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Guitar Hero

A sure thing

By Michael Waskiewicz

Fort Wayne Reader

2006-04-24


I've been trying to decide for about a week now whether to do this review on the new Godfather or Elder Scrolls game. They're both fine games and are excellent additions to their respective genres. But something started to aggravate me…While playing these games I constantly found myself switching them off (they're both very long) and picking up a game that I've played every day since last November.
How many games in your collection have you played every day? Probably none.

So what's responsible for this addiction? Guitar Hero. I know I'm six months late on this review and you've probably already heard how great it is, but if I don't write about this now, I'll do a Pete Towsend on my Guitar Hero controller. This game is that great and once you play it, you'll want to tell everyone, too!

As soon as you play Guitar Hero once, you want to do it again — harder and faster. It's a rhythm-based game where you literally play the guitar to some 30 A-list rock classics. There's Ozzy & Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Stevie Ray, Pantera, Boston, Deep Purple, David Bowie, Franz Ferdinand, The Ramones, Queen, Stevie Wonder and more. The song selection is incredible and there's an excellent mix of old and new rock. Plus, there's over twenty indie rock choices that are actually worth their inclusion.

The beauty of Guitar Hero is in the included Gibson-replica (plastic) guitar controller. It looks kind of goofy when you first see it, but once you play the intuitive instrument, you'll instantly become a Rock God. On the guitar controller neck are five buttons that you have to press in sequence to the game while hitting the strum bar. Colored circles are displayed on the screen corresponding to the colored "fret" on the guitar. All you have to do is press the right fret while strumming and suddenly you're Brian May.

The circles fly at you at a frenzied pace, but thankfully, this game has several difficulty levels that allow you practice your way up to a guitar hero. So it's easy to learn, difficult to master — the hallmark of every great game. It's a point-based game, so for every note you hit properly, the better your score.

What makes Guitar Hero so addictive is that is delivers an incredibly visceral experience. You actually feel like your playing. You'll learn the intricacies of the songs and appreciate each of the varied styles. This is the closest most of us will ever get to feeling like Eric Clapton, and that's worth the price of admission.

If you haven't played Guitar Hero and have a PS2, this is a no-brainer. This game is a sure thing. Go get it now! Also, once you’ve mastered it, I'll bet you a pizza my 10-year old son can beat any of you in expert mode. He's a virtual virtuoso and unbeatable…e-mail me at the Reader.

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©2006 Fort Wayne Reader. All rights Reserved.