The Broc Says...

A mish-mash of brain droppings from Jason Dalke, aka Anonymous Broccoli

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Guitar Geekery: 1, Rational Decision-Making: 0

That picture's bound to haunt me, but what the heck.

My plan to hold off on buying Guitar Hero III didn't pan out so well.

The nearby Wal-Mart stayed open after midnight to launch the game, and they just happened to have the cheapest price in town, which was the priority for me. When I got there at about 12:10, there was a line from the customer service desk to pretty near the doors. Took maybe 10-15 minutes, all the while at the back of the line, and I was on my merry way with my new guitar-less PS2 version. I believe this was my first midnight launch, though I did briefly wait in line for GTA: San Andreas when EB Games decided to release it the evening before its release date.

Now, some grievances about the game:

The load times aren't great. There's even a load screen to start the game. It'll sometimes crawl into the main career menu, where your character is rendered and posing for no particular reason. And you have to re-load the level to restart the song. This is one of the things that really turned me off of Burnout Revenge for the PS2, though it's not nearly as bad in this case. It was an instantaneous return to the start of the song in GH2, so this is a clear step backwards.

Along the same lines, it takes about 10 seconds each time to Autosave.

I still have to manually set the thing to Progressive Scan every time I start the game. If you're worried about it loading in 480p on an SDTV, tell people to remove their memory card, rather than having me go through the same process ad nauseum.

The game's already frozen on me once.

The Top Rockers, or high scores section of the options is something I've wanted. But it doesn't take scores from Career Mode. What the heck?

Some parts of the game look good, but certain parts seem like they're ripped from some of the better-looking PS1 games. Close-ups on members of the crowd are especially bad. It's not as though the first two games were technical marvels, but they didn't distract me with pixelated textures, jaggies, and really stiff animation.

The pace of the tutorial seemed really slow. I don't know if this was because of loading, or by design.

Finally, the product placement. So far, I've seen the Pontiac Garage as a venue, and a freaking Axe Body Spray guitar. I'm not usually one to harp about "selling out." But between this stuff, the over-priced downloadable songs, the My Chemical Romance theme pack, the wired Xplorer being packed with GH2 360, claiming they couldn't make it wireless, only to conveniently resolve the issue for GH3... It's annoying to be losing the more indie charm of the first two games, in lieu of making the franchise just another money-making machine. I hate to complain about giving the customer choice, but having the game on every console known to man kind of contributes to this feeling as well.

And yet... it's still Guitar Hero. I'm gonna play it to death, and I'm gonna have fun. For the time being, that's all that really matters.


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