I'm in the top 131,000!

Not as impressive as my performance on Cake (where I've dropped out of the top 10 in my category since gold slid yet have picked up yet another "follower". . .), but I'm satisfied with my progress on GHII.

That's "Guitar Hero III", a wii game I picked up last week and have been playing nonstop since I got it. It's got this feature that I didn't know about when I purchased it where you sign up to have your stats tracked online in real-time (the wii console is wirelessly connected to the internet). I've been steadily improving, but see that I have a long way to go. Last night I finished one song in the "easy" level at 100%, meaning I hit every note properly. My 5-star review turned into five GOLD stars on the scoreboard, that was a pleasant surprise. I'm in 130,643rd place for my "career" as an easy GHIII guitarist. I checked what it would take to raise my ranking and was disenheartened to learn that I'd have to play EVERY song perfectly to even make it to the top 100. But I'll do it, just you wait. Top 100 is pretty good, that's like being one of the top two players in your state. Better really since the GHIII community is international. I don't know that I'd have the patience to practice until I was in the top 10. But who knows, it is a lot of fun to play and I seem to have an aptitude for it.

I made it through the songs on "easy" in the first day (I played for quite a few hours. . .), and it was harder to get through the songs on "medium" but I still finished most on my first try. "Hard" however is another story. I haven't been able to play even one song through on the first try. Or second. I have to go into "practice" mode and play the hard parts very slowly gradually increasing the speed until I get it, and even then I just learn it well enough to muddle through and not completely fail the song. I've only finished 2 out of 42 songs on "hard". I've decided I'm going to master the easier levels first before going further into "hard". It's better that way for tournament play; once you finish 80% of a level, you can only compete in that level or the one below it so I'd be locked out of "easy" tournaments if I worked my way through the hard level.

I play in my first online tournament tonight. I stay at home, and have to play through a set list during the tournament hours and my highest scores are recorded and compared against my competitors. It seems from the forum comments that several of the other competitors play the songs at 100% in easy, but I'll give it a try anyway. I'm in the 95%+ accuracy range for most songs, so I'll just see how tight the competition is. Whether my 95% accuracy puts me in the top 5% or in the top 75%, who knows?

The highest scorers have over 100,000 per song in the easy mode, I average about 70,000 points per song. There's plenty of room for me to improve. Although it is harder for me now. When I first played through all the songs in the level I averaged about 25,000 points per song, and was ranked down below 350,000th place. Now that I'm up to around 131,000th it is harder for me to beat my own high scores. Terry says I need to be patient, and that in a week I'll be hitting 100%s all over the place. We'll see. I guess I am impatient, I have only had the game for a few days now.

Also, I now see that the career scores aren't based on the scores from each time you play the song through--I thought that was how it was calculated at first and lamented that it would a constant game of catch-up against the kids that can play the game all day every day since despite my copious free time, I still must put the game down and get actual work done from time to time. The career score is actually just the total of all your high scores on the songs in the level. So if say I have a high score of 50,000 in a song with a career total of 1,100,000, if I play that song and score 65,000 on this turn my new career score is not 1,165,000, but 1,115,000. So that was encouraging since all I have to do is play very well to move up the ranks and not necessarily play a lot. And the highest scores (something approaching 5 million for the "easy" career) aren't going to be increasing constantly since once you get 100% of the notes right, there really is a limit to how much higher your score can go. At that point it is just a matter of strategically using your "star power" bonus juice to increase your multiplier on parts of the song that will result in the most points. I haven't yet figured out exactly how points are doled out, the documentation is pitifully lacking in that area. I'll have to have someone else play and I'll observe whether one gets more points for using the wiggle bar on the long notes or playing passages with many individual notes.