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Tonner Cyn

Rocksmith (X360,PS3,PC)

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So this new entry in the music game field came out this week. It has at least 3 things working against it:

  1. It costs $80
  2. It came out the same day as Arkham City
  3. People are generally tired of the music game genre

I did go ahead and pick it up and have benn playing it with my Line 6 Variax guitar. I will say that I hope it finds its place in the market - it isn't exactly the same type of game as Guitar Hero and Rock Band. In case you hadn't heard, the game comes with a usb connector that works with most guitars. You then get to tune and play your real guitar in the game. I have only played a couple of songs (the Stones' Satisfaction and one by The Black Keys) and one of the mini-games (Ducks, which requires you to move up and down the neck to shoot...well, ducks). I don't know that I would even call myself a beginner-level guitar player but this seems to be helping to build some basic skills. At the end of my first extended play session I felt like I had accomplished at least a little something and my fingers were quite raw :). I think it is worth a shot for anyone interested in playing a real guitar.

 

Quick note - there is a little audio lag if you are playing through the tv using hdmi for video and audio. I don't have a stereo connected so unfortunately I have to deal with it. So far, I've noticed it more when you are messing around with the amps and just making your own sounds than when I am in-game and playing a song, but it is there.

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I was iffy about buying it for...well, the first two reasons you listed, but...geez, I love it. I've only been able to give Rocksmith around an hour of my time so far with my ridiculous looking guitar:

 

DV016_Jpg_Large_512673.643_onyx.jpg

 

...I felt like I accomplished more in ten minutes of playing Rocksmith than however many hours I wasted on Rock Band 3. Rock Band 3's Pro Mode takes a mediocre guitar and turns it into a game controller, and strumming with that mute enabled is just not even a little bit satisfying. Rocksmith is more of an instructional tool that's been gamified, and I just like being able to play a guitar as a guitar. The dynamic difficulty completely eclipsed my expectations, and with the way the minigames make going through your drills seem fun, I really do think I could walk away from this game having learned something.

 

My experience with lag has been the same as yours, although after being warned about that, I bought it for my Xbox 360 rather than my PS3, and I have that console wired so I can do analog or digital. It's completely fine in the game proper (I've never lost a note due to lag), but in the freeform screens, it does seem slightly sluggish.

 

I can't wait for the bass DLC to be available. I finally forked over the cash for this beauty after lusting after her for years and years, and it sure would be nice to do something with her other than just ogle:

 

318449_10150348395424566_510024565_7972083_192575868_n.jpg

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I played a little more last night. Got through the Queens of the Stone Age song (did very well, like 90%, though it was pretty low level) and the Red Hot Chili Peppers one (event qualified but not as good). I also played a couple more technique challenges. The palm mute one is giving me a hard time as is the double stop.

 

I'm glad I'm not the only one who picked this up and is enjoying it. Hopefully it does well - a lot of people on NeoGAF are talking about waiting til it hits the bargain bins. My thinking is that if it drops that low too fast then that means we probably won't get much dlc for it...

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Hopefully it does well - a lot of people on NeoGAF are talking about waiting til it hits the bargain bins.
I was thinking the same thing, if only because it's a Ubisoft title. I was also thinking about just waiting for the PC version since I'm sure someone would figure out the file system and find a way to make 'free' DLC. I mean, since they aren't using the original stems like Rock Band and Guitar Hero, all you need is some way to mash up tabs and standard issue audio files in a way that Rocksmith would like. I still might get the PC version down the road, but after the glowing pre-release press and the initial reviews, I couldn't wait. I just wish I had more time to devote to it.

 

The change of mindset is kind of funny to me. When I get a new Rock Band game, I just try to plow through the list of songs. I aim for a good score and everything, but as long as I get my five stars, I don't care about how many notes I missed along the way. I didn't want to move on in Rocksmith...I wanted to really nail each song rather than move onto the next one.

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I'm glad to hear some impressions about this game. I got the Fender Squier for Rock Band 3 and have been really enjoying it. I'm a beginner level guitar player, all acoustic up until RB3, but I really feel that game has helped me learn some skills. I was really skeptical when I heard about this game, but it sounds like it might be a great compliment to RB3. I'll probably wait for a price drop, though.

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Nice. Been thinking about picking this up as well, as I have an old yamaha electric collecting dust and I'd like to get at least a little better with it. Might be a fun way to do so.

 

And Adam, absolute jealousy over the Rickenbacker (i have always wanted one... someday, someday). And the Moogs too. Beautiful gear.

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I've been wanting to get back into playing guitar for awhile. I finally broke down yesterday and picked up some decent beginner equipment. I also picked up Rocksmith 2014 for the PS4. Damn this thing is the real deal. The way it slowly progresses you through a song as you get better is genius. The Guitarcade games are also a great idea. Those have you playing a space shooter and to fire your guns you have to play the right chord on screen. There are ones for learning scales, etc. I've only played for a bit because I forgot how much guitar playing at the beginning hurts. :)

 

 -Dean-

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Dean, still loving this?    I really want to try it, but the buy-in is steep.    How much should one spend on a guitar for use with this? 

 

 

 

Carlos.

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I bought this on sale for the Xbox One for $39 last week.  I already have multiple guitars, I just haven't tried it yet.  I went with the Xbox because I want the external storage, if I'm downloading DLC packs of songs, my PS4 would fill up quick.  Also, I'm hoping the Kinect will work good with the voice, I heard a podcast saying it was a nice way to pause, stop, next track, that kind of stuff w/out having to pick up the controller, therefore you're always holding the guitar.

 

I'll fire this up tonight and see how it is.

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I just noticed Amazon has this bundle for $209.    It's looking more attractive at that price, and the guitar gets great reviews. 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Epiphone-Special-Electric-Vintage-Sunburst/dp/B0002CZUV0/ref=pd_sim_vg_5?ie=UTF8&refRID=1TD10RRN6WCPTRWTRRXF

 

 

Carlos.

 

 

Carlos,

 

I had bought that Epiphone from Guitar Center (Black model), and I ended up exchanging it for a better guitar. It was a fine guitar, but I needed a thinner/faster neck since I have smaller hands. Other than that, the guitar sounded great and played pretty nice. If you get that guitar, I recommend getting new strings off the bat. The ones that come with it are garbage. If you have a Guitar Center close by, I recommend going there and checking out some guitars and even buying it from there. Being able to exchange for another guitar is a huge benefit.

 

I'm really enjoying Rocksmith 2014. I've only been working on a few songs, but I am getting progressively better at them. The Mini games that help you teach chords are very well done. Also, being able to just practice a specific part of a song and even slow it down is awesome. Too bad you didn't get in on it during the Holiday weekend. Amazon and Best Buy had it for $50. 

 

This is the guitar I ended up exchanging for this past weekend. Worked out great, Guitar Center had an instant rebate on it as well, so the cost was only $269. I really love this one. Guitar plays/sounds like a guitar twice the cost. 

 

 -Dean-

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Thanks for the info.  I'm tempted, but I hinted to my wife about it, so there's a chance she'll get it for me for Xmas. Otherwise, I'll see if I score enough gift cards to buy it for myself.

 

 

 

Carlos.

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Got this on the PC since Steam had it for $20 the other day. Finally got to try it out. Wow, it is so much better here. Zero delay since I don't have my audio going through HDMI or optical. My accuracy went way up. PC version was flawless, but I did have an issue on my Mac. AFter a few songs, my cable started acting real weird. Crazy delay and reverb was happening. Haven't retried it yet after quitting out.

 

 -Dean-

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So now I'm two years older, thinking about death a hell of a lot more and trying to make sure I go out with as few regrets as possible. I had never purchased the game and a guitar, so I decided to find out once and for all if I have any kind of musical aptitude.  I bought a bundle with the game on PS4, and the guitar arrives today.  I'm going to start the 60-day challenge tonight.   

 

 

Carlos.

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For what it's worth, I have a friend who plays this and, although difficult at first he swears by the game as a guitar teacher now. He's been playing it off and on for a couple of years now and can play very well - no bullshit. If you want to learn guitar and like games this seems like the perfect fit :) best of luck man.

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Huh I completely kept these type of games out of my radar, I didn't know you could plug an actual guitar now.

 

The previous games with the 5 plastic buttons I can definitely say did not correlate with guitar playing - I would mess up so easily because I would want to actually play the real riffs... 

 

This actually looks useful now !

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Huh I completely kept these type of games out of my radar, I didn't know you could plug an actual guitar now.

 

The previous games with the 5 plastic buttons I can definitely say did not correlate with guitar playing - I would mess up so easily because I would want to actually play the real riffs...

 

This actually looks useful now !

Totally different games. Rocksmith isn't the same as Rock Band or guitar hero.

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Yeah, this ain't no 5-plastic button game, that's for sure.  

 

Initial impressions are that it's the real deal, but also too forgiving. I learned a few riffs and playing them in the "game" I can pass fine, but I can tell I'm not playing them right.  Plugging into the little external amp and re-playing the same riff confirms my suspicion, my fretting is bad and I'm touching the other strings, or not pressing down well enough, or not plucking the strings well enough. Actually, this is fine, the game is where you learn how to do it, and then with a real amp is where you learn how to do it well. Maybe the game gets more critical as you progress, but if it doesn't, I could see someone thinking they could shred and then sounding like ass in the real world.

 

The minigames are fun and definitely make you work on the basics, but it seems like they ramp up the difficulty way too fast.  I'd like to do a little more winning before you smack me down, game!  But maybe that's by design too, so you take it in smaller doses.

 

Two days in and I can already tell it's going to be challenging as hell for me.  Biggest challenge is looking up and down at the TV and then my hand position.  Because you are following on-screen prompts, it forces you to learn to play by "feel" a lot sooner than you want.  That may also be a good thing, so you don't always have to look at the guitar.

 

I'm glad I watched a youtube video from a pro on how to get the most out of Rocksmith.  It covered important things they don't really cover too well in-game like where to put your thumb, how to use ALL your fingers, and picking techniques.  I could see someone picking up some really terrible habits if they just tried to play the notes without practicing in the right way.

 

I'll keep posting here with my progress. Maybe even a video or two, though PS4 won't make it easy because they constantly remind you that recording is turning off whenever you practice an actual artist's song for copyright reasons.

 

Needless to say I'm terrible right now, but I'm committed to the 60-day challenge and I should be able to commit an hour or more each day, and a lot more on weekends.  

 

 

Carlos.

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Totally different games. Rocksmith isn't the same as Rock Band or guitar hero.

 

Heh see their covers look similar to me I just bunched them up into the same category... 

 

 

Carlos, 

Get ready for some painful fingers :) 

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Heh see their covers look similar to me I just bunched them up into the same category... 

 

 

Carlos, 

Get ready for some painful fingers :)

 

I'm ready, but one good thing about my old age and arthritic condition is I get chronic hardening of the skin on my fingertips.  Usually, I bite and peel it away to expose the tender skin underneath, but if I can resist doing that now, I'll have built-in guitar fingers.  

 

 

Carlos.

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So far, it's going well. I am definitely learning my way around the fretboard, as I take the lessons and practice in the Guitarcade.

 

The game's log says I have put in 10 hours, 40 minutes so far. That's actual time spent playing in the game, and doesn't count the hours I have spent on pause, adjusting my fingers and practicing while not playing along with the music. I have also put in a few hours off game, practicing my picking and chords.

 

The game is doing an okay job of guiding my progression, though I wish it would be more straightforward at times. If you go based on the "missions" you would spend a lot of time in session mode, but that feels more like it's made for free-form "jamming" and not for instruction. The actual lessons are where I've been spending most of my time. The "Learn a song" mode is really great, but in my novice state, it's not much more than Guitar Hero on Easy, playing only every few notes, but at least they are real notes on a real guitar.

 

The progression inside "Learn a Song" Is really impressive, with the game sensing that you are ready to ramp up the comlexity, and doing so automagically. Basically, it let's you know your are playing x% of the song's total notes, and adds notes as your success ratio increases, and in many cases replacing simpler notes with the real, complex chord or notes. It's for this reason that some suggest you set the difficulty to 100% immediately if you really want to learn the song, and while that might be great for an experienced guitarist, it would spell rage-quit city for a complete newbie like me.

 

The chord drills in the arcade are great, but I really wish you could pick and choose the chords you want to work with, to tie them in closely with those in a given song.

 

I find myself looking forward to each daily session, and that feels great. I expect there will be plateaus and frustration ahead, but for now I'm content to know that I'm learning something new, however slowly, day by day.

 

 

Carlos.

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Did the lesson on bending the strings yesterday. And there's that finger pain AlbertA promised me!

 

I'm starting to be able to put simple chords together, and sliding up and down the fretboard and hitting my stops with much more regularity.  Picking reliably is definitely my weak spot right now.  I'm trying not develop bad habits, like constantly anchoring my pinky, and to develop good habits, like alternate up/down picking as much as possible.  So I'm spending a lot of time with the game paused and playing the Saloon mini game to get muscle memory on where the strings are.  

 

Still having fun, and still looking forward to every day's play time, which has grown to 2 hours each day, total.  I think I'm going to start devoting half my time to learning blues chords/riffs off game, however, just because I really want to learn those chord progressions, and I love the blues.  There's no simple blues riff songs on Rocksmith, so I'll play along with some youtube lessons.

 

I should have plenty of time to practice this weekend.  

 

 

 

Carlos.

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So interesting to see your progress report - when I started, I had the cheapest acoustic my mom bought for us and those awful Mel Bay guitar books (I think it was this one actually: http://www.melbay.com/Products/96621EB/mastering-the-guitar-1b.aspx?classificationSId=G26) and just learned on my own - so yeah nobody to tell me I was doing the wrong things :)

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I practiced a lot this weekend.  My wife went out of town, so I had plenty of time to myself.   I must have practiced a total of 10 hours or more.   Bad news and good news.  

 

The bad news is chords.  In particular, having my fingers fall in the right shape on the right strings, while still keeping the beat.  With just the slightest pause to my strumming cadence, I can do it, but so far, even with the slowest tempo, a smooth transition just eludes me.  The A chord in particular, with 3 fingers all on the 2nd fret, and you have to press HARD because of that, is a bitch.  I can go A to E easily, but then going E to A is the toughie, especially while trying not to place each finger individually, which would just slow me down.  I'm being persistent, though.  It'll come, I can feel it.

 

The good news is string picking.  I have gotten pretty good at that.  I have played the melody for "My Girl" a bazilion times, with alternate picking and without looking at the strings.  It's a good practice sequence for me, because it requires you to hop over some strings and back.  I'm getting pretty good at that.  Even the chords in the chorus are pretty simple, though I haven't practiced them much since they are useless outside that one song.  

 

As for Rocksmith itself, it's become less useful as I hone my beginner skills.  I used it to memorize the notes and chords to "My Girl", and I have practiced "Blitzkrieg Bop" enough times get pretty close, though I can't go full tempo without making a lot of mistakes.  But the game just lacks a progression of true fundamentals for a beginner.  ALL of the "missions" currently center around "session play", which is basically freestyle jam-sessions, or creating your own custom sounds.  I couldn't care less about that right now.  The GuitArcade is still a good tool - Ninja Slide has got me knowing where I am on the fretboard by feel alone, and Castle ChorDead is Ok for practicing chords, though way too forgiving because I can tell that chord would sound like shit in the real world, game!  

 

Instead, I spent my vast majority of practice time this weekend off-game, just practicing some chords from a YouTube beginner's course, and playing My Girl.  When I'm ready, I'll play My Girl on 100% on Rocksmith, but right now I don't need the game to practice the song.  

 

I now have a nice Acoustic Guitar now, an Ibanez AW something, second hand but in great shape.  No pickups on it, though, so I couldn't use it in the game.  Acoustic guitars are big!  

 

I'm improving.  There's no doubt about it.  Considering I had only ever held a guitar two or three times my whole life, and I was a complete beginner, I'm happy with what I've learned so far. With my right foot on a box and the guitar on my right leg, I get a bad cramp deep inside my inner hip joint on my left leg.  That's good ol' fashioned rheumatism right there!  At least it forces me to take breaks to walk it off.

 

I'm also a little alarmed about the lack of tactile sensation in my fingers.  I went to pick up some coins yesterday, and it felt like I had a robot hand, and even now, typing, it feels like dead skin.  Creepy! 

 

 

Carlos.

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