Be a Guitar Hero
by Patrick Clapp
So through some fluke of fate or what have you, last night I secured four copies of Harmonix's new gem Guitar Hero. Get this game. Get this as soon as you can. I cannot stress this enough. Guitar Hero is going to be the furby of the 2005 Christmas season. And I, I have retained my status as most awesomest uncle in the known universe for another year.
It comes with a guitar. The game controller is a plastic contraption with five fret buttons, a strum lever, a whammy bar, and a built in tilt-sensor that figures out when you are doing your best Jimi Hendrix. It works for lefties, it works for fake lefties, it works for righties.
Harmonix are the people that brought the world Karaoke Revolution, Amplitude, and Frequency. These people are bound and determined to make visceral, unique experiences for you in front of your television. I cannot sing, I do not go near Karaoke Revolution, but I can dream about playing the guitar. I always have. Of course, these days I fiddle around with my bass, but now, now I get to recline on my couch and jam to Ziggy Stardust, Black Sabbath, and Sum 41.
Play is delightfully straight-forward. Notes scroll at you along a representation of a guitar neck. When a note crosses a line of color-coded buttons at the base of your screen, you press that button on the controller and toggle the strum lever. BAM! The note gets played and the song keeps going. Hit enough notes in a row and the crowd goes wild. Chords are intuitive, you can use the whammy bar whenever you want (but especially during those jamming moments when you are pushing your score through the roof).
Songs, songs, songs. You get about 10 to start with and then rapidly open up more. Plus, as you earn cash in career mode, you can buy bonus tracks by bands of all sorts of styles.
Get this game, get it now. It'll run you $70 and only is released for the PS2, however, it is completely worth every penny. You can find it next week at Best Buy and Target, but if you are really lucky, you might be able to find stores that are selling it right now!
Go on! Be a Hero...be a Guitar Hero...you know you have always wanted to be one. Here is your chance.
All I want to do is play Guitar Hero. I keep hearing amazing passages float through my mind, down my arm, until my fingers twitch and clench is some effort to extract the notes from the ether. At the moment, Incubus and Pantera are at war within me.
There is a flow in the game that occurs when you treat the controller as if it could produce music on its own. My eyes, I don't blink them enough, my focus is fixed a set distance that equals the space between my couch and my television. After a few hours of playing the room gets a bit spacey.
You can perform hammer-ons and pull-offs. This is the natural flow of playing an instrument...the habits I have built for years in goofing around with my own guitars has born fruit, and that fruit kicks ass.