This is a review 'from the bottom of my heart' so to speak, I am really passionate on the subject and have strong feelings about how this product turned out to me. If you don't want to sit and read it, you don't have to, but if you do, awesome.
I purchased this for £7.49, which is a bargain considering that it's normally around £30, but the catch is that it tells the purchaser thatThis is a review 'from the bottom of my heart' so to speak, I am really passionate on the subject and have strong feelings about how this product turned out to me. If you don't want to sit and read it, you don't have to, but if you do, awesome.
I purchased this for £7.49, which is a bargain considering that it's normally around £30, but the catch is that it tells the purchaser that they have to buy a 'Real Tone Cable' to be able to play it, basically a USB to 1/4 inch adaptor cable with a small gizmo half way down that 'removes interference', for at least £20 extra from the local video game retailer or online business. I usually play my guitars plugged into my computer via my line in slot, hooked up to guitar rig, and the sound that comes out of there is crisp and proper, little to no interference to be found. All that cost me a tenner, so having to order a 'special' cable for it is outrageous. That being said, I did manage to find a crack that allows me to play using the line in slot just as well as the official cable, but at the same time sacrificing the use of any of the song DLCs, which if fine because nobody on earth wants to buy Maroon 5 songs.
I've only been playing guitar, mainly Bass, for 11 months at the time of me writing this, but I feel I can hold my own with the instrument, so I thought I could just dive in and start playing. I couldn't've been more wrong. This game insists that you should start all over again from a total beginner. If it had been any more of the mollycoddling part-time guitar teacher, part-time plumber your school hired in year 2, I feel it would've made me sit on its lap, pluck the strings with me and told me that 'Every Alsatian Dog Grows Big Ears' is a good mnemonic for remembering the string names. It's not that I don't think that should've been in the game, it's that there's literally no way to skip it, and it isn't even done very well. I was getting bored out of my mind at the 'soundcheck' stage, and spent 15 minutes hastily plucking my E-string because it requested that I 'make some noise' and going into an infinite troubleshooting loop for no reason, only to find out I had to then pluck the A-string which it never told me to do.
Now on to the fundamental flaw (At least for me). This game is like guitar hero, which is all fun, but the one thing with the game was that you constantly had to be looking at the screen. It's fine when you have 5 possible Lego Duplo brick-sized choices, but when (On Bass for example) you have 80 different choices, for the beginner and even me, it gets a little tough. I can play short bursts without looking at the neck, but it doesn't last for very long. Almost every guitar player looks at what they're playing even if they're comfortable with it, because it's just to make sure they're not making any mistakes, so although being able to not look at the neck is a valuable skill, beginners don't need to be thrown into the deep end that quick. I fell at the easiest of hurdles while playing songs, mistakes I wouldn't have made if I had looked at tablature or learnt by ear.
While the UI looks spectacular, with it's cool 3D models of guitars and scrolling graphics, it is utterly confusing. I don't know what the main menu looks like still because there's no real indication of what menu you're on at any time. Also, it really insists you use the keyboard for navigating the cue card-like menus which gets tedious at times when you start furiously clicking 'End Now' because you picked a song that only wants you to play the 7th fret on the A-string and you're bored out of your mind, to which you then find out you have to cycle through the options using the arrow keys. Marvellous.
Finally, and probably the biggest pet peeve of mine is the DLCs. You start out with quite a large repertoire of songs but some are from frankly sub-par indie rock bands or groups that are so obscure I would never have known they existed until I saw them there. Each single is about £2.39, which is quite dear considering that iTunes sells singles for dirt cheap. There is a custom toolkit for the game, but it's basically tablature software so if you can't listen to songs and work out what the notes are by ear, it's useless. Sure, more advanced people make really high quality ones, but waiting for a song you like might take ages and with the flaw I mentioned earlier, you really need to have gone over the tabs beforehand anyway to even start to comprehend what's coming up on screen.
So, if you're a beginner wanting to learn guitar, I don't recommend buying this game to help you, your best chance is getting a proper teacher (A family friend or one-to-one tuition from someone who plays in a band) or teaching yourself (Which I did), those pathways to learning guitar will be much better than confusing yourself and putting yourself in the deep end as this game will do.… Expand