Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Diary of a rock star

I couldn't hold out for the 360 version, so even though I'm only about halfway through Guitar Hero, I bought Guitar Hero II for the PS2. Reviews to come ... this is more of a progress report.

On Guitar Hero, I'm in the second set of hard songs. Easy and medium are all completed, although there are several medium songs and perhaps a couple of easy songs for which I need that fifth (or fourth) star. I just squeaked by on You Got Another Thing Comin' - one more and I can unlock the third set.

I figured out something revolutionary: you can move your fingers on the fret buttons. Yes indeed. Despite the fact that I know this perfectly well in the real world (granted, playing bass is much easier than playing lead, but they still don't write many songs that you can play without moving your left hand), I hadn't yet translated it to Guitar Hero. You can get by on the four-button songs without moving, but not with five-button songs unless you're like Antonio Alfonseca, and let's face it, we don't know if that sixth finger can push a fret button or not.

I was mildly successful: I still needed a Star Power boost to squeak by with three stars, but I passed nonetheless. I may try Iron Man yet again. (Randy Rhoades, I'm not.)

Guitar Hero II: I've just unlocked the fourth set of songs on medium. I wasn't entirely fond of the first four songs, so hopefully the encore will be a good one. I haven't completed all the easy songs yet, but I have more perfect songs in II than in I. (I'm guessing this is partly due to having played more, but it also seemed as though the easy songs in II are easier. I played at least a couple of them perfectly the first time.)

I still make mistakes at times because I'm listening to the melody and trying to play it instead of the notes I see on-screen. Example: Message In A Bottle, medium, the part in the chorus where "Sting" is singing "I'll send an SOS to the world."

The bass line (which is what you're playing for this part) translates in eighth notes as
2222222233344444
but the Guitar Hero line you play is
2222222-3334444- (positive about the first rest, not sure about the second)

It makes sense from a difficulty perspective - it's much harder to move to another fret when you have to keep playing than when you have a beat to change your fingering - but it messes you up if you're playing the song instead of what's on the screen. (This is the first song in either Guitar Hero that I've also tried in real life, and in fact, I've not only played the bass line, but I've attempted the first part of the lead melody. It helps in some ways and hurts in others.)

More progress this week, maybe. I got Rayman Raving Rabbids from GameFly yesterday, so I may have to save my arm for that.

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