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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't play guitar, but I can now!
This game is amazing. I bought an electric guitar about 4 years ago with a view to learn to play. Never got any momentum out of it so it has been stored away for years and I thought I would never learn to play.

Played this game at a friends house and within 30 mins, loved it and had ordered a copy for myself (doesn't the amazon mobile app make it just a little...
Published 21 months ago by MattRickard

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good
A good product but you deferentially need a grasp on how to play guitar before you purchase the game. ..
Published 16 months ago by Mark Jordan


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rocksmith for Xbox 360 - some comments, 29 Oct 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Rocksmith - includes Real Tone Cable (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
First off, I already play guitar to a reasonable level, so these comments come from that perspective.
Secondly, this is an updated review, as I've found out a few more things, including how to do what I thought initially was a major failing/omission of this game for me, so I've updated the review and scores a little to reflect this.

I was initially unsure whether to get this game, due to some of the more negative comments regarding the unintuitive and awkward menu system, (more of which later), and the reported issues with lag.

When I initially got this game and tried it for the first time, I was concerned I'd made a mistake, as the menus are indeed pretty painful, and the audio lag was pretty dire.

I must admit to being a little confused initially with the display lag settings in this game. It does tell you that this setting only affects the video lag in the setup option itself, but I didn`t notice this at first. This is something the game seems to do a lot, i.e., have some vital bit of information almost casually tucked away on the screen somewhere, as a result of which I seem to often miss it at first! I therefore spent a little while trying to adjust the audio lag of the guitar with this, and wondering why it didn't seem to have any effect on the delay between what I was playing and it coming out of the speakers.

With a little perseverance and experimentation however, involving trying various combinations of cabling configuration, TV settings (game mode and turning off as much sound/screen processing as I could), and even using external speakers direct from my xbox, I have been able to get the guitar audio lag down to tolerable levels on both my main TV just using HDMI, and on my second TV using composite video to the TV and audio out to external speakers, which does seem to be better, although even here I don't seem to be able to eradicate all lag. Having said that, although it can still be an issue on songs with quite fast repetitive parts such as Song 2 by Blur for instance, I've still been able to play through this. I'd still rather the lag was lower however, as it is still intrusive at times. I did read something, which I think was from UBISoft, that said the game is optimised for 40 milliseconds, which I can't understand, as I think the audio delay should be as low as possible, and can't quite understand why UBISoft opted for this value if this is true.

The other main problem I had was caused by the menu system, and the above mentioned tendency to throw important info at you almost casually on the option screens, and often on some pretty transient ones at that.

The problem I had was that I found myself wanting to be able to set a song to the maximum difficulty level, and play through it at a set speed, as I was finding the automatic levelling problematic. The tendency was that no sooner had the game levelled me up because I was playing the current level correctly, it levelled me down again because I couldn`t figure out the higher level notes fast enough, as the screen/display can be difficult to interpret at high levels with complex arrangements, to play them in time to maintain the higher level. At first I didn`t think this could be done, but eventually I stumbled onto and noticed the relevant on-screen blurb in the right section of the menu options. I had to read it pretty quickly even then however, as the pertinent bit is also the last bit! I think I possibly only noticed it at all because I was looking for it as it cropped up as a big issue for me in my first attempt at reviewing this game. Discovering how to do this however has allowed me to master some songs I'd been having difficulty with due to the speed and complexity of the arrangements. For reference, you need to enter the accelerator function from the riff-repeater function in the songs option, pick a section, check tuning, and start it. You then press the start button on your controller, which allows you to scroll through and set separate options for both the difficulty, or mastery as they call it, and the speed. This then stops the accelerator function, and plays through the section using your selected settings. Note however that it continues to do this until you press the start button again, and re-select the accelerator option to re-enable the normal accelerator function, otherwise you could find yourself playing the same section indefinitely as it just keeps repeating until you`ve lost all your lives, (which you won't if you actually play it right).

On the subject of reading the notes on the display, as a guitarist already used to reading tab, I found the game's default view very difficult, and found it much easier to use the 'inverted' string view, as this this then displays the strings as they are arranged in guitar tablature, (with the lowest string at the bottom, and the highest at the top). This also results in chord boxes which are displayed the same as standard notation chord boxes, albeit they are on their side compared to normal chord box notation, but this is still easier than the game's default setting, in which chord boxes are effectively left-handed! If you are a guitarist already, and used to TAB, then you've probably already set the string arrangement to inverted. If you aren't, you might want to consider switching the string arrangement to inverted anyway, as this will, I think, make it much easier to read TAB later if you want or need to do this in the future.

The songs included in the game seem to cover a range of musical and guitar playing styles and genres, which I think is a good thing, although some might seem a little off the wall. As with similar games like Rockband and Guitar Hero, some of the songs I know quite well, (although as usual I didn't know I did until I heard them, as I'm not big on titles), some a little, and some not at all, but I'm enjoying playing/learning most of them so far, and some of my favourites are by artists I`ve never heard of before. However, the fact that we are playing a real guitar here, and not a toy controller, may possibly have had some influence on the song selection, as the arrangements have to be real guitar arrangements, not just some arbitrary 5 button approximation. With 5 buttons you can take any song and assign a set of button pushes as an approximation of what's really being played, but it doesn't have to bear any resemblance to what the guitarist would actually be doing, to the extent that sometimes I found the button arrangement harder to play than the actual song! With this game however the developers/arrangers don't have that luxury, but have to make the song arrangements real-world ones, so the actual music defines the arrangement the game uses, even if it's simplified. Whether this really had anything to do with the song choices particularly I'm not sure, but the songs themselves do seem to fit well with the system, in as much as they all seem relatively playable, so you don't have to be a guitar god to play them, (at least as far as I've got), and from this perspective seem good choices. In any event however, for a guitarist like myself actually playing a real guitar beats the pants off a button based guitar controller, and I wonder if I'll ever pick up my button controller again now I have this.

I'm not sure how easy this game will be for non-guitarists to pick up initially, as there are a lot of motor and muscle skills/memories you need to acquire, even at low levels, which will, like any instrument, require practice. The game does contain some training tools for some of the skills and techniques you'll need to develop, although you may need to look elsewhere to complement these, and bolster your playing. Others argue well for taking actual guitar lessons, or using formal tuition books etc. to fill in the gaps, and it's probably worth reading these reviews yourself to form an opinion on the merits of this for you. Nonetheless, the game has received some good comment from non-guitarists. A slight note of warning on playing however. Like Guitar Hero and Rockband, this game can be quite addictive, as can its mini games, and it's all too tempting to play for too long. Don't! Take a rest when your hands get tired or your fingers sore. (Particularly bending strings near the headstock end of the neck!!!) You can always come back to it later. If you don't, and end up hurting your hands/fingers, which I once did when I was learning guitar, it can take much longer waiting for them to heal sufficiently to play again! With practice however your hands will gain strength and your fingertips will toughen up.

So, in short, a few flaws, but still lots of fun. I'm really glad I bought it in the end, particularly now I've sussed out how to manually adjust the difficulty and speed in concert, and I'd definitely buy it again if I had too. Hope this has been helpful.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't play guitar, but I can now!, 27 Oct 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rocksmith - includes Real Tone Cable (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
This game is amazing. I bought an electric guitar about 4 years ago with a view to learn to play. Never got any momentum out of it so it has been stored away for years and I thought I would never learn to play.

Played this game at a friends house and within 30 mins, loved it and had ordered a copy for myself (doesn't the amazon mobile app make it just a little bit too easy to buy something?)

Now, 10 days later, I am progressing past power chords on to real chord transition. I'm enjoying it enough to practise between 30mins and 3 hours a day, depending on what time I have and as a result, I am actually learning the muscle memory needed.

I was concerned that all this game might do is teach me to follow lines and numbers on a screen, but I've got some songs to "master mode" now where actually no guides are put on the screen and you actually need to play from memory... which is playing the instrument properly!

What more could you want? Learn guitar and earn gamer points! Brilliant!
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83 of 89 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun game to play although it won't teach you everything, 30 Sep 2012
By 
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Rocksmith - includes Real Tone Cable (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I have been waiting for this to be released in the UK for a year now and now that its finally here I have to say that the wait was definitely worth it. I have been playing guitar for about 5 years and I was able to instantly be able to do fairly well. I scored 97% on my second song which I am quite happy with. The game itself is really fun to play and it kept me wanting to keep on playing. One of the really odd things is that it is very similar to Guitar Hero, more so than I thought it would be, for me this is a good thing :) Below are the good and the bad points about this game.

Pro's:
-Excellent gameplay; the game keeps me wanting to come back and play some more.
-No audio lag through my turtle beach X11's.
-Good selection of songs
-Relatively well priced considering the cost of the cable on its own.
-The game encourages me to play the guitar which at the very least is building finger/wrist/back and shoulder stregth which will help me when I play normally.
-The mini games are fun to play
-This game is making more people play guitar which can only be a good thing.
-The game is able to accurately tune the guitar including drop tunings.
-The achievements make you want to obtain something.
-I have actually learnt parts of songs which I can play when plugged into an actual amp.

Con's:
-When you first play the game you have to go through loads of beginner video's and sections which as a relatively experienced guitarist I didn't need to go through, this meant that for about 15 minutes I couldn't go and play songs which annoyed me, there should have been a skip option.
-The choice of songs doesn't cover a wide variety of genre;s which is a shame as I enjoy playing heavier songs (Metal or hard rock).
-As a continuation of the point above many people would suggest that there are a number of DLC songs to cater for that genre of music, well there isn't. The UK version has only around 12 songs even though the game advertises other available songs in the menu. This has seriously annoyed me as I was looking forward to playing a number of the DLC songs. Ubisoft haven't stated when these songs will be available if ever. The least they could do is change the adverts in game to songs that I can actually buy.
-There are a number of issues for people who think that they could pick this game up and learn to play the guitar from scratch. I will list these below:
1)The game doesn't teach you correct finger placement
2)The game cannot watch you and tell you what you are doing wrong unlike a real guitar teacher
3)The game can suddenly throw a new technique at you and it will catch you off guard.
4)If you pick up bad habits while playing this game they will be hard to get rid of.

-The audio lag is a severe problem through my TV although through the headset its fine, apparently this is an issue with HDMI leads and the sound processing in your TV, turning on game mode can fix this although I don't have this mode on my TV.
-The menu's in the game are a nightmare. They are navigable but they are so awkward to use, they could have been made much simpler.

Conclusion.
Overall this game is excellent for anyone who already plays the guitar, its basically what we guitarists have always wanted; Guitar Hero but with an actual guitar. I definitely feel that I am actually learning the songs as I play them and this game has also encouraged me to drop some bad habits (Such as always looking at the fretboard when I play). If you are a novice guitarist or have never played before then I would whole heartily recommend that you buy this and give it a go, just be sure to use other sources in order to teach yourself how to play. Some excellent free sources would be youtube videos or justinguitar as well as ultimate guitar. The very best way to learn would be to use this as well as guitar tabs and have a lesson a week or per fortnight with a good guitar teacher. That way any problems you develop he can fix for you. If you do that then you should be able to play guitar confidently in a few months if you put in the practice and it is definitely a skill that is worth learning. Thanks for reading the review, I hope I didn't bore anyone too much :)

Dan.

*UPDATE*
I have found another flaw with the game which is to do with the events. When you play an event it may want you to change tuning for the first song then for the rest play in another tuning. What the game doesn't do though is check that you are in tune before each song in an event which is a problem as the guitar can change pitch after altering tuning, especially when drop tuning. This is because the nut isn't slick enough to allow the string to move completely freely. This problem will be even more apparent on cheaper guitars. The best way to fix this is if you have to drop a tuning (Loosen the string) then you can simply pull the string above the pickups away from the body of the guitar slightly. This will pull the string through the nut of the guitar properly and it will be a more accurate tuning point. In game this represents a difference of 3 on the tuning thing which is quite significant as the guitar would have changed tuning mid song otherwise.
The other thing to do to make sure you are in tune is to get a clip on tuner such as the planet waves tuner:

Planet Waves PW-CT-12 NS Mini Headstock Tuner

This is a really easy way of being able to check that you are in tune without having to remove the guitar cable.

I hope this wasn't too confusing for you all, its sort of hard to explain, thanks for reading :)
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a game that has a real reason to waste your life playing it!!, 28 Sep 2012
By 
Mr. L. D. Hodgson "Lee" (Suffolk, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Rocksmith - includes Real Tone Cable (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I bought this game a year ago when it was released in the USA (thanks Americans for the beta test :) ). I have been playing it almost every day since then.

I am in my 40's and have until this game never properly played guitar, I had always owned one and had the best intentions to learn to play but never found the time and when I did try lost motivation to play by myself pretty quickly. Rocksmith gave me the motivation I needed to get my teeth into something I had always felt I should be good at.

Ill get the negatives out of the way, as a game its not perfect by any means. Its not Guitar Hero or Rockband, superficially it might look like them but in gaming terms there is not a great deal here to speak of. It does have a career mode of sorts, it gives a you a set of songs to play (you can change them if you dont like the songs) you have to "qualify" each song, that is play it to a certain standard and once you have done this you get to perform the event. Any kind of progress in the game gives you points and these add up to levels, it naturally goes up to level 11 :). Apart from the arcade based practice tools thats about it. Dont let that put you off though, the amazing feeling of satisfaction you get when you finally master your first song is plenty to keep you wanting more and more.

Now we come to a sore point, lag. I dont suffer from it but I have seen that others have had problems. There is actually no lag coming from you xbox or PS3, the lag is down to your TV. Most people have their console connected with a HDMI cable, this gets blamed for a lot of the lag, this is mostly wrong. Most of the lag you will see (the really bad stuff) is caused by the digital processing of the audio signal that is being done inside your TV. Some TV's are a lot worse than othere, a lot of modern TV's have a game mode setting which will eliminate most of if not all the problem. Failing that I have found on some TV's that turning off the audio effects in the TV settings menu does the same job. If you own an XBOX you can use the old style AV cables to connect the sound outputs directly to a decent set of speakers, this gives the best experience.

One thing to remember with this game is that essentially, its not a game. It looks like one, walks like one and quacks like one but its better thought of as a practice tool. It can teach you to play guitar all by itself, you wont be very good but you will be able to play. To get the most from this either get guitar lessons or use web resources like JustinGuitar.com and use Rocksmith as a great motivational practice tool :)

One other negative is that you will be very poor if you really get into this, I am now up to 3 electric guitars, 1 acoustic and 1 bass...... You have been warned!

***ADDITIONAL****

For those that are going to get Rocksmith I thought you should know that although the game checks your tuning before each song its actually a bit forgiving, you can be pretty out of tune and it will let you play. You can hit the A button while checking for the precision tuner but thats more hassle. I got one of these clip on tuners Snark Clip On Chromatic Guitar Tuner - Metallic Blue This will let you check your tuning faster and with more accuracy than the in game tuner. :)

If I think of anything else useful I'll add it here later.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Playing my guitar for the first time in 20 years, 5 Oct 2012
By 
G. Gibson "gary gibson" (scotland, united kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rocksmith - includes Real Tone Cable (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
There are good points and bad points to a game like this (calling it a 'game' somehow doesn't seem right, does it?) I've never played Rock Band because the idea of playing a plastic guitar always filled me with horror. I started playing (real) guitar back in the mid-80's and, despite much effort, never did play with a band on stage despite a great deal of effort. My prized electric guitar went back into its case in the late Eighties and stayed there for the next twenty plus years. I couldn't bear to sell it. Not ever. I played acoustic guitar instead from time to time to pass the time and keep my fingers flexible.

Then I heard about Rocksmith. I ordered it the moment it became available for pre-order in the UK. It arrived three or four days ago, and I must have played it for a solid three or four hours a day with my long-neglected electric. It's a little battered, a strap button is mysteriously missing, and the sound is a tiny bit erratic from time to time, making me thing maybe I need to get it checked over in a guitar shop. But for the first time since maybe 1989 I'm playing the damn thing, and loving it.

Don't get me wrong; some of the caveats other reviewers have aren't necessarily incorrect. It's not necessarily the best way to *learn* to play guitar for reasons some people have mentioned. It's not necessarily even aimed at people my age - ie in their forties - but the important thing, the really important thing, is that it makes you want to play, and that's frankly just awesome. To me, it's a band in a box - one that doesn't talk back, turn up late, smell a bit funny because it never changes its leather trousers, or own a really expensive instrument it can barely play, if at all. The fact that it responds to what you're playing - that element of feedback, of responsiveness to your playing - is what, on some deep psychological level, elevates this far above simply sticking on a cd and playing along.

I haven't had this much fun in years. As far as I'm concerned, it's the single best reason to own an Xbox.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This game will be perfect... if you're the intended audience., 30 Sep 2012
By 
Mr. L. Attewell (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Rocksmith - includes Real Tone Cable (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Rocksmith will be just what you've been looking for, if you meet a simple criteria:

Like me, you've played Rock Band to death and mastered the plastic instruments and want to move on to the real thing. If you're an expert, I'd probably not recommend it since you may find it slow paced and too simple.

For the noobs among us though, the beauty of Rocksmith is that it follows the idea of Rock Band. Notes fly towards you, which you have to hit in time to the music. Each string has a colour and number's help you determine where you're fingers should be on the fret board. It's pretty simple, and within 30 minutes I was playing along with I Can't Get No Satisfaction despite never really playing a real guitar before.

Some knowledge learned through years of rocking the plastic has probably helped the transition. Things like hammer on's and pull off's where easy for me to grasp, as was my timing, and helpful technique video's and examples explain other techniques like muted notes and bends. If you find a particular technique tricky there are fun mini games to play that help build muscle memory and improve the technique. For example, at first I was struggling with positioning my left hand on the fret board. Probably a challenge for all new players. However, after playing 30 minutes of Ducks, where ducks fly up a fret board and you have to hit the right anchor head on any string to send a missile up the board, I was finding my self comfortably shifting over the anchor heads without even having to look where my hand was and I could just concentrate on the ducks. In fact, I now play Ducks as a warm up. It's simple, addictive and helpful. I really look forward to playing some of the other mini games.

Another great aspect of the game is that it will scale automatically. There is no difficulty or even game ending conditions. If you play a 'phase' of a song well enough, it will throw more notes at you until you are successfully playing the song in it's entirety. When playing, you can never sit back and relax because at any point the pattern you've become comfortable with might change and you have to step your game up. If you struggle with it, you can go back. The game tracks every note and every riff, so when you feel comfortable with say, a verse, that part will scale differently to a part you're having trouble with so you can carry on with all the phases of the song you're comfortable with, and take things a little slower when you get to that troubling bridge section.

The game's primary mode is Journey. However, maybe thankfully, Don't Stop Believing has nothing to do with it. As soon as the game loads you're taken to your current Journey position instead of the main menu. Here, you gain EXP (Or as it's known in-game RSP) to progress and unlock venues to perform in. To gain RSP points, you have to play live shows, and the game will present you with the songs you'll be playing in your set. You have to practice and actually qualify for each song in the set before you can perform and only then can you progress to the next venue. New techniques you encounter as you progress in this way will also be selectable to practice as well as the songs themselves. This gives you a nice sense of progression. You can access the actual main menu at any point by pressing start, and here you'll have access to all the songs, techniques and game features that you have unlocked in Journey.

Touching on live performances... This is one of my favourite aspects. Although slightly... squarish, the crowds are very realistic. Play like rubbish and they'll stand there staring at you. It can be quite daunting. Play well however and they'll all be jumping around, smiling and even filming you on their mobile phones. The beauty is these crowds can be quiet hard to win over. I remember playing my third live gig, the songs difficulty had started to scale up quiet a bit and I was struggling with Nivana's In Bloom. While some people in the digital crowd were starting to stir, a few wasn't and looked pretty unhappy. I noticed one person in particular who didn't even flinch during the set. I was determined to win this one girl over, however my playing didn't improve and she never did crack a smile...

Finally, once all other game modes have been exhausted you can jump into the amp mode. This is a freestyle mode where you can customise your sound through amps and just play the songs you've learnt. By the time you get here, you've gained a real sense of accomplishment. OK, so the only song I can play off by heart completely so far is Queen of the Stone Age's Go With The Flow... but it's a start. And that's really the whole point of Rocksmith.

This isn't simply a carbon copy of Rock Band with a real instrument. It is, by it's own merit, and engaging and fun way to learn the guitar. Don't take it as a party game, but instead put it on, plug in the guitar and give it time. You'll soon be playing some great songs.

My only hope is that Ubisoft embrace the DLC side as Hamonix do. This is the kind of game DLC was made for. Increasingly challenging songs will make sure this is a game you'll be playing for a few years yet, and give intermediates to pro's a reason to plug in and play.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant guitar game!!, 29 Sep 2012
By 
B. Kermode "modey" (isle of man) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rocksmith - includes Real Tone Cable (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Having been trying to learn guitar on and off for a few years I thought I would give this a go, I received it today I have to say I'm impressed, very easy to set up, it helps you tune your guitar and then you are good to go.

It starts off easy with a few single notes and then the game learns how good you are getting and adds a few more and makes it more difficult. I've had no problem with lag but my Xbox is connected to my surround sound system.

If you liked guitar hero you will love this as its a far superior game and you will learn how to play a guitar, even if it's just some basic chords or notes to start with.

There is also the option to play bass but that's downloadable content and I haven't got around to trying that yet.

Edit: It appears the bass option is on the disc and is not DLC
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A music rhythm game that can handle ANY real guitar (or bass)? Surely not? But it's true!, 4 Nov 2012
By 
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Rocksmith - includes Real Tone Cable (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Rocksmith is the latest incarnation of the music rhythm genre. Although Rock Band 3 added Pro modes (including Guitar and Bass) to songs, that game required either a specific guitar (a specially-designed Fender Squier Stratocaster, which is a real guitar with electronics under the fretboard to read finger movements etc, which at the time of writing is incredibly hard to get hold of as it was such a sought-after bit of kit for fans of the game) or a plastic Fender Mustang Pro Guitar controller that had lots of buttons simulating the fretted strings. Rocksmith, by contrast, allows you to plug in pretty much any guitar that can be plugged into an amplifier, and the game comes with a RealTone cable to connect either a guitar or a bass guitar to your console.

Each time you begin a song or an event you are taken to a tuner, where you can check the tuning of each string, and the Precision Tuner automatically activates if the game detects a string being out of tune. The game also highlights which tuning peg to turn.

When you play a song you get a graphic representation of a section of the guitar neck, with the strings colour-coded. Receding into the distance from this is a highway with numbers representing the key frets as marked on most guitars (the game also comes with numbered stickers that you can stick on the side of the guitar neck if you feel that you need these), and, as in previous games in the genre such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band, notes come towards you and you play them as they reach the strike-bar (which in Rocksmith's case is the on-screen guitar neck, and you strike when the note reaches its corresponding coloured string on this neck representation). When you get a note to play you need to notice both its colour (to determine which string you will need to play) and which fret it is above (so that you know where to place your fretting finger). If you are asked to play an open string then it will simply be a horizontal line of the colour of the string. Chords are shown in their entirety in boxes with colour-coded notes marking finger positions and horizontal lines marking open strings, and the game even tells you what chord you are being asked to play.

Initially you will just get ordinary notes, and these are usually comparatively sparse. Rocksmith automatically checks how well you are doing, and adds more notes and special guitar techniques to song sections as you become more proficient, while taking them away if you are really struggling.

There are tutorials and challenges for many of the commonest guitar techniques (slides, bends, palm-mutes, double-stops, chords, barre chords, natural harmonics etc), and if that's not enough, there are even some mini-games in the Guitarcade that you can play to brush up on many of these techniques!

There are about 50 songs on the disc, and more songs are becoming increasingly available as downloadable content. Individual songs cost 240MP/$3 (about 2), and there are some multi-song packs available. Some people have complained about the price of individual DLC songs compared to Rock Band (where most tend to cost 160MP) but they probably forgot that, save for some rare occasions, Harmonix tended to request an 80MP surcharge for anyone wanting a Pro Guitar/Bass upgrade, thus taking the total of that song to the same 240MP that you get charged here. Also, it is worth adding that, when you buy a DLC song in Rocksmith there is usually more than just one arrangement (some, for instance, contain a single-note arrangement as well as chord arrangements or combo arrangements - sometimes this can be seen as the equivalent of having a rhythm guitar part as well as a separate charted arrangement containing single-note phrases and/or solos, which I imagine would be a real blast if you were playing alongside another person. Luckily it is possible to buy a RealTone cable separately, and Rocksmith supports simultaneous two-player on the same console).

Is this game as good as getting tuition from a genuine guitar teacher? Probably not, as there are some techniques that this game does not support (such as pinch harmonics, the squealing notes you often hear in rock solos, but then these are quite advanced anyway). What it arguably does do, however, is make the learning process more fun, which could be a particular godsend for kids who might get bored quickly learning fretting and scales the traditional way.

By and large, what Rocksmith does, it does well. I do have some quibbles with the game, however.

The most notable quibble I have is with the calibration. Although you can adjust video lag in the game, this does not support negative numbers, unlike Rock Band 3, so at the lowest setting it is still not QUITE synchronised. While you can overcome this, as explained in included documentation, by using analogue cables and connecting headphones or external speakers, really you should not have to do this just to play one game in perfect sync.

Another is the default setting of the on-screen strings. For some reason Ubisoft have opted for this to be where the lowest string is at the top and the highest at the bottom. Given that Rocksmith seems to be largely aimed at beginners, this seems a strange default setting, considering that this is not the order that you see the strings when you look down on the guitar, and it is certainly not the order you see strings when you look at traditional TAB, so why make this the default setting and potentially cause confusion? Luckily there is an option to invert this, but I would imagine many guitarists saying that having the bottom string at the bottom would better prepare beginners in particular for what they would see in TAB, and that this variation should have been the default.

While having the different-coloured strings and notes is an interesting idea, I'm not sure that it works all that well. I've had Rocksmith for about a month and still struggle to associate the colour to a particular string quickly enough. This is certainly not as clear-cut as the Pro Guitar and Pro Bass modes in Rock Band 3, where there is no doubt as to which string you should be playing, and this can be ascertained much more quickly by comparison. There is also a problem that the angle that you view the visible section of the highway is not always ideal, which, due to notes appearing at differing heights depending on which string they are on, can sometimes make them look like they are on a different fret to the one that they are actually on; personally I would have preferred a more centralised view of the section where the game is telling you to placed your fretting hand.

Another niggle is that, when you first play the game and select Guitar, you are also asked whether the headstock has tuning pegs on both sides of it or just one side (mine has them on just one side). For my first-ever session with the game, it stored the one-side information, but on second and subsequent sessions it just changed to the both-sides variation, and I cannot seem to find a menu option to change it back to the one-side that I originally selected.

Some of the charting in certain songs seem suss to me. I have come across some songs where bits seem to be charted in a more complicated way than is really necessary, and I do question the authenticity of these bits compared to what the original player played. (It's worth mentioning that the game seems to detect correctness of notes based on pitch, rather than that you are necessarily playing that note exactly as instructed on-screen, so the game probably won't punish you if you play a sequence that contains notes of the same pitch but fret in a different way that you yourself might find less awkward!)

Also, while the cable reads the notes you are playing quite well, there have been times where, as notable examples, I had palm-muted a note or effected a natural harmonic that sounded OK but the game claimed that I had not successfully done the technique even though I had clearly played the note on time. Bearing in mind that the game removes notes from sections when you significantly struggle (or, in this case, thinks you're significantly struggling), this can be terribly frustrating that sections of songs are being downgraded due to it saying you're not playing things correctly when you actually are. I have also had the occasions where the game thought I had fretted a note that was nowhere near where I actually had fretted (a quirk that became apparent when I tried the Ducks and Super Ducks games in the Guitarcade, where you have to match the fret with the one the duck appears in on-screen). I don't know whether this is down to string noise, but this misreading can also lead to frustrating downgrading of song sections.

All in all, though, Rocksmith is a bold step in the music rhythm genre, and is still fun to play despite the aforementioned annoyances. While more experienced players will probably not get much more out of the game bar a bit of added fun factor, beginners should revel in its innovative way of nurturing them on a fairly challenging instrument!

It is worth pointing out that a complaint I saw in a damning review of Rocksmith claims that the game babies you through even the simplest of songs. I found in the menu options linking to practice sessions of each song allowed you to manually increase or decrease the difficulty setting of a particular song section, which potentially overcomes this problem (the game does not come with a printed manual, so it is probably small wonder that that reviewer was unaware of this option).

I've not yet tried the Bass Guitar option in this, but if the Guitar option is anything to go by, then I would believe that a similar quality would persist in that mode.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Present for son, 3 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rocksmith - includes Real Tone Cable (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Bought this for my son who is keen to learn the guitar.
He really loves it and says he doesn't need many more x box games now
Thanks
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best, 9 Mar 2013
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S. Trott (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rocksmith - includes Real Tone Cable (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
This is not a kids game in the same league as Guitar Hero - its a 'proper' guitar tutor that gets you using a 'real' guitar
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