The 2014 Edition of the ever-popular game / music learning tool, “Rocksmith”, is certainly a step up from 2011 predecessor. First off, unlike many subsequently released games in a series, this isn’t a mere sequel or nifty set of track add-ons to keep you interested, instead it’s a complete replacement of the earlier version of the title.
As for the game itself and its layout, well, it’s more or less presented in a very similar manner as many other rhythm-based console games out there, such as Guitar Hero or Rock Band. Of course where this title differs is in its technology and aims – which is to actually teach you how to play the guitar. Does it work well with beginners? Actually, yes, it would seem that those who are starting out with the guitar might get more out of this game than those who have been playing for a while. All in all, it is great fun that’s (dare we say it) somewhat educational, and if you really pay attention, you might even learn how to play one of your favorite tunes too.
Rocksmith 2014 Edition features a bright and colorful interface which displays the notes you should be playing on screen in tandem with the soundtrack. However, you aren’t just being cued to react via various colors here; you’re also receiving numbers which correspond to frets on the strings. Moreover, there’s a slightly translucent fingerboard in front which basically maps out what you should be doing for you in real-time so there’s less confusion to deal with. Visually speaking, it plays out like a more intricate version of the aforementioned popular rhythm games, only here colors signify string changes, not button presses.
Before you can actually use the game you’re going to need a 6 string guitar or 4 string bass first, any one will do. Then, all you need to do is plug your instrument into the console via the “Hercules” USB adapter and you should be good to go. When you’re just starting out the goal is just to hit a few right notes here and there, mostly on the low E string, for example. As you progress things become much more intricate and eventually, you’re playing a song in its entirety. Other features like the new and improved riff repeater allow you to leave a song and focus in on specific passages that might be causing problems, knowing that you can jump right back into the tune at any time. In other words, if you want to slow that solo down in order to master it you can, it’s more or less fully customizable now.
If you have a love for music and video games, Rocksmith 2014 Edition is probably for you. Not only will it have you quickly figuring out the mathematics of the guitar neck, it will also help you begin to train your ears to recognize intervals and chords. This game comes highly recommended for all aspiring guitarists, bassists or musicians who own a PS3 or Xbox 360 (it’s also available on PC and Mac OS).