I am a guitar master.
OK, “guitar master” might be stretching it a bit – it was more like I clumsily stumbled through Pearl Jam’s “Alive,” but I did so on a real Fender guitar.
That was the goal of Realta’s new project for the PS3 and Xbox 360, BandFuse. Realta recognized that players put as many hours into their music games as they did their FPS and fighting games, but in the end couldn’t really play a guitar, or bass, or drums, because they were focused on colors, buttons, and points. BandFuse uses technology that will allow players to plug in real instruments to their consoles, and really play.
Before Tuesday, I had never picked up a guitar in my life, and yes, I was that guy who held it the wrong way the first time. So the team at BandFuse set up the tutorial for me. I was concerned and honestly tried to pass off the guitar to anybody else, but the introduction lesson was very simple, showing me the instrument, how to hold it, the neck, the frets, the tuning heads, and a basic motion to practice.
The first guitar tutorial was conducted by Slash of Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver, and BandFuse features tracks and interviews from him as well as Five Finger Death Punch, Zakk Wylde, and Bootsy Collins, who wrote an exclusive track for the game.
After that, I was set to play (at the easiest level, of course). Learning what I had picked up from Slash, I improved from “totally ignorant” to “pretty horrible,” which to me is a step in the right direction. And while my playing skill left a lot to be desired, I did notice that by the end I started recognizing the string patterns in the track and was able to hit the notes more often, leading to a 64% score on my first guitar song in my life. Not all too shabby for the first time.
Players still mourning the loss of Rock Band DLC will appreciate this new venture, especially as it teaches players to play real instruments. The game also records your performances for review and for sharing. The track list features the aforementioned Pearl Jam along with Alanis Morissette, The Clash, Jane’s Addiction, Heart, Lynard Skynard, and Billy Idol, amongst others as well as future DLC.
The base set is set to retail at $69.99 and comes with game software and two adapters. A deluxe version will include two more adapters and a microphone for vocals for $10 more. For players that find this to be the opportunity to pick up and learn guitar, BandFuse will offer a package deal via their website including the game, the four adapters, the microphone, and a real guitar for $179.99. Everyone loves a music game, and it truly does teach you real life guitar-playing skill. The first few games may be difficult, but so is learning the guitar.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an overwhelming desire to get wasted and trash my hotel room.