A hero’s wish list

I apologize. I just keep thinking about it.

No. Not the Argus Leader FivePart Drama.

Guitar Hero. In my case, Guitar Hero II. It’s addicting. It’s fun. It’s the perfect video game.

For those of you who are clueless as to what Guitar Hero entails, I’ll quickly fill you in. It’s a game based on timing and repletion, a puzzle game of sorts. You press buttons and strum a guitar shaped controller to the time and pitch of the music. It seems silly, but the game has been designed so well that it truly feels as if you’re playing along with the music – like you have suddenly become a guitar virtuoso in just a matter of minutes.

It’s strangely realistic, actually – from the feel of the controller to the sound of missed notes, everything is timed and created to fuel everyone’s dream of being front and center at a rock concert – to be a rock god. Best of all, both games are filled with a great selection of guitar rock songs. You’ve got Van Halen, Mötley Crüe and Warrant for the cock-rockers. You’ve got Pantera, Megadeth and Anthrax for the metal heads. Motörhead? Black Sabbath? Red Hot Chili Peppers? Bad Religion? Yes. All of them.

Even Spinal Tap. Even “Freebird.”

Of course, I’m never content with what I have. Few of us really are. So I’ve been thinking over the past few days about the songs I wish were included. Call this my Guitar Hero III wish list – the ten songs that no future Guitar Hero should be without.

One rule – I decided not to pick songs bands that are already featured in the game. So no “Paint it Black” by The Rolling Stones, no “Only” by Anthrax and no “White Room” by Cream. Also, no “Voodoo Chile” (Hendrix), “I’m Broken” (Pantera) or “Big Bottom” (Spinal Tap). Though all six of these would make me very happy.

1. Metallica – “One”
This is a no-brainer, really. They could create a Metallica version of Guitar Hero and I’d be perfectly happy. But this one song, with melodic, complicated intro and metal-as-hell chorus, would be the best Metallica song to choose (with “Master of Puppets” a close second.)

2. Faith No More – “Digging the Grave”
It’s kind of simple – it would be one of the first songs in the game, I’m sure – but this song has enough chord changes that it would be a welcome addition to the chugga-chugga entries like Helmet and Megadeth.

3. Led Zeppelin – “Whole Lotta Love”
Or “Kashmir.” Or “Black Dog,” “Rock and Roll,” or “Misty Mountain Hop.” Any of them, really. Duh.

4. Ween – “Buckingham Green”
Straightforward for the most part, “Buckingham Green” kicks it into high gear with one of the most blistering guitar solos ever.

5. The Darkness – “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”
Is there a more perfect Guitar Hero song out there? This could have been written specifically for the game, for all I know.

6. Fugazi – “Waiting Room”

The songs in Guitar Hero are designed to appeal to any guitar player – from metal to punk. So consider this the punk selection – a fun and historically respected song that isn’t necessarily the most technically advanced song (see: The Ramones).

7. Beastie Boys – “Sabotage”
The introduction alone is perfect for two-player cooperation.

8. The Who – “Won’t Get Fooled Again”
You can use the long version or the short version. It doesn’t matter – it’s an epic rock classic that is without doubt one of my favorites.

9. Night Ranger – “Sister Christian”
Duh again.

10. Tenacious D – “Tribute”
Since “Stairway to Heaven” is frowned upon, apparently, we might as well get the perfect tribute – the album version, of course, for maximum rockage.

I’m sure I’ve missed some. Audience Participation: Which ones would you love to see in Guitar Hero III? No rules – just the songs that were regrettably left out.

This was lovingly handwritten on January 20th, 2007