How to Become a Rock God, part 4

You know, I should probably title this post “How NOT to Become a Rock God,” because it is all about failure: my failure, Activision/Red Octane/Neversoft’s failure, and the failure of rock to conquer all. I am sad, and it is Guitar Hero III that has made me sad.

Don’t get me wrong—it’s fun. I enjoy it. I like the way it handles some songs better than the way that Rock Band handles some songs, though I maintain that Rock Band has a greater proportion of great songs to kinda decent songs (and a lack of kinda crappy songs, which I can’t say for GHIII). Anyway, I enjoy GHIII enough that I decided to forego Rock Band for most of the day (well, after playing a bit online with Dan) in order to play through nearly all of GHIII on Hard mode.

Then I got to the last song, which is a “battle” between you and the devil, where the goal is not to actually play the friggin guitar, but to play key notes to deploy as “attacks” against your opponent. It sounds stupid because it is. The people behind this game managed to find the most irritating part of narrative games—annoying, repetitive “boss” battles where you have to hit just right in order to strike their weak spot and proceed—and migrate this god-awful mechanic to a game genre that we never imagined would ever have to deal with it. If Activision/Neverwhatever tries to pull this kind of crap ever again, I will actively boycott the next game in the series.

The main reason I was trying to play through the whole game, though, was that I was looking for a song. So begins another story of failure.

While playing GHIII with Evan, we kept hearing this one song playing in the background at the title screen and on menus. We looked through all the songs he unlocked and all the bonus tracks. He still hadn’t beaten the game yet, though, so I figured it must be one of those tracks. So tonight, I (nearly) beat the game. But by the time I got to the last song, it was clear that the track wasn’t revealing itself. I got fed up trying to beat that song, so I went online to play with strangers, figuring the song I wanted might only be available in co-op mode (which it was). I played the song, finally getting to hear it all for once. But just playing online with strangers doesn’t unlock it so I can play it; I have to play co-op mode with someone in my home. And I only have one guitar controller that works with this game. So tonight I was reduced to playing through “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” on easy just so I could figure out how to play Guitar Hero with a regular Xbox controller. Now, next time someone else is here, I can make them play through career mode with me just so I can unlock songs. (Remember: D-pad for star power!)

Playing through co-op mode on easy with a handheld controller just so I can get access to content on my game disk is not good game design. This does not make me feel like a Rock God. When you pay such-and-such amount of money for a game, you shouldn’t have to be forced to stoop to such levels just to get at the actual content on it because you don’t happen to have a second super-expensive guitar. (I say this more in principle than anything else because I didn’t spend money on this at all. You know what I mean, though.)

In conclusion, I am going to need some help soon with a very stupid task. Let me know if you feel like doing some co-op Controller Hero III sometime soon.