Many of us had lives before parenthood enveloped us in her whimsical blanket of chaos.
Well, rocker dads – it’s time to take back the power.
Realta Entertainment Group will release BandFuse: Rock Legends for the PS3 and X360 this fall. This music video game differs from the plastic button mashing guitars of Rock Band and such in that users can use their real guitars and basses.
That’s right, plug in to the included adapter and in minutes you can be practicing your chromatic scales and finger-tapping again.
I recently attended a closed-door BandFuse demo hosted by associate game designer and critically acclaimed heavy metal guitarist Marcus Henderson, whose resume includes extensive work on the hit music game Guitar Hero. It took Henderson about a year to come up with the ultimate set list of songs for the game, ranging from Alanis Morissette to Living Colour to Blue Oyster Cult to a plethora of modern-day metal hits from groups such as Dream Theater.
Unlike previous music video games, you don’t need to play well to unlock new content in BandFuse. All 50 tracks are available when you open the box. An additional 40+ tracks will be available via download.
BandFuse also avoids “pass/fail” critiquing and instead focuses on real-world tablature. Animated tablature simplifies the music for beginnings, showing them exactly where to put their fingers and when to strum. For advanced guitarists, the opportunity to rip the solo in Pearl Jam’s “Alive” note for note is there for the taking.
“The purpose of the game is to make you a better player, to learn and enjoy playing guitar at your own pace,” said Henderson, who proceeded to rip through a quick demo of Rush’s “Limelight” (on hard level).
Some exciting BandFuse features enable you to add your own authentic amp and pedal effects. For example, if you wanted put a little oompf into Blind Melon’s shiny happy hit “No Rain,” you can add some distortion and make it sound way more rocking.
One of Henderson’s favorite options is “Shred U.” This feature is chock-full of lessons and interviews with some of the musicians who contributed original content to the game, such as Slash, Bootsy Collins and Zakk Wylde.
The “Lick Lab” section enables users to focus on any part of a song, given them total control in mastering every bit of even the most technical tunes. Henderson painstakingly broke down every song in the game’s catalog to provide this feature.
When I had my shot to test BandFuse, I went with the modern-day metal tune “The Bleeding” by Five Finger Death Punch. Since my real guitar skills pale greatly to my air-guitar skills, I opted for beginning level. As I am able to read music and know the strings and location of the frets, I did pretty well in my first go.
In addition to following the notes, a music video and the lyrics accompany every song which makes it that much more interactive and fun.
While Henderson (a father as well might I add) is greatly influenced by heavy metal (his top three guitarists at the time of questioning were Denis “Piggy” D’Amour from Voivod, Chuck Schuldiner from Death, and Kirk Hammett from the mighty Metallica), his love of music is wide. His music catalog ranged from The Black Crowes to Black Flag to Art Garfunkel. His love and passion of music is reflected in this game as a gift to those who just want to enjoy playing guitar.
“The purpose of this game is not to sell guitars. It’s to have fun playing,” Henderson said as I excitedly pointed out he had Nekrogoblikon in his iTunes catalog.
While it’s difficult to “get the band back together,” BandFuse creates the opportunity to strap on your axe again and rock out … between diaper changes, that is.