Admittedly, Guitar Hero III was not top of my list of ‘must have’ games. However on seeing it on special offer online, my female bargain hunting instincts kicked in. Sure, I had only heard of four songs, but it had to be a laugh, surely?
Perhaps a laugh is not the correct terminology. After an hour and a half my legs were aching, my arms and fingers were stiff, and the strap had rubbed against my neck so much I’m surprised my head is still on top of it. Yet had I not felt so uncomfortable I would have gladly played on for another hour.
Guitar Hero III, as well as being an excellent way to improve hand-eye co-ordination, is a hugely entertaining game. The controls are easy enough to pick up, it’s playing them in the right order that is the challenge. A guitar fret scrolls out of the screen towards you, and different coloured circles indicate the relevant buttons to be pressed while the strummer that represents the strings is simultaneously strummed.
Track listings on the internet had given a rather limited view of the surprisingly varying range of songs, artists and decades. The four songs I had heard of quickly increased to seven, while others may just have to be sought out on iTunes. From Heart to Alice Cooper, and Cream to The Killers, there was something to satisfy even my narrow-minded tastes in music. Ironically, one of the songs I had most been looking forward to, the Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black”, proved to be one of the most difficult among the ‘easy’ level.
In ‘Career’ mode, pick your lead guitarist, name your band, and embark on a road to rock stardom. From beginning in a garage, to recording music videos, to the first gig in London; every new concert, every new contract, gives a sense of satisfaction.
The one moment I did not enjoy was a ‘battle’ against a rival guitar player, and after getting beat three times had to endure an encore featuring a song of such heavy metal, few words and few chord changes that was boring yet difficult. Talk about punishment. Personally, what would really make this game would be a version with ‘70s and ‘80s soft rock songs.
The Gibson guitar that comes with the game for the Wii is wireless, something of a blessing for those who would prefer not to trip on a cable and fall headfirst into the television while trying to rock. The amount of freedom, the evolution of the video controllers given to us by the Wii has made it very difficult now to use anything that has wires.
Finally, when my legs and fingers could take no more, and my eyes were telling me that the television was elevating itself, I knew it was time to quit for the day. After all that heavy metal, it was something of a relief to switch on Top Gear and hear the strains of Elgar accompanying the sight of James and Richard flying over Italy in a Cessna.