Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Pre-E3: Eric Clapton, 'drumless' drums, and more revealed for Power Gig

10:00 AM on 06.08.2010 // Nick Chester

Earlier this year when Seven45 Studios revealed Power Gig: Rise of the Six String, it introduced a new concept to the world -- a music videogame that would put a real instrument into the hands of players. How? Well, by giving them a real guitar, of course.

That's Power Gig's hook, its unique guitar peripheral that they're simply calling the "Six String." But it's unfair to call it a "controller" because that's not exactly what it is -- the six string is an actual, playable electric guitar. When in "game mode," the guitar can recognize where a player's fingers are on any of the six strings and up and down the guitars neck at any fret. Using on-screen cues not entirely dissimilar to what you might see in other music games, the game has players jamming along to songs with a real guitar in their hands. But the instrument has another neat trick up its sleeve -- you can plug it into any amplifier and use it as a fully functional electric guitar.

At E3 this year, Seven45 will introduce another element to Power Gig, pulling together the full band experience -- drums. But it's not what you're expecting. The surprising peripheral, along with some of the game's exclusive music, was revealed at a recent pre-E3 event. Hit the jump for the first details.

Okay, I'm about to blow your mind. Here's the drum controller:

A little bit of explanation is probably in order, as I'd imagine you're thinking the same thing I was when they pulled back the curtain -- where the f**k are the drum pads? Simply put, there are none. The AirStrike drum controller is a small, wireless unit that sits on the ground; attached to it is a tiny kick pedal, as well as a secondary pedal used to trigger "mojo," Six String's version of Guitar Hero's "Star Power." The base itself features four sensors, with colors that correspond to on-screen cues on a vertically scrolling note highway.

To play, you simply strike the air over the corresponding sensor; the special drum sticks that ship with the controller have their own sensors, which work in tandem with the base's sensors. According to Seven45, this unique set up allows players to play using proper form, as the hardware is said to be aware of which hands you're using to strike at a sensor. Secondly, because there are no physical pads, the AirStrike is entirely soundless during gameplay. It's also obscenely small and unobtrusive when compared to other drum peripherals already on the market; it could easily be slipped underneath a couch or a coffee table.

So does it really work? Yes and no. Sitting down in front of the kit for the first time and launching into my first song, it took me a handful of measures to start figuring out the "hot spots" for the sensors to pick up my hits. Maybe more importantly, it was hard to let go and simply trust that the game controller "knew" where I was attempting to strike. And for the most part, it did, especially after making a few adjustments in my hand placement.

Keep in mind that the hardware isn't final, but I did run into some issues where I'd hit an adjacent pad I hadn't intended to, or the sensor simply didn't seem to pick up my hit. But my biggest problem with the experience may be inherent to the very concept itself -- the lack of tactile feedback. With my sticks not landing on anything, I had no indication that I was hitting the snare, the hi-hat, the tom, or a crash cymbal. Drum rolls and other brisk movements were difficult without that much-needed bounce back. And when I was done with a session, my wrists and arms were more than a little worse for wear.

The drums, in a way, seem to stand in stark contrast to the guitar peripheral. While one actually is the instrument that other games attempt to emulate, the other seems to do away with that most of the real experience entirely. Plus, it's human nature to want to bang on stuff with sticks… hard. I'm not sure that The Muppets' Animal would be pleased.

The guitar on the other hand is an interesting step in the teaching direction. As a guitarist, I had little problems picking up and playing the game's medium and hard modes. The hardware I used (again, not final) was mostly responsive on my fret hand, able to pick up most of my finger movements relatively well. It was also interesting to find that the songs were charted in a way that felt relatively comfortable to me as a player; the notes all "felt" like they were in the right place, and I was even able to hit many of the notes by simply playing by ear.

Power Gig's guitar game will also feature an advanced mode that will have you playing chords instead of single notes. Upon watching me play, a rep suggested I switch over -- I was already playing the right power chords anyhow. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to see it in action, as the earlier software they were demonstrating didn't seem to have the chording mode implemented properly. I hope to get a chance to try it out at E3, though; it'll be interesting to see how they can quickly communicate those chords and changes to players on the fly.

It seems that Seven45 has already turned a few heads in the music industry with its unique take on the genre, as it's secured exclusive agreements with musicians who have previously turned their noses up at music videogames. So far, Eric Clapton ("Layla"), Dave Matthews Band, and Kid Rock are all confirmed to have tracks in the game. The game will also feature other tracks from major label artists like Jet ("She's a Genius") and The Donnas ("Fall Behind Me").

The game will be playable with up to three people for a band experience -- drums, guitar, and vocals. The vocal mode looks pretty straight forward, with the game picking up notes in a traditional manner; no fancy peripheral for singers, unfortunately.

Power Gig is slated for release this October for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. I'll keep my eyes out for more details at E3 next week.

Photo Gallery: (15 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Nick Chester, Former Editor-in-Chief (2011)
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Editor-in-Chief @ nick at  more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Am I the only one who has to pull up their sleeves to play competantly at videogames? When my hoodie's sleeves are down I play like a piece of shit but when i pull them up, I have more flexibility.
Shinta avatarShinta
PSA: Just picked up Falco amiibo at Best Buy. They had about 20 Tom Nook, 10 singles of Splatoon Boy/Girl, the Splatoon triple pack, about 30 Marths with a big sign saying "Look Who's Back!," Dark Pit, and probably about 15 others. Not too shabby.
Fenriff avatarFenriff
I long for the day that people get over their weird circle jerk hatred for FFXIII related things and just ignore things they don't care about.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
I'm upgrading my PC on the cheap and I'm going with AMD, out of these two CPUs, wich one is better?, A8-7650K or FX-6300?
Logeon avatarLogeon
Huh, I think we broke LightningFarron19, you guys.
Archelon avatarArchelon
KeithTheGeek avatarKeithTheGeek
Being a video game-focused website, it's not often I get to gush about Godzilla. So have a link to one of my favorite tracks in the entire series:
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Fallout 4 really does bring back memories. Specifically, memories of finding unlikely loot on a animal's corpse. I'm just grateful that Bloatfly didn't know how to use that 15 pound flamethrower it was apparently carrying in its bum bag.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
I no longer require seasoning for my Thanksgiving dinner because between the Lightning post here and Undertale beating Fallout 3 in the "best game" vote on GameFAQs, I have all the salt I need. (Image) [img][/img]
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
ikiryou avatarikiryou
Pfft, who needs context. [img][/img]
voex avatarvoex
Yeah...fuck the NES Castlevanias! Think I'll skip straight to Symphony of the Night.
SirDavies avatarSirDavies
No more heroes. Wii or PS3 version?
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Thanks for that Mother 4 article yesterday I've been listening to nothing but GBA-era soundtracks, truly my golden years of gaming.
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
If you stop to think about it, Thanksgiving is basically #Darksiders2: The Holiday.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Your daily reminder that my band can beat up your band.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Hoping more character customization options come of the next Smash-centric Nintendo Direct. Playing as Wrong-Hair, Wrong-Face Robin feels weird. Female Robin Amiibo, too. And let 3DS users download the whole OST. My wishes are reasonable, I think.
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
What's the most outrageous thing you could ask for this Annual Festive Gift-Giving Holiday?
Torchman avatarTorchman
Xeo avatarXeo
Threshold's last album, For the Journey is so goddamn solid. Progressive metal at it's finest.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -