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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Guitar Hero 3 – Battle Strategies to Win

Now that I am a Guitar Hero 3 “expert” I thought I would share a couple of the basic strategies that I have used in the game to win battles. In reality, I am no expert at all – I have struggled to pass more than one song on the ‘Hard’ mode and have yet to attempt any songs on the ‘Expert’ level.

Interestingly, I have won all but a couple of my battles and in many cases most of the competition was better than me. Much better than me. One time, I was up a player that in a best of 7 song battle hit all the notes in the primary song on 3 straight songs. I still was able to pull out the victory in 5 songs though!

Why is that? In many cases it was a simple lack of strategy in approach to the ‘Battle’ mode where you try to make you opponent fail. This mode is about more than just hitting notes, it is more about when you hit them and when to use your power-ups.

Here are the 6 key strategies I have used to win:

1. Pick the more difficult or unique songs that you know well. Songs that are in sets 6-8, or in the bonus tracks give you a good chance of catching your opponent off-guard. What I have found unbelievable is the frequency of which Dragon’s…..”Into the Fire and Flames” is picked. It is a great GH3 song, no doubt – but 8 out of every 10 battles include that song. Ridiculous.

2. Know your song. The absolutely worst use of a power-up is to unleash it during a pause in played notes or during a chorus with a lot of long notes.

3. Time your power-ups. If you are coming up on a set of notes that will give you a power-up then unleash one of yours on your opponent. It will likely make your opponent miss a note and miss their power-up.

4. Unleash 3 power-ups at the same time. To do this, save up your power-ups until you have all 3 available. Wait until a guitar solo or similar part of the song where you have a ton of notes to play. Unleash all three at the same time on your opponent and see if they can cope. Difficulty Up, Double Notes, and Amp Overload are a good combination that will cause some disaster for most opponents.

5. Watch what power-ups your opponent has coming. If you see a ‘Steal Power-up’ show up on their notes, unload your power-ups on the opponent so there is nothing to steal, rendering it useless.

6. Prepare for Sudden Death. If it is clear after the guitar solo that neither you nor your opponent will win during the song, then conserve. Store up as many power-ups as you can. You want to make sure the opponent cannot get the first power-up note set to avoid the death drain. Unleash them on the opponent consecutively, grab the death drain power-up and hit your opponent with it for the easy sudden death win. The Whammy is the best power-up for this as it is the only one that guarantees a missed note. If you can save a Whammy in your first position, do it at almost any cost!

Are there any other strategies you have tried? Let me know with a comment below.