Thursday, April 12, 2007

Guitar Hero II - It goes to eleven

How much fun can you have playing a video game without killing anything? Amazingly, quite a lot.

Guitar Hero II for the Xbox 360 is the latest installment of the popular Guitar Hero franchise. For around $90 you get the game and a plastic Gibson Explorer guitar. Start the game and start jamming! GH2 is a rythym/timing game where notes fly at you and when they cross a certain point, you play them on the guitar. Miss enough notes and you fail the song.

The magic of GH2 is in the music and presentation. The HD video is great, and the music is even better. You get to play such classics as "War Pigs" by Black Sabbath, "Carry on Wayward Son" by Kansas, and "YYZ" by Rush. Freakin' sweet!

In easy mode, you only use 3 of the 5 fret buttons on the guitar, and few, if any, chords (holding down 2 or more buttons at once). In medium mode, you use 4 buttons, and more chords. I haven't gotten past medium mode, so I'm not sure how hard or expert mode fares, but I'm sure it's not simple!

Since I play real guitar, I wondered if this game would feel, well, cheesy. To my pleasant surprise, I actually felt like I was jamming with a band on stage. It's that cool. The whammy bar on the guitar also helps up the coolness factor.

Well, enough of my yappin'. Time to jam.

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