Ack! I learned this morning that an event that was going to occur this weekend has been postponed. Some friends of mine recently organized a battle of the bands event to coincide with the series finale of The Ultimate Fighter 5. This wasn’t a battle of the bands with real instruments, rather an event at which six of us could pair off to form three bands going head to head at Guitar Hero II. For those of you familiar with the rhythm game genre, Guitar Hero II is an evolution of that pattern implemented with a guitar shaped controller. The essential mechanics of the game are as follows: A series of colored “notes” are moving towards you along a track on the screen. The colors of the notes correspond to the five colored buttons on the fretboard of the guitar. When the notes reach the end of the track, you have to hold the correct button(s) and click the strum bar, which is located in the middle of the body, roughly where one would usually strum the strings over the pickups on an electric guitar. Chords are implemented by having two different colored notes reach the end of the track at the same time, hence implying that both buttons should be held simultaneously. Some notes have a line extending behind them indicating that the button should be held for the duration of the note. Finally, a whammy bar exists on the base of the guitar body. This is employed during long special notes that add “star power”, a bonus you can activate to score double points for a short period of time. Each performance is awarded a score based upon the percentage of notes you hit and more importantly the multiplier scored for each note. The active multiplier is increased by hitting a series of notes without a mistake. Making a mistake sets it back to x1 (or regular scoring).
The ability for a performance to be awarded a score is what gave birth to the idea for Guitar Hero II as the basis for a battle of the bands. Each band would choose a song and every band plays everyone else’s song choices in addition to their own, thus performing three songs a piece. The band with the highest score at the end wins! Guitar Hero II has the option for a two-player team to collaborate on a performance by allowing one person to play the bass line while another plays the guitar track. Unfortunately, the upcoming weekend doesn’t work for everyone and so the event has been postponed. I’m really hoping it comes together at some point though as this would be hella-fun.
I was am a huge fan of the Dance Dance Revolution series of rhythm games, and while I haven’t completely embraced GH2 in the same way yet, I can see how the addiction is growing. I’ve already completed both the Easy and Medium “tours” with 5-stars on every song. Hard is providing more of a challenge, which is welcome, and I’ve found that I can barely complete certain Extreme songs- usually with a very poor rating. I haven’t tried any of the bass lines yet, but those look like a lot of fun too. More to come on Guitar Hero II later, but for now find someone who has this game and give it a try. You just might find that it’s a heck of a lot of fun.