wife is an addict to the GH series – This episode had us rolling on the floor laughing our asses off.

enjoy.

btw, i think to engage star power there is a much easier way to go about it.

Just tilt the neck of the guitar up and strum, this engages it.

Pressing the back button next to the xbox button(i am getting this form your story)

is not a very efficient way to go about it.

Check out the Rock Band Game. My kids and their friends play it everyday. The music kicks ass also.

Since we are discussing consoles. I marvel at the graphics of the PS3. It is very slick looking.

I guess you can partition the PS3 hardrive to use a Linux opperating system for web browsing.

Can WW2 online operate using a Linux opperating system ? Just a thought.

It seems to me that computor gaming is dying or has been abandoned by the software developers. I guess there is more money in console games.

Thats too bad. The hardware manufactorers have really advanced the PC’s possabilities. But there is nothing to play, or should I say nothing new

ps3 is utter shit

horrible interface,laggy as fuck. ALMSOT NO online play

no online content comparable to MS, not as family;y friendly as the wii and horrible priced for its lack of features.

only buy it for its blu ray capabilities.

plus the controller is shit as well

Worst buy IMHO

And they call me a hater!

idk wtf you’re talking about. fooled? nay sir, i actually rawk that hard!

i’m terrible at the guitar IRL and in the GH series my fingers just don’t work fast enough past medium.

enter rock band.

now, drums, IRL, i’m actually pretty good at. went over to a friend’s house who had rock band and watched them play for a bit. none of them could even handle the drums on medium so i sat down and tried.

overall, i feel the drum portion of that game and the whole series is most like actually playing. they do some things that pissed me off and you just can’t replicate the feel or touch of some of the cymbal work but overall it was pretty ok.

on songs i knew i had to bump it up to expert though. i found myself playing ever bass beat and all the fills which was causing me fits because i would catch myself playing the extra beats that weren’t called for on medium and screw my timing up trying to play ‘just’ the beats called for.

i suck at GH though, but i rock the house in rockband :D.

p.s. how come nobody has delivered an actual leaerning tool similar to this with a real or at least well simulated guitar? i would totally buy that shit to help me learn guitar.

oh, i forgot to mention, i was really disappointed rock band didn’t come with a double kick pedal lol :). oh well its still fun ;).

Responding to jizzjaz:

I researched all 3 game systems before I bought. In mid November all 3 systems were on the self, PS3, XBOX360, and the WWii. I read about all 3 systems. I did not want to make the same mistake as I did with the Sega CD system, 10 years ago or so (Sega put out a Sonic the Hedgehog game and that was it, $200 add on that did nothing)

I came to the following conclusions:

#1 Of all 3 systems, the PS3 was the only system that has the capability to output 1080p or i . The Xbox has a max video output of 720, and the WWii 480. I have a new 50″ LG Plasma TV so I want the system that will have the capability to output 1080p

#2 The PS3 system is the most technically advanced of the 3 systems. Because it was released 1 year after the xbox360. For the cash I put out I wanted the system that would be around the longest. Also Sony still supports the PS2, 8 years after its release. One other point is the higher end PS3’s will play the PS1 and 2 games. My kid has a PS2 for a while now. He has a ton of games.

#3 My nephew has had a 360 since the release, it has been in the shop as much as it has been home. To be fair, you should never buy electronics on the release date. Let other people experience the bugs and release problems.

#4 The internet gaming is free on the PS3, you have to pay for the online service for the xbox360. Also this was not a major factor in my purchase. I can afford $10-$20 bucks a month. I expect that the on-line play will only be used for the sports games, NBA Live, NHL08, and the Madden Football game.

#5 Like you said it did come with a Blue Ray Disc player. I have not seen a HDDVD or Blue Ray Player or under $250.00

#6 All 3 systems had there own strengths and weakness’s. The WWii’s games looked like they were geared towards people with younger children. My kids are 14-21 in age. The XBOX360 had a ton of games available, But everything was an add on. The PS3 is the most technically advanced, but it is much more expensive and there is not nearly the number of games available. To be completely honest all the major game releases this fall came out on both platforms, Call of Duty, EA Sports Games, ect, ect.

#7 I asked the kid who was in charge of the game department at the local Best Buy what would he do. He said buy the Xbox for now and the PS3 for the future.

The online store is rather skimpy I agree, I’m sure more content will become available as time goes on. But, why in the world would I want to pay for some low def PS1 or PS2 game to play on a HI DEF system ? Is there killer apps that I have not heard about on the 360 online service ?

The system comes with one controller, I bought another one and the Blue Ray Remote control. The controllers are fine , wireless and rechargeable.

My son plays the sports games and I have asked him if he has seen any lag, online or off line, he said no.

I do not have anything to compare it with, I do not own a Wwii or a Xbox360. Other than the gaming PC’s I built. I am not a console gamer, I am a console purchaser. I have purchased almost every major game system since the Intellivision in the early 80’s (I raised my brother who is 8 years younger than me). Intellivision, Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sega, Sega CD, PS1, PS2, PS3 and 5 gaming computers since my 1st in 1994 (I’m sure I have left one or two out). Like I said “I marvel at the graphics of the PS3 system” to tell you the truth, with the Hi-Def TV I have not seen anything like it.

The PS3 is not for the gamer on a tight budget. It was expensive $500.00 for the system, $60.00 for games, $90.00 for the Hi-Def cable (For the 1080 output), $30.00 for the extra controller, and $30.00 for the Blue Ray Remote control (Witch you don’t need)

I do not agree with your comments, All I know is I have a PS3 in my living room, I have 6-7 games all brand new. Since it was opened, it has been going non stop. I like to think I researched the purchase and made the best choice for my family. I am not a Sony fan boy, I just wanted the system that would be around for the longest. So I could give this gaming carousel a few years off. Hopefully my kids are getting old enough to buy there own shit, I can only hope.

madrebel wrote:
on songs i knew i had to bump it up to expert though. i found myself playing ever bass beat and all the fills which was causing me fits because i would catch myself playing the extra beats that weren’t called for on medium and screw my timing up trying to play ‘just’ the beats called for.

That’s the problem I experience generally – the first time thru a song I’m playing Simon Says with colored lights to the accompaniment of a song. With the song/covers I know (Message in a Bottle) I definitely struggle more. For instance: “Hush” – I played thru first time (on medium) and got 94%. Second time thru I got 84% because I kept trying to play the extra licks.

Another thing that bothers me is that sometimes the fingering is counter-intuitive to my (pianists) sense – two notes will use the same light even though they are different notes – but I think that’s an unavoidable circumstance of the implementation – when you’ve just played a note on all four buttons and along comes a 5th, higher note, well blue it is – again.

The first time round, when I don’t know the song, I think “huh”, but the second time around I suddenly can’t find the lower three notes because if I manage to press the note again my self-image places my fingers a note further up and I suddenly can’t find green, red or yellow :)

I’m intrigued by the drum aspect of RB: I tried to play the drums but my timing drifts too much and I find it really hard to track where in the song I am so my pattern drifts. With RB its laid out infront of me all I gotta do is maintain it so that might be really rocking.

A WWIIOL Dev Rock Band.

That would be a great weekly video letter . The update would go like this. Well as you are about to see no development work was done this week. The dev team bought rock band and has been rocking out all week. Now the WWIIOL presents their rendition of “Freebird”. ;)

In response to msnyds1, and in defense of the XBOX 360, the console does support 1080p (and all lower p & i resolutions). I use it in this resolution every day. It was officially added in the Fall 2006 dashboard update released October 31, 2006.

Also the Xbox live service is not $10-20 a month, it’s no more than $7.99. You can get multi month deals to knock a few bucks off.
http://www.xbox.com/en-US/live/memberships/subscriptioncards.htm

And it’s less than that if you shop for the Xbox live cards on sale (e.g. Target, Wal-Mart).

I can agree with your comments on reliability, however, Microsoft made it right when mine went down. They replaced it, full turn around with a new console, and gave me a 1 month XBox live card, all within 7 days. That’s good customer service.

Also, you can pick up the HD-DVD add on to the 360 for ~$150, less if you shop around.

Oh, and I’m a Sony fanboi, but I’ll tip my hat to MS on the console race. LOL @ Sony for the $90 HD cable. /snicker

I am using a 11€ (15$?) hdmi cable on my PS3… and a cheap cable-controller from my child’s PC…

I am a MS hater, sorry :D

Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” playing loud in the background.

For those prices, build yourself a kick-ass PC at home, and play the HD-DVD’s there too, and the MP3s, and the games, and Rock Band….

oh yeah – you can upgrade constantly too.

AND it teaches your children how to navigate a computer, a mouse, a menu driven system, etc. All the lexicon they’ll need in the computer world.

Consoles…teach kids how to twitch. Except for RB and GH. They are *FUN*. But thats a first.

Easting:
Don’t get me wrong, I looked at the xbox long and hard. The cool thing about the xbox360 is that it has been around long enough that you can find great games with killer graphics for $20.00 new. If you live in a urban area you can find used games for dirt cheep. I agree that the graphic are killer. I had the system in my hand in the check out line at Best Buy.

But like everything I’m looking at the next time I may have to replace that Item. I like to get 10 years out of new cars, The TV I bought before the Plasma was 12 years old. I thought about the xbox and ps3. What would be around longer ? I bet on the PS3.

I am not knocking anything or anyone. I just put out my thought process as to why I bought the ps3.
All three systems have there advantages and disadvantages. The PS3 works for me, maybe not you,

i bought the ps3 because my 12 year old son wanted it over the xbox360

i wanted it because it was blue ray and i thought the graphics were better when playing it in the store i tried it out on COD4 on both consoles and it just looked better on the ps3

i went with the 80 gig system because i wanted my son to use the 30 or so ps2 game he owns and not just throw them in the trash or trade them in for a buck a piece at gamestop

he has owned a ps2 since they came out and its never been in the shop

oh back on topic my son kicks my ass on GH but my 16 YO daughter kicks his ass lol

he gets mad because his sister kicks his ass i just laugh

When the original Guitar Hero came out, I didn’t think it could be any good. Then one of my friends bought it, andI got to try it. Soon I was much poorer, and had a television, PS2 and GH :)

Now I have five games for the PS2, four of which are GH games. I still can’t beat Jordan on expert, and TTFAF is also out of the question.

Also, I can’t wait for the European Rock Band release – too bad it means buying X360, which brings total cost of getting the game close to 600 euros probably.

WW2OL Dev actually had a band at one point.

Mo is a fantastic guitarist. Opened for Carlo Santana, has a couple songs on a compilation disc, one of which is just a beautiful bit called “Lullabye little house”.

Doc was rhythm.

Hoss played bass.

Animal played drums.

Our 1st xmas party was their 1st and only gig. But they did pretty good :)

…@/

Im addicted to GH LOL I bought the kids GH3 for ps2 couldn’t get one for xbox360 that had wireless guitar. Rock Band is next they are suppose to come out with the drums for it this month so you can have the 2 quitars and drums going.

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