Having received a Nintendo Wii console for Christmas (OK, OK! Bought it for myself!), Guitar Hero III was my first real introduction to a guitar game.
I have to say it in advance; I love it, despite the fact that my wife and daughter can beat me without hesitation!
Back to the game. One of the cool things about Hero is that it involves using most of the techniques that a real guitarist would use. However, the main feature of Guitar Hero is its unique controller.
With a high-octane game as a hero, it would be a real shame to get by with a boring mainstream controller. Well, if you haven’t tried it yet, a treat awaits you with the Gibson Les Paul-based wireless guitar controller.
The Gibson has 5 colored fret knobs, a strum to simulate the strings, and a hit bar (cool!)
The guitar is a bit smaller than a real one, so if you play guitar, it might feel a bit strange until you get used to it. But it is worth persevering, in fact, you may become addicted.
The jerks, hammers, and up and down strumming work wonders with this device, so it won’t be long before you’re feeling like your favorite rock god (I’m already growing my hair and body out! lycra is on request).
If you play this with your friends in 2 player mode (and I guarantee you will!) Don’t be stingy; get yourself a second driver.
So the guitar peripheral is great; What about the game itself? The song list is absolutely amazing (it may be showing my age!). There are a variety of version 70 songs including classics like Anarchy in the UK, Ruby, Paint it Black, and Paranoid to name a few.
As a player, you are presented with a guitar fretboard and vertical bar with 5 colored sections. As the song plays, the bar moves down the fretboard and notes of different colors appear in the corresponding section.
When the bar hits, you press the corresponding colored buttons on your guitar fretboard (in the right sequence, damn, I knew there was something I was doing wrong) and strum.
Green, red, yellow, blue and green are the five colored fret buttons.
The strum is performed on a long bar that represents the strings.
You will also find a hitting bar. Use this to bend any notes that need to be held down. You will recognize them by the long colored lines that continue until you need to drop the note.
Hero has 4 main game modes;
This allows you to directly enter the game and play the songs.
In this mode, you can learn to take full advantage of the functions of the guitar controller.
Here you gradually build your career by playing gigs to earn money. Once you have done this, you will be able to unlock more songs and buy new guitars.
This is the main focus of the game. Start by choosing an interpreter. There are many to choose from spanning all rock ages. Next, choose your guitar and finally select the difficulty level. There are 3 to choose from; Easy, Medium and Hard.
Easy uses only the first 3 fret buttons. This is great for getting used to the game and the controller, but you’ll soon want to move on.
The medium level is much more fun, uses one more fret, and the songs are more challenging. More importantly, it allows you to unlock songs and guitars. In other words, you are rewarded for playing well.
With the multiplayer mode you can challenge your friends to a serious battle between the rock gods.
This mode is a bit lacking in that it’s basically one person playing a part, and then the other person picks up where the other left off, and then they both play the same part simultaneously. Okay, but not as fun as it could be.
To see how it goes, keep an eye on the Rock Meter. Meter colors let you know what the crowd thinks of your performance.
o Green: if the meter is green, it means that you are a rock god. The crowd loves you!
o Yellow: okay, you’re doing pretty good and the crowd likes you, but you could do better.
o Red – Well, you are a bit rude. The crowd is dispersing and if you’re not careful they can throw things at you.
o Flashing red – Practice or quit!
Regardless of the mode to play well, just like a real instrument, you need to practice.
Above the Rock Meter is the Star Meter. By pressing the labeled notes, you can add power to this meter. Once it is half full, you will be allowed to use Star Power. This puts the crowd on your side and multiplies your score.
To use this power, lean the guitar toward the ceiling, swinging the instrument upward as if you were actually rocking the song.
There’s a tilt sensor on the device that lets the game know when you’ve done this, and once you’ve done it, you’ve got Star Power and God, it feels great!
The final meter is the score meter. It has 2 elements, an indicator shows you your current score, as well as your current multiplier.
The more notes you play without errors, the better your multiplication will be and the higher your score will be. Ideally, you want your multiplication to be as large as possible before activating Star Power
At the end of the song, if you make it to the end, you will find out how well you did. This will include:
o Your rating: from 1 to 5 stars. This tells you how well you played; the rock gauge plays an important role in this.
o Your score: this is the final score of the song.
o Your Note Performance – How many notes you hit in a row without making a mistake.
o Your Notes Hit: the percentage of correct notes that are hit.
There are thirty songs available to play from the beginning, although there are many more to unlock in the “Unlock Store” as you progress through the main game. These songs were created specifically for the game, and while they may not be as memorable as the thirty classic titles, they are still a lot of fun to play.
The basic appearance of the game is amazing.
Each concert you play has a different location and the characters are quite well animated and presented. Detail is a bit weak and fuzzy in places, but this doesn’t really affect gameplay.
The music is great Cream, Boston and Ozzy, to name a few.
In short, Guitar Hero is a really fun game. It’s great at parties where all your friends try to outdo each other and you’ll find that what started out as a little quick fun ends as a nighttime marathon that you’re determined to be in. TEA Rock god.