guitar hero iii for the nintendo wii

It’s no secret that I’m a big video game fan, having launched my own fighting games blog. I’m also known to fill my well-deserved breaks with a rousing session of Puzzle Fighter on my Nintendo DS. The latest game that has been occupying my time is Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock for the Nintendo Wii.

Also available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2, Guitar Hero III is pretty much the same as the first two games, complete with five fret buttons, a whammy bar, and a smattering of totally kick-ass rock songs. And it is way too much fun for its own good.

I got into the rhythm games genre several years ago when I was introduced to Dance Dance Revolution. This would have been around 2000 or 2001. I later migrated to Pump It Up, a Korean copycat of DDR. I also got involved, to a lesser extent, with the Bemani series of music games by Konami. From DrumMania to Guitar Freaks, they had a wide range of instruments you can could try. There was even KeyboardMania and some other game with a DJ turn-table. Better still, these machines could be linked together for a joint jam session… sounds a lot like EA’s Rock Band, doesn’t it?

You see, Guitar Hero III is far from being original or innovative. What they did, however, was bring the rhythm game genre into the North American mainstream. Instead of banging on some drums to the tune of a J-Pop song, you could rock out with Metallica or Sonic Youth. Being reintroduced to the genre today, I can’t believe I ever left. I’m not kidding when I say that Guitar Hero III is the most fun I’ve ever had on the Nintendo Wii. As in better than Wii Sports, better than Twilight Princess.

And I’m not alone in this sentiment. Guitar Hero III is basically sold out everywhere you go, regardless of which video game system you own. The exception to this appears to be the PS2, because I walked into a Target store some time back and saw no fewer than 50 Guitar Hero III boxes there, all for the PlayStation 2. Xbox 360? Nope. Wii? Not a chance. I asked countless stores in the Vancouver area and they all told me that they were completely sold out too. I eventually lucked out at a Best Buy in Bellingham where they had two copies of GH3 (Wii) for sale.

The Guitar Hero III songlist is an eclectic collection, ranging from “Paint It, Black” by the Rolling Stones to “Miss Murder” by AFI, from “The Metal” by Tenacious D to “Black Magic Woman” by Santana. And it’s great. If you buy just one game this holiday season, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock should be near the top of your list.

On a side note, will it blend?