Saturday, March 8, 2008

Welcome To The Jungle

What is with me and Guns N Roses at the moment? Or perhaps that should be, what's with gaming and the Gunners lately? First we visited Paradise City thanks to the awesome Burnout Paradise and now, personally at least, I'm playing Welcome To The Jungle thanks to my recent purchase of Guitar Hero III.

Yes I have finally jumped on the bandwagon and I'm happy to say that it is good to be here. I have been wanting to play the Guitar Hero games ever since the original released a few years ago and while yes I'm horribly late, I'm thankful that I can finally live out my fantasy of being a rock star. Okay, that last part's not entirely true. The reason I wanted to get my hands on Guitar Hero is because let's face it, it is fun as hell playing some classic and rocking tunes in a video game. I have always been a fan of the music rhythm genre, be it through something like Space Channel 5 (Ulala!) or something small like Boom Boom Rocket. I have always enjoyed the games where you press buttons in time with the music to build up your score among other things. To me, they are simple pick up and play games and I think that is definitely one of the reasons why Guitar Hero is so successful.

Pick up and play accessible gaming, that also poses a challenge to those who like to master their games. Not many games these days have that perfect balance between accessibility and skill mastery, so it is definitely nice to see it in Guitar Hero.

Anyway, I picked up both Guitar Hero II and III for $170 in total, which I thought was quite a decent price. Especially when you consider that JB Hi Fi recently raised their price of GH III alone to $170 after having it on sale for $130.

I have to admit though, I was slightly worried when I first started to play. Why? Well I was finding it hard at first to get used to using the Guitar peripheral that comes with the game. I had played the GH III demo to death using the controller (which also feels weird until you get used to it, I might add) so I thought that using the Guitar would be a breeze. And it is, now at least. The first few songs on the other hand? Not so much. I was missing what were arguably very easy notes to hit and various other stupid little mistakes purely because I was finding it hard to essentially train my fingers into pressing the fret buttons. When using a controller you generally use your thumbs and index fingers, while Guitar Hero requires you to use most of your fingers (if not all in the higher difficulties). It definitely took some getting used to but I am now comfortable enough with it that I can play reasonably consistently.

I have already beaten the easy careers in both games and while that sounds like a very easy thing to do, doing it while getting used to the playing style was certainly harder than I anticipated. I'm now about halfway through the Medium career in GH III and will start GH II's Medium career in the next few days. I keep getting distracted with co-op play though, which I have been playing with Civ every night since I got the two games. He is clearly better than me at the game and he has had a lot more experience than I have (obviously), but even he can't deny that I have improved massively within the 4 or so days that I have been playing. I'm quite proud of it actually, despite it being easy for the experienced GH players who can play on Expert. I aim to also be able to play on Expert eventually as Guitar Hero does seem like a game I can master if I keep at it. Once I get my head around using the Hammer-Ons and Pull-Offs a bit more, I can definitely see me being able to at the very least finish the Hard career.

Random notes after 4am:

- Through The Fire and Flames is nuts! Every one knows this but still, what a crazy song even on easy.

- I still get blown away by Rez every time I fire it up. Such a unique and brilliant game.

- Those blog entries I have in my head that I keep referring to? They are coming. I actually have a notepad file saved now with the random ideas that pop in my head so that I don't forget them so yeah, you will be seeing them in the near future.

- Speaking of entries, I have decided that I will no longer do the 'What Am I Playing?' entries and instead write entries similar to this one. That way if one game is taking up the majority of my time (like GH is at the moment), then I can blog about it while it's fresh on my mind and not when I am trying to balance 2 or more games at once.

- I could have written more about my first week with Guitar Hero, but, I have been watching Firefly lately and another episode is calling me so I'm off to watch it. Brilliant show by the way, sucks that it didn't hang around for long.

No comments: