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Level 39 - Max Force

Today I reached Level 39 here on GameSpot. I'll take this opportunity to talk a little bit about what I've been up to lately.

Spring break is next week, and I am really looking forward to it (as any other sophomore in college would). I have a computer science midterm on Friday, but I've had relatively little work to do lately and have been playing a lot of games. I finally won my 500th ranked online win in GH3, and now the only achievement I don't have in that game is the achievement for getting 750,000 on a single song. Sure, I could dedicate a few weeks of my life to mastering TTFATF or cheating to get the achievement, but screw both of those options. For now I will patiently wait for new songs to be released where it is reasonable to get the 750,000.

Anyways, Spring break is going to be awesome. I'm going to be staying at school and going a few concerts, doing plenty of snowboarding, and of course, playing a game or two. My friend and I are planning on renting Army of Two and going through to co-op, and I also have Condemned 2, SSBB, Burnout Paradise, and a list of other games to play that I haven't finished yet.

To everyone who is either on Spring break or will be going on Spring break, have a fun week!

2nd Place in Game Crazy Guitar Hero Tournament

Tonight a couple of my friends and I drove two hours from Portland, OR to Eugene, OR to attend a Game Crazy sponsored Guitar Hero tournament at a great venue called the WOW Hall. I had pre-registered to play in the expert division and my friends were just coming to watch.

There were 36 players in the expert division and even in the first round I could tell that in the end it would be me and a local frat boy who seemed pretty good. By the time there was a final group of 8, the other players and I played on the venue's stage with the stages awesome speakers, lights, and a projecter showing everyone watching the screen behind us. Sure enough, the finalists were me and the frat boy. Upon observing his other performances that night, I was not worried about playing against him. My average score for each song that he had played was a good 50,000 - 80,000 points above his scores.

However, when it was time for the final round, GH3 got switched out for GH2 and we had to play Jordan. It had been a pretty long time since the last time I had played Jordan, but I wasn't worried since when I've played Jordan I've been able to pretty consistantly 5* it. Unfortunately, tonight I was not so lucky. I played horribly. I messed up on countless star paths that I have always been able to nail no problem, and my guitar's star power accidentally got activated at a horrible time towards the end of the song. I ended up losing by about 20,000 - 25,000 points.

Such a horribly missed opportunity to take first place! I couldn't believe that I did so bad, and I will probably be frustrated with myself for a good while. I could have easily beaten his score by 50,000 or more points, and I think the last song would have been a lot more fun if it was something equally as challenging from GH3.

Complaints aside, good did come out of winning 2nd place! I won a $50 gift card to Game Crazy, Forza Motorsport 2 / Marvel Ultimate Alliance, tons of sticker and pins and coupons, a beanie for some Capcom game, and a Game Crazy tee shirt. Not too bad in my opinion. The first place prize was the same package, except with two tickets to see a Buckethead show in Eugene (worth $20 each) instead of the $50 gift card. I am very happy with winning the $50 gift card, and if I had won the tickets for the show I would have driven a couple hours to Eugene and back on the night of the show. If I decide that I want to see Buckethead live, I could just buy tickets to see him play in Portland.

Overall, the tournament tonight was a great experiance and I was happy to walk away with a decent prize. I am hoping that there will be another Guitar Hero tournament somewhere around here soon so I can once again shoot for 1st!

Top 10 Albums of 2007

- Bayside - The Walking Wounded

- Circa Survive - On Letting Go

- Coheed and Cambria - Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Vol 2: No World for Tomorrow

- Comeback Kid - Broadcasting...

- Dear and the Headlights - Small Steps, Heavy Hooves

- The Dear Hunter - Act II: The Meaning of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading

- The Fall of Troy - Manipulator

- Four Year Strong - Rise or Die Trying

- Minus the Bear - Planet of Ice

- Weatherbox - American Art

Top 5 EPs of 2007

- As Tall As Lions - Into The Flood

- The Dangerous Summer - If You Could Only Keep Me Alive

- Forever The Sickest Kids - Television Off, Party On

- The Maine - The Way We Talk

- PlayRadioPlay! - The Frequency

A lot of great albums came out in 2007, but this is what I've narrowed it down to. I didn't get my hands on very many great EPs, but I really enjoyed the mostly poppy EPs listed above.

What do you guys think? What are your top 10 albums of 2007?

Level 38 - DJ Boy

Recently I reached "DJ Boy" status here on GameSpot. My current gamerscore is 61,763. Winter break has been great and I've been having a lot of good times with the friends and family. Two more weeks and then I'm back in school in Portland :D

Guitar Hero 3 - Expert Career 5* Complete

My last week was filled with a very healthy dose of Guitar Hero 3.

It all started by going to a local Game Crazy for the midnight launch for GH3. I had been eagerly awaiting the release of GH3 after playing way too much GH2 and getting all 1000/1000 achievement points in the 360 version. I went prepared to play in a tournament right before the launch, but only one other person showed up to compete, so I beat him and won an extra guitar controller for my 360. It's a pity that the "tournament" wasn't advertised more.

By the early evening on Sunday, I had beaten the expert career. Playing through the career was an absolute blast. The song list is the best in any GH game and the note patterns are more fun and challenging than ever. By the time I was nearing the end of the expert career,I felt like I had become a much better GH player and could 100% solos I once wouldn't have expected to get through.

Following up the completionof the expert career, I beat Through The Fire and Flameson expert. The intro gave me trouble for a dozen or two tries, but once I passed the intro, I passed the rest of the song. Then it was time to start 5*ing the songs on expert that I hadn't 5*ed on my first run through. By tuesday, the only song in the expert career that I hadn't 5*ed was "Raining Blood" by Slayer.

This song nearly drove me to insanity.

I don't particulary want to dig up the horrible moments of frustration from my memory, but let's just say that it was VERY relieving when I just barely 5*ed Raining Blood on Thursday night. *Whew*... now time to rest my fingers and wrists.

However, my time with Guitar Hero 3 has only begun. I have a lot of scores to improve, more co-op and online to play,more achievements to unlock, and more fun to have. I don't think I will ever get all 1000/1000 achievement points in GH3, but I remember when I once thought the same thing about GH2...

Level 36 - Radical Ninja

I've become a radical ninja. Sweet.

What game is "radical ninja" a reference to? If I remember correctly there was a NES game called something like "Kid Nikki Radical Ninja".... but I'm not sure.

Rocks the 80s Expert Mode 5-Starred

I just finished 5*ing expert mode. Overall, Rocks the 80s seemed MUCH easier than GH2. I'm a little dissapointed that, while the songs were fun and there were some difficult solos, the 5 star cutoffs seemed way too low. Anyone else agree on this?

Start a Real Band Already

I seem to be on a roll in Guitar Hero lately. Yesterday, after hundreds of tries over the past couple months, I finally 5-starred misirlou in Guitar Hero 2 for the xbox 360. Misirlou was the last song that I need to 5-star on expert to get the achievement for 5-starring all songs in the expert tour, and to say that the song irritated me would be an understatement. With the boost of confidence for 5-starring Misirlou, I casually 5-starred Jordan for good measure :)

With all of the single-player achievements unlocked in GH2, the only two that I had left to unlock were 800,000 and 1,000,000 points in a co-op song. Today I sat down with a friend and we played Free Bird co-op, me on lead expert, him on rythem hard. We got 800,000points first try, so getting 1,000,000 didn't seem out of the question. After about 5plays through the song and some practice mode, we nailed it with about 1,005,000.

1000/1000 achievement points in Guitar Hero 2 unlocked! Today I became the 134th person to do this, and it felt well worth the effort. Now I feel truely ready for Guitar Hero 3 :)