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09 October 2012 @ 01:36 pm
Gaming - First Impressions: Rocksmith  
Okay, hands up all those who have never dreamed about being a rockstar.



Put your hands down, you liars!!

Well, here it is. The logical next step from the ax-wielding mania that was Guitar Hero and Rock Band. This time however, there are no dinky plastic guitars, no colourful buttons, no tilting to access the score-boosting Star Power only to find yourself in the note-free abyss (gah!).

This time it's real.

Real guitars. Real techniques. Real songs. Real riffs and chords. And not a stuffy teacher insisting you learn Mary Had A Little Lamb and Little Brown Jug in sight! Oh no, this teacher gives the people want they want - the songs they WANT to play. Never picked up a guitar before but dream of being the next Keith Richards (minus the mummification. Or not)? Have a Stones classic. As your FIRST SONG!!

It's not as ominous as it sounds. The game starts with the familiar single-note playing newbies to Guitar Hero are familiar with (minus the buttons obvs) and adjusts itself automatically based on how well you're doing. Only managing to scratch out a few notes while sliding around the neck in a blind panic? No biggy, just keep at it until you're comfortable. When the game thinks you're doing well enough it'll throw a few more notes in there. Can't keep up? Again, no biggy, coz it'll pare it back to a level you can cope with. And it'll do it all while you play, so you don't have to bugger about with difficulty settings (although you can do that too).

There are technique tutes and videos and stuff you can work with, and minigames to unlock so you can boost your competance while having fun and earning points. The game recommends the next steps for you to take on your journey to rock godness. Follow them or do your own thing (provided you've earned enough points to have unlocked what you want of course. Ooh, an incentive!)

And your tv is the amp. And there are all sorts of effects pedals and stuff you can customise your sound with, and a tuner. Suhweeeeeeet!

I've only played an hour at the mo, and focussed on perfecting the first song (coz I'm like that :p). I'm loving it so far in case you couldn't tell. I've been playing guitar forever and this is essentially the guitar game that players have been waiting for. Not only that, but as a learning tool for wannabe rockstars it's fantastic from what I've experienced so far. Only slight niggle on this front is it doesn't lay down some basics beforehand (alternate picking, finger position etc) so bad habits may be picked up by newbies that are best nipped in the bud from the get-go, but those lessons appear to be unlocked pretty quick so maybe the worry is unfounded.

Of course the biggest downside is the expense. The game and cable isn't exactly pocket change but gamers have been living with that for years. You need a real guitar or bass (with a quarter-inch jack, so an electric or electro-acoustic) in order to play, and if you don't already own one you're likely gonna have to add another zero on to the price of the game. But if you fancy playing something that's challenging, fun and increases your skillset (and chances of getting laid :p) all at the same time, the expense may very well be worth it.

Haven't gone deep enough to give it a score yet, but I'm giving it the preliminary thumbs up. Rock on wit' ya bad selves!
Pete: piano pornpeeeeeeet on October 9th, 2012 01:34 pm (UTC)
Sounds great! Must get the old Squier strat out of the cupboard! And probably replace the strings, as those guys will be hella rusty by now...
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