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PC, XBox 360, Playstation 3

Reviewed on: XBox 360
Publisher: Ubisoft
Rated: "T" for Teen

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

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User Rating:        6
Presentation: 6

Rocksmith is a game that puts substance before flash and content before style. That's not to say that it lacks polish, it's just very to the point, like a game that knows its purpose, and does its best to perfect it.

Gameplay: 5

Less of a game and more of a guitar for beginners tutorial, Rocksmith chucks the flair and star power out the window in favor of real musical notes and chords. It's a great tool, it's just really boring at times.

Lasting Appeal:

While guitar pros may not find much here, those truly interested in learning the guitar will find a ton of content on this, the new breed of musical teachings.

Overall: 6
If you go into Rocksmith looking for a Rock Band music sim, you're going to be sadly disappointed; it's boring and lacks features. Go in looking for a guitar tutorial though and you'll find something completely worthwhile.
CHEATfactor: 6

To the casual onlooker, nothing about Rocksmith, Ubisoft's guitar driven, music title, looks new or exciting. It just looks like another music game, clinging to a dying genre. Diving in though, it's anything but ordinary. By putting the focus on learning actual chords, Rocksmith is less of a game, than a starting point for budding musicians. It takes some of the best features from your favorite rhythm games and actually puts some musical meat (note to self, name metal band Musical Meat) behind it. You'll get what you put in though, and you're not going to want to jump in to Rocksmith looking for a casual experience. It may not be perfect, but Rocksmith feels like the start of something big.

Right from the start, Rocksmith differentiates itself from the slew of music games on the market. Keep your plastic peripherals in the closet, Rocksmith finds you plugging in with a real life guitar; and we're not talking about a quasi real/plastic peripheral like in Rock Band 3. Holding an actual musical instrument in your hands and watching it have an effect on your screen is remarkably satisfying.

Just grab your axe, use the adapter, plug in and go. At the same time though, having to pick up and pay for an actual guitar could prohibit a lot of people from jumping in to the experience. Sure, there's a bundle with an epiphone, but odds are people are just going to pass, thinking they can save the money and use the peripherals they already own.

"You'll learn basic chords and notes and progress by repeating these basic sections..."


Rocksmith is also wildly different in its structure. Sure, the goal is still to play through songs for the highest score possible, but Rocksmith starts off at the basement level, rather than the arena. You'll learn basic chords and notes and progress by repeating these basic sections until they become intermediate and difficult. It's a great concept really, blending together the best of rhythm games with the process of actually learning how to play; it seems really natural.

What's really great about Rocksmith is how it adapts nearly all of its features to the skill level of each player. Unlike traditional music games, you can't fail out in the middle of a song, do bad and Rocksmith scales down the difficulty, focusing on what you're having trouble with in an effort to get you better. Rocksmith is dedicated to making you a better guitar player using some pretty cool methods.

That being said, Rocksmith shoots itself in the foot when it comes to more experienced players. Sure, there are a few more experienced lessons, and those who know their way around an axe are sure to have some fun experimenting with it, but Rocksmith is clearly a game for those who want to begin to learn how to play guitar, and those who already do that are likely to become bored quick. Though it tries, there’s really not much of a game here, and the modes presented in a traditional music game style are slim and lacking.

"There are different arenas to unlock, but each one isn't much different than the last."


Rocksmith also lacks the polish we've come to expect games like this. The visual setup is what you'd expect with a few changes (each of the guitar's strings are a different color to help differentiate during teaching), but there’s just not much flash. There are different arenas to unlock, but each one isn't much different than the last. There's plenty of content in Rocksmith, but some people may not find it worth it to seek all of it out.

Rocksmith finally holds true to the music genre's promise of blending actual musical skill with gaming -- for the most part. It's a fantastic tool for those looking to start out, and get a basic understanding of how to play the guitar, but going further than that reveals some of the game's flaws. Still though, Rocksmith is a great tool, and could be the start of a great new way to more people into playing music. 



CHEATS USED: Achievements/Trophies Lists

The PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of Rocksmith have their trophies and achievements list respectively, but there are few cheats available for Rocksmith beyond them. I'd love to see a cheat for all of the unlockables, like the arenas and songs.

Rocksmith is an unusual game, and the normal music game cheats wouldn't work. There's no real room for a no fail mode, so I'd just love to be able to unlock everything for easier access.



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