Champion of Guitars

by Bill Meltsner

Slice of life

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Number of Ratings: 3
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1-3 of 3

- Edo, July 23, 2020

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A silly idea, and a fond tribute, November 2, 2015
by Janice M. Eisen (Portland, Oregon)

Full disclosure: the author of this game is my son, so feel free to dismiss anything I say about its quality. I just thought it was important to state that Sam Kabo Ashwell's interpretation of the author's motives is wrong. There's no "sneer of dislike" intended; it's meant to be a loving, if silly, nod to both Guitar Hero (Bill's generation) and text adventures (mine, but he practically teethed on my old Infocom games). He had a funny idea, and he quickly implemented it as a game which he figured few would ever see (didn't expect to get BoingBoinged).

Now, obviously, like any work,this game has to stand on its own. If it came across to some players as dislike of parser IF, that's unfortunate, but ultimately on the author. I'm fond of some of the details and the different endings available, but as a relative it's not my place to argue with anyone about the game's quality. I did feel that it was necessary to clarify the author's intent.

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
One-Note, March 21, 2014
by Sam Kabo Ashwell (Seattle)

In order for parody to work, it has to be salient criticism: it needs to articulate and illuminate a problem with its subject.

I haven't ever played Guitar Hero - I'm not a console gamer, timed pattern-matching isn't a mechanic that appeals to me very strongly, guitar-driven rock music isn't high among my musical preferences - so I don't have much invested here, but I know that it's a timed pattern-matching game about music. Champion of Guitars demonstrates that if you remove the timing and the music from this formula by making it a turn-based text game, and make no attempt to replace those features with any of the strengths of that medium, it becomes trivial and boring. This is kind of like saying that Adventure is boring if you take out the puzzles, navigation and room descriptions. It's a feeble argument.

Of course, Champion of Guitars is kind of a tedious game - that's the point. But if you're going to waste anybody's time with a crappy game, your point had better be a good one. Parody works best when it wants to understand its subject, when its mockery gets to the heart of something important. When it demonstrates a wilful ignorance, a refusal to try and understand what's going on, it becomes nothing more than a loud, sneering expression of dislike.

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