Games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero are a blast to play with friends, but you could log hundreds of hours shredding in Guitar Hero and have no clue what to do with an actual guitar. Ubisoft’s Rocksmith changes all that by trading in a plastic guitar for a real one.
Rocksmith, now available on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, not only stands on its own as a great music game, it’s also one of the most enjoyable methods ever conceived for learning a musical instrument. Produced in association with Epiphone, the game works by using a USB cable to convert analog waves created by a real electric or acoustic guitar into digital signals, which translate to action in the game.
Don’t have your own guitar lying around the house? Check out the Les Paul Jr. bundle. For $200, it includes both the game and the classic Epiphone Les Paul Jr. starter guitar, used by thousands of rockers throughout the decades.
The genius of Rocksmith is that it turns practice into a game. Books, tutorials and personal lessons are all great ways to learn guitar, but most students hit a plateau when they get bored with practice time. By applying the classic Guitar Hero formula of combos and high scores to a real guitar, Rocksmith makes practice addictive.
Just like the Guitar Hero lineup, Rocksmith can be played by two gamers simultaneously, making it a great activity on nights when you have the team over to your house. Play with the feedback, distortion and other effects, choose from a library that includes everything from the White Strips to Nirvana to the Rolling Stones, and start rocking. For real.
Buy the game for $60 online.