guitar hero

All posts tagged guitar hero

Recently, Xstine (who found a new job at Activision as a leading artist :hat: ) and I have had way too much gaming to cram into way too little time. At the moment, I'm juggling Super Paper Mario, Marvel Ultimate Alliance, WoW, Neverwinter Nights 2, and Guitar Hero II all in the same time-space continuum. I've devised a macro-recording system to help me farm gold in WoW, something my honorable early-WoW self would have disapproved, scripts of repentance in hand. Today, I've learned to play for fun. I'm so glad to be out of those medieval times of dark, virtual chivalry. Now I see the rest of the players as what they are… a bunch of fucking kids.

I like kids, don't get me wrong. I just can't play online RPGs with them, where any second their mom may tell them to get off the computer, even as we stand before the climatic last boss of a dungeon that took two hours to traverse. I will be sure to learn my child some manners; they should at leaast apologise before just disconnecting into the void.

However, what really threw off my gaming rhythm was this gem of concentrated addiction: Desktop Tower Defense. The way TD-style gameplay delivers an IV drip of satisfyingly explodable monsters and perfectly timed upgrades. You feel compelled consume sequential waves of baddies with your arsenal, and even as you play you see what you will do different next time. The wholly deterministic tower placement makes efficiency so tantalizingly attainable before the edifice of your strategy falls apart. The genre is incredibly organic. I think the carrot it dangles was bought at Whole Foods.

Isn’t it strange how little hypocrisy has evolved over the course of human civilization? Invariably, it sticks to a couple simple propositions:

– Believe in an issue.
– Protest an antagonist issue except if it applies to you.

So the Democrats grabbed on to a report pulling selective quotes about how the Iraqi war has only engendered more conflict. The Bush Administration tried to intercept the critics by saying it was going to release specific portions of the document claiming overall threat has decreased. Democrats then scorn the administration for “selective declassification” and dismiss the whole charade as propaganda.

Apparently pulling selective quotes to begin with wasn’t “selective declassification.” Is anyone else getting sick of this game? I can’t believe how many people out there believe more in the game than in reality. It saddens me that 60% of Americans believe recent drops in oil prices is somehow right-wing oil manipulation. Maybe it serves Big Oil right for having such shitty PR, but most Americans do not know that Big Oil is a drop in the barrel compared to other oil barons in Saudi Arabia or Venezuela. Exxon ranks a distant number 15 in size, and only half of that even is oil.

The Fed thinks we’ve peaked on inflation. My portfolio has risen precariously on that news. I’ve made enough in the past few days to buy myself a PS3, but that would be succumbing to Harrisonragi’s “selective declassification” of next-gen details. All I can be bullish on is the Xbox 360’s version of Guitar Hero 2 with DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT! I want that wireless X-Plorer dammit! No doubt the chum in the picture is struggling with his Democratic desire to tell all his friends about it, and his Republican desire to rock out against the man.

Shame it’s the other way around today in real politics, where Democrats do nothing but tell all against the man, and the Republicans do nothing but rock out with their friends.

Stock markets have taken quite a plunge in the last few days, its biggest drop in three years. The combination of a backlash against commodity speculation, profit taking, and the inability of the Fed to stop rate hikes has really put the hurt on investors without the nerve to stay. My advice at the moment is to stick with companies with profits in strengthening currencies, and costs in the weakening dollar. Rate hikes will pause in the short run, rise in the long, especially with the yuan breaking the 8 RMB/$ barrier and the yen fluctuating at the 110 border.

Despite the hubbub of E3, seems like the market has not been kind to game companies. Wedbush Morgan insinuates we're already at a plateau in the game industry, with apparent gains from console sales actually only coming from people buying two consoles. In other words, market penetration is not up to snuff. Atari, fer instance, is clinging desperately to its AD&D license. The only thing they've got left is Call A Friend.

What was up to snuff, and by snuff I mean the film variety, not the 'baccy, was the horrifying crash and burn the Phantom Console with the departure of Kevin Bacchus and the catch-in-the-act of ex-CEO Timothy Roberts, who allegedly faxed unbacked promises for Infinium stock to drum up the price. The SEC replied with "BOOYAH!" Did I not tell people to stay away from this fictitious fiction of a company? Anyone get it on tape? 'Cuz that's snuff.

Let's hear what Guitar Hero babe has to show say.

So we're taking off tonite to hit up E3 and check out a few churches for wedding arrangements. We're eager to see for ourselves why people are going NUTS for the Wii. I hear there's a two hour around the block wait just to try it. I also plan to rock out to you know what:headbang: , and hopefully get a chance to see Gears of War in action… it looks frickkin' Contra-ed delish at the moment. Seriously, check out the direct feeds at IGN.

But before I go, I want to just say show one thing to all of you who haven't bought a DS yet, and you might want to put on a diaper first:

On the GBA. I ruined my Depends.

As I write this, it is 5 am and Xstine is furiously trying to master Cowboys From Hell. I feel zombified.

We had a dinner party with some of her company folks, where her inebriated boss drew upon his fifteen extra years on her as a long-haired metal hippie to whup her thoroughly on CFH expert in a duel, even though his strategy was mostly pressing random buttons but to a fairly accurate beat. Xstine, raised on a simpleton's diet of J-pop, is now on a warpath to defend her gamer's honor. I think she has hope. The blood of true dirtcore still flows within this young padawan.

For myself, I think I've plateaued at still being unable to conquer expert Bark At The Moon. Her CEO gleefully tried to take me down on the fastest songs, and my lack of stamina almost didn't meet the challenge. But I wasn't about to let his $20k speakers smackdown this whippersnapper. Still, no game has so thoroughly balanced players of skill and players of life experience as well as this. I'm dying for a sequel.

We also happened to run into a fellow who was one of the main guys responsible for the awesome Unreal Tournament 2k7 tech demo for the PS3. I should have known a guy who looks likes Jesus 'cept with UNREAL across his T-shirt would pick up Guitar Hero faster than any of us had. UT2k7 is the only thing I could possibly consider a PS3 for… but ah, no. Mouse will always be superior. And how the hell will Xstine cover me from massive turrets all on one screen? That's ok, I prefer we work on teamwork with me as lead guitarist and her as bass.

Now that I'm digging beat games, maybe I should get Ouendan for the DS? I think my masculinity is safely ensconced in riffing to Ozzy, let's give it a try.

So the shitstorm struck, and in the aftermath, new lines of loyalty were drawn, and an illusively stable Nintendo fan-base fractured under duress to assess what type of "hard-core" it was. The naming of the new console was a beacon of meaning for the darkest corners of the internet as factions rose and fell. Perhaps after this post, you'll join my militia of moderates.

I held off making any real comment about the Wii because I already knew I didn't like the name. But I wanted to see what it was doing to what has become an exceedingly machismonized industry. I can't help but chuckle to myself when I see PS3 and see "Pee Niss Three" and see XBox as "EXTREEEEEEEMEEEEE BOX! I'M EXTREEEEEME!!!" There has been unmitigated penis envy twixt consoles, you must admit. From the Harley-Dellvidson to the fixation of the gaming crowd on every last megahertz of graphical power, the Booth Babe Bonanza to the rippling breasteses that don no less than 40% of game covers, there is a culture where we look for the most swollen member of Best Buy unzipped.

And then comes Nintendo. Thrusting its Wii into the wet, yearning generation gap between the casual gamers leg and savage circumcised pro-gamers leg, Nintendo is going to do something none of its teen-primed competition could do- hold its load in there without busting a nut under five. Yes it's called Wii, but this wee Wii isn't trying to overcompensate. It's got big balls and it ain't afraid to swing'em.

Remember when video games were in their innocent adolescence? When Final Fantasy was a fantasy ensemble, not the roman-numeralized coming-of-age story it later became, focused on one young misunderstood guy with a huge phallic weapon? Remember when Final Fantasy 9 came out with its intelligent cast and no gun/sword/phallus combo weapons? Remember how it failed miserably and the schlongsword came back? That is the world game characters have to survive in today. They have to be angrier, bigger, and more silentlypowerful than ever. I blame the chauvinist undercurrent of modern Japan. But we all knew Americans were like that already.

If those days had not lovingly masturbated terms like "Emotion Engine" and "real-time" to this very moment, I think the Wii would be flaccidly normal. But instead, there is an elementally uneducated crowd of potential gamers out there who don't know what Playcubes and XStations are, and can't move two analog sticks at the same time. They just know that fiddling with your "controller" is what kids do when their parents aren't home. They know Guitar Hero makes sense, does what you expect, doesn't want you to hold R1 to aim then L1 to lock then A to shoot.

These folks are going to stupidly pour money into something that they can understand, as I did with my DS. They aren't going to feel retarded asking for something called the Hyper Game Machine VIII. They are going to wonder why people over 25 years old still snicker about the word "wee" as if it were the forbidden tee-hee at the playground. They are smart enough to realize this Freudian pratfall of a name serves as a miraculously efficient mechanism to point out the silliness of console hard-ons.

Here are people who will pick up a Wii, and across all ages and experience levels will feel empowered, not engorged. In their hands, this erect controller will offer the maturest control. Wii will offer accessibility. Wii will offer understanding. Wii will offer some fuckin' balls. What it lacks in length, it makes up with a girth encompassing a universe of folks who have yet to be addicted to Zelda. It's going to be the Kama Sutra of Consoles, giving you a mindfuck from forty creative positions. Those still worrying about hairy palms can have their recess in Halo voice chat, I'm past that point in life.

Wii? Yeah's it's a stupidest name of any console yet. But only because the collective boner has learnt us to expect something… well… more… EXTREEEEEEME!!!

Was incredibly sick yesterday, no thanks to Xstine's skillful micromanagement of multiple viruses for the past two weeks. I finally succumbed the other night, but thanks to my secret recipe of pickles, zinc, OJ, and sleep, I was atleast well enough to drive to work today, albeit dizzily.

In the few conscious moments I had, I managed to add a Godfather town tune in my Animal Crossing: Wild World, and surf the web some. Lately, and it must be cause of a mass hysteric premonition of April Fools or something, but I've seen some seriously funny stuff in game news.


Take this post-mortem on one of my favorite game spoofs, Accordion Hero. I was going to post about this before the whole coughing-up-a-lung incident, but then went ahead and 1-upped their Guitar Hero spoof with this harlarious what-went-right and what-went-wrong. Crazy Germans. We hit up a local Hofbrau last week, and nothing like a massive turkey leg with mashed potatoes and au jus soaked stuffing to engender the forgiveness that our incessant Nazi-filled FPSs have not shown.

Also funny was a Gamasutra article by an anonymous customer service rep, which I can't summarize better than this choice quote:

"You already know shit rolls downhill. In casual games, customer support is at the bottom of that hill. Actually, it’s in a valley, nestled between the company and the consumer. When anyone on either side makes a mistake, it rolls down the hill, and the support team deals with it. When marketing forgets to note an expiration date, it’s your problem. When a customer accidentally orders a game six times, it’s your problem. When QA misses a level design error that makes it impossible to beat the game, it’s your problem. When a functionally illiterate seventy-eight year old doesn’t understand the difference between the right and left mouse buttons, it’s your problem."

Finally, my crafty Texans hooked up this Roomba to run off laptop directions, dressed up it as good ol' Frogger, and tried to get it to cross a busy street. The result, after annihilation by an SUV, was the Fucked-up Frog of Calaveras County. Requiescat in pace, heed not my phlegm-plagued belly-laughs. Sproing!