My quest to play Guitar Hero 2 at E3 was a success! I played bass and I played lead in co-op mode on Van Halen’s "You Really Got Me" (at the Vans Warped Tour, because they’ve licensed some real locations this time around) hitting 97% and 98% respectively. "Strutter" by KISS seemed to be the most popular song for people to try out, with "War Pigs" by Sabbath coming in a close second. I could have easily spent the entire day there, rocking all eight songs they had available for demo play, but there was a growing line of other wanna-be rockers waiting, and I didn’t want to bogart the whole stage, man.
While I waited to play, I talked with some of the developers, who were all really, really cool guys, and told me something rather exciting about GH2:
Les Claypool gave RedOctane the master tracks for John The Fisherman, so when you play it in Guitar Hero 2, you’ll be playing along with Les, Larry "Ler" Lamond, and Tim "Herb" Alexander, just like you were with them in the studio recording Fizzle Fry.
It was so nice to meet developers who aren’t completely in love with themselves and appreciate geeks like me who play their games, you know? Their entuhsiasm reminded me of the entuhsiasm I felt when I worked at NewTek during the launch of the Video Toaster 4000: we all knew we were working on something totally cool and unique, but we still got excited when someone who used it geeked out at us about it. I know there are pictures of me getting my rock on, so if I can track them down, I’ll post them here for maximum goat-throwing.
If you’re going to E3 and you want to play GH2, don’t bother fighting the crowds in the Sony booth (after you get past the 6 hour-long line of people waiting to play with the Wii). Go down to the Kentia Hall, and find the Red Octane booth. The lines are shorter, you can talk with the developers, and they’ve got GH2 posters and pins to give away. When you’re done rocking out, you can stay in Kentia hall and see an absolutely amazing history of video games exhibit, featuring playable Colecovision, Vectrex, Intellivision, Apple //e, Atari 2600 and other console systems, as well as look-but-don’t-touch collections of classic handhelds like the Tomytronic Pac-Man and Milton Bradley’s Macrovision. There are also about 20 arcade games down there, set for free play, including Tempest, Black Widow, Stargate, Tron, Gorf, and Crystal Castles.
UPDATE: There’s a picture of me in front of the Gorf, Donkey Kong, and Tempest machines from Ars here. For those of you scoring at home, of the machines in that picture, I played Gorf and Tempest, and I was incredibly sad that Gorf didn’t have any sound. It implied that I was a Spaaace Ca-det, though, which I answered by blasting the Flagship out of the sky. Who’s laughing now, Gorf?! Me! That’s who! Me, baby! ME!
In the picture, I’m wearing a shirt featuring the code from Konami, which I got from Think Geek. I realized as I was parking my car for E3 (I missed the train so I had to drive. Yay.) that I was kind of wearing the band’s T-shirt to its concert like a total dork. However, I got my rock on so hard on Guitar Hero 2, I’m really okay with that.