Power Gig: Rise of the SixString review

  • 70 songs = less than $1 each
  • Clapton, Kid Rock, Dave Matthews finally available
  • Most songs here aren't played to death yet
  • Guitar's pretty crap
  • Drums even crappier
  • Only three players at a time and no online

Show cancelled: The Drums

Believe it or not, the guitar is not the worst part the deal here. The AirStrike drums are. We saw this coming, both in preview events and when publisher Seven45 refused to send us the drums to review (we bought our own $229 bundle to get them), but we’re still sad to confirm our suspicions were correct.

This is the last sentence of the first paragraph in the section of the owner’s manual that deals with the AirStrike drums. It is written in bold type, reproduced here. See if you can spot the problem:

“NEVER strike the base unit (or anything else) with the AirStrike sticks!”

Yep, you read that correctly. What we have here is a drum kit so advanced, you can’t actually drum it. This is, as you’re probably predicting by now, a disaster.

The AirStrike looks nothing like a drum kit – it’s just a hump of plastic with four colored circles and three legs that lift it just over a foot from the ground. The drumsticks aren’t normal wooden sticks – they’re electronic sensors, and not only is there a left and a right one, but each stick also has a top and a bottom so they have to be held just so.

But that’s okay, because, let me repeat for emphasis, you don’t ever hit anything. In fact, treating these like real drums and drumsticks would destroy them in seconds. Instead, you just wave your drumsticks over the plastic lump and hope it detects the motion. And often times, it doesn’t.

Proof: Playing “Cherub Rock” with the Rock Band drums on the second easiest difficult setting, I missed only 8% of the notes the first time through (an already lame score, I’ll admit). Switching over to the AirStrike kit and selecting the same song and difficulty, I missed a whopping 31% of the notes – and again, I should have played better because I’d already seen the note patterns and this was an easy difficulty setting. On a more difficult setting, the disparity would probably be greater, as it was with the guitar.

Ironically, the AirStrike drum kit does work with Rock Band 3’s Pro Drums mode – however, because there are no cymbals here and that mode requires at least one, don’t plan on scoring too well. Oh, it also requires a staggering six AA batteries thanks to the sticks, three more than the wireless Rock Band kit that exceeds it in every single way. To put it simply, this peripheral should never have come out. It simply doesn’t work.

Drum kit score: 1

Curtain Call: The Final Verdict

So, what do we have here? We have a game that tries its best but still feels a half-decade behind, we have a guitar that isn’t, and we have a drum kit so flawed it’s almost offensive. Add it all together and take the average, and it comes out to a nice, even 3. The crew at Seven45 are very nice people and we admire them for trying something new – but there’ no way you as a gamer should get caught paying for this failed experiment.

Nov 9, 2010

More Info

Release date: Oct 19 2010 - PS3, Xbox 360 (US)
Available Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360
Genre: Other Games/Compilations
Published by: Seven45 Studios
Developed by: Music Maker
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Mild Lyrics, Mild Suggestive Themes


  • willyfoureyes - December 21, 2010 11:57 p.m.

    @Darkhawk Beats me, but suddenly the words "New Mexico landfill" come to mind.
  • Darkhawk - December 20, 2010 8:22 p.m.

    Is this the game that went in the volcano?
  • MattyT - November 13, 2010 8:36 a.m.

    @AncientCanada97 These have been available in the Rock Band Music Store since September of last year (Playable in Rock Band 1, 2, or 3): *The Diary of Jane *I Will Not Bow *So Cold These have been available for Guitar Hero 5 since February of this year (Playable in Guitar Hero 5, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock): *Give Me a Sign *Sooner or Later *Until the End Your money is better spent with either of those franchises.
  • SerpentineZERO - November 13, 2010 6:31 a.m.

    It seems like this year's Rock Revolution
  • AncientCanada97 - November 11, 2010 4:13 p.m.

    Damnit, the one music game that has Breaking Benjamin is a crappy one.
  • Tranquilbez34 - November 10, 2010 7:41 p.m.

    It's rock Revolution meets Rock Band 3's pro mode. You learn how to play guitar on a shit game!
  • Letter11 - November 10, 2010 6:45 a.m.

    “NEVER strike the base unit (or anything else) with the AirStrike sticks!” "To put it simply, this peripheral should never have come out. It simply doesn’t work." Haha! I was laughing so hard when I read this! Who seriously thought this would be a good idea. I was sort of interested before but not anymore. Nice review.
  • EricBratcher - November 10, 2010 3:39 a.m.

    Hi Romination! I usually don't do reviews, it's true - I let the fellas do the heavy lifting and I just stand around with my arms crossed pretending to be cranky like J Jonah Jameson. But I pitch in on some of the niche-y stuff here and there (fishing games, iphone stuff, etc) that I care about more than the rest of the crew crew does. Plus, as one of only a couple guys on staff who owns a real guitar, I felt the need to weigh in on this one. As for the podcast, talk to Chris. That's his show; I'm just a guest.
  • Zepaw - November 10, 2010 3:38 a.m.

    No online? I will never even rent this.
  • FanofSaiyan - November 9, 2010 11:47 p.m.

    Destroying all those plastic controllers for one of their commercials was such a waste, seeing as how they're far better than the piece of crap that comes with the game bundle. I'd rather play Rock Revolution than this...
  • santaclouse37 - November 9, 2010 11:36 p.m.

    Where the hell is Lando Lakes and Leopold Margerine? I realize that they are at the very forefront of the music game criticism industry, but critics are critics, and can't just examine the pick of the litter, they should cast their opinions on lesser games as well instead of simply handing them off to some wannabe, low-level, amateur musicgamescriticizerologist. Do Lando and Leopold have no integrity?
  • StrayGator - November 9, 2010 10:12 p.m.

    I'd like to read Eric's (or Justin's) opinion on the RB3 Squier (is it out yet btw?) - How it functions as a game controller, and how it manages as an instrument. I'm not a strat guy, but it wouldn't hurt to have one (even if entry-level). It still would be the first "supplemental" controller to justify the space it would take in my apartment.
  • Romination - November 9, 2010 10:11 p.m.

    Hey, Eric Bratcher! I didn't know you did reviews getbackontalkradar, and I'm sorry it had to be this one.
  • Spybreak8 - November 9, 2010 9:52 p.m.

    Ouch and you already said you'd pass this game up just being in a tough market.
  • CoryRX8 - November 9, 2010 9:42 p.m.

    @WTeen8 In all fairness, this game was announced months before Harmonix unveiled Rock Band 3's pro mode guitar. It doesn't make the game any less rubbish, but their advertising claim isn't as misleading as you're thinking.
  • GenericSpaceMarine - November 9, 2010 9:11 p.m.

    I can see this heading in the same direction as Rock Revolution. The bargain bin.
  • nadrewod999 - November 9, 2010 9:07 p.m.

    I sincerely hope HerWhisperingEye is being sarcastic, because the other possibility makes me lose hope in gamers worldwide, since there is a chance that people can look at a low review score (one of the lowest I have ever seen on this site), and actually WANT to BUY the horrible game that they have been warned about.
  • WTeen8 - November 9, 2010 8:41 p.m.

    I knew this game was going to fail. And they said that theey're the first to feature a real guitar, well then how come everyone heard about RB3's squire guitar first? So this game also LIES!
  • zigs - November 9, 2010 8:32 p.m.

    From the second I saw them reveal the drumkit, I knew instantly this game would be an absolute failure. How on Earth they thought that would be a good idea is completely beyond me. It's as if they just heard that other drum kits are loud (well duh!) and thought they'd make a quiet drumkit, completely oblivious and ignorant of how drumming actually works. Totally baffling how they expected anything from that hunk of shit.
  • ultimatepunchrod - November 9, 2010 8:32 p.m.

    wow. i figured this game would be bad, but a 3? wow.

Showing 1-20 of 23 comments

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