Gaming Post 46: Guitar Hero II

The random number generator has determined that the next game I should talk about is Guitar Hero II.

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Guitar Hero was a craze that occurred in the 2000s. Pretty much all of my friends played it. It’s a series of rhythm games that use a guitar shaped controller to give players the sense that they’re good at playing guitar, even though they might not be.

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The controller has 5 fret buttons and a strum bar. A right handed person will use their right hand to operate the strum bar, clicking it for each note. Their left hand attempts to press down the correct combination of frets, indicated by the scrolling note-chart on the screen.

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There are a number of difficulty modes. The easiest one is called Easy Mode, which only uses 3 of the fret buttons. Medium Mode is the next level of difficulty, and it only uses 4 of the fret buttons. Hard and Expert Modes use all 5 of the fret buttons. If a person is holding the guitar normally, in those modes, they must move at least some of their fingers to reach the correct fret buttons. My friends mostly played Hard and Expert, but I mainly stuck to Easy and Medium.

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At one point, I decided that although I am able to pass some of the easier songs in Expert Mode, I would rather work on hitting absolutely every note correctly in the Easy Mode version of every song.

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I did this for every song available on the Wii Version of Guitar Hero III, and then I did this for every song in the North American version of Guitar Hero II for the PlayStation 2.

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I may be biased, but I think that this is the best game in the series.

Although I didn’t own the game, I played Guitar Hero II at my friend Josh’s house for several days. My friend group used to spend many weekends at his house when we were in High School, and I remember those occasions fondly.

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Here’s my friend Tom playing an actual guitar during that era.

As a person who is lacking a lot of knowledge of popular culture outside of video games, I mostly listen to video game music. It’s easy for me to look up particular tracks from games, which is fine in its own way, but there are some pretty good songs that aren’t in video games or anime. The Guitar Hero series is one way that I can become aware of those songs. (The song below is from a video game.)

There were a lot of songs that resonated with me in Guitar Hero III. There were less of them in Guitar Hero II, but some did. I liked “Message in a Bottle”. I remember my friends always playing the song “Jordan” probably because it was difficult. My favorite song from Guitar Hero II is called “Less Talk More Rokk” and in a self-referential way, the contents of the song kind of remind me of the times my friends played Guitar Hero every weekend.

I impulsively bought the entire series on PS2 after it was clear that it had been discontinued. I’m looking forward to one day going back to some of those games.

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Here’s my progress.

Thanks for reading! =)

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