One other birthday present that I was lucky enough to receive was a copy of the PS2 game "Guitar Hero". The first thing you notice about this game is the the controller. It is a plastic guitar, around three quarters the size of a real one, but still plenty big enough for posing. On the fret board are six colour coded buttons, there is a plastic tag that you "strum" and a "whammy" lever for vibrato.
The basis of the game is the old "press the right button at the right place in the song" routine beloved of dance mats and bongo drums. But this time you are playing in a band and it is up to you to get the important riffs down. Best of all, if you get the timing wrong there are a variety of "bum note" sounds which come out. Do this too often and the watching crowd gets restless. Do it too much and you get booed off the stage. As things get more complex you have to play chords. And you get a special "Rock Star" mode where you can hold the guitar upright and really show off.
The game disk has all the rock standards you'd be expecting. Smoke on the water, More than a feeling, Killer Queen, etc etc. Not the originals, but well good enough.
We set it up at the party and it was in pretty much continuous use. Great stuff. You can even get a second guitar controller so that you can duke it out musically with a rival axemeister.
Strongly recommended. Oh yeah.