Friday, September 4, 2009

Have a Good Long Weekend

I know I could use one. Pretty crazy last few days for me and the fam -- thus the post slowdown. Suffice to say this weekend we'll be going over to our friends' place to play some games -- It is time that is needed -- big time-- possibly Middle Earth Quest or Chaos in the Old World. Both stellar boardgames. (Barnes just reviewed MEQ.)

My time with Guitar Hero 5 is at an end. I'm not reviewing it so I have no qualms about putting it down. I have various reasons why I don't like this game but really it comes down to aesthetics -- and I despise the look and feel of Guitar Hero from the artwork to the KABOOM noise when you make an overdrive pass. Everything about this game looks like it was developed by some indie company.

But the real reason? I can't stand the set list in this game. I hate it with the heat of a thousand giant suns. And it has nothing to do with the bizarro world Cobain and Johnny Cash models singing Flavor Flav. And seriously -- if you can't see the difference between what Activision did and what Harmonix has done with The Beatles then you forfeit all rights to even partake in this debate. Because you're a dumb ass.

That is a very hard thing to put into an official review (the set list hatred , not the shillness thing, which is fair game) because it's wildly subjective. I know the band Rammstein (edited) has fans somewhere in the world. Just not in my house. Du Hast, indeed. I think that band is what the Big Lebowski fake band Autobahn would have sounded like, only with better bass from Flea.

I've been begging for the White Stripes to make it into one of these games and we get -- Blue Orchid? Jesus, really? Blue Flippin Orchid? I can play Sympathy for the Devil! Cool! Except I'm playing the PIANO notes on my guitar. Maybe not the wisest of choices, eh? It's like the people who picked these songs are the guys you saw at college parties who you knew didn't really like music but didn't want to feel left out of the discussion.

Like the Nirvana lyric:
He’s the one
Who likes all our pretty songs
And he likes to sing along
And he likes to shoot his gun
But he knows not what it means
Knows not what it means
THAT guy picked the set list in Guitar Hero 5.

OK, a bit harsh, yeah. And totally subjective, yeah, but of the 80 some odd songs in this game I like about 15 of them. And it is terribly hard for me to get into a music game when I hate the music, ya know? In fact, here's the songs I actually can listen to without either racing for the volume or becoming bored:

Dire Straits - "Sultans Of Swing"
Johnny Cash - "Ring Of Fire"
Nirvana - "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
Queen & David Bowie - "Under Pressure"
Stevie Wonder - "Superstition"
The Raconteurs - "Steady As She Goes"
Bob Dylan - "All Along The Watchtower"
David Bowie - "Fame"
Iggy Pop - "Lust For Life (Live)"
Nirvana - "Lithium (Live)"
Peter Frampton - "Do You Feel Like We Do? (Live)"
The Rolling Stones - "Sympathy For The Devil"
Santana - "No One To Depend On (Live)"
Screaming Trees - "Nearly Lost You"
Smashing Pumpkins - "Bullet With Butterfly Wings"
T. Rex - "20th Century Boy"
Tom Petty - "Runnin' Down A Dream"

Some of those are a stretch -- that live version of Santana is merely ok. And of those only a few do I REALLY like to play. So, that makes it hard for me to get into this game. (Sultans is a blast.) I got through the tier with Santana on expert guitar -- and quit. I just wasn't having fun.

So I have this totally sweet Rock Band 2 library of music -- I can play Stevie Ray, Jane's, Lenny Kravitz, and The Who -- I even grabbed Blind Melon the other day -- and oh, yeah -- Pearl Jam. And the Presidents of the United States.

So why do I need to bother with GH5 again?