Kafkaesque Comments

  • DJ Hero

  • Kafkaesque 31/10/2009

    Re: crossfader - yup, I had a few issues with this at first. One handy tip - if you're coming back to the centre from say the right-hand channel. you don't have to be EXACTLY at the midpoint, you just can't cross that mid-point to the left-half of the slider for it to work. Once I sussed this out it did feel quite like the real thing when you're doing some fast cuts. So let's say your right hand is on the cross-fader and the fader is on the right channel, leave your thumb as a marker at the midpoint, and just use your fingers to slide the fader over until it hits your thumb, no need to be feeling for that little notch in the middle. From the left your just sliding with your thumb to your finger in the middle.



    The other aspect which is counterintuitive is using the buttons to select which channels you're scratching on, not the crossfader. I keep finding myself trying to cut with the crossfader as you would on real decks, but that'll go with time I'm sure.



    Those niggles aside, they've hit the nail on the head here as happened with GH. Yes, it's not really like the real thing, but it's close enough to make a good impression of being the real thing, and it's just bloody good fun. Track selection is excellent as well, the mash-ups work almost without exception. Particularly loving the Mr Big Stuff one in the first set, Ice Ice Baby vs Can't Touch This and the Daft Punk megamix. Scratch Perverts set is going to be ridiculous, can't wait \o/
    Reply 0
  • Guitar Hero 5

  • Kafkaesque 12/09/2009

    @RobotRocker - you are exactly the kind of penis the last paragraph of the review is aimed at. Thank you for emphasising the reviewer's point :)



    Good review, even better to read some balanced comments for a change. One superb element the reviewer neglected to mention is the joy of private parties online. For someone like me who typically plays with a combo of one guitar and one drums with mates online, you were at the mercy of randoms joining your sessions and dropping out in a sulk if they didn't get to play guitar on the first song, horribly irritating. Such a simple idea making inviting randoms into the band optional, and combined with being able to play any combo of instruments it's made playing with mates a much better experience. I have to say though, for all that the game mechanics have taken a big leap forward, I'm not really feeling the tracklist yet after my first session last night.



    With both this and RB Beatles coming out this week, it's been a great week for music games all round, the bar has been raised significantly by both.
    Reply -6
  • GH5 tracks, game details emerge

  • Kafkaesque 22/07/2009

    @MyAfroAndMe "This sounds guff. No band mechanics. Why doesn't everyone just play on their own then? Part of the fun of RB is feeling together as a band and helping out those who've mucked bits up.



    From the article you're commenting on - "Gone is the shared Rock Band meter, as each member now plays for themselves. Fail out and a revival meter appears for remaining band members to fill, but the more times this pops-up the harder revival becomes." I.e. GH has introduced a version of the save mechanic from RB. Get your facts straight before you start throwing your RB fanboy toys out of the pram.



    Usual affair this, I'm sure the vast majority will be fun to play, and some tracks I'm looking forward to playing (21st Century Schizoid Man, What I Got, Du Hast, Bring The Noise!), and some really baffling ones - like LazyDan says, why that particularly bad track from Coldplay, an already bad band? They seem to be trying to appeal to older players with the inclusion of so much older stuff.



    Biggest selling point to me really is the change of the online band mechanics. Many's the night when someone's come online and wanted to play but because of restrictions on who can play what instrument they've not been able to join in. Thing of the past now, triple drummer sessions ahoy! Now if they'd only patch GHWT onwards with that....
    Reply -2
  • 1 vs. 100

  • Kafkaesque 16/07/2009

    I've only skimmed the comments above but they seem to echo the indignation with which I read the review. How many games has the reviewer actually played? I consider myself to have a fairly well-rounded brain, and I'm averaging 70% on this quiz. It is NOT easy by any stretch of the imagination. Even if you exclude the geography questions on eastern Europe, the huge swathes of questions on skiing and Masters Cup winners, there's a lot of tricky stuff in there.



    /rant mode off



    Loving this I have to say. Great fun to have mini competitions with mates in your group of 4, genuine excitement if you're up with top scores, and really looking forward to the proper 1 v 100 shows this Friday and Saturday.
    Reply -2
  • Guitar Hero: Greatest Hits

  • Kafkaesque 08/07/2009

    Oh and it looks like people have finally stopped hammering Freebird every time you join a random band now, looks like those that want it have pretty much all got the 2mil achievement. I just wish you could change the difficulty on your instrument AFTER the song was picked so I wouldn't keep failing on Raiining Blood on expert drums on the final solo and p!ssing people off >. Reply 0
  • Kafkaesque 08/07/2009

    Seems to me the review says you've giot



    i) Original tracks instead of covers (+ve)

    ii) Redone the note charts (imho mostly improved, hello twiddly bits on Hit Me With Your Best Shot and Carry On Wayward Son, although making Raining Blood harder on guitar Expert is the notable exception) (+ve)

    iii) Full band i.e. 3 new instrument tracks (+ve)

    iv) The reviewer, and indeed many others, would have preferred it as DLC, although he does concede the point that it's cheaper than DLC overall (-ve)



    Conclusion - 6/10. Is it just me or is this marked down purely on the basis that the reviewer doesn't agree with the pricing strategy? All the tracks have been redone for guitar, had three new instrument tracks added AND they've forked out for the licences. And let's not forget that HOPOs were pretty much borked on GH1 and were still pretty shoddy on all the instalments prior to GH3, it's great going back playing tracks like Godzilla, Cowboys From Hell et al with the improved control system.



    I can understand the cash cow accusations, but this is a great chance to play the songs as they should have been in the first place, especially for those that missed it first time round.



    @Hermiod - "It's just a shame they buggered up the Bass tracks on so many songs with those stupid open strums.". That's actuallly far closer to how a lot of tracks are played, I wish they'd bring that in for guitar but they need to give the bass a USP to keep people interested I suppose.



    @Stonedben "It's true that there's a shocking lack of inter-operability with World Tour" - agreed on that, the RB model is much better in this respect.



    @XdarXideX "I really dont think there is reason to join the "backlash"." Yup I'd agree with this, seems to have become fashionable to slag off GH these days *sigh*. Linked to that - the comment about less emphasis on guitar being fail, GH3 note charts were slagged off in part for playing non-guitar bits on the guitar track, now they've removed some of those offending items and it's fail again?! Wouldn't mind the review qualifying that statement, the way I read it was he either meant just in the sound mix, or else the fact there's full band there.



    I dunno, I've had a whale of a time playing this online in full bands, my PS2 has been in the Console Graveyard Drawer for a while so I haven't played a lot of these for a while, it's been a blast. I really like GHWT but the tracks were a bit lacklustre after a while, this has got far more RAWK tracks on it. Gets my thumbs up.

    Reply 0
  • Over-Achievers

  • Kafkaesque 14/05/2009

    RE: FFXI achievement - if you're playing a couple of hours every night as many MMOers do, you're looking at a couple of months to get there once you've gone round once as long as you can get a party. And to be fair, FFXI is one MMO where you can usually get a party going at any level, the main restriction is having a donkey job no-one wants in a party (hello PUPs everywhere!). Plus there are people who've been playing for 7 years on PS2 and PC who've migrated to 360, they can get the achievements straight away as long as they've got the required levels.



    One achievement I'm gutted never to have got despite completing every other song on Expert on GH and Rock Band is Kick The Bucket. Might have to have another crack at that, but I have to say I'm not as sharp as I was, GH4 doesn't push you anything like as hard as GH3.
    Reply 0
  • Guitar Hero World Tour

  • Kafkaesque 15/11/2008

    There's some interesting comments being made in here in response to people asking whether to get GH or RB, some I can agree with, some I can't. My two cents for what it's worth, this is coming from someone who has been playing since Guitar Hero was launched in the UK and has every iteration of both franchises (bar the awful DS version of GH - less said the better!).



    I'll also pre-empt any accusations of bias up front by saying that personally I prefer the GH series, but I have my reasons which I'll try to make clear.



    Party game for everyone

    This has been summed up quite well. Let's start with Rock Band. The key thing as has been stated is that RB has the "rescue" option. Individual players in a band are allowed to fail a song up to 3 times before they are out of the song for good, and can be rescued by another player who is still in the game triggering star power. This is a big bonus for people who aren't used to playing, and in theory there will always be one "gamer" who is good enough to have SP on standby to rescue the person who has dropped out. On GHWT, if one player crashes out the whole band fails the song, however this can be mitigated by careful SP management. To explain - instead of players saving SP for band members who fail, the player who is failing should activate SP to get out of the danger zone. To be fair this should be standard tactics in RB anyway, the save is a last resort.



    The flip side of that is that if a player is failing, they probably have the difficulty set too high for their standard. Whilst it might be frustrating to fail a song, really if you're struggling you should go back and try it on an easier setting. GHWT now has a level below Easy called Beginner, it would be hard work for someone to fail on this level and reintroduces the concept of GH for the masses. This also opens up a greater portion of the full set of songs to all players, but let's be fair - the harder songs shouldn't be easy to complete.



    The difficulty curve for the absolute novice is not that steep, and both games cater well for the more casual player. That brings us nicely to the song selection.



    Track list

    First off, if you've never played before you might only consider the tracklist as a way of choosing which franchise to opt for, so as Darc suggests it makes sense go for the one which is more aligned with your taste in music. Pre-GHWT, the sheer size of the catalogue of songs available on RB meant there was usually something for everyone and swung the balance in its favour. With GHWT clocking in at 80+ songs that's perhaps less of a divisive issue now, and don't forget you pay for additional content on RB, it can become an expensive hobby.



    There are two downsides to selecting purely using this method. The first is liking a song doesn't necessarily make it fun to play. Freebird is one of my all-time favourite songs, but (note charts aside - I'm coming to that :P) it just doesn't lend itself well to GH. It's 9 minutes long and the first 5 are mind-numbinglly tedious to play. There are other examples - Ziggy Stardust on GH1 is great fun to play on real guitar, it's a pain to play on GH, a big disappointment for me The reverse is true of course - songs which you wouldn't list of being songs you'd choose to put in the game, or might not evn like, are fantastic fun to play. You can put anything by Heart in this category for me.



    The brings me to the second point, namely that the GH series has introduced me to a lot of new music and broadened my horizons. I'll not list my musical tastes here, suffice to say there are bands I now listen to I would never have listened to before, or hadn't even heard of.



    As such, personally I wouldn't let the tracklist be the only factor in choosing one franchise over the other. If you don't mind shelling out for the additional songs when they come out and there are no songs you HAVE to play which are exclusive to the GH series, then with the wealth of download content RB is the winner here purely on the basis of the amount available.



    The guitar game

    I have gaming mates who disagree with me on this so it's a bit of a marmite one I think. There are two aspects to this - peripherals and note charts.



    Let's be quite clear on this - I am very biased on the peripherals side. I can't stand the RB guitar controller. The strummer feels woolly and loose and not precise enough for trickier strumming parts, sections I would nail on GH I couldn't get a decent combo going on RB with the proprietary controller. The buttons on the fretboard similarly feel clunkier and don't help on intricate parts. For me the GH controller wins hands down on the usability front.



    As for the note charts - ahhh, the note charts. Quite a lot of history to follow on this to put it into context, but if you can't be bothered to read it all the summary is this - don't be put off by the naysayers talking about overly complicated note charts on GHWT, to my mind for the pure guitar experience it's still the better of the two franchises.



    When GH1 came out, a few people got to grips with it earlier than others (Priest et al) and people watched the Youtube vids mouth agape as they got 5* on Bark at the Moon on Expert. However by the time GH2 came around a lot of people had been putting the hours in and reached a decent level of competency. The result was that a not-insignificant portion of the gaming community finished the game on Expert the first night it came out, and it wasn't too long before people had 5* on every song as well. The gamers achieving this were understandably quite vocal about their achievements on the GH boards and elsewhere. The natural conclusion drawn from this was that GH2 was "too easy", and the devs said they aimed to address this on GH3.



    Move forward in time a little, and the devs delivered on their promise. This proved rather divisive - the note charts were made more difficult but at the same time the window for hitting the notes, i.e. how precise you had to be with timing, was lowered. The result was that if you could contort your left-hand to the appropriate shapes it was actually easier to hit 5* on what would have been a ridiculous feat in GH2, meaning the hardcore gamers had less of a challenge, and there was a populist movement to decry the note charts as overly difficult. Cue the GH backlash.



    It's interesting to see people don't think this has been addressed in GHWT. From my perspective, GHWT is a very different beast to GH3. For starters, the tracklist has much more of an RB feel to it. There are a lot more nice-to-play songs which don't need too much thought to get through and are actually fun to play. I'll be the first to admit I never went back to the first dozen or so tracks on GH3 once I'd cleared them.



    The note charts themselves seem to match the songs - easier songs have easier charts, and if the song is difficult then the note chart accurately reflects that. Beat it, Hot For Teacher and Satch Boogie need to have tricky solos and tbh have made a good stab at recreating the feel of the tapping solos within the confines of the tools available (i.e. 5 buttons and a strummer), especially Beat It. BYOB and Assassin have similarly done a great job of creating the manic feel of the main riffs as well. Perhaps the one thing which has gone wrong is that the devs have addressed issues of a perceived too-high difficulty level by changing both the note charts AND the tracklist. There's no Jordan and no Fire and Flames on here, which means there's no song which could take you weeks or even months to master.



    As I said at the top - there's a very bandwagonesque feel to knocking the GH note charts, don't be put off by this. I certainly never questioned this aspect and was surprised by the amount of noise it has generated.



    Bass

    Bass was always the poor relation in both GH and RB. A fantastic idea when it was introduced, but online you would see people drop out of co-op games if they didn't get to select being guitar first, highly indicative of the fact that a tedious bassline means a bored player. There are of course songs with great basslines which are fantastic to play, but you can't build your entire songlist purely to ensure each has interesting parts for all the players, similarly you wouldn't reject a song purely on this basis.



    I'm sure this wouldn't sway people on its own, but the introduction of the open note in GHWT (where you strum the note without holding the fret buttons down) has opened this up enormously. On a real guitar there are a lot of times when you play an open string, or pull-off to an open string and I was surprised this hadn't been introduced earlier. It's a shame this wasn't added to the guitar as well, but I suspect they wanted to give the bass a unique selling point to make it more interesting, and it's worked.



    Drums

    Drums was the main reason I got RB. As a casual RL guitarist I'd never had the chance to play drums, but what music fan wouldn't relish the chance to batter the skins. What I didn't suspect was that within a week the only instrument I'd be playing on RB was the drums, for all the reasons I've listed above. I was lucky in that I got a drum set that worked and didn't break (especially as I imported), and had great fun working my way up to being fairly competent at most songs, and with some practice not too shabby at the really tricky later songs - Won't Get Fooled Again, I'm looking at you! Good job RB.



    I can understand people's reticence to fork out again for more drums when, on the 360 at least, the RB drums are compatible with GHWT. We'll have to wait and see how the RB2 drum peripheral shapes up, but for me the leap from the RB drums to the GH ones is as big a leap as the changes to hammer-ons and pull-offs between GH1 and GH2.



    First off - the layout. Plenty of pixels have been dedicated to this, but in brief the RB set is like a set of drum pads, GH is a more realistic layout with two cymbals. After one night playing pro face-off on drums, my GH/RB gaming mate and I both agree the GH layout just "feels" so much better. Purely from a comfort perspective, we were both able to play much longer.



    Then there's the quality of the equipment itself. One of the main criticisms of the RB set was that there wasn't enough bounce in the pads. On a real kit you should hold the stick lightly between thumb and forefinger and let it bounce back up. Experienced drummers managed to do this very well, but for the casual gamer this was not forthcoming. On the new GH set, even a novice like me could get enough bounce to do some nice double hits (where you let the bounce make the stick hit the pad twice for each time you bring the stick down) which makes faster sections much easier.



    Until the RB2 drums come out, GH has stolen a march here.



    Summary

    Having played both franchises for countless hours, if someone asked me which one to go for I would always recommend GH based on the peripherals and the gameplay experience, with a caveat that RB has more songs. Hopefully the above will be useful background information for anyone who is trying to choose between the two.



    One final point. I'm writing this from the perspective of a gamer who plays mostly with other gamers. I'm working on the assumption that if people are on the boards here they are also gamers who are looking at this from two angles - which would be better for me, and which would be better for friends and family having a go. I think my thoughts as a gamer are quite clear, what I hope I've put across is there's something for the casual gamer in both games.



    One final final point - I've not mentioned singing here because I wouldn't want people to mention my own awful singing and it only holds a passing interest for me, but both seem to do a good job. If you want karaoke though just go and buy Singstar ;)
    Reply +1
  • WAR bans gold sellers "like crazy"

  • Kafkaesque 29/09/2008

    "No gold sink = the best way to get rid of gold sellers, after all if people have enuff gold then why buy gold? "



    Agreed. We were just commenting on this on WAR the other night. I got my mount at 20 for 15g and had 15g left over, 2 levels later and I'm at 30g again. The only things I've needed money for so far have been flights (25s max), respecs (1g ish) and renown gear (30s or so). I know that will go up but at 40s or so per quest in tier 3, money's just not an object even for people grinding RvR, which means there no reason to have gold sellers. Good job!



    I suppose it's a reflection of the focus of the game really. They said it was designed to be a quick jaunt to the experience level cap (40) so people can focus on the tier 4 end game areas, I wouldn't go that far but I've been able to focus on doing quests, public quests, scenarios and open PvP without having to grind for money once so far. Coming from FFXI that's an absolute god send. If you want to see an economy crippled first by inflation from gil sellers then deflation when the ban hammer came out, look no further. You can't wait to see what affect sellers have on a game - it's bad, deal with it straight away.



    Anyhoo Warhammer - great game :)
    Reply 0
  • New Metallica album for GH3 on Friday

  • Kafkaesque 13/09/2008

    Whether you like 'Tallica's latest offering or not (gets a big thumbs up from me), it's fantastic to play. I deliberately didn't listen to it so my first taste would be playing it, went through online with a mate last night. My interest in GH has been diminshing for a while but this has got me right back into it \o/ Reply 0
  • Full Guitar Hero: World Tour set-list

  • Kafkaesque 12/09/2008

    Some good stuff on here, I quite like the fact that there are artists I don't know as I might find some new bands to listen to. Beat It solo could be quite interesting with the new tappable part of the fretboard.



    Wings - wtf :S
    Reply 0
  • Acti mute on Guitar Hero IV track list

  • Kafkaesque 24/07/2008

    Tool trio, Master Of Puppets, Nottingham Lace.... sold on those 5 alone \o/ Reply 0
  • Virtuoso Pack for Guitar Hero 3 on Thurs

  • Kafkaesque 23/07/2008

    Fretwankery is right, there are people out there who enjoy fretwankery though. Like me, Rock Band guitar bores me rigid. It's great having mates round but we fight over who's playing drums.



    Roll on Thursday \o/



    Didn't realised you played Farticus!
    Reply 0
  • Guitar Hero World Tour

  • Kafkaesque 20/06/2008

    I had to check it wasn't April 1st when I read this! GH opening up the world for the modding community, fantastic idea. The drums look more like a proper drum kit as well in terms of layout. Bring it on :D Reply 0
  • City of Dress-Up

  • Kafkaesque 14/04/2008

    Man this makes me miss this game. Loved the character creation, great set of people on there, loved the invasions, the first time we took down the Octopus in the harbour. And something a mate on FFXI mentions every time we're camping a rar/ex drop, the fact you only have powers, not equipment per se, is a good thing. That said, the grind does get you down after a bit, and I did end missing the hunt to claim NMs. That plus all my in-game friends slowly moving away meant I went back to the gaming crack that is FFXI. Ah well, thanks for the memories, good article :) Reply 0
  • EA clarifies Rock Band pricing

  • Kafkaesque 08/04/2008

    Absolutely disgusted, and equally delighted now I imported it months ago. Shame though as I wanted it for 360 as I could chat with my mates on that online, ah well. Might sell my imported PS3 version, that would still cover the cost of the 360 one new over here!



    Last I checked it was c.$2 to 1 not the other way round...
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  • Three Strikes And You're Out

  • Kafkaesque 13/02/2008

    Lol@Zamn - I was thinking the same, this actually felt like the most amazing technical accomplishment ever when it came out. Isometric maps ftw! Totally agree with the comments about rewarding cautious play, I have a clear memory of edging round the enemy camps at a safe distance taking out all the radar before taking out all the defensive posts before even starting to think about contemplating toying with the idea of going in to rescue the hostages. Shame you should never go back, sure this would feel like utter toss now :(.



    Top headlines - agreed!
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  • PAIN

  • Kafkaesque 12/01/2008

    @DrDamn - give me a shout if it's any good ;) Reply 0
  • Foos and Velvet tracks for GH3

  • Kafkaesque 08/11/2007

    Yeh, odd choice of songs in parts. All My Life was on my please-God-let-it-be-there list, and it was \o/. To be fair they're all great fun to play, but I've been hammering All My Life :) Reply 0
  • Halo 3

  • Kafkaesque 25/09/2007

    The IGN video review said the single player game is flawed which drops it a point, but the multiplayer is worth 11/10 which makes up for it lol. I think that's the premise this top marks score is based on. Was still surprised at the score though, it doesn't seem to reflect the overall review.



    I was never a fan of the Halo 2 SP game but the co-op on this should be fun. Let's be honest though, for most people who have Live this is about the MP experience. I've ignored all the hype, I'm just getting this like any other game, hopefully it will be an enjoyable romp, it's all I can ask.
    Reply 0
  • Guitar Hero II song packs

  • Kafkaesque 12/04/2007

    Good to see people can do their maths on here. Now here's a crazy suggestion - let's look at this from a qualitative perspective for a moment.



    People who've posted on here have just talked about pricing models and cost per song, no-one seems to have mentioned why a lot of people have been chomping at the bit to get these songs on GH2 360. I couldn't give a monkey's what it costs (within reason...), the chance to play BatM and Frankenstein with HO/POs that work AND practice mode? Priceless. Only question is when's Cowboys From Hell coming out, that song needs the GH2 gaming mechanism even more than BatM.



    I can't be the only person who's thinking this way. Or have the accountants taken over the asylum...

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