If you pay any attention to the gaming media, you are well acquainted with the idea that rhythm games like Rock Band are dead. While we know this is bullshit (and I'll get into that with a later post) it is impossible to deny the shrinking of the market. I view this as a good thing! The rhythm game market was never supposed to get as large as it did and is now shrinking back down to appropriate sizes.
Having said that, imagine my surprise to see a major developer choosing now, well past the apex of the rhythm game fad, to try and launch a new music game. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Rocksmith!
Now, let me explain why this isn't going to work.
1. We just talked about how the music game market is shrinking. It cannot support multiple versions of what are essentially the game concept (hence the failure of Guitar Hero). By going after the "real guitar!!!!!!" market, Ubisoft is striking at the king of rhythm games: Rock Band.
2. The technique that this game is using to sense your playing is lackluster at best. Yes, it sucks that you had to buy a new guitar to play Pro mode in Rock Band, but it's worth it because of how the damn thing works. Actual sensor technology in the neck of the guitar allows active, on-screen tracking of the location of your fingers and an added precision when playing. Rocksmith, however, will allow you to use any guitar. Their game uses software that track the pitch of the note that is being played, much in the same way that Rock Band does vocals. This method is fine for something like singing, but is too imprecise for guitar.
3. I have a hard time believing that Ubisoft isn't just trying to leech every dollar they can out of every genre they can get their hands on. This game isn't gonna work because Ubisoft doesn't care about it enough to make it work. It's gonna be rough looking, it's gonna be buggy, and it's probably just not gonna be fun to play.
Games journalists, listen up. When this game comes out and sells like a hot turd in a paper bag, you don't get to go "MUSIC GAMES ARE DEAD!!!!!!1!!!!". Nope. Not allowed.