Power Gig: Rise of the Six String, is a music video game by Seven45 Studios, scheduled for an October 2010 release for XBox 360 and PS3. Unlike many other popular music games, Power Gig is a story based game. Instead of being on tour, your band lives in a world where music has been banned, and it’s up to you to restore the world with the power of rock. My friends and I had the opportunity to play this game at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, and came away with a few first impressions.
Power Gig can be played with the same instruments that you play other music video games with, but the game comes with a unique guitar and drum set. The guitar itself is considerably heavier than the Rock Band or Guitar Hero guitars, though it is still about the same size. The heftier weight feels almost like that of a full sized guitar. It also has metal strings, which you press down and strum, although the accuracy needed to play a real guitar is not required for this game. However, the guitar does have a section beneath the strings that can be pressed down, allowing you to use this USB guitar with your computer to create music. As a former guitar player, I liked the feel of the metal strings, though after playing through a few songs, my fingers were already getting sore.
The drum set for Power Gig consists of four circular sensors, which sit low to the ground. Without actually hitting the drum set, the sensors pick up your “air drumming” and translate that into the game. While this drum set has the advantage of being much smaller and quieter than the sets that come with Rock Band or Guitar Hero: World Tour, the “air drumming” aspect can be difficult to adjust to. A friend of mine who loves to play the drums played this game at PAX, and was a little disappointed with how different it felt compared to the Rock Band drum set. To her, it didn’t feel quite right.
Power Gig also allows for a vocalist, but no bassist or other instruments, so it is a three-player game at most. We didn’t have the opportunity to try out the vocal tracks at PAX, but watching other people play the game with vocals, there did not appear to be much difference in that part of the game play. The representatives of Seven45 Studios focused more on telling us about the instrument peripherals, which leads me to believe that the major differences between this game and other music video games can be found with the guitar and drums.
Other differences in Power Gig were more subtle. Both the guitar and the drum parts included “mojo,” comparable to overdrive in Rock Band. Activating mojo made changes to the world around your characters, rather than helping you to save players who were in danger of failing the song. Also, there is no customization of characters available in Power Gig, though you do have a choice between two characters for each instrument.
While Power Gig: Rise of the Six String will likely appeal to people who enjoy music video games, the game may not have as much appeal to more casual gamers, looking for a fun game to play with friends at their next party. This game seems to appeal to those who are more interested in playing and making music, and perhaps those who are interested in a different overall story experience from the standard music video games.