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メーンページへ / main 前のニュースレターへ / previous 次のニュースレターへ

january 2006

this newsletter is in english only. hope you'll like it anyway!

the term has started already. there is lots of homework, much to learn.
but students need distraction and 遊びevery once in a while. it usually goes by the name of "party".

i'm sure you've heard all sorts of stuff about karaoke. but maybe you're craving instruments more than a microphone. you've dreamt of becoming a rockstar but for a number of reasons it never worked out. your fingers are too short. not enough money to buy a real guitar (read on below), you lack the talent to really make it. your girlfriend got pregnant and you had to settle for a steady income. whatever.
thing is, you don't really need to be able to play guitar to enjoy the excitement, the fans, gigs, the athmosphere, the fame. no problems with bandmates who do drugs, no greedy managers and record labels. plus you get to do it all in your living room!


official title: guitar hero© (play station 2 version)

how does it work?
you strap on a fake guitar and strum along as the notes on the screen flow towards you.
using the right timing, you press one or several of the colored buttons on the fretboard which corresponds to the note that you see on the screen. instead of a plec, you press a bar on the body of the guitar. if you hit the note, you can hear yourself playing. otherwise it's just as if you weren't playing.
the bar which is pressed as a replacement for the plec can be pressed down for downstroke and pulled up as upstroke. pull-offs and hammer-ons also seem to be possible but i haven't seen any so far. the guitar even comes with a whammy bar. best of all, you don't have to worry about the guitar getting out of tune if you work the whammy bar too hard. finally!
check out the screenshot:

guitarkaraoke screenshot

as long as you play correctly, the crowd cheers, the rock-o-meter and the score go up. if you hit enough notes, the final verdict will be "you rock" and you are able to continue to more difficult songs.
you can choose from four difficulty levels. medium is already quite demanding in the later songs. hard is another gear or two up and expert... well, i haven't tried it so i don't know ^_^
some of the notes come in the shape of stars, if you manage to play them all you get additional power - move the fretboard up and down as if you were posing and get extra points.

the game has several modes: career, quick song and others. in the career mode you start with easy songs which you have to complete in order to unlock advanced songs. in quick song mode you can select whatever song at whatever difficulty level.

the selection of songs contains works by jimi hendrix, megadeth, panthera, queen, ziggy stardust, judas priest and many more. naturally the selection is of harder musical nature due to the amount of guitar contained in it.
here's an official review by gamespot:

check out some players: (evan, kuma, sai)

evan kuma sai

and finally, after months of practice and beer:
behold the master! (amu)


i was a bit sceptical at first (being able to play a real guitar and all) but after trying, it turned out to be quite entertaining (and challenging too). pieces like "cowboys in hell" by panthera and "bark at the moon" by ozzy osbourne / zakk wylde are really quite difficult to play, even on medium level. well, zakk wylde's always been been a bitch in that aspect.
one of the difficulties for me was that in the lower difficulty levels, you don't have to play all the notes you hear e.g. during the solo of jimi hendrix's "spanish castle magic", you only have to play about every third note. this is feasible but e.g. the "bark at the moon" intro is a really fast one so i was trying to reproduce every note i heard instead of playing the notes that actually appeared on screen. the amount of notes do differ but not too much. just enough to throw you off.

other activities at that party included the following activities:

alain teeth amu evil grin kuma behind cards ryo uno

extreme teeth baring by alain, evil grinning by amu, hiding behind cards by kuma and playing uno - the force behind which is ryo.
and finally: being high on drugs as demonstrated here by karl, who's usually a really nice guy. except that he wasn't really high. but that's the worst face he ever pulled for a foto.

karl happy

apart from that, i bought a pair of rollerblades because i need to do sports. i really dislike jogging to start with, and jogging on asphalt is reeeaally bad for your knees so i went for the rollerblades. よろしくお願いいたします、ね。

i've been asked a few times why there are so few pictures of myself. the reason is actually quite simple. i'm taking pictures and often only i have a camera with me whereas others do not. also, others don't seem to be interested in taking pictures that much.

well, that's it for newsletter # 13. hope you liked it. stay tuned!

chris beer cheers!






the money issue
a playstation and a guitar controller cost money too. plus, you need a tv. consider taking up hiking as a cheap alternative. back to where you came from