My wife is addicted to Guitar Hero 3. GH2 was the first game she’s ever player in the actual store and at seven months pregnant she kind of stuck out, creating a crowd of gawkers at the lady resting the axe against her belly. She’s classically trained in cello and sight-reads like a whiz which helps, and there’s no chance I’ll ever, ever beat her in this game.
But that doesn’t stop us from having fun with it. Having been drugged, bound and tied and placed into the back of an Audi, a friend told me he was going to the midnight madness launch for GH3 for the Wii and offered to pick up the game. I figured this would be cool, particularly because of the Wii’s new online gameplay. The same way roses win favor with some wives, this would garner favor in my household.
My wife was ecstatic. Nothing breaks up baby monotony quite like GH3. I missed the sharp HD graphics of the Xbox 360 but the gameplay was largely there, except for a noticable delay in audio effects when you missed a note and the Wiimote twanged, nestled into it’s compartment in the Guitar controller. Then, things went horribly, horribly wrong when our neighbor’s daughter challenged us to an online match.
It all started with a phone call. Apparently we needed to find the 16-digit "Friend Code" and give it to her. Then, another call- we needed her to enter our friend code. Then the gameplay. Setting up a game is obnoxious, with little presence information available- did your friend set up the game? Are you supposed to? Another phone call. Then their wireless went out. Sigh. Finally we get a game, and I realize I spent this money on a Wii version of what I should have bought for Xbox 360 in the first place. Playing GH3 online with the Wii was like stepping back into the dark ages.
So, Craiglist to the rescue. I rationalized this away to my wife, who could now unlock more songs via coop mode with Xbox 360 since we’d have two guitar controllers (one from GH2 works just fine). Sure, she’d have to start over, but she’d also be able to play online. Okay, she didn’t buy that one but we have two guitar controllers that work now.
It’s easy to say gameplay is what matters most, until you see the graphics side by side. Chris and Ponzi were over for dinner Saturday night and noticed the difference, Particularly online, the frame rate during some of the hardest sequences drops suddenly and erratically on the Wii. Xbox 360 keeps up with audio, video, voice, and easy online game matching all in one.
As a master air guitar player, I’m a sucker for this game and you never know, my sons might learn to play the real thing after watching Dad jam. Ryan told me, "Dad, you really rock" and that’s all the fan base I need.