You’ve shredded, beat and screamed your way to the hard levels, but you just can’t seem to get through Freebird or Run To The Hills. What’s an intrepid gamer to do? Mod your controllers, of course!
Modifications (or mods) for video games have been around a long time. They’ve generally consisted of changing the game’s parameters or environment, like George Brown students’ well-known mod that brings downtown Toronto to life in Half Life 2.
But a Google search turns up a wealth of options for improving your guitars, drums and mics, complete with DIY instructions.
Here are some starting points.
1. Adding LEDs to everything is certainly the geek activity of the year, and your Guitar Hero controller is a prime target. Show your friends just how fast your fingers are by embedding LEDs inside the controllers’ buttons.
2. If the lightweight plastic controllers feel a bit too fake for your guitar-god stature, you can always turn a real guitar into a game controller.
3. Creative types will find their guitars a bit drab. But nothing’s stopping you from tearing that thing apart and refinishing it.
4. Never miss a chance to add maximum whammy-bar action with the Auto Whammy mod.
1. For city-dwelling folks, the most essential mod of all is adding foam/felt pads to your drum kit. These reduce the sound from a rubber thwack down to a tolerable thud. Once you stick these on, you can beat as hard as you want without your neighbours calling the cops at 3 am.
DIY instructions: http://tinyurl.com/yozwh9
Buy pre-made: http://tinyurl.com/3dfr23
2. Any self-respecting Rock Band drummer will eventually ditch the toy-like kick pedal that comes with the game and replace it with a real drum pedal.
DIY instructions: http://tinyurl.com/2zrczg
Buy pre-made: http://omegapedal.com
3. Some people like to bridge the virtual with reality a little too much and have modded their perfectly good real drum kits to become Rock Band controllers.
4. If you’re tight on space and need a miniature kit, look no further than these mini-drum pads. Replace your sticks with pencils and you’re ready to go.
The bundled mic with Rock Band is barely acceptable for capturing the true essence of your vocal masterpieces. Do your friends and your voice a favour and pick up a good-quality USB mic.
Guitar Hero meets the arcade
What happens when you put a console, monitor and giant subwoofer into a bunch of old Marshall cabinets? The Ultimate Guitar Hero mod of course!
Despite their best efforts, some people can’t ever get past the medium difficulty levels. So next time you’re invited to a party, bring Guitar HeroNoid along to help your bleeding fingers.
While the world wonders what the makers of Guitar Hero and Rock Band will bring us next, a version incorporating the Scratch Blaster is definitely a possibility. Now your DJ friends can get in on the action, too.