Guitar Hero Fever


It’s probably not going to last long, but lately I’ve fallen in love with Guitar Hero. It wasn’t love at first sight, I can tell you that much, but over time it has grabbed me and pulled me in. Now I’m trapped in a world full of rock, guitars and smelly ugly men.

The first time I came into contact with Guitar Hero was at a dark and dirty gamelab during my MA, where there were pro’s exercising their magic on the machines. Seriously, they could play the game on expert and rock! Before I went there I thought I was a pretty cool nerd with some wicked gaming skills. But over there I met some people who unfortunately outnerded me a million times, I wish I was as hardcore as them.

In that gamelab I lost my virginity as a rockstar and I sucked. I failed at every song on easy mode. I couldn’t hit a note even if I wanted too. Luckily, I’m the kind of person who doesn’t care about winning and has fun at everything she does, so eventhough I was a total n00b, I was fascinated by Guitar Hero. It’s the sort of game that sucks you in, gets you into a flow and gives a great feeling of satisfaction.

So what do you actually do in Guitar Hero? I’m currently playing Guitar Hero III on the Xbox 360, the video at the top of this post shows AFI – Miss Murder, my favourite song on Guitar Hero III. For those out there who don’t know what it is (very unlikely), watch this trailer:

On a special controller shaped like a guitar (see picture below) you play rocksongs from a setlist. In Guitar Hero III you can also play together with a friend or battle a friend online or on the same console. During gameplay you need to press the corresponding colours of the notes: green, red yellow, blue or orange. Next to pressing the correct colour you also simultaneously need to strike the middle big button, a strumming bar. Your performance is being measured by the audience and if you they start booing you, you will eventually lose the game.

Although I’m a big fan of this game, I also think it has a couple of flaws. For instance, the game is extremely unforgiving. If you hit 100% of the notes, but then fail for a small section of the song, you can immediately lose. This means that you cannot build up some safety zone. It’s also a very stressful game, physically and mentally. Physically because you need to keep your arms and fingers in positions they’re not used to. Especially on the higher levels this causes a bit of pain for your body and you need to stay relaxed during play, which is very difficult. Because mentally you get into this flow where you have a very fast reaction time, yet it’s also very exhausting. In Guitar Hero III I thought Neversoft could have done a better job at animating the audience and the characters. There’s a lack of diversity here and that’s a shame. Next to this the basic principle of the game hasn’t changed since the series started, no innovation here.

Still this game is the most fun ever! It’s extremely cool and addictive. The play session can be short, so it’s easy to play this game casually. I’ve been practicing and I’m halfway through my solo career on medium level. I’ve got a long way to go, but just to give you a taste of what I’m striving to achieve, here’s a video of someone playing ‘Through the Fire and the Flames’ on expert:


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