Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock

Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock

Anything rock ‘n roll related makes my ears perk up, so when I heard Guitar Hero was coming to Mac, I was quite stoked.

Overall the gameplay is just about what you’d expect. You can rock out in freestyle mode and just play for the fun of it, or you can start up your own band and have a full-scale career.

Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock

I fired up career mode and sent my band, Weak Sauce, on the road pure rock ‘n roll mayhem. After a couple of days of moderate playing, I was able to beat the game on Easy. Unfortunately there is still Medium, Hard, and Extreme to conquer.

Guitar Controller

I had never played any of the previous Guitar Heros so the actual “guitar” controller was new to me. I attempted to just pick the thing up and start playing, but found out quickly I didn’t have a fat clue what I was doing. Going through the tutorials on how to use it was actually quite helpful.

The guitar that comes with the game is actually the same guitar that comes with the Xbox version…it just includes a USB converter so you can plug it in to your computer. Seems a bit cheap to go that route, but it does the trick.

Something worth noting here is that the game is still functional even if you don’t have a guitar controller. I actually found it easer to play with the keyboard than with the guitar.

Game Play

There are quite a few different “extras” thrown in the game, but the core of it all is just playing songs. The money you earn from playing gigs lets you “upgrade” your guitar, outfit, and other things but there didn’t seem to be any real benefit to doing that.

On my MacBook Pro (2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo w/ 3GB RAM), the graphics were quite smooth. I did find the video response to be better when I disabled some of the effects in the game and calibrating the guitar to my computer was beneficial.

Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock

Overall this really is a fun game and doesn’t require too much time to get the hang of it. Be sure to read up more of the details and system requirements on the Aspyr site. You can purchase the Mac version for $80.

Would Apple’s Remote Deny Proper Gaming?

remoteMy Apple TV is looking for more work to do. Yes, it’s happy to be playing songs and the occasional show from my iTunes library, and surfing YouTube, but I get the sense it’s bored. Meanwhile, next to it, my Nintendo Wii is running interactive video games, downloading classic arcade titles over the Internet, and doesn’t mind being dominated through a pair of wireless game controllers. It seems to me, with a little work, the Apple TV would itself present a good platform for video games on the TV set, but there is a big stumbling block in a small package – the Apple Remote, which isn’t flexible enough to act as a serious game controller.

The iPod has a set of simple arcade games available for download from iTunes. The Apple TV has a hard drive and a network connection, capable of downloading firmware updates. It doesn’t seem too far-fetched that I could navigate my Apple TV at some future point and pull down the equivalents of Tetris, BeJeweled, Brick Breaker, or other games, through a channel parallel to that of YouTube. But even if Apple were to extend games from the iPod and iPhone to the Apple TV, for projection on attached wide screen TVs, the effort to enforce minimalism on the Apple Remote wouldn’t leave many options open for developers or game enthusiasts more comfortable with with multi-button controllers.

I’ve grown used to the Apple Remote as a great navigational tool for Apple TV, but all it offers are directional keys, a play/pause button and the Menu key. Even the addition of an iPod-like scroll wheel would be better for games than this. While I laud the intent of Steve Jobs and Apple to deliver a small, easy to handle remote for one function, it is missing the capability to expand, should the Apple TV ever graduate from a “hobby” to a real product line that Apple takes seriously. A great start to making us early adopters believe that Apple wants to move beyond the hobby stage would be to add games to the Apple TV and offer a new remote.

Pong with a Twist for MacBook/Pro

Nothing more than a terrific [and FUN] waste of time, Tilt SCREAM Pong takes full advantage of your MacBook’s sensory input devices. By tilting your Mac notebook, you can move your paddle from side to side. Screaming at the mic on your MacBook will aid you in growing the size of your paddle for better chances. Shaking the notebook will speed the ball’s speed, while keeping it more steady will reduce the projectile speed.

Tilt SCREAM Pong is open source, so any budding (or otherwise) developers can see what it takes to utilize the motion sensor hardware if that’s your thing.