Ok, one final rant on the stupidity of Neversoft here. Have they never played Guitar Hero co-operatively? Do they have no friends? Because this is the only conclusion I can reach for the absolutely ridiculous exclusion of a Quickplay co-op mode. Sure, the co-op career mode is kinda fun, but they decided that you have to complete the career mode for a given difficulty setting before you’re allowed to play almost half the songs at that difficulty level in co-op, because the game deems that you can only play at the level of the worst player.
I can barely express how manifestly moronic this decision is. It demonstrates a complete and utter lack of understanding of how Guitar Hero is played in a party environment - people just want to play together, hot-seating and picking the difficulty that’s fun for them for that song. That’s it. They don’t care about how much of the game has been unlocked - at the very least you should be able to unlock playing all the songs in co-op mode by playing the single player game. But no, GH3 insists that in order to play all the tracks on Hard in co-op, we have to complete the game with both players playing on Hard first.
Couple this with the fact that GH3 has altered the difficulty curve, in a cack-handed way. Yes, you can understand they might want to make the game harder, but that should really have been reserved for the Expert setting only in my view. Harmonix got the difficulty curves just right in GH1&2, but here you’ve got cases where the Medium songs are as difficult as the Hard songs in GH2, they just only use 4 notes, which has the effect of making the songs harder, but actually less interesting to play than a Hard song. In Hard mode, there are some songs which contain some of the Expert-level wankery (play 4 notes a second while mashing all the buttons in some vain hope of hitting the right ones) which is frankly very little fun. We’re currently on the last set of co-op on Hard, and tracks like ‘One’ and ‘The Number of the Beast’ are caning us - I’m a little better than Marie, but unless both of us can survive to the end, we can’t play the twentyish Hard songs that are unlocked when you complete it - and there are some songs in that set which we can play in single player and enjoy, but they’re needlessly out of our reach. We can play them on Medium but we’re bored with that already.
It doesn’t help that these barrier songs are not even enjoyable - they’re the kind of trashy teen angst metal I find rather tedious and the note patterns, when they get tough, are not ‘interestingly’ tough, they’re just dumb button mashing thrash. The result is a chasm between boredom with a lower difficulty and an inaccessible higher difficulty for songs we like, and smack in the middle stopping us are a bunch of songs we really don’t enjoy playing. I’ve already tried cheats, I was that pissed off with it, but there are no cheats which unlock co-op songs, only single player quick play. So we either grit our teeth and practice songs we hate over and over until we hit the sweet spot where both of us survive the songs, just so we can get to songs we like, or we give up and go back to single player.
Neversoft, you clearly have no idea what you’re doing. You had a ready-cut template for a great game, all you had to do was add more songs - how could you screw that up? But you tinkered with things that already worked and clearly didn’t understand the impact of doing so, removing things that worked (particularly in the co-op area) and adding things that blatantly didn’t work (boss battles). The inability to play co-op the way we want is pretty much the nail in the coffin for this one, I’m just about ready to put the GH2 disk back in and ebay this disappointing 3rd instalment.