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LoopyChew avatar 3:24 AM on 09.14.2010
Tick, Tick, Boom: PowerGig goes for the low blow

Anyone following the plastic instrument genre with any sort of reasonable enthusiasm are aware of Power Gig: Rise of the SixString. The five of you who follow my blog may have seen my thoughts on the game, at least early impressions from what I've seen (and hadn't) on the web. Those dedicated to the plastic instrument genre and follow it with any sort of fervor have also probably caught wind of the events of the past twenty-four hours or so: a video detailing PowerGig's version of Pro mode (called Chord Mode), and PowerGig's fightin' words.

Let's break this down, starting with Power Gig's blog entry:

Power Gig will be the FIRST AND ONLY band game that uses a real six-string guitar as a controller when it hits stores October 19. We donít know when the makers of Rock Bandô 3 will release their guitar controller. They havenít said.***

*** In partnership with Fender Musical Instruments Corporation as announced on June 11, 2010.

Power Gigís guitar bundle will be available for only $179.99. We donít know what the price of the Rock Bandô 3 guitar controller will be. Again, they havenít said a peep. Not one peep.

All this is technically true, although there's a lot of careful word choice going on here. Rock Band's proper six-string controller, the Fender Squier Stratocaster, fits all these conditions, in that there's no word on pricing, availability, or any such thing; most likely because only a month or two back they were still in the prototyping stage and only five or six existed at the time. Harmonix doesn't have any idea how far along that is because Fender's the one working on them.

However, we know about Mad Catz's Mustang Controller which, while it's not a real six-string guitar, can be used in game and as a MIDI Guitar controller. We know when THAT is coming out--within a week of RB3's release, if not at release time--and its price: $149.99.

Power Gigís guitar is easy for ANYONE to pick up and play in most modes. Rock Bandô 3 has talked about this one. And as far as anyone can tell, you can only use their guitar controller in Pro Mode.* Sounds tricky.

* As revealed at PAX Prime 2010 during the Harmonix panel on Rock Band

Again, true for the Squier, and not for the Mustang. The Mustang works in GRYBO mode like any other guitar controller. I don't know about solo buttons, but when you're mostly just trying to play

Power Gigís guitar is the ONLY real six-string guitar controller that works with almost ANY band games you already own.** From what we understand, you can only use Rock Bandô 3ís guitar controller in Rock Bandô 3 Ė and not even in the full game. Only in Pro Mode.*

Real guitars are better than fake guitars. So if Rock Bandô 3 really does have a real guitar, and it really comes out and people really play itÖawesome!! At Power Gig, we believe in real music for all. So on October 19, we invite everyone to rock out on our 100% real six string guitar Ė for real. And thatís the difference.

* As revealed at PAX Prime 2010 during the Harmonix panel on Rock Band
** Go to www.powergig.com/compatibility for more information.

Let's cover this point by point:

* Power Gig wants people to "rock out for real." The word "Real" used nine times in the blog post, including the post title ("Power Gig and Rock Band 3: Real Guitars. Real Differences.") and "really" three times (all of which are being used as an accuser, implying that Rock Band 3 may be deceiving us). The motto they've been using for the game, apparently trademarked, is "rock it real." They obviously want us to associate the word "real" with the game.

Let's look at their "real" Chord Mode again.



So, if I understand this screenshot, I'm going to put my fingers on the fifth string (C), and on the...green and orange frets? On the same string? Or are there five strings, and you need to place your finger on the fifth fret? At least in Rock Band 3, you'll understand the way the finger-waves work because you get real-time feedback on your finger positions. If you watch that video, you don't get any kind of feedback at all--not even what frets you're holding.

* "Pro guitars can only work in Pro mode." Not only is this patently untrue (factoring in the Mustang, which is going to be the Pro guitar MOST people are going to be using?), but it's a secondary factor. Pro mode is a completely different beast, and there SHOULD be a greater distinction between Pro and GRYBO mode. That the "Chord mode" is still derivative of GRYBO makes me doubtful, since it means that you only need to use five frets. How "real" is five frets?

* As everyone else and their dog has pointed out, how do you tout "rocking it real" when your drums literally do not exist? Are you really saying that air drums are more "real" than the potential of connecting actual electronic drums to your GH Kit/MadCatz MIDI adapter?

* Apropos of absolutely nothing else on this list, are you really branding your microphone the "MojoVox?" REALLY?

Between this blog post, a setlist with a few good songs and a whole lot I'll have to Grooveshark later on, and my natural predisposition towards Rock Band (seeing as only a fractional percent of my music DLC money has gone towards any other franchise), Power Gig gets no sale from me. This kind of marketing is about as classless as you can possibly get, and Dan Teasdale's counter-snipe is absolutely merited. And I hope the sales of PowerGig are as poor as their sportsmanship.

For real.

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