Admit it – when you arrive home and find you have the house to yourself, you feel a twinge of excitement. Turning the lights down low and closing the windows, you mentally prepare yourself for the experience to follow. It’s no use hiding it. We all know what you like to do when no one else is home.
You crank the stereo and bust out the air guitar.
We all want to be rockstars. During those brief moments of imagined glory, where the crowd chants your name, where groupies throw their underwear up onto your stage, and where you blow your nose with twenty dollar notes, you feel on top of the world. The problem with this is that you can only do it for so long before you realise you are jumping around your lounge room with a tennis racquet. Fear not, for when imagination fails you there is still hope, in the form of Frets on Fire.
Frets on Fire is a video game in which your seemingly mundane keyboard is transformed into an instrument of rock wizardry. Put simply, your keyboard is used as if it were a guitar. You simply pick it up like so:
The guitar strap is optional. The game works by showing you the notes you need to play running down the screen. You simply hold down the appropriate fret (or keyboard button in this case) and hit the strum button. If you timed the note correctly, awesome guitar riffs are heard. If you stuff it up then the guitar noise stops and a painful blurt is heard instead. The beauty of this mechanic is that it fools you into thinking that you are responsible for creating the music. By suspending your disbelief it makes you feel like a rock god, and that’s why it’s so much fun.
Of course avid gamers will gamers know that Frets on Fire is a clever clone of Guitar Hero, originally a Playstation game. In fact, you can import the songs from Guitar Hero into Frets on Fire, which gives you a huge list of songs to play, including new hits like Franz Ferdinand’s Take Me Out and Queens of the Stone Age’s No One Knows, as well as a load of old classics such as Motorhead’s Ace of Spades and Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water.
So what are you waiting for? Bust out the headbands, sunglasses and skin-tight leather pants, download the game and rock on.