12/21/2008 10:25:00 PM
There's been some talk of a Christian rock Guitar Hero clone, and I recently got the chance to go hands on with it. Guitar Praise: Solid Rock is the title of the game, and it was developed by Digital Praise studios. A friend who runs a Christian website let me try it out, and while I appreciate the opportunity I must admit that the game is a little disappointing. To be entirely honest I'm an atheist, but I understand that taste in music is entirely subjective so it's not the track selection that bothers me (I won't be happy until Activision makes an all-ZZ Top Guitar Hero, so I won't judge someone else's music preferences). So far, the game itself just isn't very good.
The whole visual setup is pretty static, with flat menus that pan a picture back and forth. The note highway and star power effects look like they came out of a first generation N64 game, flat shaded and low poly. The highway is set against a minimally animated flat background, which you can select from a series of images prior to starting a song--there are no playable characters to choose from, and no virtual crowd cheering you on. The whole presentation looks and feels quite amateur, like a beta release of Frets on Fire.
The guitar controller that comes with the game has a wireless USB dongle, and as far as I can tell the guitar has been molded from the GH3 PS2 Fender Striker, or maybe one of the third party Nyko controllers. It gets the job done but it's nowhere as solid as the RedOctane guitars, and the star power sensor hovers between unresponsive and over-reactive.
So far Guitar Praise is a very rough first effort at a Christian rock rhythm game. I'll have a full review up shortly, but I'm pretty sure Christians deserve a better game to rock out with.