Bandfuse: Rock Legends Hands on PAX 2013

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I was able to get a little hands-on time with Bandfuse: Rock Legends this last weekend at PAX 2013. Bandfuse is a new music game in the genre of “real” music games. Using a real guitar and bass to play music using a USB to ¼’ adapter to plug into the console, if you are familiar with Rocksmith than you get the picture.

The first song I tried out was Rebel Yell by Billy Idol on bass, since the guitar was being occupied at the other station. As the songs starts you get an image similar to the one below, with the music video of the song playing in the middle and the guitar tab at the bottom of the screen. Vocals will be displayed at the top of screen in something similar to Rock Band. The tabulator section uses similar colors that you would expect from a guitar hero controller to make it easier to remember what finger you should use.

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Playing and reading the tabulator layout is easy to pick up, on the medium level and the fact that I’ve played guitar for 17 years probably didn’t hurt.  What I noticed most about playing was how close they got the tone of the bass to match the song, and this helped with giving you the feeling of being part of the band. I next switched to guitar on the next song, and what I noticed during this is that at all times the guitar or bass is active and you can play and jam throughout the menu system. I was told that the game consists of pretty much no background music while you’re in the menu system, and I didn’t notice any while playing the game shuffling through menus.

I played through my song of choice on guitar and it played as easily as bass, especially in the sound department where the guitar tone again sounded exactly like the song and artist.  Bandfuse does a great job of getting rid of any lag when playing, and during my play time noticed zero lag between when the pick hit the strings, and the sound hit my ears.

 

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The menu system its self is smooth and quick with minimal load times when you finally select a song, something that was excruciating with Rocksmith. The ability to get to a song and play is what’s key in a game like this.

Bandfuse offers up to four players in local co-op allowing two guitars, bass, and vocals. Unfortunately do to lag issues online co-op is not available, but hey they have leaderboards for your shredding competition. Also included is Shred U where you can slow down sections of songs to learn them at your own pace with a good amount of options on what you want to practice and how.Bandfuse: Rock Legends is what the game is really about with artist like Slash, Bootsy Collins, Zakk Wylde, and more teaching you the ways of the axe. Starting with basics of guitar anatomy and leading into showing you how to play certain styles of guitar.

Bandfuse: Rock Legends aims to teach you how to play an actual instrument and even though it is not the first of this type of game to do so, it looks to be on track to teach you how to rock. Bandfuse: Rock Legends is scheduled for release November 19th for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

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