You would have to have been away in the arctic circle for the past five years not to have heard about games like Guitar Hero, which when accompanied by the instrument-shaped controllers for various consoles like the Ps3 and Xbox make for a very engaging experience. Of course, console-based musical games are always going to be considerably superior to anything that is free to play, but that is just the way it is.
Flash game developers aren’t entirely mute in response to the competition from console games however, and in spite of a dying down of the popularity of the classic music game in the console world, there are still flash games out there which are carrying the musical torch, holding it high for all to enjoy. One such game is the hilariously-named Super Crazy Guitar Maniac Deluxe 4, with its keyboard-controlled musical buffoonery that keeps us engaged with the music for some time to come.
Much like fellow guitar-centric game Guitar Geek, Super Crazy Guitar Maniac Deluxe 4 has a Guitar Hero-esque setup whereby you are a guitarist that simply wants to rock out to the music, and you allow him to do so by using the directional arrows and number keys 1-4 to play the notes. You can’t simply shred at random however, but rather you must pay attention to the different keys that and numbers that float down the large fretboard on the screen and press the corresponding key when it reaches the green zone at the bottom. Hitting the note in the green zone results in a perfect score for it, whereas too early or too late will ruin the multiplier streak that can be built up. In a pleasant change from the usual Guitar Hero imitation, your guitarist actually moves along the bottom, traversing various landscapes, travelling further as you play the right notes and being hindered if you are doing poorly. It doesn’t really add anything to the gameplay itself but shows a bit of differentiation from the norm.
Aside from the points multipliers, there are a few other features that distinguish this one from the masses of music based online games – http://www.gigmonkey.co.uk/music.html. There are achievements that can be earned by performing various feat like hitting a certain number of good notes and defeating bosses during levels which contain them. You also earn different guitars as you play through the game, ranging from standard models to ones you win from bosses like a model that is made out of pizza. It may sound eccentric, but this is the nature of the game’s design which is fairly raw but with a distinctive edge that makes it memorable.
Like Super Crazy Maniac Deluxe 3, number 4 is by no means as well-designed as the aforementioned Guitar Geek, and feels even a little sloppy at times compared its rival. Second Impact Games clearly weren’t after any sort of professional polish with this game, but this is where its charm lies. The sound effects, and in particular the noises when tallying up the points at the end are much like chants from a crowd in the lead-up to a fast bowler’s bowling in cricket, and are very amusing to hear. It doesn’t matter about the games relatively raw nature, however, since the selection of songs is ample (even though they aren’t that well known as the ones in Guitar hero because of obvious copyright issues) and the gameplay engaging enough to keep you interested for the duration.
One can only hope that the series continues to improve with a 5th crazy guitar gamemu in the making and as more titles are released since there is still lots of potential here. This is a thoroughly enjoyable guitar game that can entertain you for the rest of the year after the fun of Santa Rockstar Metal Xmas dies down.