Diary of a Guitar Hero Loser

Guitar Loser

Recently I wrote of my relative experience in the area of playing the video games and how it related to my ability to enjoy Halo 3. My cocksure countenance and, frankly, fairly insulting prose garnered a respectable number of responses whose general flavor I would describe as mired in absolute and laser-focused ire. Ire mired, as it were.

It is now weeks later and I own Guitar hero 3. I purchased the Wii version because I thought that plugging my Wii-mote into the Les Paul would somehow be more awesome than gaining achievements or playing friends online with less than thirty layers of fucking moon cryptography between myself and those people Nintendo just assumes are trolling the Wii-nternets looking for kids to say nasty things to. It is unfortunate that I must report to you that there is absolutely no reason to go this route. If you’ve got a 360 you’re better off getting that version. If you’ve got a PS3, you’re better off pretending that your Blu-Ray made sense at some point and that your Betamax player, stack of MiniDiscs and AAC collection aren’t blaring and expensive signs that you’re doing it wrong.

Just as with Halo 3, this is my first experience with this franchise and until now I have always considered it something people play mostly after getting run home from middle-school by the guys who have seen real boobs. In real life. On real girls. Legally.

I tried GH2 in a GameStop once and it made me feel like an asshole. Not the colloquial ‘horses ass’, but an actual anus. I felt dirty and confused and, honestly, wholly shocked by the weird convolutions this game was proposing as perfectly natural for any human being with three fingers and as many brain cells. What’s worse is that I was bracketed by feather-headed emo kids who seemed somehow entirely ensconced in the secret and arcane magic required to not look like an asshole while playing. That’s right, I looked like an idiot while the emo kids looked pretty cool. Hip even. Fancy that. Fancy it with impunity.

So I bought the game this weekend along with a friend of mine who was excited to the point of shaking a little when asking the GameStop chick for his copy. We got back to my place and he proceeded to rock the hell out of my pad while I looked on in sheer horror; the kind of horror reserved for Cthulhu. Old world horror. After a few songs on his own he spun to me, his wild eyes swirling with elation, and screamed, “LET’S ROCK!”

It is at this point, audience, that you should prepare to take succor; obtain some sort of succor preservation system wherein the collected succor can be exposed to soft light and viewed clearly from a comfortable distance for an amount of time so appropriate for you to take real, true, pride in what you’ve gotten before you smile nihilistic and, as you would, take it. I meant every word in my Halo 3 review, even the ones about you wearing girls’ underwear and peeing sitting down, so this is right up your alley; custom made, glibbed for your pleasure:

It’s not you. It’s me. I can’t play Guitar Hero. Not for a million dollars. Not even to save my life. I get p0wn3d on easy by the Wii. My band, ‘James and the Tiberious Kirks’, makes less than $75 a gig and can’t afford anything but stock models and styles. My friend is on hard, pouring over the fret board like goddamned Les Claypool and I’m horrifically mismanaging quarter notes. There’s something missing in me that allows for the proper associations to be made between what is going on on the screen and what is supposed to be happening with my hands. On easy you only use 3 fret keys and I swear to you with every little part of my person that I think I’d have a difficult time with just one big fret key that you didn’t even really have to push. The whammy bar? Might as well be fashioned out of fire and nightmares for all I understand it.

I see you guys playing this thing and I am hurt. Deep down I am hurt. Somewhere in the cosmos there is a universal scaling system that keeps track of every headshot I’ve levied over your poor and unskilled souls that has chosen to lay this tally against me in this rock-and-roll endeavor. The game rocks. The friends I have who play it rock. There is nothing in gaming like watching two guys pushing a Dragonforce track in sync; it is just unreal. I just wish I didn’t feel like I had my hands cut off in a logging incident, blood pouring from my gaping, flailing wrists, my hands chewed to pieces by some byzantine lumber splitting machine, every time I pick up that guitar.

So here we are. You’re still a little miffed that I thought your Halo 3 was pretty good for being pretty average and I’m completely incapable of enjoying a game I would love more than anything to be a badass at. Lets call that recompense and parity. Can we be even now? Friends, perhaps? You look really cool when you mash your axe to Foghat. I mean it. I wish I could, too. As it is, however, I fear I will never have your mad skills.

Mad skills at playing a 3/4 scale plastic toy guitar with buttons for strings and a clicky bar where you’re musical skill is supposed to go. In your mom’s basement. BOOM. Headshot.

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