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.
-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.
-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.
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 :)
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 :)