Guitar Hero 3

Picked up Guitar Hero 3 (on PS2) today. I got it with the (wireless) guitar since I have one wireless guitar already, and it supports co-op play apparently.

It’s not bad. But discounting for a moment the song list, it’s not quite as good as the first two. Just in little ways, everything about it is slightly, if not worse, then different enough to jar the familiarity. For example, the boot time and the load and save times seem slightly longer. Legal screens and brand movies seem to have multiplied. In a move reminiscent of Microsoft, the in-game graphics have changed, not for the better, but seemingly just to be different. It now shows the number of notes in your current streak, which is nice, but it also changes the rock meter to discrete bulbs, so I’m not sure now how much effect my whammy bar has during held star notes. The beat and measure lines are less distinguishable, which makes it harder for me to read/intuit the timing.

The guitar itself is good, with just a small amount of wobble in the neck (this guitar is in two parts – the neck snaps into the body) which is unnoticeable during gameplay. The wail tilt switch seems more sensitive than my other one. And for some reason, the start and select buttons have been moved under the whammy bar, making them difficult to hit when a quick pause is needed.

All this is by the wayside of course: the main thing is the song list. And the song list is, once more, solid. Not stellar, but solid. It’s fun, even if Sunshine of Your Love is a cover, and someone thought Paint It Black was a better idea than Jumping Jack Flash, and there’s still no AC/DC or Led Zeppelin.

The other thing that Neversoft added was the boss battles with Tom Morello and Slash. Frankly, they needn’t have bothered. This game isn’t about boss battles. It’s about the songs. Once completed, the boss battles are discarded to my memory card.

I’m currently about 15 songs through campaign mode on Medium.

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