Rock Band Wii guitar impressions in which a tiny screw kills my rock star dreams

Along with the preview Wii Rock Band drum kit I received last week, Harmonix/MTV Games also sent along some wireless Wii guitars for me to test out.

Not surprisingly, the axes look and feel like the peripherals that shipped with other versions of the game, save for a few Wii-specific buttons (a plus and a minus on the guitar’s “knobs,” for instance). But if you don’t like how the Rock Band guitars feel and would rather use Activision’s Guitar Hero III wireless guitar, too bad — it doesn’t seem to work with Rock Band for the Wii. 

So here’s the part where I would normally write about the responsiveness of the wireless guitar (which communicates with the Wii via a USB wireless receiver dongle). The guitars shipped with the required three triple-A batteries, which was helpful. But I’m missing one thing — a mini-screwdriver to open the battery cover. You see, a tiny screw stands between me and placing the batteries into the wireless guitar. Like Ikea furniture, the peripheral doesn’t ship with the appropriate tool, and even after tearing apart my house, I can’t seem to find one. 

As far as I’m concerned, this is a major flaw in its design. I think it’s been proven time and time again that battery covers can be created with simple latches that don’t require screw. See also: every remote control I have in my house, including my Wii remotes; the Guitar Hero wireless guitar; vibrators. It’s a puzzling decision made on the part of Harmonix, and it’s because of this reason that I haven’t played a lick of guitar in the Wii version of Rock Band.

So to anyone planning on picking up the game this Sunday, June 22, do yourself a favor and go to Home Depot to pick up some tiny screwdrivers first.

[Note: This confusing — and unfortunately idiotic — design choice also plagues the wireless PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 Rock Band guitars.]

Nick Chester