CTIA Wireless 2008: Guitar Hero III Hands On Video

By Kevin Michaluk on 1 Apr 2008 06:20 pm EDT

The 20 second clip above shows Guitar Hero III for BlackBerry in action. I forced one of the friendly folk working the RIM booth to play it while I caught the clip... she didn't do so well in the 20 seconds I caught on film but that's ok, we won't hold it against her :-)

So if you saw the press release this morning and have been thinking about buying it, the capture above gives a good sense of the game play. You only use 3 "strings" (they scaled back the full-blown app to work on the Berry, and apparently the 3 strings was all the Berry could handle) but the graphics were good and the game play was addicting and fun nonetheless. I gave it a whirl and will definitely be picking it up for myself as soon as I get the chance!

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CTIA Wireless 2008: Guitar Hero III Hands On Video


Curve 8300
OS: (314) SingTel
File Free: 22,808,397 bytes
No background-resident apps running(Jivetalk was shut down while I played)

I'm having loads of fun with this game! The interface is very pretty, virtually identical to the console versions. There are 2 rockers, 4 guitars, at least, and several other unlockables. All 3 difficulty levels are present as well as Career Mode and Quick Play. Your score can also be uploaded to the LeaderBoard via the internet, so you can see how your rockness ranks worldwide.

Gameplay is simple, using the R,F,C keys for green, Y,H,B for red, and U,J,N for yellow notes. Activating Star Power requires wandering over to the (what else?) * key, or clicking the trackball, either of which proves rather difficult to do in the middle of a blazing guitar solo. The space bar would be a MUCH better choice for this function. To my knowledge, unfortunately, controls are NOT reconfigurable.

Song selection is good, with an update feature that allows you to download 3 new songs each month, free with the original one-time purchase price of the game. I have not noticed any Dragonforce tunes as yet. ;) Imagine the smoke flying from your 'berry, and the thumb cramps afterward!

Sound quality is surprisingly good, considering the songs are MIDI, but unfortunately they don't let you finish the whole song! What?!? Apparently they had to truncate the songs to save space? ARGH! It's maddening to have the game stop in your hand as the song coninues on in your head. It's like singing just the first 7 notes of "It's A Small World" just prior to exiting a crowded elevator.

Game performance was decent overall, but I did notice a tendency for the graphics to lag a bit and get out of sync with the audio during particularly busy passages. If you know the song and are used to playing primarily by ear, this really throws you off and forces you to time your keypresses visually instead. For me, it was tough to switch back and forth, and it detracts greatly from the enjoyment of this game as a multi-sensual experience.

With a few control and performance tweaks, this game would really shine, but as of now, it merely glows brightly. I want to see a downloadable update soon. Complete songs would be a bonus and a huge relief to my OCD brain (MUST...FINISH....SONG!!!), and a playable demo would have been nice.

Overall, I give it a 7.5, with potential for improvement if future updates are made.