Despite the horrendous tragedy last night of my Wii DVD drive dying, quickly followed by the painful realization via phone call that the warranty on my Wii ended THREE DAYS AGO, assuaged immediately by the kind Nintendo representative saying “it’s ok, we’ll squeeze you in anyway and fix that for you free of charge”, bolstered by the assignment of an RMA and fedex label for me to get said free repair, balanced by the acknowledgment that we will be wii-less for two weeks, being thankful that Nintendo will give me a new 1yr warranty on the fixed Wii, then being surprised that the drive spun up again after being turned off for 30 minutes, then accosted by the sounds of a damaged DVD drive, I still have some good news to share about Guitar Hero.
There are two main sources of online information about Guitar Hero – guitarhero.com and scorehere.com.
I have an extreme love-hate relationship with these sites.
Both are like, hmm. How do I convey this? Ok I think I got it
Let’s say you LOVE cars. You’re absolutely in love with cars – all makes and models, engines, custom mods, manufacturers, accessories, you attend car shows and talk cars with your buddies, and you’re a junkie to find out the latest news coming out. Then you’re given the most awesomest car EVER – it’s got (insert some incredibly drool-inducing engine stat) and (insert some INSANE fuel injectifier thingies) and custom (insert something you customize heavily). It’s the BOMB of cars in terms of features. But there are some things wrong with it, like it smells bad, like some dog urinated on the back seat carpet. The uphostery is shot. It’s never washed. It has no radio. The steering wheel has little thumbtacks sticking out of it so when you drive, it pricks you in the finger and it hurts. The windows are stuck in down position, so rain gets into it all the time. There’s only one headlight, and for some reason it’s stuck on BRIGHT and has some sensor that sees police and automatically tracks and points right at the police officer’s head at night.
The dilemma you face in the above situation is that despite the cacophony of aesthetic noise, you LOVE cars and it’s got (the list above of awesome things). So you put up with it because you LOVE cars and it embodies the best of the best, even if it’s just in 2 or 3 areas.
These sites are like that. They both have AWESOME content and features, but are unfortunately riddled with hard-to-navigate or inefficient systems, plagued by elite know-it-alls, and inundated with morons. You just can’t get better info than from places like guitarhero.com and scorehero.com, but the problem is … YOU JUST CAN’T GET THE BETTER INFO. “Stickies” just aren’t a suitable replacement for USENET-style FAQ’s of the golden age.
So I wanted to share a couple of the other online Guitar Hero resources I’ve found that are really cool.
The first is a compete set of note charts. at bradleyzoo.com
. A “note chart” is where someone has documented every note in the guitar hero version of the song, how long the notes are and where the star power phrases are
Note charts aren’t a new thing by any means – several pieces of software can generate them from the game itself. What *this* site adds is a documentation of the star power paths (shown in green) and optimal times to USE the star power (shown in blue). And get this – it does so, for EVERY song from EVERY GH game in EVERY level (I didn’t check every one myself, though). And if that weren’t enough, it does the above in both graphic and text form. Oh, and it does one for many different ways to play the song – no starpower, some star power with using whammy bar, using no squeeze, or using some amount of squeeze ranging from 20-100% (squeeze is the art of timing the activation of starpower a few milliseconds “late” so you get extra points).
You may be asking “why would I care about a note chart? Isn’t this game about having fun?” Yes, it is. But after you’ve gone through the thrill of playing the game, you start wondering why you can’t hit this phrase or that phrase. Or you start playing in tournaments or playing online and get killed by people who get 80k more points than you.
Or you hit 100% on a song but are still ranked WAY down below 500,000th place:
I can hear a couple of you snickering “tee-hee, he made 100% on easy, what a ‘tard my blind grandma can do 100% on easy with the controller and she has arthritis”. Well, I do have a 100% on a hard song, and it’s still ranked > 100,000th place
So I see my 116,705th place and REALLY want to optimize that score. The note charts will help me with that. I can see from the main table of songs that I can make somewhere between 269,532 and 271,168 points if I just activate star power in the right places. And I can tell from the guitarhero.com leaderboards that if I get around 271K for this song, I’ll go from 116,705th place to ~1400th.
The second is schier.eu
. This place is a fantastic resource for pulling data and cool information from guitarhero.com’s ranking system.At this site, you can get custom signature badges, look at your stats in graph form, get a complete table of data of scores by song and date updated, and see group stats for songs. It really is an amazing site.Here are some sample badges of my current data – showing how many of each level have been cleared, 5-starred, FC’ed, how many wins I’ve had in battle mode, etc.
Another cool feature is you can compare two or more account stats together. Here’s a comparison of me (red) and my 13yr old daughter (blue) on one of the setlists (Live in Japan, Expert)
You can see from this that she beats me on four of the five songs, but on Knights of Cydonia, I have the lead. Everyone knows that’s the hardest song there (pshaw, I keed, I keed! Caitlin completed these songs WEEKS before I could even get there. I was stuck on Cult of Personality for so long it hurt.)
The guy behind this site also responded to my feedback and let me know about the XML feed that guitarhero.com has for profile data, so that gives me an idea of writing a wordpress plugin to display dynamic ranking data, like on a timeline… hmmmmmm, I love brainstorming with my imagination….