January 17, 2008


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Who’s the greatest Guitar Hero?
Best Buy contest pays $200
By Alec O’Meara aomeara@hippopress.com

Believe it or not, there’s a Guitar Hero III gig at the Manchester Best Buy on Saturday, Jan. 26, that pays $200.

That’s the day the electronics superstore is planning on holding its own fake guitar rock-off challenge. Approximately 40 virtual shredders will line up for a bracket-style tournament, with the first-place winner to receive a $200 Best Buy gift card. The runner-up will be awarded a $100 gift card.

The rules of the contest are simple, said Manchester Best Buy manager James Owen. Participants select a song and then compete head-to-head in the game’s multi-player setting. Whoever scores the most points by rocking harder (hitting more notes) moves on to the next round. The loser is forced back to their own basement to dream of what might have been and drown their sorrows in a bottle of Mountain Dew.

There is a strategy to the competition, Owen said, that hinges on the risk and reward of playing at a harder difficulty setting. Harder settings offer more notes, and therefore a greater opportunity to score, but require faster play. As the game heavily rewards consecutive notes played, the medium setting might offer a good balance of fewer notes but more points per note, he explained.

The contest’s final round will likely feature “Through the Fire and Flames,” by DragonForce or a remix of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” the two most difficult songs in the game to play.

The Guitar Hero contest is not part of a nationally mandated event by Best Buy, Owen said, but instead is an opportunity for the local store to give back to the community. The $2 registration fee will benefit the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

“This is something we did last year with Guitar Hero II, and we had a lot of fun with it,” Owens said. “We like to be involved in the community, and this is just one of the things that we try and do during the year.”

Public Guitar Hero III playing is starting to appear in the region. Twice a week, the Dover Brick House is featuring Rock Band and Guitar Hero parties in its downstairs rooms, and other nonprofit entities, including the Manchester City Library, have hosted rock-off events since the game launched in the fall of 2007.

To learn more about the Best Buy contest, call the store at 622-0804. Advance registration is recommended.

What: Best Buy Guitar Hero Rock-Off
When: Saturday, Jan. 26, at 1 p.m.
Where: Best Buy, 1500 South Willow St., Manchester
Entry fee: $2
More info: Call 622-0804