Guitar Freaks Review
The music simulators on Playstation are the biggest thing in Japan, and it is the one thing that we, the American gamers rarely see. Sure we may have had good times with Bust a Groove, Parrapa and Um Jammer, but those games are nothing when compared to the titles Japan has such as Dance, Dance, Revolution, Beat Mania and Guitar Freaks. Konami is the brains behind the big sensation and they spawned the whole trend. Their games have been so successful that even Pokemon can't keep up. Music titles are so huge that they even have their own peripherals to be used with, such as the DJ Station or the guitar for Guitar Freaks. Little did I know that when I imported Guitar Freaks I would spend most of my time away from the sun, and locked in one room for 3 hours straight trying to master Guitar Freaks. Konami has created such a product that words can't even describe it. While I was playing the game, lighting struck the area around our office and I didn't even flinch. See why Guitar Freaks is so addictive.
It's harsh to start out the review by talking about the bad side of things, but luckily it's not something very important. When playing Guitar Freaks you only see a moving board that has three rows and notes moving upward on each at a certain time. To play a note you have to press the coinciding button that lights up the correct row or at times rows and then tap a button when the notes reach the bars right below the end of each row. It may sound confusing but it isn't. The main screen where all the action takes place is nothing, there are many colors in the videos shown in the middle of the screen, but the rest is just empty space. Nothing very special about the visuals.
To play this game much easier and more realistically you have to play with the Guitar controller, otherwise the Dual Shock will be a pain in the ass to master. The layout of buttons or the other choices aren't very good, and the pad can't be customized. The level of difficulty is extremely hard and requires super fast reflexes to hit all notes precisely. There are many songs to play to and there is a certain difficulty level assigned to each song. Cutie Pie, which is the very first song you will play, has a level of 1 star. While a song like Hypnotica has a level of 8 stars assigned to it. I really stress the fact that you purchase the guitar controller if you are deciding to import Guitar Freaks. This game may be very hard to master but it will be all worth it when it is all said and done. There are over 10 tunes to play to, all with different beats and sync. The gameplay is so addictive especially with the Guitar and if you have a buddy to play with you should invite him/her to jam along with you. Before starting to play this game I suggest starting with Training and picking all types of modes, including Picking and Fingering Practice. Change speed if you need to but you can only in Training mode. Also while starting a game go to practice for a little more help. You will need all the help you can get. Guitar Freaks is the prime example of how a music game should feel and play. Nothing can compare to Guitar Freaks.
This is with no question in my mind the best sounding music game if not game, period. The game actually sounds like you are playing a real guitar. Making the guitar cry has never sounded so good, all the keys of the guitar sound unbelievably good. If you've a got an expense piece of stereo equipment by all means necessary connect your PSX to it and watch the fireworks go. The tunes are also exceptional, none of them are too repetitive and all sound great.
The fact is that the only game that can compare to Guitar Freaks is MTV Music Generator, both games have awesome sound, gameplay as well as depth. I suggest picking up Guitar Freaks especially because 95% percent of it is in English so there will be no language barrier between you and the game. Importing the title may be the best thing you will do for your PS, but don't forget the guitar or you will regret it. Guitar Freaks like I said is a prime example of music games.