Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Guitar Hero III Impressions (From All Angles)

Since I haven't bought the full game, I'm relying on you guys for impressions, and here are two posts in particular that are very informative.

Before I get to the posts, though, the grumpy old bitches at Blog for the Sports Gamer (Glen, and Dan, at least--I don't think Bill has the game) both like GH III, and you can read their impressions from the main page here.

First off, here are some impressions from LP Miller, who plays mostly on Medium difficulty level:
Ok, I'm not seeing the problems with GH III that you are.

Keep in mind, I'm a medium player at best. For me, though, this is actually much better then GH2.

For one thing, it's a touch more forgiving. As to the guitar parts, it seems to me the guitar line is actually louder, which might be what isn't sounding right to you. You can actually adjust that in the game, which is nice. The covers are much better (except for Cream) than in previous versions. And the battle was actually fun. It's a made up song, so you are literally jamming, and the battle things are kind of fun. The backgrounds are much better; lips actually sync to the lyrics, and it actually looks like the character is playing the notes (or not, if you boff it), which makes it more fun for the people watching.

Also, unlike GH II, you actually get money/encores/battles on the Easy level. To me, this makes the game much more approachable to people like my wife, who can only play on Easy, but still wants to rock out.

I also really don't have a problem with the HUD at all. I like the note streak notices, personally, and I think star power works better too. I dunno, this seems even more polished than the second one, and that was a pretty polished game.

Don't get me wrong, I was totally dreading this, especially after I read your impressions of the demo. But The demo seemed fine to me, and the game so far is pretty damn good. I think the hardcore is too stoked about Rockband to give this a fair shake. Rent it or something, it's really actually a lot of fun.

At the ultra-high end of the skill scale, here's an e-mail from Matt Gindt, who is in the top 1500 on the Xbox Live Leaderboards:

I've put in a few hours now on GH III and there are some definite pros and cons to it.

On the pro side, the new guitar is excellent. It won't require any getting used to like the Explorer did. The buttons feel great and the strum bar is perfect. The on-line play is a ton of fun and it works really well. Even battle mode is fun when playing against someone online. The note charts are, for the most part very good. There are a couple that I don't like so far, but they are for songs I've never heard before, so I have to withhold judgment until I learn those songs.

On the con side, a couple of the songs are insanely hard. I have finished all of them on Expert except for "One" and the final battle with Lou. The song difficulty ramps up really fast in tier 7. Up to that point I 5-starred most songs on the first pass and 4-starred the others. I didn't 3-star a song until Raining Blood, which I failed several times.

A couple of the covers are really great, but some of them are just horrible. Pride and Joy is almost embarrassing to listen to.

Another downer is the leaderboard setup. They broke it. The GH II leaderboard system worked great. It's now a chore to find your score and ranking. They also took out the total number of players so you have no idea where you stand overall. You can get that info online now at the new website though, fortunately.

The first two boss battles were pretty easy, even on expert. I beat Tom Morello on the first try. The battle against Slash was a bit harder but I beat it after 4-5 tries.

So there are impressions from two different skill levels. I'm still holding out, but it's entirely possible that I'll cave at some point in the next week or so. It's just hard to justify spending $100 on a game and a guitar that I probably won't use after November 20 (and I wouldn't get the game by itself, because I'm really more interested in the guitar).

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