Free Bird!!!

Well I just made it through Medium difficulty in Guitar Hero II after 5-starring all the songs on Easy (nearly all of them on my first try... it's not hard) and I must say that I was pretty surprised when the final encore song turned out to be Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird". Especially since one of the loading screen messages in the original Guitar Hero was:

They don't really want you to play "Free Bird", they're just heckling you.

But I did play "Free Bird" and up until the tempo change that I didn't know was coming, I had a perfect run going -- 389 notes perfect -- then it all went to hell. I did squeak out the 200,000 point Achievement though on the very last note on the song, so it was worth putting up with it.

There are a few songs that I doubt I'll ever 5-star on Medium difficulty (or ever even pass on Hard mode, let alone Expert) but it's probably because I'm not going to invest much time in practice mode. Practice mode is a great addition to the game and if I really cared to master a particular song, it would be something I'd probably use consistently. But I just play this for fun, it's a nice diversion, and I'm really not looking to try and become a videogame guitarist for life. Not that there's anything wrong with that -- I look on at some of the scores on my Friends Leaderboard in awe as several of them are just off the charts.

As for the song selection, I stand by my initial claim that it, in a word, sucks. But it does have some fun songs to play. "Misirilou" by Dick Dale was a very pleasant surprise and some of the songs I didn't know -- and still don't enjoy listening to -- are actually quite fun to play. And while I knew "Rock This Town" by the Stray Cats was included, I didn't realize how fun, nor how fast, that song could be. That said, inclusion of anything from Megadeath is just cruel. I was able to get through every song on Medium difficulty on the first try, but a couple from the last two sets almost got past me.

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to the 80's edition of the game, especially after watching this on VHI last night, and hope it comes out by late summer -- it'd be really nice to sit back and recover from TransRockies with the plastic mini-axe in my hands.

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