Monday, January 8, 2007

Guitar Hero dreams

The last video game console I used with any regularity was the original Nintendo, when I was still living with my parents. It lasted from middle school through early college. No amount of blowing into the old cartridges or the console itself was going to fix it. I wasn't an expert but I had my share of thumb-numb and managed to finish a few games on my own - like Castlevania, Rygar, and Double Dragon. I also spent many mind-numbing hours with Tetris.

It all started with my sister's then boyfriend's NES. We all lived in a duplex, with my family upstairs and my sister, her boyfriend and a roommate downstairs. When my family moved, bye-bye Nintendo. For Christmas that same year, my brother bought us our very own console and with it, Tetris. There was only so much Duck Hunt and Mario Bros I could play (never did finish that game!) but with Tetris, I'd play for hours. I stayed up that Christmas Eve until 4am. I was obsessed. I can't recall my personal best (about 230 lines?) but I remember making the space shuttle blast off. I can't remember all the cartridges we had but another game that sticks out is Dr. Mario. Just when that was getting fun, the system began acting up and finally brokedown. I've also had 2 Gameboys (the first was stolen and Eric was nice enough to buy me a replacement) on which I played more Tetris. I still have it, along with a couple of Pokemon cartridges.

Anyway, I forgot how fun it was to play like that! This past Christmas, I had a chance to play a little bit of the Wii - Boxing is fun! I had a 1st Round knockout! Ok, ok, it was on easy... - and I was introduced to the PS2's Guitar Hero. My nieces and nephew were spending their Christmas vacation at my parents and my nephew was lucky enough to get his own Guitar Hero 2 guitar for Christmas from my sister and my brother-in-law, Patrick. He also brought over his PS2 and his guitar so they could jam together on Christmas Eve. Apparently, my nephew and my brother Joe played until 5am. I felt so jealous. I wanted to play too!

And play I did. We couldn't stay all night but we did come back and visit with the kids before vacation was over. The day after Christmas, Eric took my niece out driving (she just got her learner's permit) and my brother took my other nieces and nephew to the mall. I stayed behind and honed my guitar skills, on easy level of course! I wanted to perfect and play Heart-Shaped Box by Nirvana for Eric, a Nirvana fan. I learned to like songs I'd never heard before, like Jessica by the Allman Brothers Band and Soy Bomb by Honest Bob and the Factory-Dealer Incentives, so much that Eric actually downloaded them for us from iTunes.

I mainly played GH2, especially the Relentless Riffs and String Snappers, along with a few songs from GH 1. I pressed the green, red, and yellow buttons and messed with the whammy bar for hours while everyone was out. HOURS. Probably 4. My parents came home from their church activities and I played for them. Cheesy, but hey, they were entertained. Patrick and my nephew were working hard to get the Free Bird encore. And before the kids left for Vegas, they did manage to get it. And I thought Jessica was a long song - Free Bird is forever!!

I'm not ready for medium level play until the pinky on my left hand grows another inch and I have a new found respect for seemingly noisy rock/metal/thrash/punk guitar playing and guitar players. Someday I'll play again, but it probably won't be anytime soon. I waste my time far too much on other things as it is. Until then, I'll keep humming and playing the new 'old' songs I've been acquainted with and think fondly of my short-lived Guitar Hero career.

2 comments:

Anastasia B. said...

I forgot to tease you about this at our gathering...now when AC sees the commercials for the game on TV he always asks if that's the one you played...Rock on! ;)

christina said...

*cackle* I only have access to GH1, my nephew took his GH2 back home with him to Vegas. The last time I played was a couple of weeks ago and hehe, I had fun beating my brother's score for some of the songs. My brother-in-law just bought the American Idol karaoke thing... now, that, I will NOT be playing.