Canker Canison vs Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock

Here’s what happens when Biff Bam Pop contributing writer Canker Canison, who bought an Xbox 360 with his wife for Christmas, finds himself addicted to a game series he never thought he’d like.

My Dr. Steel avatar bopped its bald head at me, a small smile playing across his face. He appeared pleased that I had finished Guitar Hero: World Tour, but I was filled with malaise.

Now what?

I dug through the pile of games my wife and I have acquired for our Xbox 360 and found the previous third installment of Guitar Hero, Legends of Rock. I popped it in the machine.

I began to play.

And I played.

And I played.

A delicious assortment of audio candy filled my living room as I strummed my guitar-shaped controller. My body thrummed as the chords of the Smashing Pumpkins, the Sex Pistols and Weezer moved through me.

Tom Morello challenged me to a duel. To mis-quote the Tenacious D song from the game, “He failed, as I threw him to the ground.” Not one to hold a grudge, we played the encore together.

Time was passing, but I kept playing. Venue after venue, my digital roadies hauling my electrons across America.

I was again challenged to a duel, this time by the top-hat wearing, gnarled-haired Slash of G’N’R. To my chagrin, he beat me to the ground. Dusting the pixilated dust from my jeans I got back to my feet, and we face off for a second time. This time I was the victor.

My campaign continued as the dinner hour came and went, piles of unwashed laundry languishing in its baskets.

Finally, in an apocalyptic convulsion, my living room split asunder and I was sucked down into the bowels of Hell to face the devil himself (known to his friends as Lou). Like countless fiddler and guitar players before me I was forced to do musical battle with the Father of Lies. He tried to distract me with dancing devil girls, but I managed to keep my mind on the task at hand. I forced him back, his hoofed feet digging for purchase in the stony soil. I was relentless in my attack, and soon my mastery of the plastic musical instrument in my hands was too much for the old sinner to take, and he was plunged into a lake of fire.

I was victorious.

I found myself sitting back in my living room, staring dazedly at the clock. The spirits had done it all in one evening (of course they can, they’re spirits). I sat back for a moment, relishing my victory.

Then I saw the case for Guitar Hero II, and I was lost again.

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