I’ve realized that I rarely notice a relationship between the “notes” I’m supposed to be hitting in these games and the music. Sometimes (especially on the harder difficulties), I’ll notice a little groove here and there, but >90% of the time, it’s random notes with unrelated music playing, to me.
I’m talking about Guitar Hero, Rock Band, DDR, Stepmania, Beats (on Android), etc.
I’m actually pretty good at these games, but I think it’s because of memorization and hand/eye coordination, not rhythm.
So I’m wondering if the name of the “rhythm” gaming genre is a misnomer, or am I some kind of freak?
Really? Guitar Hero, in my experience, matches the rhythm of the song pretty well, even on low levels. It doesn’t match the pitch in any meaningful way (although it does match the relative pitches most of the time).
Maybe you have a synchronization issue with your television and audio?
What difficulty? On RB and GH, the Hard and Expert difficulties match better. For Easy and Medium, they have to drop notes to make it easier, so you don’t play every note. Maybe that’s throwing you off.
Have you calibrated the audio and video?
The rhythm of these games is dead-on, especially at the Expert level. At the lower levels, it is simplified, so you may not feel the groove as much (although it’s still right on the beat).
If it feels disconnected, it’s one of the two things suggested above: either you have video-sound synchronization issues, or you’re playing at too easy a level where notes are dropped so that it might feel a little bit disconnected from the actual music.