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Customer Review

59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short review and installation guide, October 30, 2012
By 
This review is from: Rocksmith Guitar And Bass (Video Game)
I. DVD Installation short guide:

1. The DVD does contain the necessary files for installation. However it requires that the Steam program be installed first to activate your copy (see below). What you gain from that is that the game will be re-installable on any other computer you have, even if you've lost/destroyed the installation disk.

2. On the negative side, it seems that if you don't already have Steam installed on your computer, the installation process will take you to the steam page for the game, which as mentioned above allows you to download it from the internet. Don't do that. If necessary, just run the installation disk again.

3. The game officially requires Microsoft's DirectX 10 (although some people have reported that the game will work on Windows XP running DirectX 9.0c with DX9.0c-class hardware), which most graphic cards have been supporting for the past 5 years. The case with chipsets is a little iffier, especially for Intel ones. If you have a laptop boasting Intel integrated graphics, especially from the 2006-2008 era, (you can verify the model of your graphics chip in Control Panel->System->Device Manager->Display adapters), you should research whether others have had luck running the game.

4. Console gamers have been complaining about the latency introduced by HDMI in the game. Try other solutions first if you can. In my case, with USB in (the Real Tone cable) and USB out (my sound interface) I didn't hear any noticeable latency. If you do, you can play with the value in Options->Sound & Display->Audio Engine: the default of 4 is to prevent audio problems on weaker PCs, but with a resonable config you can lower it to 2. Conversely, if you hear audio crackling, increase the value. The PC config thread in the game forums has more info.

Now, this game requires Steam. Steam requires internet. The game's use of steam is actually Ubisoft trying to accommodate the gaming community, which was complaining about the more invasive DRM tools that their games were installing before. While Steam is not perfect, I think Ubisoft should be commended for at least (and at last) trying something else. Whether any sort of DRM, Steam or other, is a sensible approach to piracy or not is best left for another discussion.

As a positive point for Steam, they regularly run heavy discounts on games and DLC. I look forward to adding quite a few DLC songs around the end of the year.

II. My take on the game after 2 hours of playing with it:

While I've been playing guitar for many years as a hobby, I am really not good at it. Being self-taught as a teenager to save money, I only realized last year that the way I had been fretting strings all along was completely wrong! A teacher could have told me that the first week, had I ever taken lessons.

And that's something that Rocksmith will not be able to do for you. It doesn't care if your sound is bad, as long as the pitch is correct and the picking timely. What it is though, is a fun way to rehearse songs and practice exercises, if you already know the basics. With a steadily increasing library of songs and recently added support for bass, there's no denying its value.

I would rate Rocksmith 4 ½ stars, rounded to 5 to counter all the low ratings caused by installation issues for some people.

Update Nov 1, 2012: Reached Rank 3 after 5-6 hours of playing the game.
Two good things, one bad, that I've noticed
+ Rocksmith forces me to look at the screen. If I look at my fingers, like I always do, I'll miss the next note. Of course, once you know a song by Heart, you can go back to looking at your neck I suppose.
+ With tabs, I'm used to unwittingly slowing down when playing tricky sections of a song. The game lets you work on riffs at your speed but, when playing the whole song, you have to respect the tempo.
- Because Rocksmith lets you be creative between the marked notes to play (wanna solo during that silent section? Go for it), it means you can cheat when playing a note too early by then playing it again.

Update Nov 5, 2012: Reached rank 5, more feedback.
+ Rocksmith taught me something! I would constantly fail the palm mute technique until I started to reposition my right hand when playing different strings. I can definitely hear that I sound better now when playing muted strings.
- The game is way too forgiving. I've mastered sections of songs (speed 100%, mastery level 100%) only to play on my own later without the background music and noticing sound artifacts in my playing. The good news is that it only took me a couple of tries each time to get a much cleaner sound.
+ The guitarcade games, however, are quite hard, at least if you want to get the achievements.
Also, I've updated Installation step 3 to reflect the comment I've received that the game does work on Windows XP with DX9.0c.

Update Jan 13, 2013: Today, I mastered Soundgarden's Outshined solo (as a side note, with practice I've now reached a level where I'm good enough to unlock master mode for most songs).
Having attempted to play difficult solos in the past, with only tabs as my guide, I can only remember how incompetent I felt each time. Without Rocksmith, I know Outshined's solo would still be among them.
Until recently, I had assumed Rocksmith was simply a more fun way to rehearse songs but, over the past few days, using the Riff Repeater's Accelerator (more of a decelerator, really) to learn the timings and Free Speed to pinpoint where exactly my playing was off, I've managed to accomplish what I never could. And I could hear it sounded good too :)
Thank you Rocksmith!
PS: Some will think that the solo is not *that* hard. More power to them! As far as I am concerned, it was beyond my skills. Not anymore.
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 5, 2012 11:56:53 AM PST
Jeff says:
Just like to make a small correction that the game does run on Windows XP with DirectX 9.0c.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2012 1:13:52 PM PST
Slyne says:
Oh cool, good to know. UbiSoft lists the game requirements as Windows Vista and "256 MB DirectX 10.0-compliant card with Shader Model 3.0 or higher". Indeed, SM3.0 belongs to DX9.0c not DX10. It's possible that UbiSoft didn't want to go through the trouble of supporting outdated hardware and software. I'll update the review with your experience, thanks.

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 11:01:32 AM PST
LSA says:
Thanks for the feedback. I'm in the same boat where I've been a guitar hobbyist for years (I play piano so much better) but I enjoy music. Setting aside it's not able to give feedback on teaching technique like in a lesson, it's a good tool to learn to keep tempo with other players (Rocksmith track) and be able to play through all the parts of a song. Once you get that accomplished, tweaking technique and so forth is the fine tuning you find elsewhere, lessons, youtube videos, and dedication to practice. In a nutshell I think learning guitar is a journey that requires learning from as many angles it takes to put it all together. I'm glad you mentioned when you play the song on your own you had to clean up the sound but the great thing is, now you know that song. Once you can get through the song in tempo and ideally advanced enough in the level for RS to provide most or all of the notes of a given song. Then the confidence comes and you'll be able to embellish and perfect it to your liking and ability. So many people have played (noodled) around with their guitar for years but at the end of the day can't play through 3 songs from start to finish while really keeping accuracy and tempo . It's not perfect but I think it's a great tool to learn for sure. I give it a thumbs up. My goal is to get a bass guitar soon. I've always wanted to get a bass guitar but now with Rocksmith I think it will be a lot of fun and a great place to start where it will keep my interest. I just hope they release a better mix of genres for future songs.

Posted on Feb 10, 2013 8:18:31 AM PST
Blue sky says:
Any recommendations for a laptop? I'm buying a new laptop and wanted something that would run Rocksmith well. Do I need Windows 7 instead of 8?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2013 8:31:54 AM PST
LSA says:
Wish I could help but I'm running an iMac. I would simply do a search on Rocksmith system requirements and use their recommended system specs for your guide. I just did the search and it come's right up. Of course my personal preference is to over kill on system power. To me, too much is better than not enough. Good luck!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2013 8:26:37 AM PST
Blue sky says:
I just bought an

...


ASUS F75VD-EB51 Notebook from another webiste and did make sure it had all the requirements. Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2013 9:16:35 AM PST
Slyne says:
That should work. However, you may have to turn down the level of graphical details a bit if you want smooth note scrolling during events. I guess you'll figure it out if you need to.

Posted on May 15, 2013 9:13:20 PM PDT
Grizz says:
I have not seen anywhere that you can use a electric acoustic guitar with this game. Do you know if you can?
Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on May 16, 2013 4:15:08 AM PDT
LSA says:
If you can plug it in you should be able to use it.

In reply to an earlier post on May 16, 2013 10:10:55 AM PDT
Grizz says:
Are you still enjoying it?
Do you know if the PC version our the xbox version I'd better?
Thanks for your time.
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