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…of the Decade: The Rhythm Game Track (“Sweet Child o’ Mine”)

December 24, 2009

I know, there’s still no avenue with which to play this song with a full band, and the version you get in Guitar Hero 2 isn’t even the original, but there is really no song out there better suited to the Guitar Hero formula than “Sweet Child o’ Mine”.

Playing “Sweet Child o’ Mine” on expert is the type of thing that you know you’re going to love from the first bar — once that iconic opening riff starts and your fingers are going all over the damn place trying to keep up with it, you know you’re going to have a blast. The verses lull you into complacency with extended chords and easy plucking patterns, the choruses throw you back into bits similar to that opening riff, but then there’s the solo.

The last two minutes are an extended solo that exemplifies everything that makes the Guitar Hero series so great. It’s a challenge, but if you hit it, if you can manage to perfectly emulate the onscreen cues with the cheesy little plastic guitar you’re holding, well, you actually kind of feel like a rock star. To someone who’s never played Guitar Hero, that probably sounds ridiculous. Every fan of the series has the song on which the immersion level tipped, though, and “Sweet Child o’ Mine”, awful cover version and all, was mine.

Now if only we could get the original version in sweet four-player glory.

Honorable Mention: “Through the Fire and Flames” (Guitar Hero III version), “Eye of the Tiger” (Guitar Hero World Tour version). The former because I actually practiced for a year and a half simply for the sake of being able to say I could beat it on expert, the latter because it’s the first thing I ever played with all three of my kids, as my two-year-old gamely sung along while the rest of us played the instruments. Good times.

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