I’m all for developers trying to revitalize the music genre. I think we’ve all moved past the point of wanting to play the standard five-colored button guitar games. Harmonix is making strides with Rock Band 3 and the upcoming Fender Mustang, but Seven45 Studios beat them to the punch with Power Gig: Rise of the Six String. It uses a real six string electric guitar. The only problem is that Power Gig doesn’t use it in a fun or interesting way.

First question: "Whoa, so I get to play real notes on this real guitar, right?" Well… yes, if you count the occasional power chord, but that’s it. And that’s only if you turn the option on (it’s disabled at the start). The rest of the notes are played using the same standard five colors. Players press down on any string in the designated fret area, and strum the guitar.

The power chords are kept pretty simple, though there is definitely a learning curve to getting them right. The problem is that the game touts that you don’t need guitar experience to play. The Power chords instantly switch the game to a harder mode, though, as even on easy I had to slide down and play chords on the sixth fret, when the rest of the song is hovering up on the second and third.

So if the game only makes a very basic and rudimentary attempt to teach players about the strings of a guitar, what’s the point? This is not a cheap game (the bundle with the guitar retails for a cool $180), and I don’t think the developers put a big enough reason in here to use this guitar controller. It makes the game harder to play, without making me feel like I’m actually learning to play a guitar.

Power Gig is fully compatible with Rock Band and Guitar Hero guitars and drums. But if that’s the way you’re going to play it, all you’ll find is an embarrassingly low budget music game with the weakest setlist ever to grace a guitar game. Sure, there’s some Eric Clapton in here, and some recent hits by girl rockers Flyleaf and Paramore, but then you have to wade through the dregs.

The story is laughably bad. A futuristic tale of a city where music it outlawed, so rebel forces have to unite and rock out (to John Mayer songs) to take down the evil oppressive Headliner. Each of the rebels has a special Mojo power that can be activated when their meter fills up, which is actually kind of a neat idea rather than just using the standard Star Power mechanic. However there’s no easy way to activate the Mojo, since tilting the guitar does nothing. Players have to press a button down at the bottom of the SixString (or select on their other guitar controller) to activate.

Closing Comments
Power Gig had a lot of potential to actually get a head start in revolutionizing music games. Had this actually been a game that was comparable to Rock Band 3′s Pro mode, but with a real six string guitar, then I would be thrilled. But instead it’s an overpriced, low budget music game with tacked on power chords. If you want to go learn guitar, you can buy a beginner electric guitar for less than this game bundle costs.

 

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