Friday 24 November 2006
Confession time: we can't play Guitar Hero on Normal mode any more. Yeah, you read that right: not 'don't', but 'can't'. Other games? Yeah, sometimes we like them easy. But in Guitar Hero, Normal just doesn't give us that buzz; that twitchy jolt of adrenaline that comes when your conscious brain shuts down and your fingers fly over the plastic. Orange notes are our drug, and we've been desperate for a fresh fix for months.
OK, we'll explain. Play on Normal in Guitar Hero and you're strumming along to a watered-down, low-fat version of whatever song you've picked. Chunks are missed out of runs, notes are ignored and - because Normal never uses that orange button - your hand never moves.
Until you start playing on Hard you aren't really playing at all: that's when you're forced to play virtually every note in the song and make tricky chord progressions like a real guitarist. It's when you need to start using hammer-ons and pull-offs - which have mercifully been made easier this time around.
It's also when you start to notice subtleties in songs you haven't heard before, and when you start to dream in button combinations. It's a beautiful experience, every bit as good as racing a perfect lap or doing a double flawless in Tekken. Some people, of course, will tell you that you'd be better off practicing the real guitar. These people are idiots.