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E3 2012: BandFuse: Rock Legends (Hands-on)

Posted by: Travis at 6/9/2012 7:40 PM
Video games featuring plastic instruments have never fully-strived to actually teach users how to play a real guitar, instead focusing more on matching your finger placement with a mix of plastic, colored buttons. BandFuse: Rock Legends from Realta Entertainment has the simple goal of teaching users with the skill of playing an actual guitar. The game's system incorporates a combination of gameplay similar to past plastic instrument titles and the actual components of real guitars with strings and notes. Most noteworthy, players can learn by using any real guitar by simply plugging it into their console using a special cable included with the game.

With me being a complete newcomer to playing guitar other than a few wild strum of the strings, the on-screen presentation was smooth and allowed for switching between four different skill levels. Even more helpful were the abilities to pause, slow down, rewind, and replay previous sections if the song became too difficult. Gamers can also switch the skill levels on-the-fly if they feel more or less confident of their ability to play through the song. As with past music games, each playthrough of a song is scored with a level of accuracy and other information detailing your performance with the guitar.

The game will launch with over 30 artists ranging from Fall Out Boy and Incubus to The Clash and Alanis Morissette. Users will be able to expand their music collection through an online store or create own music within the game. For other people like me that may not own a guitar, the game will ship with a couple of combo deals that come packaged with the game and an actual guitar. In addition to the free jam mode of the various songs, the game will also include an extensive career mode that has players beginning as a small band and progressing to a rock legend.

The BandFuse: Rock Legends booth at E3 included a stage with four players using the game's multiplayer system that incorporates guitar, bass, and vocals with an optional USB microphone. Each of the songs I saw during my glimpse of the game featured on-screen music videos with included lyrics for singing-along to your heart's content. I had a difficult time with setting down the guitar, instead wanting to improve my lack of music skills. I'm excited to hear more about the game and how songs and albums will be priced within the in-game music store. Hopefully, some deals can be made to release some inexpensive guitar packages for the game's launch.

The developer warned me that the game will require some patience, but with effort put forth gamers can learn the skill of playing an actual guitar. I'm already preparing my on-stage rock persona in preparation for the release of BandFuse: Rock Legends this winter for Xbox 360.