Sunday, December 03, 2006

Guitar Hero II rocks!

This weekend I got a chance to play Guitar Hero II at a friend's house. Guitar Hero II is a game for the Playstation II that allows users to play the guitar portion(s) of rock songs with the aid of a guitar-shaped controller. The game is, I'm sure, nothing like playing an actual guitar, as the controller lacks strings entirely (it has five buttons on the neck, a strumming button, and a whammy bar). I was skeptical of the game at first (I was not at all certain I could even hold the guitar properly, much less actually hit the buttons at the right time), but after I "played" my first song, I was hooked.

The game is much like DDR in that the screen consists primarily of a continuously scrolling sequence of buttons you must push at the proper time. Hitting buttons at the right time results in cool-sounding rock music emanating from the speakers. Hitting buttons at the wrong time results in screeching, out-of-tune guitar noises, which is absolutely hilarious in the middle of a long solo.

We played exclusively in cooperative mode, wherein two players play different portions (lead and rhythm or lead and bass) of the same song. One excellent feature is that the different players can choose different difficulty levels; while I barely managed to keep up on "easy" (hitting ~90% of the notes in my last few songs), my co-player was often strumming away furiously on "hard." It was amazingly fun, and the inner rockstar in me wanted to keep playing and playing all day long (but my wrist disagreed, especially after playing the entirety of Free Bird).

Regular readers have probably figured out by now that I'm not a console gamer1 (the most recent console we own is PSI), but this game could convince me to buy a whole new console and two guitar controllers just so I can play it more2. It really is that much fun.

In summary, if you've always wanted to play the guitar, but have been too lazy to actually learn how to do it, then this game is for you.

1 I prefer PC games (Civ IV!) and, more recently, German-style board games.
2 And I probably would have already bought it if it came loaded with Pink Floyd or Roger Waters songs.

No comments: