I am the mother of thirteen year old boys and the wife of a fairly serious bass player so I am very familiar with the the dream of being a rock star. A lot of guys flirt with the idea for a period of time in their life -and become expert air guitar players in no time. The problem is that picking up the real thing is not quite the same. Learning to play well requires time, patience, some blisters, and a lot of repetitive exercises. Enter BandFuse: Rock Legends - the answer to an aspiring rock stars dream.
BandFuse is much more than a game. BandFuse can actually teach a person with no experience at all how to play a real guitar. Experienced players will get tips from the pros and find ways to improve their play. Forget plastic toy guitars with little buttons. BandFuse players can use any guitar with a quarter inch output to plug and play. Acoustic players can purchase an adapter to join in as well. The game will also accommodate bass players and vocalists with USB microphones.
Here is one short disclaimer: although my post is going to be rated G, the content of this game is Rated T. The music lyrics and player interviews contain typical rock and roll language (profanity is censored) and the videos that accompany many of the songs are not appropriate for young children.
So, where was I? Oh, right! BandFuse: Rock Legends is fun for everyone from novice to rock star. Even if you have never picked up a guitar before you can be plugged in and rockin’ out to some of your favorite songs in minutes.
The game comes with a 55 song play list that incorporates a bunch of different genres. Soon after the release, game owners can add on over 125 more great tunes.
Play in a career mode, or go to free play where everything is unlocked and open to play. Choose from Coldplay, Slash, Rush, Judas Priest, Maroon 5, Five Finger Death Punch, or even Rick Springfield - just to name just a few.
You can play alone:
Or with up to four players:
There are also five difficulty levels. Those new to guitar will pick one star difficulty and get one sting to fret at a time. Difficulty increases up to the five star level where the player will be challenged to follow along and play just like the original recording artist.
As you can see from the screen shot, the player will be learning to read tablature which shows finger placement and when to strum. What you can't see from the shots that I used is that above the tabs they will also be seeing a chord, so it is a way to learn both ways to read guitar music.
That would be fantastic enough, but there is so much more. Like the video interviews and tutorials from some of the industry greats. (This is where the "Rock Legends" part of the title fits in.)
The developers sat down with legends like Slash, Zakk Wylde, Bootsy Collins, George Lynch, and several more. Each one of these players provides a series of interviews which will instruct and inform the game owner about different methods, life on the road, and other helpful topics.
We had a chance to meet with one of the game designers, Marcus Henderson. He showed us some of the really neat features that the game includes.
Learn to modify tone by adjusting the virtual amp or adding effects that can easily be replicated on a real pedal board. Use "ShredU" to slow down songs or loop segments of the songs for intense practice. There are also some original riffs that are included to encourage players to noodle around and come up with some of their own great stuff.
Boy One and Boy Two were thrilled and Mr. Henderson was extremely gratuitous with his time and attention.
Of course, there is a game aspect. As I mentioned, there is a career mode which starts a player out as an opening act. Work your way to Rock Legend!
There will also be leaderboards posted which are great incentive to keep practicing!
The game is brought to us by Realta Entertainment and Matiff Publishing. There will be XBox 360 and PS3 versions.
We did have a chance to demo this game and observe an informational demonstration. This is an uncompensated post and any opinions expressed are my own. We do not have a personal copy of the game.