Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Rock Band #97 (Plus a Guitar Hero Story)

Julian Murdoch just wrote one of the best Guitar Hero stories ever for Gamers With Jobs, and it has one of the best titles ever as well. Don't miss Best Buy Bodhisattva.

I'm down to two songs on Expert guitar--Flirtin' With Disaster and Green Grass and High Tides. There's no question that I'll pass FWD--I've gotten through the long solo three or four times, but couldn't get my hands transitioned back to the regular buttons quickly enough. When I'll pass it, though, is another question entirely.

Flirtin' With Disaster also has one of my favorite note charts ever. Almost every single skill you can learn in the game is incorporated into the note chart, and even though it's very difficult, it's also totally fair. There are no tricks or artificial difficulty jacking. It's one of those songs that must be earned, so to speak, so failing it isn't nearly as aggravating as it could be.

Green Grass and High Tides, though, may be my Hangar 18 for this game. The first set of solos are difficult but bearable, but the last solo (which seems to go on for several minutes) is brutal. I've played it in practice mode, and while the note chart isn't unplayable, the sheer length of the solo makes it tremendously difficult.

I'm still having way too much trouble seeing which notes are HO/PO, and I hope that Harmonix can do something to change the way that those notes are represented. Both regular notes and HO/PO notes are rectangles, the only difference being that the HO/PO notes are smaller rectangles. This has to be the most difficult possible way to present those notes in terms of us being able to identify them easily. Use a different shape, or have a different kind of border--anything that will make it easier to identify them. And make it an option, so that people who like it the way it is don't have to change anything.

On drums, I'm through 29 songs on Hard. The set I'm in right now (Vaseline, in particular) is pretty nefarious for my skill level. Once again, I'm stunned at the level of stamina professional drummers must have, and the sheer speed at which they play. I finish some of these songs and my arms are in what can only be identified as shock.

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