For those of us cursed with inflexible, fat digits and the rhythm of an incontinent dancer, it’s frustrating to see the effortless ability of guitarists slouched on park benches strumming out heartfelt melodies with the lightest of touches. Instead we’re banished to a world of violins/trumpets/ocarinas, none of which get you much cred when whipped out at a party. With DS Guitar M-06 this all changes.
Doing what it says on the box, this is a guitar, on your DS. Nothing more and actually quite a lot less. You see, real guitars, as outlined in the opening paragraph, have evaded our abilities and so what purpose would a perfect digital replica serve? Instead Plato kindly brings guitars into the realm of the strum-challenged by eliminating those string fingerings that previously denied us anything better then a cacophony of twanging, replacing them with chords mapped on to D-pad directions, which you play by strumming one virtual string across the touch screen.
It’s a rather sophisticated bit of touch screen application; gently passing over the string emits a softer noise while a full-on rip across will blare out in suitable fashion. The pitch and reverb of the “guitar” can be tweaked but why anyone would want to fiddle with what is in effect a perfectly tuned instrument is a mystery. Audio-wise it has some synth hallmarks - it occasionally sounds like a Casio keyboard set to guitar mode - but the way your strumming segues into silence, and fresh strums cut through the remnants, impresses.
But then considering how little actual “game” is included we expect nothing less. A basic tone recognition mode has you replicating mystery chord strokes, and the chords for 20 unrecognizable slices of J-pop are included for you to play. It’s in the free play mode where the potentially limitless appeal lies - with players mastering their own favorite songs and playing them to their heart’s content. Hopefully slouched on park benches.