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    Lagaes Rex's GameLog for Guitar Hero II (PS2)

    Friday 12 January, 2007

    So, I just finished playing a little Guitar Hero II on Hard difficulty. It was a humbling experience. One issue that I've heard about Guitar Hero II is the steep difference in difficulty from Medium to Hard, and I'm forced to agree. I shudder to think of Expert difficulty. Anyone who can play Expert difficulty with ease has my respect.

    I've noticed that what I enjoy most about Guitar Hero II are the subtle things that were added to make the game feel more like playing a guitar. Much of it lies in the fret board. Most people who play Guitar Hero know that for multiple notes of the same color, they can hold the color button down and just strum the "strings". What most people don't know (and can't seem to wrap their heads around, no matter how many times I tell them) is that the buttons higher on the fretboard than the desired note do not count against you if pressed.

    Let me explain. From the top of the fretboard down the colors are green, red, yellow, blue and orange. If a yellow note comes up, as long as you're holding down the yellow button, it doesn't matter whether you're also holding the green and red buttons (however, blue and orange would count against you). This makes sense, as this is how string instruments behave in real life. When playing "Beast and the Harlot" on Medium difficulty, one of my favorite parts is a section that alternates two colors (red/blue, then red/yellow, then green/yellow). I just keep my finger down on the one note and alternate with my other finger the other note. I don't know why I like that so much. It just feels right.

    The other thing that really sets the mood is how your playing affects the music. Of particular note, how the whammy bar can be used to add reverb to notes. It would seem that the guitar track was recorded separately from the rest of the song, as that's the only way I could think of being able to manipulate those notes without it affecting the other sections of the music (drums, vocals, etc.).

    Again, these are all subtle things that really add to the experience. You don't really notice it while you play; it's afterwards that you realize just how profound such little nuances can be to the gameplay.


    As far as I know, they recorded all the parts separately...pretty much like it's done in a professional studio anyways.

    You're right about the fretboard stuff, it took me a while to figure it out! (you can pretty much play with "green" pressed all the time if you want...well, as long as you don't get chords..right?

    Friday 12 January, 2007 by jp

    I remember watching some people dueling Freebird on expert an it sort of left me not wanting to play in front of anyone else for a while. *bows head in shame*

    I remember GH2 had a mode where two players could play Bass and Guitar at the same time. My design question for you is:

    You're hired, time to make the new cutting edge Headline Band 1. We're taking Guitar hero, and merging it with Donkey Conga. You can hook in any combination of guitar and drum controllers to play as any part of the band. Your job, is vocals.

    You get a microphone, how do you create a scrolling-beat-music game (like DDR or GH) to respond to human voice? Do you incorporate pitch? volume? inflection? For the sake of argument assume you can do anything you can think of but there are different costs attached to different things. What sort of game engine would you set up? How would the graphics work? Often singing is more fluid, could you get away with the advancing waves of colored nubs? What alternatives could you think of?

    Monday 15 January, 2007 by Jade
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