the rantings and ravings of a not quite sane cow

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Closet Musician, Part One: A Day with Guitar Hero: World Tour and Rock Band

So I've had Guitar Hero: World Tour and Rock Band (henceforth, GHWT or just WT and RB, at least wherever I feel like abbreviating them), for a day, as the title suggests.

Today: Hardware (never mind that I only have the GHWT instruments, so I can't really compare the two games).
  • I do have the GH3 Les Paul, so I'll compare this to that. It's a little bigger, and feels a lot more solid (not sure if it weighs more... seriously, who puts a plastic guitar on a scale?), both of which are good things.
  • The strum bar is a bit longer and taller (good), it feels about the same (not a bad thing) however the noise is a bit louder, but not to the point where it becomes an annoyance.
  • The whammy bar is a bit longer, alhough I prefer the feel of the old one, people with hands not as freakishly large as mine might not feel the same.
  • There's a new touch bar on the neck, although it can be frustrating to switch between the fret buttons and the touch bar, fortunately it's optional during gameplay, so I generally ignore it.
  • The back button, which for the 3 people in the world who haven't played Guitar Hero, activates star power, has been moved. It's now fairly long and placed right next to the strum bar, so that you can activate star power easily without having to tilt the guitar (that works just as well though). There is a small circular start button on either side of it. However Xbox button and d-pad haven't fared anywhere near as well. They've been combined into a single stick (digital), with the Xbox button in the middle. It's fairly awkward to use, so navigate with the strum bar where you can.
  • Finally, and most importantly, the connection between the body and the neck which I have so much trouble with on GH3 guitars (both of them) has been improved. It's still early days, but I don't think I'll have a problem any time soon.

  • First up, I'd like to make this clear: the instructions for putting these things together are worse than Ikea instructions. I did get it together eventually, but I did have to call in help. With that out of the way, here's some thoughts:
  • The drumsticks are pretty nice, they'd probably work fairly well on a real drum kit. Don't quote me on that though, I'm hardly a real drummer.
  • The bass pedal is a decent size, I just have HUGE feet... I can get around the size problem. The problem is that it doesn't really have enough resistance, so I have to keep my foot up, which makes it hurt after a little while (and makes it harder for me to accurately hit the bass notes). Oh, and it has a couple of rubber stoppers and a bit of velcro on the bottom, and I never had a problem with it moving in the middle of a song. Finding a comfortable position was different, but I can be hard to please like that
  • For navigating menus, there's a d-pad, Xbox button and 6 face buttons (back and start on either side of the Xbox button, and the A, B, X and Y buttons in the standard formation). They're near the back of the drums and underneath and below the cymbals, so they're fairly awkward to reach. Unfortunately, they're the only way to navigate menus (okay, you can use the pads to select options, but you still need to use the d-pad to navigate up and down) which can get awkward at times. I don't see why they don't map up/down to the cymbals or something, but far be it from me to question someone else's logic.
  • There's a port to plug in a headset, but it's around the back, and the cable on the 360's headset isn't that long (that's not their fault, though). Unfortunately when wearing the headset, you can't move too far from the drums, and the cable crosses the blue pad, and gets in the way of moving the sticks.
  • There's a drumstick holder! And by that I mean a couple of bits of plastic that fold up, and you lay the sticks down on there. Better than nothing, I guess.
  • It gets kind of awkward with the cymbals raised above the 3 pads, but in-game they're displayed on a flat line. Don't get me wrong, it'd be stupid if they were separated, it just takes some getting used to.
  • They're a bit noisy. Being drums, you'd expect that, but I just find it ironic that the thing that makes the most noise (the bass drum), is restricted to a quiet pedal here.
  • Lastly, some of the pads aren't as sensetive as I'd like. The red pad picks up normal hits fine, but to hit an accented note requires a ridiculous amount of force (so I'm not doing it because I don't want to break the thing). The yellow cymbal requires a decent amount of force to register at all. The others aren't so bad but still not as good as I'd like. I've ordered a tuning kit, so I'll see what I can do when that arrives.

  • It's a microphone. It's wired, but there's a decent length of cable. It seemed to pick up my voice well enough (I failed, which is usually a good indication), so I don't know what else there is to say.

Come back tomorrow or whenever I get around to posting, for comparing the software.

No comments:

Post a Comment