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broonor avatar 8:04 AM on 05.17.2008
PS3 Owners: Your Guitar Has Come! [Nyko Frontman PS3 mini-review]

I just picked up a wireless FrontMan guitar for the PS3, boasting bi-directional strum bar, effects switch, and, most importantly, dual support for ROCK BAND and GUITAR HERO III. I own GH3 for the PS2, but my wife wanted the No Doubt pack for GH3.

I had been waiting for this guitar for some time, since my get togethers for Rock Band always ended in fail when only 3 people were able to rock at once if my friend that owns Rock Band didn't come or bring his guitar.

First things first: it's made by Nyko. I don't know if this is a good or a bad thing, but at least it's not MadCatz (shudder).



Aesthetics first:

It's a decent looking guitar. Not the full on idiocy of the nightblade, but not the understated simplicity (genius) of the Fender Stratocaster or Les Paul. A huge bonus is that it comes with an interchangeable faceplate straight out of the box (no screwdrivers necessary too). Granted, the only other color it comes with is pink, but that's all my wife wanted anyway (naturally).

I have a few issues with the design so far, though.

1.) The neck of the guitar is THICK. It's slightly thicker than the original guitar hero guitars. My fingers grew quite used to the Strat's thin design, so I had a few minutes getting reacquainted with the new neck

2.) The fret buttons are slightly rounded. It's sort of hard to see or feel, but they're higher in the middle of the button than on the edges. It makes my fingers once again yearn for the strat's easily sliding flatness.

Sure, sure it's all well and good to see how it looks and feels, but how does it PLAY?

Playability

The thing plays like a champ. It does exactly what it says it does: play GH3 and RB on the PS3. Wirelessly. I was up and shredding (and cursing at bosses in gh3) in no time. The "clicky" strum has returned with amazing accuracy and clarity and there is no detectable lag when playing songs; all key features in a $60 purchase.

Other

It has a pedal to connect the controller and switch from GH to RB mode? Sweet! Once again, I've furthered my inner fake-rock desires! It also comes with a 7 or 8 foot USB cord to plug in the guitar (in case you don't like to use/waste batteries).

Really my only gripe about the thing is that the effects knob for RB doesn't immediately switch effects; there's a ~1 sec delay. Optimally, I want to change on the fly during a solo, but there's not much time between notes, so with this guitar I flail the switch and hope i don't end up on delay.

One neat feature of the guitar's receiver pedal is that it has 5 LEDs on the pedal that light when you press the fret buttons. So while shredding solos you get the full colorful compliment on the receiver for your fake-rock audience to enjoy while waiting on your next star power to deploy, sending Lars Umlaut into a green-mist-frenzy.

In short, if you don't have a 2nd guitar for RB/GH3, I highly recommend this guitar. At $60, it's just in the ballpark of the "real" instruments, if not cheaper.

I didn't feel like going for that $20 converter dongle dealy, since I didn't really WANT to use my old guitars, I wanted wireless. The effects knob helped seal the deal.

Anyone else own this thing?

 
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