If you are familiar with the Guitar Hero franchise, then it will be clear that the title of this blog represents the five buttons on a Guitar Hero controller. While in the end I chose Guitar Hero 3 as my favorite game of all time, the process was not easy. It took some real soul-searching to present to you one game. Therefore, I would feel ashamed not to at least list off my top 5 choices: Guitar Hero 3, Ocarina of Time, Halo 3, Need For Speed: Most Wanted, and Gears of War 2. Now that I have that weight off my chest, let me explain why Guitar Hero is so special to me.
One of the main reasons I think Guitar Hero 3 captures my affection so effectively is due to the fact that I had never been the best in the world at something until I played Guitar Hero 3. Now before anyone freaks out, I just mean I have the highest score on the song “Lay Down” on expert. In addition to that, my friend Cory and I have held first place on three co-op songs on Guitar Hero 3. However, if I only enjoyed Guitar Hero because I am good at it, it would be a shallow connection indeed. The real grounds I believe establish Guitar Hero 3 as my favorite game are its deep ties to music and practice. I’ll explain both of those in a bit deeper detail.
I have appreciation for music at this time in my life that never would have developed without Guitar Hero 3. As lame as it may sound, I really just didn’t enjoy or listen to music much before playing this game. But after completing career mode for a total of what must have been 20 times, I feel Guitar Hero broadened the range of music I appreciate an immense amount. Before playing, I never would have listened to songs such as “The Way it Ends” by Prototype or “Cliffs of Dover” by Eric Johnson.
On a totally different note, no pun intended, I love Guitar Hero, because you can get better and better and better by practicing. You might say this is the case for any game. Well, you are both right and wrong. I can think of no game where playing it more won’t result in becoming better at the game. That being said, it seems that most games have a natural skill factor. For example, I know people who have picked up a strategy game and been naturally good at it. But with Guitar Hero, I feel it is much like a real instrument in regards to practice. The more you practice, the better you will be at Guitar Hero. Therefore, Guitar Hero has a more even playing field, where dedication translates directly into skill. In my opinion that means that someone who has skill in Guitar Hero has earned it through time spent playing, instead of simply being naturally good at the game without devoting any time to it.
Any finally, Guitar Hero 3 is my favorite game because I find it fun. More than any other reason, this is why I play it. I love the feeling of getting a new high score on a song. I love playing at Guitar Hero competitions (there’s a story for another day) and trying to win prizes. But most off all, I love having all my friends gathered around two people facing off , with everyone cheering and laughing. Guitar hero, at its heart, is after all a social game.