Moving on up

18th September 2009 – 5.16 pm

Drumming through the Ozzfest gig in Guitar Hero: World Tour is fun and challenging. As I am able to post some good scores and feel comfortable through most of the long set I push on to the next couple of gigs as well. There are a couple of tracks that trip me up, and the No Doubt song doesn't quite know when to finish, but I can certainly see the progress I've made since beginning to play fake plastic drums. I have some level of coordination and limb-independence, and fills and breaks I thought I'd never get the hang of fall in to place comfortably now.

I remember the progression in difficulty that occurs throughout the gigs, where the final few gigs on medium difficulty are comparable to, if not harder than, early gigs on hard difficulty, and with that in mind I wonder if I could perhaps play an early track on expert difficulty level. I enjoy Band on the Run and recall it being fairly simplistic on drums, so I raise the difficulty and tentatively choose the Wings song to attempt as a solo track, outside of a gig. The note track flies down the screen more quickly, making me nervous immediately, but this is only to allow greater differentiation of note timing and once the beat is picked up I simply play as normal.

It seems silly to be slightly intimidated by the 'expert' difficulty level, but its name and threatening skull don't help. Never the less, I manage to play Band on the Run with some level of competence, spurring me in to attempting the early expert level gigs. I play the first two well enough, picking up the added beats comfortably, thanks to the experience gained from all my practice, and continue to play three more, until the songs get difficult enough to warrant practice in training mode to analyse the new patterns at a slower pace. But I am really quite impressed and pleased with myself for the personal progress and entertainment I am still getting from fake plastic drumming.

Admittedly, I am only mucking around on expert difficulty in Guitar Hero: World Tour because I don't have the new game yet. 'Order Guitar Hero 5 now for delivery on the release date', suggested the website of the company I order from, leaving me giggling in expectation of a weekend of rock drumming glee. But the Friday of the release date comes and goes without the postman thrusting an exciting package through my door, as does the Saturday. With no postal service on Sundays my weekend of rocking is going to be more mundane than hoped.

There is only one course to take, and that is to write a snotty e-mail to the internet company. It isn't really a problem that the game hasn't turned up. After all, it will get to me eventually and I'll play it, but it's the principle of raising expectations to generate sales that irritates me. I get a form reply back, blandly stating that it is not always possible to meet demand, which is sad if only because a simple message keeping customers informed could have avoided some frustration, as well as offering an opportunity to buy elsewhere. Unlike the company, I will stick to my word and never buy another product in advance from them again.

At least the delay in receiving Guitar Hero 5 has the positive effect of encouraging me to try the expert difficulty level, which in turn strokes my ego pleasantly. I'm still looking forwards to getting the new game, though.

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