- Publisher: Seven45 Studios
- Developer: Seven45 studios
- ESRB Rating: “T" for Teen
- Genre: Music / Rhythm
- Pros: Works with current GH / RB instruments; decent song list
- Cons: Awful graphics; doesn't come remotely close to teaching you real music; guitar controller isn't very good; dumb story mode
Power Gig: Rise of the SixString is a guitar (but not bass) / drumming / singing game in the same vein as Guitar Hero and Rock Band. It is fully compatible with current drum and guitar controllers on the market, which is arguably the better way to play the game because the drums and guitar that were made for the game are pretty lackluster.
I have all of the details on the SixString guitar in a full review that you can read here. It is okay, but it is hard to play due to having super high strings and requires more precision during gameplay than the 3/4 size axe can really offer. My hardware review has all of the details.
I do not have hands on experience with the Power Gig drums, unfortunately, but that was admittedly by my own choice. The Power Gig drums consist of a sensor you place on the floor and then "air drum" over the appropriate "pad" when it comes up during gameplay. Yeah, that doesn't sound fun, but I can't give a hands on opinion of it. I can say that the Guitar Hero and Rock Band drums already on the market work just fine with Power Gig, and you get the satisfaction of actually hitting stuff instead of air drumming. Sooo, yeah.
Guitar is the real focus of this game, however, and that is where the SixString guitar and Power Chord mode comes in. In normal mode, you can play with the SixString and only have to hold any string on the correct fret, and then strum any string you want. Power Chord mode introduces power chords where a number will come down the note highway indicating the root note of the power chord. To play it, you hold the string that the number says with your index finger, and then the next higher string with your ring finger two frets down. So, for example, if a power chord came up that was "6" in the green lane of the note highway, you would hold the sixth string on the green fret with your index finger, and the fifth string on the yellow fret with your ring finger and strum both strings. Not too bad.
Another problem is that the SixString just isn't precise enough to truly make using it worth it. You have to press the strings down pretty hard and exactly in the center of the fret for it to register. If you aren't in the center, it either won't register at all or think you're pressing the fret next to it. Power chords are the easiest thing to play on a real guitar, but they are difficult to pull off consistently on the SixString. Which is obviously a bad thing. You are generally better off just using your old reliable 5-button GH and RB guitars. You can't play power chord mode, but you won't be missing much.
The presentation is another area where Power Gig struggles. The note highway for guitar, even when playing by yourself, is on the right side of the screen and runs straight down instead of at an angle like GH / RB. This makes the notes a little harder to see because you can't look ahead as far as you can in other games. The in-game graphics of your characters playing on stage are also pretty terrifically bad. Like, PS2 quality bad. And the cutscenes in the mind numbingly stupid story mode are just as bad.
One bright spot is that the game does sound good. The songs are all the real songs by the real artists, so they sound fine. And the track list is actually pretty decent overall. No complaints here.
Power Gig: Rise of the SixString is a mess. As a normal 5-button music game, it doesn't look or play nearly as good as Rock Band or Guitar Hero. Period. As a tool to try and learn how to play guitar using the SixString and Power Chord mode, it is pretty much worthless. You can buy a real beginner electric that'll sound better for about the same cost of this game / guitar bundle and then use tabs and online lessons and learn a lot more than Power Gig will ever be capable of teaching you. At its current price point of $180 for the bundle, I can't recommend it. Less than $100, maybe. Full price? Definitely not. You can get the game on it's own for $60 to play with your current RB / GH instruments, but there are better music games on the market. Skip it.