Chronicling the creative process for Pop Zeus, the forthcoming Guided By Voices/Bob Pollard tribute comic- including sketches, concepts, finished art and whatever else is in my brain at the moment.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

We Can Be Heroes (Guitar Hero Review)

OK, I admit it. I am a video game nerd.

Growing up in the 80's (not sure if I ever grew up come to think of it), video games were a big part of my life and continue to be so. I have jumped over flaming barrels, swung over crock infested swamps, eaten hundreds of ghosts and wondered why the frog crossed the road. Countless quarters, countless hours never to be seen again. From the Atari 2600 to the Turbo Graphix 16, from the Vectrex to the Super Nintendo- I've played them all.

And one of the best "console" games I've ever played is Guitar Hero for the Playstation 2. It is rock geek wish fulfilment at its most gratifying and addicting. Every wanna-be has strummed the air guitar to their favorite rock anthem. But why spend years learning to play Smoke On The Water badly on a real guitar, when you can play Bark At The Moon today?

The game comes with a scaled down black guitar controller, so the simulation is quite real. Instead of strings and frets, you strum a bar and push down on 5 colored buttons on the neck. It even has a responsive whammy bar that bends the notes. In the game, you play as an up and coming band rocking venues from the basement to the arena. And as you advance up the levels, more difficult songs are unlocked.

And what makes the game really great is the song sellection. There is truly something for everyone. My favorites are Ziggy Stardust, I Wanna Be Sedated, Killer Queen, Symphony Of Destruction and More Than A Feeling (for real!). It's impossible not to feel your inner rock god come alive as you pseudo-play these classic guitar rock tunes. And anytime I've felt the inspiration tank getting empty while working on Pop Zeus, Guitar Hero is a quick and dirty reminder of what it's all about- RAWK!


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