I’m what you would call an obsessive gamer. Since I’ve had a lot of free time as a youngster and no real social life to speak of, I’ve played a lot of games. Since I was an achievement “hunter” as well, I played the living hell out every game I could get my oily little hands on. This series is a counter to Jarred’s frankly blasphemous “Honesty Hour” series where I go over games that I spent way too much time on. As a start, I’ve picked the game franchise I probably spent the most time on in my gaming life. That would be good old Guitar Hero.
Guitar Hero is alive and kind of well today with Guitar Hero Live, but it’s basically an entirely different game than the classics I grew up with. I started my obsession with Guitar Hero 3 since that’s where I got the (superior in every way) Les Paul controller and crapped myself playing Raining Blood on Expert for the first time. But as I went on, I got pretty good. I got 5 stars for the entire setlist and even managed to get 4 stars for Through the Fire and the Flames on Expert. However, I can’t overstate just how much of this damn game I was playing. Every day after school I would sink a few hours into pressing coloured buttons and making clackity sounds with a plastic guitar. In hindsight, if that was a real guitar I would have been the new Steve Vai.
Throughout the years, more and more Guitar Hero games released and I played every single one of them barring the Van Halen one which I couldn’t find anywhere. I even played the awful (awful) Band Hero. It turned into a tradition. I would play through the setlist once, 5 star everything that I didn’t get first time and then move on to the next game. Of course, the saturation of Guitar Hero games caused the rhythm game sensation to crash and burn, but I was still into it all the way to the end with Warriors of Rock. I started playing the drums as well with Guitar Hero World Tour and got just as good with that. There was a time when I played more plastic drums than plastic guitar.
When the death of rhythm games came, I lost interest more and more. Rock Band still had some good stuff going on with its giant library and I enjoyed playing the drums on many of the DLC songs, but soon enough the fad came to a complete end and I lost interest. It was a sad ordeal to see my precious plastic instruments gathering more and more layers of dust, but that’s the way of the world. At least I have all the lovely memories of playing the games and even going to some championships because of it. My house parties were always made a little livelier because of the game and I have good memories of being drunk off my head, falling over with my guitar and still playing as I was on the floor.
To this day I have those games because I’ve always refused to sell them and they sit on my game display table as gentle reminders of my youth. I still have the guitars on a makeshift guitar rack, even if I don’t even own the console they work with anymore. One day they will sit in some storage shed and I’ll look at them with fond remembrance.
As a happy ending, I was playing Guitar Hero Live for quite a while. I need to get back into it, but I’ve been busy with some other games in recent times. Also, I’ve started playing the real guitar, but also with the help of another game, Rocksmith 2014. The game has taught me a lot when it comes to guitar playing and I’ve been playing it for over 3 years now. You guitarists out there know how much a decent rig costs (hint, it’s insane), so I’ve just been merrily playing songs on my laptop. The day I got like 98% mastery on Raining Blood playing an actual guitar was a momentous occasion for me. I was playing the same song in my teenage years on a plastic guitar thinking “this will probably be impossible on a real guitar” and lo and behold.
That’s a little personal story of the game I spent the majority of my adolescence on and that probably showed me what “real” music is. It inspired me to become the music connoisseur I am today as well as make me want to play a real guitar.
Stay tuned as I tackle the insane amount of games I spent way too much time on. There’s a lot