Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The new Guitar Hero game

A few weeks ago I picked up the latest edition of Guitar Hero, complete with new guitar controller. For the record, this makes three guitar controllers in my collection, and I live alone and can only use one at at time. Guitar Hero: World Tour has a few of my favorite songs in it, like "Livin' On A Prayer," "Ramblin' Man," "Stranglehold" and "Pull Me Under." However, the majority of the songs are ones that I've never heard before. Some are new songs by unfamiliar bands like Airbourne, The Enemy, Kent, and Radio Futura. Others are songs I should know by bands like The Cult and 311. (The entire song list is here.) Previous games would mix in new music with classic guitar hits in the same set. Most of the sets in World Tour consist of only new songs, with familiar hits appearing every six or seven songs. For example, I played the game for about 90 minutes on Tuesday night, and of the approximately ten songs I played, the only one I knew right away was "Hollywood Nights" by Bob Seger. The rest of the songs were completely new to me. I got through all of them without much trouble, which was refreshing. My biggest problem with the previous game in the series was that some of the song were too difficult for me even on the "Hard" setting. In Guitar Hero II I was able to play most of the songs on "Expert" and get through them. World Tour has made all the song easier overall, so that when I finish the game on Hard I shouldn't have much trouble replaying it on Expert and boosting my confidence.

I like the new guitar controller that came with this game. In addition to the usual fret buttons and strum bar, they've added a touchpad further down the neck that can be used as a tap zone or for sliding on certain notes. It adds variety and makes it easier to play some faster solos. I'm still learning how best to use it. And they've added a button near the strum bar that you can press with your hand to activate "Star Power" if that's easier than tilting the entire guitar.

I didn't buy the version of World Tour that includes the drum kit. I thought that would be overly ridiculous for my apartment. But I am considering buying the microphone controller that comes with the full band kit. Should my friends ever want to sing along, then we'd have the microphone and, with the extra guitars I already own, we'd have a little band ready to go. If that ever happens, expect photos.

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