Thursday, May 01, 2008

I'm a Guitar Zero

Guitar Hero…

You have probably been exposed to this if:
- You have kids, know kids, see kids older than seven
- You have the maturity level of a teen
- You got trapped in a Best Buy overnight
- Air guitar was more than a hobby for you

Now I’m not going to get into a comment war on “Rock Band” vs “Guitar Hero” here. That would be like rehashing “Tastes Great” and “Less Filling”. I guarantee you it would be less than fulfilling…

If you haven’t seen it; you have this “special” guitar with up to 5 color buttons on the guitar arm and then a strumming bar and this other “whammy” bar that when adults try and use it, they completely lose track of the damn song they were trying so hard to play accurately.

You play the guitar by holding the correct color button while giving it a strum. This simulates playing a guitar chord without the “God my fingers hurt” pain of beginning guitar playing. The trick to it is that there is this endless amount of guitar frets to play that come directly at you like you’re racing down some sort of arcade freeway.

Now as an adult, you’ll simply want to “feel the music” and play with passion. Forget it. The notes you have to hit don’t necessarily correspond to the rhythm of the song. Kids today are mechanical wunderbeings. They can play anything. They have no idea what all those heavy metal and classic rock songs are. That’s sad. You can’t play Stairway to Heaven without KNOWING its Stairway to Heaven. That’s just wrong.

I’ve figured out that on Easy, I can actually complete a song with greater than 90% accuracy. I also figured out that doing so I haven’t blinked for the entire song and must then go refocus my retinas and regain my sight before I contract the mother-of-all-headaches.

Forget about me looking at anything other than the onslaught of notes I have to hit. If I glance at the score I’ll miss at least 20 seconds of the song entirely. Forget moving; I can’t tilt the damn guitar without missing something and then I lose bonus points. Yeah, like that mattered. My kids are over there maxing out the whammy bar, playing on the Hard setting with 18,000 notes flying by while I struggle on the other side to hit my feeble 20.

It’s fun, sure. But when you’re all done and have to go somewhere, this happens:

40 comments:

Bee said...

My name when I play GH and RB is "Busty Beeyotch"!

Yeah!

Bee said...

So that really confirms your theory on my maturity level. ;op

VE said...

bee - Ha! BB...very funny. You probably use that damn whammy bar too...

Marie said...

Meh that games doesn't interest me. Now if they came out with Clarinet Hero, I'd be all over it like a pint of Ben & Jerry's.

Jeff said...

Just for kicks I tried playing a song on expert once... I was shut down before the INTRO was over!

You and I should play online. I'll kick your butt on Hit Me With Your Best Shot. On "easy" of course.

VE said...

marie - Ha! Clarinet Hero...funny.

jeff - Oh yeah? We'll I'd kick YOUR butt at Puff the Magic Dragon!

Kanrei said...

I am a Rock Band addict. I play almost everyday for atleast 30 minutes. I loved air guitar so this is a no brainer for me. Plus, Rock Band has the Grateful Dead and Boston! Come on =D

VE said...

kan - You're trying to lure me into a RB vs GH debate, aren't you? You can't make me, you can't make me. That said, I wondered where the Boston music was...

Mrs. R said...

Hey! Just because I heart GH and maybe play a little air guitar and provide my own vocals and choreography while playing, doesn't mean I have the maturity level of a...oh, wait...

VE said...

mrs. r - Ok, but I draw the line at singing (just because I can't sing) and choreography (just because I can't dance)

Mother Theresa said...

Never tried it, but it sounds fun. Maybe you should just give it up and leave it to the new generations, but only after you make them listen to Stairway to Heaven. I could go with Marie's Clarinet Hero...if only I could remember how to play. :)

Maureen said...

Hahahaha!!!! I will definitely have to show daughter this. Being 16, with two friends with Rock Band, they have been playing for months... they have their own band and she's on drums.

And yes, she doesn't blink either. Which, for someone with contacts, is a real pain. Literally. She comes home with her eyes watering. I protest, but she says it's so much fun!

I laugh at her questions about their repetoire "Do you know that song by The Who..." um, of course I do, honey!

I could never keep up with that screen though, so I'll just stick to being one of their groupies.

iamnot said...

Yet another cultural phenom that I am happily ignorant of.

Kanrei said...

NO debate VE. I feel both are equal although in different ways. GH is brutally hard, but challenging and very rewarding when you pull off a song. RB is more laid back with more energy placed on the song as a whole. My musical tastes lean more toward RB, but that does not mean I hate GH. I am impressed you played either.

lime said...

marie makes a good point....i'm gonna wait for 'band geek: the game' to come out. it will be all about me and the tuba.

VE said...

mother theresa - You're right; I should give it up but the kids just love to see us suffer! And I think Stairway to Heavy should be taught as part of our education. Come on!

maureen - Isn't that funny...yes...we actually know the context around almost ALL those songs. I limit my playing due to the blinking thing...it can't be good for you

iamnot - You'll be there soon...the kids will demand it.

kan - Well I'm glad to hear you find GH challenging too. To hear both you and Jeff say so...makes me feel less of a loser. I mean, I did get at 99% on some song (can't remember now)...on Easy of course.

lime - Tuba hero! Now that would be something. Oh, and did I tell you about this one time at band camp....

Bonnie said...

I have never played but, have heard about it. I now have a burning desire to try. Mostly because I want to see how truly old and spastic I am.

VE said...

bonnie - It's always fun to humble yourself for other's amusement. Why do you think I blog?

Yes, my name is Arizona said...

Too funny. I'm going to buy DDR. I wonder what happens when you play that too often?

VE said...

arizona - I don't know; you'll have to report back to us if you live...

leelee said...

so wait..this is a video game..like atari?

VE said...

leelee - Pretty much. They've gotten quite sophisticated these days..

Kurt said...

Never played either. The last time I played a computer/video game, it was Super Mario Brothers.

Megan said...

My sister & her husband have RB and love, love, love it. But they can never get anyone to be the singer...

VE said...

kurt - You've got some catching up to do. Look for a large shipment of 10,000 home games to be delivered soon...

megan - My worst fear...singing in public (ok, dancing is right up there too)

Mr Farty said...

Q. How many kids with ADD does it take to change a light bulb?

A. Let's go play Guitar Hero!

VE said...

Mr. Farty - Awesome. Will Ritelin lower my scores on GH? That's the important question...

Serena Joy said...

I don't know nothin' 'bout that, but I can see where one could lose oneself for hours playing and fretting. Hmmmmmm.:)

RED MOJO said...

I haven't played it yet. I'm kind of afraid to...'cause I get addicted to shit like that.

VE said...

red mojo - Not to worry; when you suck at something its harder to get so addicted...

Carla said...

I too am a guitar Zero...I suck, but I suck in a big way so that makes me cool, No?

Alex L said...

Try looking at a picture after playing a song, the whole thing just wobbles. My mates got it hes fairly good at it, but I'm with you easy is the way to go.

VE said...

carla - Ah...no. But it was a good attempt. Don't worry, I mostly suck too

alex l - I should have done a song parody...something like "I'm Easy" or "Take it Easy" for this post

Sunshine said...

Cheese and Rice....I commented on this post yesterday!!!

Why is Blogger eating my comments all over the blogosphere??

And I rock the GH.

VE said...

sunshine - That's weird. I saw you commented on the Blog Commenting post yesterday. Disappearing comments have happened to me too...it's like socks from the dryer...

HeyJoe said...

I so suck at Guitar Hero. My 10 year old boy kicks my feeble ass. I always feel that the buttons should be closer together somehow. My brain and my hand cannot work together fast enough to hit the right color. I so suck at Guitar Hero. But at least they have some songs that I recognize.

VE said...

heyjoe - I know Joe, you name was under the "sucks" list over at guitarhero dot com. So was mine though...

Beth said...

I've mastered two songs on Guitar Hero (on Easy) and I think I've done permanent damage to to my eyes.
My youngest just brought home Rock Band and I've been invited to join in. (I think my kids just want a good laugh). I'm wondering if doing the vocals will be easier. (Doubt it.)

VE said...

Beth - Kan was saying Rock band isn't quite as intense so who knows...

C said...

LOL!!!! The sad thing is that after playing GH for a few hours in a row, you do dream of those multi-colored circles for the notes you're supposed to hit. Scary when you dream of stuff like that! K, maybe it's just me.