Gitaroo Man (PS2) Koei 2001
Before Guitar Hero came along, there weren't many games about playing guitar music. Although the music game genre had been popular for years in Japan, the closest thing to a home guitar game was Guitar Freaks, which was a Japan-only release. Thankfully Koei brought American gamers, Gitaroo Man, in 2002. The game follows U-1 (get it? har har) as he becomes the legendary Gitaroo player and battles evil across the galaxy. The game play is pretty unique as you control the guitar with the right analog as it creates a moving stream along the screen. Each level/song is a battle against an evil musician for the most part, with the exception being a stage featuring a sweet acoustic love song that doubles as the best song in the game. Gitaroo Man became pretty rare after it's initial release, but a PSP port was released a few years back. The game is pretty strange overall, but the soundtrack is fantastic and the story is pretty hilarious too. I've had friends that abhor music games, but this one still draws them in somehow...it is just too quirky to not like. The screen shot is U-1's second stage victory pose, which is followed by a sexy voice saying, "Ohhhhhhh Gitaroooo Mannnn." I guess his sick guitar solo is supposed to trigger an orgasm in the game's announcer. If only real life worked this way.