Top positive review
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Not just another plastic controller.
on November 12, 2010
I will kinda cut the actual Rock Band 3 part of this thing out, because the focus here is on the instrument, the 360 version specifically. I'll just say that it does its job perfectly fine with the game and move along.
So, on to the actual keyboard. Anyone who's ever spent ten seconds messing around with one will either know or secretly understand there are usually two things about keyboards when it comes to their construction: the keys have a certain weight to them, and the instrument is usually solidly built (not plastic-y). The MadCatz keyboard fits both of those roles perfectly. It does NOT feel like the vast majority of the other Rock Band 3 instruments, namely the guitar: thin, hollow plastic things which feel like you could snap them over your knee. No, this cat is pretty solid and feels like it could take a battering if need be. The keys have a natural weighted feel and respond just as they should, but with a single addition of ridges over the left ends of some, likely to help newbies with the game align their fingers with the colored sections without having to look down...as much.
If I've given the impression that this thing has a built-in speaker, think otherwise. And Rock Band 3 doesn't, as far as I can remember, have a freestyle mode to let you play whatever on the keys. But, this does come with a 5-pin MIDI outlet, and all of its buttons and keys - and I'm pretty sure literally ALL of them, even the touch strip - are programmed for use with MIDI software. This puts it further into something more of an actual instrument than just a game controller.
It makes for a compact, fairly versatile item, albeit for the niche market of music gamers and creative keyboardists. As for its interplay with Rock Band 3, there's no real need to mention it here other than it works, because anything deeper is on the game side, which I'll save for a review of it rather than this peripheral.