Guitar Hero Domination

7 11 2009

Yet another thing crossed off my list of things to do in 2009!

Yes that’s right, I have competed in a competitive gaming event. And totally dominated it I might add.

The event: Guitar Hero 5
The place: Sandton Convention Center at the Audio-Video and Appliance Expo 2009
The date: 30 October – 1 November 2009

I wrote my first exam on Friday 30 October, and decided that I needed something to do afterwards for fun. Destress and all that kind of stuff. So I organised to go with George to the Audio-Video and Appliance Expo (AVA). I was intending to go anyway sometime that weekend, just for the Guitar Hero 5 stand that was going to be there.

So we went through to Sandton, which I’ve never been to before, and parked in the Sandton City parking lot. We walked across to the Sandton Convention Center, (which is huge btw) and wondered through the expo for a while. It was rather specialised, so we weren’t that interested in all the stuff; and we ended up at the Guitar Hero booth.

The way the competition worked was that anybody could come by and play the game on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and the top 8 scores would be called back to play competitively on Sunday. I picked up a random song and played it, and I got a fairly decent score on Expert. I only missed 1 note I think. There was this other guy on Friday as well at the same time as me, I’ll call him Brown Shirt.

Brown Shirt played a random song, and then, not being happy with his score, went back and picked another song to play, in order to get a higher score. The song he picked was a 16 minute long monster by Peter Frampton (Live), so obviously he was going to get a high score. Cheater. But anyway, I played and was reasonably confident about my score.

Saturday night I got a call from the guy, telling me to come back on Sunday to play. I thought cool and we (me and my ever-supportive and enthusiastic GF) went through to the expo for the competition.

Now, this was the top eight of the expo, so it wasn’t just a bunch of randoms. Well that’s what I thought anyway. My first round, which was the third match of the first round of the competition, was against a Medium player, who got through on his score. Usually the difficulty is fixed in these competitions, and so I was a little anxious that there was a Medium in the competition. Indeed, while we were playing I noticed that discrepancy in the scoring system. We had both hit all the notes given to us and he had more score than me! (For those who don’t know, Medium is much slower, has much less notes and only uses four of the five fret buttons on the controller).

The two songs we (and everyone else in the first round) played were Sultans of Swing by Dire Straights and Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones. Not too hard, but its always nerve-wracking playing songs you’ve never played before in front of a crowd. I eventually prevailed over him, winning both songs by a comfortable margin. There was no need for a third song tie-breaker.

Round two I played Mr. Bye, who skated straight into the semi-finals by virtue of his designated opponent not being able to make it to the tournament. However, he really wasn’t up for playing with the big boys, and I totally outclassed him on our Semi-Final songs: Sweating Bullets by Megadeth and No One To Depend On by Carlos Santana. The other Semi-Final, between Brown Shirt and Surfer Guy (so named because he had bleached blond hair like a surfer), was tied after these two songs, and therefore they played 2 Minutes to Midnight by Iron Maiden as the tie-breaker, which Surfer Guy won.

This left the final between me and Surfer Guy, and the 3rd place play-off between Mr. Bye and Brown Shirt.

For the final, they switched it up and surprised everybody by putting in the Guitar Hero: World Tour disc. The two songs they chose were basically the hardest available on that game: Hot for Teacher by Van Halen and Scream, Aim, Fire by Bullet For My Valentine. Intense solos on both songs, and lots of hard, fast notes to strum.

Ultimately, however, I prevailed, bringing it back from some shocking openings on both songs. Once more, there was no need for a third song, as I had won two of three, but we would have had to play Satch Boogie by Joe Satriani, arguably the hardest song in World Tour.

The final standings of the tournament, as well as the prizes the top three received:

1st – Michael – A Band Hero super bundle, consisting of a set of the “new and improved” drums, a new guitar, microphone and of course Band Hero (R2,340).

2nd – Surfer Guy – DJ Hero plus turntable controller (R987).

3rd – Brown Shirt – Guitar Hero 5 and Guitar bundle (R987).

So yes. I totally dominated the competition and walked away with a rather valuable prize. Here’s the tournament progression for those who are interested, skilfully made from scratch and memory in MS-Paint.

Tournament Progression

The Guitar Hero Tournament Progression

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