Ive been playing guitar since my late-teens/early twenties, which is about 10 years now. Ive been in several little bands & consider myself a fairly competent player & songwriter.
Shortly before ROCKSMITH was released, I went to a festival where I had the opportunity to play the game and even managed to win a guitar by getting a high score in a competation they were having. I was impressed by the game - it seemed responsive, with an interesting selection of licenced tracks & a clear, functional design.
Rock Band and Guitar Hero never appealed to me. Not because Im a music-snob but just because if I wanted to play music I would pick up my guitar and if I wanted to play a videogame I would turn on my 360. They are two different things for me. However, with ROCKSMITH, you can plug in any real guitar and play real songs properly - something that really appeals to me as both a musician & a gamer.
Today, I finally picked up a copy of the game. It wasnt cheap - even though it was released some time ago now the cheapest I could find a copy (with the required 'real tone' cable) was 45 quid. But I treated myself and have spent a good 2-3 hours playing it today. And Im still impressed by it. However its not perfect in a couple of ways - firstly if you have your 360 connected with an HDMI cable you are going to get audio lag. Its not a deal-breaker; its still playable and can be easily remidied with an audio adapter (or switiching to component cables but this is a pain) but the lag is noticable especially as you begin playing more advanced guitar parts.
Secondly, as far as I can tell so far, there is no online two-player mode. My and my buddy were most excited at the prospect of playing head to head online but this doesnt seem to be an option. There are leaderboards so you can compare scores and you can still play locally, but I have my fingers crossed for a future update or the inclusion of this feature in a possible sequel. My last grumble for the moment is that the price of additonal songs via DLC is too expensive, but I'll let that go as I'm a strong believer in 'voting with your wallet'.
'Anyone can play guitar & bass' is one of the marketing slogans ROCKSMITH uses, and whilst I whole heartedly agree with this statement, I dont belive ROCKSMITH is the way to go for beginners. Even as an established guitarist, Ive found myself having to learn the games colour-coded system as a whole seperate thing (leading to me fluffing some very simple guitar riffs), and I think beginners would be better to just focus on their instuments & play along with their favourite records to get the basics down.
So ROCKSMITH - a good solid videogame which I would recommend as just that: A Videogame.
This almost sounds like a review, doesnt it? I should stick a score on the end... urm, nine.