Truly A legend, in the making...
Lots of people have been feeling the need to scratch that Guitar itch since the release of Guitar Hero 2 onto the X-Box 360, myself included. Microsoft and Neversoft gave us a little tease earlier in the week with the release of the demo onto the Xbox Live Marketplace. When I saw this there was no debate I had to download it even if it cost 1,000,000 Microsoft points, luckily for me it was free. (I don't have 1,000,000 Microsoft points)
So when I first booted up the demo and strapped on my AXE I was greeted with the most basic of tutorials and then taken to the title screen where a magical melody filled my ears, it was of course the legendary band, Pearl Jam with one of their hits, Even Flow. I went immediately to Quickplay to start jamming to this song. After selecting one of the classic difficulties (easy, medium, hard, extreme) I saw the 5 song track list.
Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Pat Benatar (1980)
Lay Down, Priestess (2006)
Even Flow, Pearl Jam (1991)
Rock You Like A Hurricane, Scorpions (1984)
The Metal, Tenacious D (2006)
I began to drool over the great selection of tunes in the Demo and made myself want the full game to come out sooner!
So I decided to start my set with the Pearl Jam hit. As soon as the loading was done I could tell that this game was indeed made for the Next Gen systems. The graphics were amped up and everything looked like it should for a rock concert on the screen. The song began and I felt like Mike McCready playing for the band in the Mid-90's. I was more than impressed by not only the sound of the guitar that you we're playing, but the vocals sounded much, much better than in previous versions. The note patterns and all that good stuff was on par, if not better than the previous games and when I got rockin' the crowd started going insane, there were flames coming out of my guitar and once I kicked in the star power during the solo, I was in heaven.
Now while the 5 songs would have been enough to hold me over, the developers decided to give us a little taste of the new multi player battle mode. Instead of getting star power, you get battle power to mess your opponent all up. I couldn't wait to give this a shot so I yelled across the hall to get my sister to come in and play with me. It was great. I hit her with a lefty flip and a broken string, and it was all over.
Moving on, despite how amazing the battle mode is it has it's flaws as do all games, but in the demo it was polished like a Polish schnitzel. I did find the difficulty a bit lacking even in the extreme modes, not on the Priestess song but others could have used some more notes. I slammed together a 332 note string on Hurricane on hard. I remember my attempt to learn to play that on my guitar, it was awful. I didn't even get the little pains in my finger from going for the orange button. I can understand dumbing down the difficulty for the demo but hopefully when the game hits shelves in a few weeks the songs will be impossible to beat without several hours of practice.
I'll reserve my official judgement for when the game actually comes out, but if the Demo is any indication I can see it scoring on the high end of the scale.
Parting Shot: With the promise of over 70 "legendary" songs at the end of the Demo this edition of Guitar Hero has all of the makings of a legend, but with a new competitor by the name of Rock Band lurking in the wings waiting for it's chance to play, will the Guitar Goliath be taken out by the proverbial David? We'll know in a few short weeks with the release of both Guitar Hero 3 and Rock Band
~Ride Hard, Game On!