Customer Review

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slow to start but quickly becomes rewarding, 4 Oct 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Rocksmith - includes Real Tone Cable (PS3) (Video Game)
I bought Rocksmith because my son is learning guitar at school and getting him to practice is quite difficult. I thought that Rocksmith might encourage him to supplement the exercises his guitar teacher sets with a more fun environment where he learns through play. Initial results would suggest that it's going to work..

I also bought it because I started guitar a few years ago and never got past the strumming stage on basic chords and some basic melodies, so I thought it might help tweak up my skills too.

It's worth saying that Rocksmith isn't educational software - it doesn't try to teach you music theory - but it is designed to let you start off slowly and quickly builds difficulty based on your ability, all within a gameplay environment.

NB. You need to set up extra PS3 users if you want multiple people to use the game, otherwise the adaptive learning gets all screwed up - a good player would make the game too difficult for a beginner. Set up multiple users and each profile is optimised for the user.

FIRST FEW DAYS USE:

My son's experience so far:: He's been playing Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones and Next Girl by The Black Keys. On first run through it only wants you to play a note every bar or so, but after a few goes it adds more notes, and other strings, so that you build up the riffs. Even on the first goes my son was beaming at the end of the song. He played again before school this morning and loads of extra notes were added to Satisfaction - after initial fluster he got into the groove and performed it very well. He was absolutely delighted. Also, away from the PS3, he picked up his acoustic guitar and played the Next Girl riff. This is exactly what I hoped for - that the gameplay would transfer across to actual guitar playing.

My experience:: I'm also very pleased. I managed to level up a few songs and unlock games (training exercises, really) in the Guitarcade section and also unlock the amp section with allows you to play through your stereo using the amp emulations in the game. The guitar sounds are really good. Also, I've not experienced any lag between hitting the string and hearing the notes - probably because my PS3 goes into an AV amp so the TV is only used for video, with the audio going through surround sound speakers. My finger tips are sore this morning - because I overplayed yesterday.

[Update] After inverting the string display the chord charts are now the same as normal guitar tab. I suddenly had a leap in performance - 99% accuracy on QotSA Go With The Flow - exhilarating.

AFTER A FEW WEEKS
This is an immensely enjoyable way to improve your guitar skills. In the past few weeks I've managed to achieve decent levels on loads of songs and, after additional practice, have hit excellent levels on quite a few. As you go on it seems easier to take new songs in your stride. Part of this is the adaptive learning easing you in gently, but it's also the case that what you've already achieved gives you a huge degree of familiarity with chords (particularly power chords), note intervals, and string changing. As an example, I played the song "A Perfect Union" by Titus Andronicus for the first time this evening and, despite it throwing in some initially complex looking patterns up around the 12th and 14th frets of the A,D and G strings, I quickly grasped the pattern and managed to score in the mid thirty thousands. Second time through and I was over forty thousand. It has also incentivised me to perfect the song.. ..and maybe buy their album.

Also, I bought a second Real Tone cable so that my 8 year old son and I could play together. It works really well and makes for a hugely enjoyable social activity. The one thing I made sure to do was make my son understand that we weren't competing against each other - I guessed he would be disheartened if I scored massively more than him all the time - instead we were trying to improve our own scores and make music together as a team.

Downsides.
* If you go through the Career/Story mode without exploring the Techniques section the game can throw up some surprises - the main one being that it will suddenly want you to play chords when up to that point you've only been playing single notes - this is really confusing and throws you off your stride. A trip to the Techniques section will help.

* Locked content. Because it's a *game* and not a guitar tutor the Guitarcade and Amp modelling sections are initially locked and you need to reach a certain level of proficiency to unlock them. This is pretty annoying, especially the amp modeller.

* Downloadable Content (DLC) - Ubisoft are promising that the huge amount of songs and song packs available to US Rocksmith owners will be available to UK users before Xmas. In the meantime we've got the in-game songs and about a dozen songs in the inline store. I'm waiting for song packs, which are better value, before I commit to buying any additional content.

Tips::
* Go into options and set the string display to inverted - this way the chord charts match with traditional guitar tablature - great if you already play guitar but it also means that beginners will be able to transfer skills learned in Rocksmith to the real world.
* If you're definitely fretting in the right position but Rocksmith registers it differently, you're probably fretting too hard and bending the tone upwards a little.
* You can play bass as well as guitar using Rocksmith.
* If you get a second cable you can have multiplayer - guitar/bass or lead/rhythm
* If you have USB microphones from Singstar/Rockband you can sing along.
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