The good folks over at Megarom were kind enough to give LazyGamer a brief hands-on preview of Guitar Hero 3’s killer peripheral – the Gibson Les Paul wireless controller – prior to its release on 14 March. I had an hour-and-a-half to spend in what must be one of the coolest boardrooms in the country (picture a regular office boardroom, but with a very large HDTV, a 360 and a Wii on the one end of the room) with nothing else to do but test out the new controller. Here are my notes:
10:10 am – finally arrived at Megarom after driving around the Design Quarter in Fourawys for half an hour. Better late than never.
10:15 am – I’ve been ushered into the boardroom by the friendly duo of Devon and Candice. Devon briefly pointed out some of the new features of the Les Paul controller. I wasn’t really listening – too excited to get my mitts on the thing.
10:17 am – the Megarom-ites have left the room. The XBox is fired up, the TV volume’s turned up to eleven, my guitar strap’s dropped nice and low and I’m ready to rawk.
10: 22 am – just completed a run of Cult of Personality on hard. Scored a terrible 3 stars. My immediate first impression is that the buttons on the guitar neck feel closer together – that must be why I sucked on that song. Also, hammer-ons and pull offs feel slightly more difficult to pull off (no pun intended) on this controller. The strum bar feels less “clicky”. It has a softer click action and noise. Overall the guitar feels more substantial (prolly because the batteries add a bit of weight) and slightly better put together.
10:23 am – Devon’s just walked in to ask me if I know about the battle mode in GH3. I think he’s hinting that he wants to play too, but I jump into Cliffs of Dover to wow him with my skillz. He leaves halfway through the song.
10: 40 am – I’ve played through Cherub Rock, In the Belly of a Shark and My Curse. The Les Paul actually feels very good once you’re used to the differences between it and the older Explorer controllers. I particularly like the rounded body shape which is much more comfortable than the sharp corners of the Explorer. Also, the start and back buttons on the Les Paul are much bigger and more accessible, which proved quite handy when my phone rang during Cherub Rock.
10:46 am – I got cocky and tried to play Through the Fire and Flames on hard. I made it to 60%, not because I suck (promise) but because I was doing laps around the boardroom table while playing. Ah, the joys of a wireless guitar.
10:56 am – it’s taken me a full ten minutes to get the damn guitar’s removable faceplate off. Woulda helped if I’d realised you have to detach the guitar neck first.
11:00 am – I was in the process of leaving when Devon challenged me to a battle. With LazyGamer’s honour at stake, I accepted. We’re about to start The Strokes’ Retilia, Devon’s using an old Explorer controller, I have the Les Paul.
11:03 am – Ha! LazyGamer pwnage.
11:15 am – Well it’s 3-1 to LazyGamer. Good thing we put the Megarom office champion in his place. Time for some regular face off mode.
11:30 am – well, I’m all rocked out and it’s time to get outta here.
Closing thoughts -Â many South African Guitar Hero fans already have a copy of GH3, and have been using their Explorer controller. If you don’t already have to Explorers, the Les Paul is certainly worth looking at, especially because it’s better than the Explorer in pretty much every way. If you don’t have GH3 yet, the good news is that the Les Paul won’t only be a standalone peripheral, you’ll be able to get it bundled with the game too. Good news for PS3 and Wii owners is that wireless Les Pauls are being lauched for your platform too, on the same 14 March release date.
Last Updated: February 5, 2008