|System: X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Seven45 Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Seven45 Studios||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 19, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-3||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Matthew Walker
Before I begin, I want to say I was really looking forward to Power Gig: Rise of the SixString. I wasn't excited because of a new IP in an already flooded market; instead I was anxious to see what a studio could do by including a real guitar as the game controller. This is nothing new, what with the forthcoming Rock Band 3 Stratocaster peripheral. However, Power Gig was to be the first on the market. As the months drew closer so did the anticipation. Being a musician myself, I was finally happy to see a guitar-enthused game potentially used as a teacher for newcomers. Is this what Power Gig provides or is it an overpriced peripheral built around an empty promise?
Admittedly, I am uncertain where to begin with this review. Mostly because growing up I was taught two things. One, how to play and reproduce some of the best music ever on the guitar through hours of practice, and two, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it all." Regrettably and unfortunately, Power Gig diminishes both of my childhood lessons. Okay, that may be extreme, but read on and you too may feel your childhood lessons are in jeopardy of being invalidated.
First things first. The story in this title is some form of amalgam between the good elements of Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock and the bad elements of every other story in music games. This is not the sole reason for my displeasure with the game, but it certainly set the stage for where the game was headed. In the future, public music shows are banned, people can't express how they feel through music in an open forum, and the person responsible for all this is Headliner. It is up to you to challenge your way through the various clans that stand in your way to defeat Headliner, thus returning music to the way it once was. Your most powerful weapon is your "Mojo Power," which incidentally cannot be activated in the conventional way (more on this later). Don't worry; not every person in the clans can use Mojo Power. Instead, only select individuals can access this ancient magic, and they are called Rockstars. Kind of like the X-Men but without cool powers or purposes.
If you feel this story seems reminiscent of the "free love" movement of the 60s and 70s, then I'd say you are spot-on. While I have nothing personally against the free love and power to rock movement, you have to see that this story sounds like a rejected Heavy Metal magazine comic strip. To make matters worse, the uprising of rebels in an attempt to take down the man will happen while performing such songs as "Layla" by Eric Clapton, "Cult of Personality" by Living Colour, and "No Such Thing" by John Mayer. In case you are keeping score, that is the same John Mayer who proclaimed music genre games were a waste of time, and people who played those games would never be real musicians. Those are just a few songs from the seventy-thick track list, and while I can't and won't say anything against the music itself, especially Eric Clapton-related music, I do have to wonder when and where adult contemporary music was a good example of rebel rock. It just doesn't grab hold of you the same way other music games and their tracks list do. Even with the likes of Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews, and Kid Rock becoming exclusive to this brand, this is truly unfortunate, because aside from the track list, Power Gig only had one other feature that could save it from the forgettable bargain bin. I am, of course, referencing the guitar controller.
If this review were a rock opera, this part would be the revelation of the true villain, or the culmination of all of the heroes' efforts only to realize there's no way to win. Sadly, the prophetic controller is my biggest complaint about the entire game. Sure, it feels like a real guitar. The neck is the right length, and the weight feels just right. Even further convincing you it is a real guitar, you can plug it into an amp. Therefore, I cannot fault the controller for not living up to its promise of being a functioning guitar. I can, however, say how much displeasure I have when the controller sounds worse than a cat scratching its claws on your face. For comparison sake, if you have ever used a First Act amp and then used a Peavey amp, you will know exactly the sound quality I mean. Again, it does work as a real guitar, but the quality of the guitar is low.