Guitar Hero II, from Red Octane, is the much heralded sequel to their award-winning air guitar game Guitar Hero released in 2005. Guitar Hero built up a rabid following among gamers, guitar players and oddly enough, rock stars. Even if you're decidely not into video games, if you play guitar you should check out Guitar Hero. The idea is that you use a plastic guitar-shaped controlled to hit the right notes to classic rock songs by clicking on colored fret buttons and struming in time. While that doesn't sound like much, the game is surprisingly addictive, especially as you play classic rock songs from Cheap Trick, The Police, Kiss and many others. If you hit the right notes, you'll hear a roaring guitar solo and cheers from the audience. Hit the wrong notes and you'll hear a humbling "plunk" sound and likely get booed off stage. As you improve, you can play bigger venues, harder songs, buy new gear, and presumably, end up on VH-1 Behind the Music.
Right now, Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero II run only on the Nintendo Playstation. But new versions for the XBox 360 and Nintendo Wii are expected in the coming months as well as a package of 1980's hits. For a more serious discussion of Guitar Hero and its impact on the industry, read the guest column over at OnDisruption.
I'm seriously considering buying Guitar Hero to make up for my spastic lack of rhythm. The game turned out to be a big hit this Christmas with my nephews shown below who had no such problems.