BandFuse Rock: Legends E3 Preview

The Realta Entertainment Group may not be a familiar name to gamers, but they aren’t exactly strangers to the industry either. The team has 20 plus years working with the likes of Data East, EA, Warner, Universal and Microsoft developing GUIs, writing audio and video CODECs and pioneering real-time audio/video streaming. All that to say that these guys aren’t slouches when it comes to the kind of experience needed to create a new guitar rhythm game that uses the real deal.

Realta was on hand at this year’s E3 to bring BandFuse: Rock Legends to the masses. Players connect honest-to-goodness guitars, basses and microphones to their home console and are guided by on-screen lessons and video mentors to improve and/or challenge their string plucking and fretting skills. I sat down for a brief preview of the title and, being the ultra novice I am, started simple 2 and 3 string strumming to Jessie’s Girl by Rick Springfield. The music video accompanied the song, as did the lyrics but they didn’t detract from the playfield of scrolling, colored numbers indicating what fret and string needed attention as well as the ideal finger to use.

Like I mentioned earlier, as players progress through their virtual career, videos are unlocked that playback behind-the-music like interviews from first rate guitar players who give tips and inspirational anecdotes about overcoming their own struggles or imparting fundamental techniques. Featured mentors include:

  • Zack Wylde, lead guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne
  • Nancy Wilson of Heart
  • Slash of Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver
  • Jason Hook and Zoltan Bathory from the band Five Finger Death Punch

The announced track list casts a pretty wide net. So far 23 tracks have been announced with more to come:

  • You Oughta Know” (Alanis Morissette)
  • Jessica” (The Allman Brothers Band)
  • Sugar, We’re Goin Down” (Fall Out Boy)
  • Hemorrhage” (Fuel)
  • Barracuda” (Heart)
  • Drive” (Incubus)
  • I’m Broken” (Pantera)
  • Jessie’s Girl” (Rick Springfield)
  • Limelight” (Rush)
  • Should I Stay or Should I Go” (The Clash)
  • Stellar Revival” (The Crazy Ones)
  • Roundabout” (Yes)
  • No Rain” (Blind Melon)
  • Godzilla” (Blue Oyster Cult)
  • Yellow” (Coldplay)
  • The Bleeding” (Five Finger Death Punch)
  • Breaking the Law” (Judas Priest)
  • Cult of Personality” (Living Colour)
  • Sweet Home Alabama” (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
  • Harder to Breathe” (Maroon 5)
  • Alive” (Pearl Jam)
  • Back From Cali” (Slash)
  • Reptilia” (The Strokes)

What makes BandFuse unique is the ability it gives players to lay down their own tracks. By choosing backing beats and creating their own multi-track recordings a player can be the lead, rhythm, bass AND vocal on their own original song, record and share it all via social networks. I don’t have nearly enough talent to pull something like that off, but real time collaborations allow for up to 4 to play simultaneously too. I think I can handle a simple 12-bar blues rhythm if someone wants to play lead.

BandFuse: Rock Legends isn’t out until early 2013 and there are already a couple titles that make use of real guitars as controllers, but Realta’s stands stronger as a teaching tool, rather than just a game. The addition of the virtual recording studio make it that much more enticing for more serious hobbyists who aren’t looking to spend big bucks on recording equipment but still want to share their music with friends, family and anyone else who will listen.

Christopher Kirkman

Christopher is an old school nerd: designer, animator, code monkey, writer, gamer and Star Wars geek. As owner and Editor-In-Chief of Media Geeks, he takes playing games and watching movies very seriously. You know, in between naps.

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3 Responses

  1. Thanks for the great write up Christopher! And thanks for stopping by to play the game at e3! Cheers!

  2. John says:

    Do the colors indicate which finger is the correct (or ideal) finger to use? If so that will be awesome!

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