Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Guitar Hero

I come out of my study throwing the sign of the goat.

"Are you throwing the goat or is your hand cramping?" Gloria asked.

"This just in," I said. "I ROCK."

"Thanks for that critical update," she said.

"One hundred and two thousand on Bark At the Moon. Four stars. On Medium difficulty."

"Medium difficulty?" she asked. "That doesn't sound like rocking."

"Medium difficulty would actually be Sickeningly Hard difficulty in any other game," I said. "Bark at the Moon on Medium is insanely hard."

"Yet it's called Medium," Gloria.

"Yes, it is," I said, "Non-rocker."

"Watch it," Gloria says.

"Twenty-three songs out of thirty at five stars on Medium," I said.

"Stunning," she said. "To someone."

"I credit my rock instinct," I said. "Some might call it Rockstinct."

"There's certainly some 'stinct' in there somewhere," she said.

Cowboys From Hell (Pantera) is harder for me to play than Bark At The Moon, which is the song everyone complains about. Cowboys From Hell requires so many different skills that it really exposes all my weaknesses.

I tried a few songs on Hard last night and it's brutal. Hard difficulty introduces a fifth fret button, so instead of having a one-to-one correspondence between frets and fingers, now you have to start sliding your hand over to reach that fifth fret. Plus the speed has been amped up on Hard.

A note about the bonus songs: you can unlock them with the cash you earn at Medium level and up, and some of the songs are very, very fun to play--lots of Star Power notes and plenty of chords. There's a song by The Slip that I particularly like (I think it's called "Even Rats")--it's actually relaxing to play. So if you haven't checked out the bonus songs, unlock a few and give them a try. Some information about the band is also presented on the loading screen, which is another nice touch.

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