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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Game Play: Guitar Hero II

A grand birthday present from The Brother, The Girl and I commented yesterday while plugging everything in that we might be the last two people on Earth who haven't had the experience of rocking out to this game.

I couldn't quite coax her to grab the slightly tiny plastic guitar controller to try it out, but I'm still thinking that her fling with the rythm mode on Raving Rabbids will win out in the end. Had throngs of people not vouched for this game - well, quite honestly that guitar might have been the thing keeping me from the game. I mean, having played quite a bit of Amplitude - what do I need with a novelty controller? The similarities are undeniable - it's like Harmonix did a save as and then found a toy guitar to tack on.

Course, that turns out to be such a wildly narrow view of the evolution between Amplitude and Guitar Hero. Like the slow but steady changes that happen between Liberty City and San Andreas - Guitar Hero proves that it is a game being developed by someone who truly understands the mechanics and underpinnings being worked over.

The guitar controller resolves most of the problems with playing a game like Amplitude using a standard controller. It gives players a logical reference point of control that lets you just concentrate on the music itself. It completes a loop between user and interface unlike most anything else out there - because you aren't thinking in terms of circle, triangle square - but hammer on, fret, strut, wammy.

No, playing Guitar Hero won't make you a Guitar Hero. But it will make you think a bit like one. Not completely, perhaps - but at least a paradigm shift away than playing without said controller.

I got through easy mode last night and thankfully - am just warming up.


Australia said...

Damn. The pool of people who *haven't* played Guitar Hero is steadily decreasing. I feel like a goldfish in a puddle which is slowly evaporating. Perhaps that's a bit melodramatic.

Brinstar said...

I'm looking forward to Rock the 80s and GHIII, though I haven't finished GHII on Medium yet. I keep replaying Message in a Bottle because I love it so much.

Winkyboy said...

ehh. I'll jump in on Rock the 80s. The GH line doesn't appeal to me even though the concept of the game is RIGHT up my alley. It's just not my kind of music... I can't get into it, and I have tried.

I see the same thing with the Karaoke Revolution line - if you don't know the music, why bother playing the game? (However, DDR doesn't usually seem to suffer from this problem too much.)