Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hitting The Proverbial Wall (Rock Band)

One of the games I cherish and consider one of my best (skill-wise) games is Rock Band.  The game is satisfying because it's one of the few games that the developers actually seem to care about--releasing tons of downloable content in the form of songs by all sorts of bands (click here for an entire list...over 2000 songs).  I invested some money into this game (about $300+).  I like playing Guitar/Bass and I usually have fun with it.  And screw Guitar Hero which has saturated the marketplace to the brim that now everyone detests music games when they really shouldn't.

Now I assume you know a little bit about Rock Band.  When you're on Guitar, you have the five fret buttons and you use the strum bar to hit the notes (the big notes anyway, the little ones you can hammer-on/pull-off without having to strum).  Hit notes and your Rock Meter goes up, miss and it goes down.  You can hit the white notes to get Overdrive which can be activated which gives significant boosts to your Rock Meter and makes it much easier to not fail.

I've never really talked about this until now, but I consider myself somewhat good at the game (on Guitar/Bass).  Now I've passed just about every difficult Guitar song there is on Expert--Satch Boogie, Rude Mood, Devil's Island, Warriors Of Time, Raining Blood (GH3), Through the Fire and Flames (GH3), etc.  I feel that is an accomplishment but something I don't like rubbing it in since I'm not the best anyway.  But then they come out with this one song that...I...can't...pass.

Bottom left corner is the Guitar notes.  This is an automated run NO ONE IS PLAYING.  All I have to say is %@#^@#$!*r@.@$%^!/+@3!.

The farthest I've made it is about 25% in (:52 in video), then I failed.  I think I've made it to 25% about 3 out of a 100 tries.  I don't even play it anymore, too hard, not worth beating myself up over it.  Even if I do make it significantly past 25%, the solo gets even worse around the 40-50% mark and then I would have no real chance.

But then there's people who FC (hit all the notes without overstrumming/ruining the combo) that song which is probably one of the greatest achievements for any Rock Band player.  Like this guy (WARNING: Some major profanity).

Now I'm not trying to be the best in the world since I don't even think I can handle the pressure even if I had the skill.  These people are so bent out of shape by the time it's done, I mean between feeling like jello from the tension and screaming extreme profanities, it's a form of masochism in and of itself.  Like I wish I could be better but without the extreme pain.  Great, but not the point of getting YouTube comments about "getting a life."

I'm not jealous.  Look, I'll just man up--I'm not great at this, some of you beat me, congrats.  It just makes me wonder why I keep trying when I really can't get any better.  I've been playing for months but I never really improve my scores/percentages.  I get pissed since one of the reasons to play is to improve yourself...but I can't do it.  I play online in a band (with random users) and we play cooperatively for high scores.  I usually do better than everyone I play with, but sometimes I run into another Guitarist/Drummer who just blows the others away.  Like I feel like I don't deserve to be there.

I don't talk about skill that much on this site since I feel that it just makes people hate each other more and it's about having fun and playing the game, not about bragging rights.  But sometimes it makes me kind of sad that I wasn't built for this kind of stuff.  Like when I set that supposed World Record on Cruis'n USA (which really isn't set in's not Twin Galaxies material and the site that had it saved is down now), it was probably one of my greatest moments cause I "finally did it."  Finally did something that no one else did, but now it's kind of stupid.  And I can assure you the process leading up the WR was anything but pleasant.  Just glad that my efforts paid off...if I wasted all that time and didn't get the WR, I would've been supremely pissed.

Look at it this way though.  One, records are meant to be broken and titles/accolades are meant to be taken away by someone else.  Let me give you an example.  Click on the site "The Elite" in my links page on the right.  This is for Goldeneye/Perfect Dark N64 world records and has a big following--I've been observing it for years cause it's quite cool.  There was this guy named Wouter Jansen from The Netherlands who had world record times in every level on Goldeneye, but now, he's been beaten by a bunch of other people.  Look at me, I'm the greatest!  You're on top of the world one day, an afterthought the next.  Also, look at athletes--you're young, you're doing good, then you get old and can't play anymore.  Two, do you think in ten or twenty years that these records are going to be THAT big of a deal?  Sad to say but it's probably true unless it's something REALLY big like an Olympic event, but that'll soon be beaten or will come to pass.

I don't mind if people are good, but when people gloat and insult other people, then I take real offense--just get out of my face, jerk.  There's more to life than this.  To be fair, some of these great players are pretty humble about it which makes me feel better.

Let us play to enjoy the game itself.  Playing to be good is fun and obviously, that should be your goal.  To me, games like Rock Band, Counter-Strike, Perfect Dark, Daytona USA (if I ever did have the chance to play) I try to excel.  But sometimes you get stuck and it really upsets you.  It hurts but if that's the case, then just move on--there's too much stuff in this world to do to be hung up on one little activity.  I mean, you have to draw the line SOMEWHERE or else you'll go insane.  Try different things, enjoy life.  It's not easy to do, I know--that's the breaks.

...besides, some stuff is deliberately made to be impossible, like this.  Challenge is one thing, but trying to go outside in a storm and dodge rain is another...screw it, just laugh it up.  This video's funny.  WARNING: More profanity.

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