Posted with my iPad. Hence the bad spelling/grammar.
I came to a realization of something in Rockband that was driving me crazy.
The angular/isometric view has some weird side effects.
If it's zoomed out, it's tricky to tell what frets are on the 'sides'.
What happened often is I'd glance at the left side of the screen and see a note coming down with a '5'
right behind it. I'd automatically think it's on fret 5.
In actuality, it's probably on fret 6. Same thing happens on 'right notes' - often the note is 1 fret lower than the number it's covering.
I think I tend to avoid using the fret numbers a lot, and try to live by note 'offsets' - i.e. how many frets away from the previous note. I use it for the first note of course, to 'lock on'.
I'm really hoping they have some sort of '% correct' on the practice modes, so I can see if I'm getting any better as i try to level up.
The 'miss indicator' isn't obvious enough (especially on bends) and I often have no idea how many notes I missed (or which ones)
I'm posting a late review here. Got this game for Xmas and I'm enjoying it.
The Three Forms of Rocksmith
You get graded on what you don't play, not on what you play. This means that the game only cares that you land on target. In between charted notes, you can do whatever you want. Not only does this allow you experiment in learning the song, but experienced musicians can add their own flair to the tracks. This makes the game much more entertaining to the player and people watching them. Beginners won't appreciate this right away, but once you master a song there is a whole level of fun added by this design choice.
Game Mode Two: The Mini Games. Overall, these are great. They are guitar teaching tools that take what is normally boring for a lot of people and adds an entertainment factor. This is important, because doing mundane tasks like scales or chords for a long time is the fastest way to improve as a player. I think the intermediate player will appreciate these modes the most, as beginners may be frustrated trying to remember an Ebm7 chord before zombies eats them, and an expert will be too fast for these modes to truly benefit them. They're still fun, though.
Game Mode Three: Free play. By going to the "Amp" menu, you can access any of the game's amplification and effects emulators and just play guitar through your TV. This is a very, very underrated feature. Players of all levels can use this mode to practice or just to play music and the emulators are very, very good, especially at this cost. Amps and Emulator apps are expensive, and as a guitar player I'd argue that it's easily worth 80 bucks just to have a nice quality set of amps and effects coming through your TV.
BONUS FEATURE: This game does have videos that teach you scales, chords and overall play techniques. It doesn't cover everything but it is a good starter package of vids.
Guitar Instructional or Video Game?
As a GUITAR GAME, Rocksmith is better than good, it's a true revolution as a learning tool and overall guitar experience. Every guitar player with an Xbox should have this game, and anyone who wants to learn guitar should find $325, get this game, a cheap guitar and a used Xbox/PS3 and get going. That's about the price of any cheap guitar/lessons/amp package anyway, and this is a much more fun and efficient way to learn.
Now completely separately, I have to look at Rocksmith as a video game. In short, the menus are clunky, the interface can be confusing, the graphics on the crowd are awful and each venue is mostly a random dark club that you ignore. The presentation is basically non-existent and the "campaign" seems to be a random sequence of songs organized by event. I just passed the set with Lynard Skynard and Clapton(Rank 7, I think) and at this point I don't see the difference between doing the events and just doing the songs you wish to play and ignoring the campaign altogether.
RockSmith vs. Rock Band 3
Just to transition from the point about the campaign, the different venues and cut scenes in Rockband are really well done. It's almost worth doing their events just to see your avatars throw beer bottles against the side of the van or whatever. By comparison, Rocksmith is dry. Since Rockband includes drums and keys and has a full vocal campaign, it's obviously a robust and group-oriented experience, whereas Rocksmith is a guitar specialty game. They don't compare on that level, so let's just look at them from a guitar player's standpoint.
What you think about these games greatly depends on your skill level and your desire to learn. Going with that, I have to tell you my level so you know where I'm coming from. I'm an above average player with serious band experience(we headlined CBGB's and played with Mastadon, Biohazard, Lamb of God, many others), but I'm not a master guitar player. It'd take me an hour to learn any Iron Maiden song and a week to learn any Dream Theater song and there might be parts that I can't play at all without two weeks of solid metronome work. My chord work is not as good as my scale work, but it's solid. Now on to the games.
In RB3, I prefer the Mustang. i own three guitars of good to very good quality and the Squier is the worst guitar I've ever heard plugged in. I couldn't spend money on it. On the other hand, the Mustang is a pretty nice midi guitar that you can use outside of the game, so that was a no brainer. My partner guitar player got the Squier, so I have played it.
RB3 has a real problem with reading certain picking sections. Chugging, or galloping or speed picking doesn't read perfectly. There are also no bends. Play a Clapton/Hendrix song on both games and this is a very big deal. Hitting those bends in Rocksmith really makes you miss it in RB3. The advantage to RB3 is the very big and varied playlist. Every other advantage goes to Rocksmith, and in a big way.
There is really no comparison, especially if you own a guitar. Playing with your own guitar with high quality sounds of your actual playing coming out of the TV absolutely destroys the simulation of the guitar experience that RB3 attempts.
I personally like the charting in Rocksmith better, especially for lead sections. The numbers in RB3 can turn into a mush on screen and they don't let you slow it down enough for an efficient practice. Ideally, you'd be able to cut a complex section all the way down to 20% of the original speed. With Rocksmith's dynamic difficulty, being able to build lead parts note by note and hear yourself clearly when you are off is a much, much better way to learn.
The Bottom Line
In every comparison, I'd say the biggest advantage is being able to hear the actual notes you're playing, as opposed to synching up with a pre-recorded track. If you're interested in getting better as a player, this is the ultimate reward.
A true fan of the music gaming genre should own both games, but as a guitar player if you had to buy one, it should easily be Rocksmith.
Last edited by Sweepsaintsobad; 01-18-2012 at 05:35 PM.
"Every guitar player with an Xbox should have this game"
Yup that's what I tell everyone also.
Good write up!
Guitar Hero 2005-2011
Long-time no-post progress report:
I think this game is truly teaching me some skills. I have mastered a couple songs and gotten over 70k on quite a few others. Also, I've taken a liking to the mini games, especially Scale Runner. I can now reliably play without looking at the fretboard. I have memorized about 20 chords, and I am currently working on mastering Space Oddity.
I don't know if anyone cares, but I thought I would share. Still loving this game.
On temporary hiatus from Rock Band. Too busy playing Rocksmith.
That's the only thing I can tell that makes a difference when you change in-game guitars.