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The Life of P

Tag: guitar hero

Last Exit To Nowhere

Last Exit To Nowhere t-shirtsWearing t-shirts emblazoned with logos are a fine way to voice your support for your favourite bands, films and, these days, videogames. However it can be a little too obvious. Enter Last Exit To Nowhere, a couple of guys who screen print high quality t-shirts for fictitious brands from classic films. Realising recently that, with my working life now filled with suits indefinitely, I actually need very little casualware, it became easier to justify buying more unique items like these which better reflect me. Hence I can now proudly advertise Lacuna Inc (Eternal Sunshine) and Genco Pura Olive Oil (The Godfather). Now that’s more like it!

Christmas cake competitionRecent goings on I haven’t mentioned yet include a Christmas cake competition on Boxing Day, stemming from an earlier discussion of whose was best. I found myself on the judging panel largely on the basis of my guaranteed impartiality, since there was no chance of me liking any of them (Sri Lankan style Christmas cake traditionally includes both fruit and nuts, two ingredients I strongly contend have no place in any cake). Judging primarily on texture and taste I was thus singularly objective. That which I least disliked clearly deserved to win. The four contestants could not have been more competitive, and the tension only mounted over a great dinner cooked by Kirsty. Ultimately it was my mother who emerged the deserving victor. Moist and with well balanced flavour, I still think it tasted awful, but it was the best of the bunch.

The Hydes: World Tour 2009Just prior to Christmas I caved and picked up the full band Guitar Hero: World Tour kit. With a slightly discount on account of Zavvi’s hardships, it remained expensive but had dropped into the realms of viability. With time off to spend with family it seemed like an obvious choice. For those wondering why I went with this rather than Rock Band, the answer is the quality of Red Octane’s hardware, both the sturdy drumkit with raised cymbals (it sounds like a small detail but makes a big difference) and the large guitar with a touchpad. Compatible with Rock Band 2 (at least on the 360) I fully intend to pick up the game for the additional songs and the wealth of DLC which the guys at Harmonix have a much better handle on. However it was not until the Hydes visited that we had a real band atmosphere going. Three instruments rocking out together gives the game a very different vibe, though sadly no one has been brave enough to add vocals to the mix. The mic is lonely so volunteers are very welcome.

For the gaming achievement whores lovers out there, flash game Achievement Unlocked is a must play. Ostensibly a basic platformer with an elephant and some spikes, the real goal is the meta game with 100 achievements to collect as quickly as possible. This commences instantly for the heady challenge of “finding the main menu”. There is also a hints page which gives details on how unlock all 100 and there is, of course, an achievement for using the hints page…

Guitar Heroics

Guitar Hero III (Xbox 360)

As a pretty hardcore gamer I’ll give almost anything a whirl, but there are definitely genres which have never quite clicked for me. These include flight simulators, racing simulation (as opposed to arcade style racers which I love) and bizarrely Wii boxing. Above all though, rhythm games have always flummoxed me. Given my passion for rock music Guitar Hero is obviously a hugely enticing prospect, but paying £70 for the privilege of sucking seems excessive. Fortunately Zavvi celebrated the hideously overpriced release of Rock Band by dropping the price of Guitar Hero III to just £45 for the bank holiday weekend. For those counting, that means you could buy three wireless guitars for the same price as Rock Band.

“Really?” asked Kirsten with a quizzically raised eyebrow, before proceeding to play for about three times longer than I that night. The easy mode is definitely a cop-out but is well designed enough that many songs are still empowering to play through. Mostly, though, you realise how many notes you are not playing and dread the higher settings. I’m already rocking through medium now, with a couple of 5-star performances under my belt. It’s worth mentioning I find the “boss battles” in GH3 a bit odd. The idea of me beating Tom Morello or Slash in a guitar duel seems wrong on so many levels. I doubt that I’ll ever master expert (five buttons is probably a bit much for my poor four fingers!) but it’s been fun realising I can enjoy this stuff without excelling. Now I need to go find a copy of Guitar Hero II

"Luck is the residue of design."

(CC) BY-NC 2004-2022 Priyan Meewella

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