Ok, so I just feel a need to get it out that I broke down and purchased GH3 this weekend. I wasn’t really planning on buying it immediately but it just kind of happened. I’ll give some of my feelings on the game in a bit but first a brief history.
I picked up the original Guitar Hero in April of last year for my PS2. I played the crap out of it and liked it enough that we even added the controller to the redesign of the site. I got GH2 as a gift around Christmas and while I enjoyed it, it seemed to lose some of the magic of the original game.
I played it off and on for about a month but then in February I bought my HDTV and ended up getting a PS3. I’ve detailed the issues I had getting that workin and even with my post saying that GH controller was mostly working with the PS3 I’ve since reversed my stance due to inescapable lag that had made playing any of the more difficult songs nearly impossible.
To add insult to that issue, during my move this summer I took some time and boxed and shipped many parcels to my GF to save me the trouble of moving things myself. It appears that for one of my packages, the wrapper with the label fell off and the box was lost. Since I used the USPS and did not insure the package (or even keep an inventory of what was in the box) it took me a bit of unpacking before I realized that the package that had been lost had contained GH1&2 in it.
So since July 1 I’d been Guitar Hero-less (but I still had my PS2 guitar which was shipped in a different box). I was tempted to pick up GH80’s for cheap but decided to rent it first. Good decision on my part, the cheap rip-off that is GH80’s is such a blatant cash-in that it was hard to even enjoy it and certainly felt no need to purchase it.
Anyway, that brings us to the present. Enter Saturday afternoon: I was kind of bored because my girlfriend was doing work so I downloaded the GH3 one. It hooked me almost immediately and I sat there and played it on a regular 360 controller for about an hour (I think I actually managed to beat a song on Expert with it).
I’d been kind of aware that a Best Buy up the street from me was doing a midnight launch, but after the time with the demo it became an almost constant thought (hey, buy GH3 at midnight … hey, buy GH3 at midnight …). So when midnight rolled around and my GF wanted to play Viva Pinata for a bit I said “Ok, you play this and I’m going to run up and get GH3.”
After a surprisingly large crowd and brief moments of indecision on whether to get the 360 or the PS3 version (I know that the 360 is really probably the best tested/most supported version but I gotta support my boy) I eventually went with the PS3 one. I got home around 12:40 and managed to play through the first tier on hard.
The game has been fun but has taken a little getting used to. The timing seems a little different than I was used to but I haven’t been played it much since I moved so it could just be me. I’ve since managed to beat 32/42 songs on Hard. This is a far cry from the destroying I did on GH1 on Expert but I figure it’ll just take me a bit to get my groove back.
I’m definitely enjoying most of the track list though. With the exception of a few really annoying tracks (never, ever include Slipknot in your music game) it’s probably the best track list yet. Master versions of My Name is Jonas, Paint it Black, Lay Down, Sabotage, Cherub Rock, and others make playing through a lot of fun. Although the lack of Boston is disappointing, we can hope that Rock Band will fill in the gaps here.
The only really annoying thing about the game are the boss battles. The first one was easy enough but the one I’ve gotten to against Slash is just really annoying. If you miss one power-up series you’re basically screwed and it’s not even that fun to play (in my opinion). I also tried to quick-play a few online matches during lunch today and never got connected. I’d guess it’s a server overload issue though so if it’s fixed here in the next couple days I’ll give an update.