review
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POSTED 7/11/11


ROCKSMITH

Ubisoft
PS3 (also on Xbox 360, PC)

On their first long-player, the one music industry pundits declared would be their last (dipshits!), Radiohead reckoned ‘Anyone Can Play Guitar’. Looking at some of the utter spuds who can shred like madpeople, it’s gotta be true, yeah?

Well, no actually. Aceness takes practice. Tonnes of practice. Fucktonnes even. If you don’t mean it maaaaaaaaaan then no groupies for you! “But I rock at Guitar Hero”, you may squeal. Well yay, that’s fabbo, but it’s as relevant to playing for real as Kid Rock is to refined taste. Hey, we worship Rock Band, but it’s a game. Rocksmith’s a guitar tutor masquerading as a game.

Jam the spesh cable’s ends into their respective holes (USB, real guitar), lag calibrate (this should be MUCH less guessworky) and learn – at your speed. First track up, the Stones’ ‘Satisfaction’, fires one or two notes at you. Hit them and it’ll fire more. Spazz out and miss then it’ll simplify. Rocksmith adapts to your crapulence – or lack thereof.

The screen looks confusing at first, but IRL it takes seconds to get. Up front’s a see-through fret board. Numbered trails represent frets, whilst coloured note pins signify which string to play. You’ll begin plucking single notes, but chords’ll come soon enough to bring you down a peg or six.

There are eight skill-honing minigames, including staving-off zombies with chords. We assume Coldplay failed that one... Meanwhile, score well to unlock effects pedals and more guitars. This stuff strats (apt typo, it stays) off locked, but mercifully you can tackle most of 50+ songs from the outset. Pixies, Muse, The Cure, Blur, Jarvis, Interpol, Radiohead – we no complain.

Rocksmith’s adaptability to your particular chops kicks arse. If you’ve never touched a geetaw you’ll probably squonk like a Sonic Youth b-side, but patience and dedication brings reward. Grasshopper.

Then, if London burns you’re sorted...

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2014. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.