Like many people across the country, I’ve been trying for the past few months to get my hands on Guitar Hero. The Christmas season left many stores without it—and left me calling…calling…CALLING Best Buys in the area for something that could never come. Then I used my noggin and got it directly from RedOctane.com.
My friends, I have been to the mountaintop. I have looked into the valley…and it was good.
The first thing anyone gets drawn to is the weird controller. To play this game, you need a guitar-shaped controller to rock out on. The controller itself is really interesting: five buttons on the frets, a “strum bar” where you can hit the strings, and a whammy bar to hit some kewl lix.
The gameplay is pretty straightforward: As the markers come down at you on the screen, you hit the fret button that goes with it and strum at the right time to get the correct sound. On longer notes you can hit the whammy bar and get more star power. More on that later.
As with any good game, there are a ton of unlockables. Different guitars, different avatars, and when you combine the two you get different sounds. Each avatar has its own style, and obviously a 70′ guitar will sound different than the Gibson Flying V.
One of my favorite parts of the game—and there are many—is the fact that they had a contest across the country giving local bands a chance to be on the game. One band I haven’t heard of, Freezepop, has this great song “Ready 2 Rock”, and I really like it. Without this game I wouldn’t have heard of them. There are more songs I haven’t played through yet, so I might get to know more great bands.
Another great part of this game is the star power I mentioned earlier. If you do well enough through hard parts of each song, your star meter goes up. When it reaches full, you tip the guitar up (yes, you REALLY do that) and the crowd goes crazy, giving you bonuses to your playing and getting you a better review.
This game is pretty much great. I could go on about it, but in the interest of space, let me say these few things: The game is smooth and comfortable. If you get a friend with a second guitar, there is a two-player mode. Finally, after playing a song, look at something else around the room. Seriously. It’ll look funky.