Last year a lady I work with told me about this thing her husband bought at Future shop. He snuck it inside the house, didn't tell her what it was, and an hour later she heard the TV in the basement den proclaim very loudly that her husband "ROCKED!". She went downstairs and there he was, doing the Pete Townsend windmill with a little PS2 plastic guitar around his neck with 5 colorful buttons. It was the Guitar Hero rhythm game for the PS2!
I thought it sounded ridiculous! Heck, if you can do the real thing with a real guitar why would you bother? Duh! Still I was curious. I checked out the website. Man.. All the designers are gamers and guitar players. It has a whammy bar! It looks like a flying V. THAT'S COOL!!!!! Mildly intrigued I saw that it was a PS2 only game, problem solved. I'm an XBOX-only kinda guy.
Fast forward to today where they have released Guitar Hero II for Xbox 360. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! I had to buy it. I went to Best Buy after checking the website to make sure it was in stock. I had to ask two sales droids to actually do their jobs instead of just standing there producing carbon dioxide:
"I dunno man, I think we're sold out...."
"Can you check?"
Clicks on computer
"Oh. we have 34 left - gee I just told the last guy we were sold out, hee hee, oh well, they must be in the back.. "
When I was leaving 3 of the 4 people in line to show their receipts to the yellow shirted Best Buy guy who guards the door had Guitar Hero II boxes! One guy and his girlfriend were parked right beside me. I did that stupid Tonni Iommi devil horn sign and said:
"Rock on Dude!"
and the other guy said "You know it!" and his girlfriend just rolled her eyes(they don't get it).
So I ran home, helped my kid with her homework and then plugged in the little plastic Gibson explorer with a USB extender, fitted the strap and commenced rockin! That's one drag. Microsoft doesn't share it's X360 wireless protocol with anyone so the guitar has a cable. I read on the website that some interviewer asked the lead designer why they made it with a cable and the guy said "We tried cutting the cable between the guitar and the Xbox360 but you know what? it just didn't work after!"
What you do in the game is follow the on-screen tape ticker and when you see the same colored buttons as you have on the neck, you fret it and hit the strum button. It's easy to figure out but hard to master, and it's very addictive. My 6 year old loves it! The guitar is small and comfy and you find yourself bopping as you play to keep time. Pretty ridiculous but effective as long as no one can see you. I can understand how someone who does not actually know how to play guitar would get into this sim as if they actually were producing the cool riffs and licks you hear when you hit the button combos just right. It even has some strange thing that happens when you tilt the guitar upright. It can sense the change in the guitar's posture and you get extra points if you do it in certain places.
My wife thinks I'm a loser though(ROCK ON!!!!!!!!!!! it even has YYZ! Woohoo!)