Earlier this week, I had to tune my video game controller. I didn't know how to do it, so I needed to go online and find out how to tune a guitar. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I might feel better if there was a reason to do so, but I was disappointed when I started playing through this new guitar game at the time I had wasted.
Power Gig: Rise of the SixString is a game about guitars, and the playing thereof. You might have heard of the genre. What Power Gig does differently is introduce a fancier kind of guitar, a six-string, actual guitar. At first glance, that's really cool, but unforuntunately, it's not a very good quality of guitar. And, due to the fact that it's so short, it requires a lot of pressure in order to actually press the frets correctly, creating some serious aches in your fingers, not to mention ridiculous calluses.
Despite the fancy controller, however, the game plays just like any other rythm guitar title, only worse. You see, the gameplay is the same: hit the colored notes as they come down the screen while pressing the right frets and strumming. Only the game doesn't care what strings you hold or what strings you play, as long as you strum and hold the correct fret. So you really have to question what the point of this complicated controller is in the first place. Sure, there are a few power chords that you can pull off, but these don't add anything to the game except some complexity that isn't really all that complex. Despite the box subtly promising the experience of learning to play something real, all you've got is another plastic peripheral that won't do much good.
The song list here is a little better than other games in the genre, including such stars as Kid Rock and Eric Clapton. Reaching these songs, however, is a trial. You must first play through the game's campaign mode, in which you follow a story of a city under the thumb of 'headliners', powerful musicians that control the music or...something. There's a story, it's a little pointless and quite repeptitive, but you have to play through it anyway; if you don't, half the song list is completely locked away from you in the quick play mode. It's something that almost all other games in the genre have done away with before, so seeing something like that in a game nowadays is just frustrating.
I think the biggest problem with Rise of the SixString is the enormity of its wasted potential. A fully-functioning guitar that, judging by the power chords, can detect what strings are held down and which are strummed, could be something impressive if used correctly. What we get instead is a very, very watered-down Rock Band clone.
It's not even very good in that department: the UI is a mess in which the screen is divided into sections for various parts of the band relegating your guitar playing to a quarter of the screen even when you're playing in single player. Even the ability to activate your mojo power, a power unique to each character, is a pain since the guitar can't be tipped, and that means taking your fingers off the strings to hit a button. The story is unique, but ultimately not very fun to play through, and yet it's still required if you want to get to any of the good songs.
Wasted potential is all I see here, but the lack of quality in Power Gig doesn't make it any easier to see anything more. It simply isn't worth it for the guitar, nor the game: buy a cheap Six String if you want to learn the strings, leave this title alone.