I’m a recent convert to the Guitar Hero series. I don’t own a PS2 or 360 so I never played Guitar hero 1 and was only able to play Guitar Hero 2 occasionally at a friends place; I loved it so much that the only thing holding me back was the by-then-famous RROD issues on the 360. That all changed a month or two ago when my flatmate bought a 360. After he bought GH2 I quickly became addicted, and between having a bit of musical background as a kid and knowing a few of the songs inside out from previous experience I was quickly smashing songs on the hard difficulty.
I, like a few other friends I’ve talked to, had serious difficulty with two of the songs on hard; in both cases it was the second song in a set that I had otherwise completed with ease.
“Woman” by Wolfmother is in the second set and is the first point where you really need to get good at fast hammer-on and pull-off sections. I think that song took me a week, but once I’d finished it I quickly ate up the other songs until I hit the 8th set. I completed the usual suspects, even 4 starring one of them – but “Carry Me Home” by The Living End absolutely killed me and the one time I made it past 5% it wasn’t pretty.
After many frustrating nights I was quite happy to just give up on the game, I think it was mid October by then and I knew Guitar Hero 3 wasn’t too far away. I only got up to the third set on Expert before calling it quits due to the Carry Me Home issue and I won’t go back now; I don’t want to burn out on trying to complete those songs when GH3 is due out on Wednesday.
Anyway, back to the point of my post. I downloaded the GH3 demo when it was released a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve played it through pretty much every night since 😀
I’m not a huge fan of the guitarist model changes or the rock meter, but I love the new score counter / note counter setup. I also like the easier difficulty. The note timings are much wider and it doesn’t fail you anywhere near as fast (at least on hard, I’ve heard expert is torture in places). In particular the timing for the HO/PO sections is huge in GH3; there are sequences of notes that I would absolutely not be able to pull off in GH2 but I can nail them at least half the time in GH3.
Tonight however I realised that the track “Lay Down” by Priestess has a very similar HO/PO section to the start of Carry Me Home. Despite the easier note timing in the demo, I’d played so much that I was 5-starring Lay Down and figured it was worth a shot.
I loaded it up and nailed Carry Me Home’s intro on the first shot, taking only 3 tries to finish the song. It turns out that somewhere in the week off from GH2, the GH3 demo has taken me that final step to easily moving between 5 fret buttons with 4 fingers. The final GH2 encore, Free Bird, went down on my second try.
I finally have this controller nailed, and I’m using it the same way I approach touch typing. I don’t use a keyboard by sitting on home row; my brain instinctively knows where each key is on the keyboard and how to put my finger on it. With only 5 buttons on this controller it’s not as random as my typing but the point is I can concentrate on what notes I want to play rather than how I need to hold my fingers for each chord.
So yeah, I’m pumped for Guitar Hero 3. I want the wii version, but I think that will have to wait because my flatmate already has the 360 guitar so it makes more sense for him to pick up the 360 version.