Guitar Hero III: Problems with the Detatchable Neck

Other parts of the blog-o-sphere are reporting some issues with the bundling of Guitar Hero III with wired guitars. I’d like to address a different problem that I’ve had, along with a number of others according to forum posts.

I’d like to preface by saying I really do enjoy the Guitar Hero series (although I have to admit my wife is better at the games than I am), and I’ve bought 4 games with 4 guitars to date (2 on PS2 an 2 on 360). However, after the issues with the X-Plorer, I’m surprised there was not more quality control with the wireless Les Paul.

I picked up my copy (360 version with wireless guitar) at GameStop at midnight and went home to play. Now, I’m not terrible at the game, and I was having some real problems once I hit tiers 4 and 5 on medium. I assumed I was tired, and went to bed. The next morning, both my wife and I started playing, and once I was able to watch the game more closely, I found that the red and yellow buttons were not registering being pressed. After disassembling and re-assembling the guitar, the problem continued. I tried blowing on the contacts a la NES cartridges circa 1988. While the responsiveness improved, it was still only in the 70-80% range. I exchanged it for a new guitar, which seems to be working in a 95% or higher error range, which is far more acceptable (though still less than ideal on a game that requires such accuracy).

The issue almost certainly stems from the detachable neck’s contact system, which is truly unfortunate since the removable neck was generally a good idea. I hope that Red Octane will resolve this issue sooner rather than later. The button problem seems to be appearing on many message boards, so I don’t believe my problem is an isolated one.

On an unrelated note, it seems there’s some sort of error in the track “One” on medium between the 85 and 90% mark. I at first thought it was the guitar, but having seen the same error with both myself and my wife with both the X-Plorer and Les Paul, I think there’s something not working correctly in the track. And it’s limited to the Medium difficulty. If anyone else notices this issue, please let me know, but I will acknowledge that I might be wrong on this track error.

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About Mark Methenitis

Mark Methenitis is an attorney in Dallas Texas. Mark received his Juris Doctorate and his Master of Business Administration from Texas Tech University and his Bachelor of Arts from The University of Texas.

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