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Power Gig: Rise of the SixString

There are worse ideas than taking a typical guitar controller and adding six strings. One lesser idea would be to create an airdrumming alternative to the accepted standard of Rock Band‘s emulation of drum pads. Power Gig: The Rise of the SixString is set to include both in its Fall 2010 release alongside its exclusive rights to the backlogs from three top-tier artists: Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews Band, and… Kid Rock.

The stringed guitar in Power Gig does look appealing, particularly in contrast to this year’s lame axe-esque customizable controller for Guitar Hero. Seven45 Studios promises that the game’s going to be a good primer for anyone looking to learn some basic elements of guitar playing, which I have no interest in whatsoever, but understand where it might be a selling point for some gamers. By strumming any of the strings along the designated fret, players will match the on-screen command. So, what makes Power Gig different? Beyond the expected fret-matching bit, you’ll be able to play power chords on higher difficulties, which could do well to emulate much of today’s popular Rock music, which strives on power chordes. The Power Gig guitar comes complete with volume knobs and will even plug into actual guitar amps, but is otherwise totally wireless.

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Power Gig’s drum controller, however, seems like a poor fit in contrast to the nature of creating a more realistic guitar. There are foot pedals on the right and left side with four colored areas to drum over. You’ll never actually hit anything. Much like the drumming in Wii Music, the game’s ‘Airstrike’ drum kit seems to be missing the point entirely.

With the addition of a microphone, Power Gig offers a three-player experience, excluding bass entirely. While it makes sense not to offer up a bass-playing option in a game revolving around a guitar peripheral, it’s an interesting exclusion, as both the Rock Band and Guitar Hero franchises have offered the option to play bass with their plastic guitar counterparts from the beginning.

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Whereas the announcement of Clapton’s inclusion as an exclusive artist may be a huge selling point for many and the majority of the tracklist will surrond the backlog’s of master recordings from the three chosen musicians, there are also some non-exclusive songs, such as Living Colour’s Cult of Personality, which first appeared in Guitar Hero III.

Sitting within Rock Band’s price range, the selling power of the three attached artists, the admittedly cool guitar controller and adversly idiotic drumming mechanic remains to be seen. In a year littered with like-minded music games – Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, Rock Band 3, DJ Hero 2, and Def Jam Rapstar – are you ready to shell out your hard-earned cash for this guitar-driven rhythm game?

The author of this fine article

is an Associate Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in July 2007. Get in touch on Twitter @Calvin_Kemph.

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