Feeds

How to be a failure at Guitar Hero III

Game over

Security for virtualized datacentres

Review Guitar Hero III and Rock Band are totally unavoidable in shopping trips to consumer electronics stores. As a guitar player for 40 years, I view the in-store demos of the games as primarily exercises in pitiless annoyance. What could be more embarrassing than people holding plastic toy guitars in public while trying to mime along to classic rock hits played by cartoons on a TV screen?

I also saw very few women or girls as opposed to young boys lining up for these try-outs. Was it because they were put off by the excess virtual testosterone, or did they just have more sense than the opposite gender?

In any case, if you're a guitarist then you know a good instrument is a fine piece of wood, and just the act of picking it up and settling in with it is a tactile pleasure not easily duplicated by anything else. What was it with a plastic 3/4 size thing with no strings?

But one can gripe and grump for only so long before curiosity becomes irresistible. While playing a computer game with attached guitar controller can't possibly be like playing an actual guitar, here are some comparisons after I stood in line to play Guitar Hero III.

No one who plays guitar can transfer their skills to Guitar Hero III or Rock Band.

If you try seriously to do this, you'll be reduced to tears and/or sputtering impotent rage. Or you'll have a laugh, depending on your point of view and composure.

It took only a minute or two for me to make a fool of myself trying to play along to the Dead Kennedys' Holiday in Cambodia. The song is easy, but the game doesn't really allow for the playing of its guitar controller the way a real guitarist approaches music.

Part of this is locked into the screen cueing which, if you're old enough, can be likened to a variation on Sing Along with Mitch's follow-the-bouncing-ball musical TV variety show from the '60s. Only you use your fingers and the controller's buttons and picking hand flap to follow along instead of your voice.

Which leads to another interesting point: In both games, you don't seem to have to actually hear the music to play it, meaning someone totally tone deaf could be great at both games. On the other hand, you do have to be able to see the screen, so the idea of being a Blind Lemon Jefferson is out, along with any benefit from being able to intuitively play by ear.

Anyway, to play a guitar requires one to become one with a song. I couldn't do this with Guitar Hero III, not even a bit. You lag the performance unless you've played it so many times it's a hardwired part of your eye-hand-coordinated memory.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.