Customer Review

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
= 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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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Oct 2012 11:26:49 BDT
J. Watson says:
Hi, good review.

I was just wondering whether you were a total newbie to the guitar? I am keen to get this as I have an electric guitar in my garage but if truth be told, I've had it 10 years, always meant to get round to playing it but never actually got there. I literally don't know any chords, well... maybe 1, but I couldn't tell you if it was C, D or A.

Few reviews have said whether or not they are a total novice to the actual guitar, and really that is what I need to know if I'm going to go and spend £50 on it.

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