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Playstation 3






Ubisoft San Francisco


T (Teen)


October 2011



- Teaches you guitar and itís fun!
- Use any electric guitar in the game
- Guitarcade is a blast



- Guitar that comes with the bundle is poor quality
- Too much time spent tuning the guitar and waiting at menu screens
- DLC price is steep and not as expansive as Rock Band
- No bass support...yet



Review: Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock (PS3)

Review: Rock of the Dead (PS3)

Review: Guitar Hero: On Tour Decades (DS)



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Score: 8.5 / 10


rocksmith          rocksmith


Prior to playing Rocksmith (RS), I had never played guitar in my life; unless you count the oneís with the plastic buttons used in Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Rock Band 3 dabbled in teaching players guitar, but the results were mixed as the tabulature was confusing and the tutorials were not very fun. Iíve already been let down with Rock Bandís attempt to teach me guitar, so how does RS fair?

RS can be bought as the stand alone game with the tone cable or you can buy the bundle which includes an electric guitar. The bundle retails for $199.00 and isnít a bad bargain, however, the guitar that comes with the game is a lower quality




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Epiphone model. If youíve already got an electric guitar lying around, youíre better off skipping the bundle and purchasing just the game.

RS isnít so much a party game, as it is more of a teaching tool. RS goes over a lot of guitar techniques including slides, bends, tremeloís, and chords. The game features technique challenges that let you hone your skill and earn


bronze, silver and gold medals. In addition to the technique challenges, RS features several mini games (also known as the Guitarcade) which, are both fun and let you practice guitar techniques. This is truly where RS strikes gold as the mini games are a blast and at the same time youíre improving your playing. This is where Rock Band could learn from RS. I usually make it a ritual to play a few mini games when I first boot up the game prior to starting the career mode.

RS catalog features 60 or so songs from Artists including Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, Nirvana and Muse. The setlist is varied and there are some terrific song choices. Each week or two, new songs are released through the playstation network, but the price for each song is quite steep. Each song retails for $3.00, which is one dollar more than what Rock Band offers each week.

RS offers multiplayer for up to two players on the same console. Unfortunately, the multiplayer experience is quite limited. None of the mini games or career mode can be played with two players, which is a disappointment. It would have also been nice to have the option of one player playing lead guitar, while the other plays rhythm guitar for each song. it would have even been nice if you could play bass guitar in the game. Itís nice to know the developers have hinted at this option in the future.

The gameís primary mode is the career, which sees you play through gigs consisting of a setlist of 3-5 songs. Youíll start off playing in local clubs and work your way to up to becoming a headlining band playing arenas. Prior to playing each event, youíre required to beat a certain score in each song. The game breaks down each song and lets you practice particular parts of the it until you become proficient.

One new thing RS brings to the table is dynamic difficulty. The difficulty of each song is dependent on how well you play. The better you play, the more notes the game throws at you, whereas the worse you play, the less notes youíll see. The dynamic difficulty is terrific and is a nice departure from selecting easy, medium or hard difficulty seen in other music games.

I played RS using external audio speakers, rather than having my sound go through an HDMI cable. If youíre planning on using anything other than external audio speakers youíre probably going to experience audio lag, which may impact your experience. I didnít really notice any lag through my setup and the gameís instruction manual recommends playing through a sound system.

One thing youíll become too familiar with in RS is tuning your guitar. Before you can do anything in the game, you have to tune your guitar. Tuning is fairly easy and straightforward. However, the tuning can get on your nerves as you literally have to tune your guitar in between each song (unless youíre playing a setlist). In addition to that, youíll spend a lot of time waiting for the game to save and load items. I donít understand why it takes so long to load the game as Rock Band 3 takes no time to load and I have over 900 songs in my catalog.

RS is a great teaching tool, but your experience is going to depend on how committed you are to learning guitar. RS wonít turn you into a shredding Jimmy Hendrix overnight, but if you commit to practicing each day youíre going to see results. Even if youíre an experienced guitar player, youíre probably going to find something to like in RS.

- Siddharth Masand

(January 31, 2012)


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