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Rocksmith

OMG! a new LJ post! LOL

I picked up Rocksmith (Ubisoft) for the 360. This is not just another music rhythm title. You don't use toy controllers with buttons to approximate playing an instrument. You need a real guitar (any as long as it has a pick-up and has a quarter-inch jack) to play this "game". There is a bundle that includes an Epiphone Les Paul Jr. (I think), but I bought the "regular" version which is the game, a specialized instrument cable, and a page of numbered stickers that you can put on your guitar fretboard (for beginners). I already have a guitar, a PRS Hollowbody II. Well, actually, I have three guitars, but we won't really go there...

More on the game itself in a bit. I want to talk about this cable. It has a 1/4" connector on one end (like a traditional guitar cable) and a USB connector on the other. Between these two ends, there's a fast-disconnect section so you don't accidentally yank your console onto the floor if you unwittingly reach the end of the cable (11' in total length) and an in-line ADC (Analog to Digital Converter) of some sort. It converts the analog signal coming out of the pickup(s) to digital signals that get used in the game. What's cool is that you can use this same cable to connect your guitar to your computer via USB and then record your guitar with any audio recording app. that lets you switch your input to the USB device. When plugged in to Win7, the cable showed up as "Rocksmith USB Guitar (something something)" in the Device Manager. Pretty neat.

Back to the game, it's still a rhythm game in so far as any song requires following the rhythm to play along with it. But, where it deviates from traditional rhythm games, is that you are eventually playing along to the song with the real notes, riffs, and chords if you're able to play well enough. The game automatically adjusts the difficulty level dependent on your progress as you play along to a song. The first song I played in my "journey" (aka career mode) was The Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction". At the start, I had to just alternate between the F# and A notes in the song's opening riff. If I could hit each note correctly, as the song moved on, it kept adding more notes of the riff a note or two at a time. By the end of the song, I was playing that riff in tune and on time along with the song.

This is the kind of game I had hoped would eventually come along when games like GH and RB started coming out. They seemed to have nailed it pretty well. Hopefully, they can get more songs as DLC. Maybe they can convince those artists that looked askance at GH and RB because they still seemed too game-like to reconsider for this game since it's also basically teaching you how to play a guitar to some extent.