I had an epiphany this weekend.
I am, in many of my friends opinion, a complete and utter nerd about games. I'll agree. It's reached the point where people will *call me up* as they're in a store trying to make a choice and they need pointers. It's reached the point where people at work consider me gaming press. I spend way more money than i should on games at the heavy expense of my social life at times.
I guess the main bullet point here is that i play and enjoy much, much games across much platforms.
There was this Dance Dance Revolution kick here a couple of years back, where most of my buddies would go to arcades to compete for scores and to prove themselves physically. It's a good bit of exercise for sure, and i always thought it was a fun thing to watch (sometimes ridiculous to watch), but i could never once get into it. It's so hard getting into a game like that with an audience, so the DDR craze never caught me up, and as such i never thought i'd get into a rythm action game for real.
Last night, i played Guitar hero on Hard and Expert, which is, for the uninitiated, the point where the game A) Stops giving you breaks, B) makes you move your hand as well as your fingers to reach the unholy Fifth Button and C) decreases the resolution of the grid you're supposed to be following so you get very little warning. I've had the fear of GOD put into me by Bad Religion's Infected, to the point where i actually had to use my vaunted Star Power merely for SURVIVAL. I'd come out of that song, which is just chords over and over again, forcing you to make very fast and precise movements, with an aching wrist and a little finger desperately wanting out, but last night it all just CLICKED.
Of all the games i play these days, Guitar Hero is the only one to consistently bring me honest JOY. It never ONCE fails to put a wide stupid grin on my face, i laugh out loud at least once every five minutes, and sometimes it makes me feel like i can do the impossible by instinct. I can't think of higher praise for a game; this is exactly what i want from games. Not guitar licks, not heavy metal, not a big stupid controller, but unabridged escapist JOY. If i need to push buttons on a big clunky plastic guitar to get there, sign me up for TWO.
I'm so geared up for the sequel right now, even though Iron Man still destroys me. But i'll get there with practise, and it'll feel like i successfully landed on the moon. Again and again.