REVIEWS > SQUIER
GUITAR AND ROCK
BAND CONTROLLER BY REBECCA DIRKS
Since the first Guitar Hero game was released on Playstation2 in 2005 and Rock Band in
2007, the two have combined to sell more than
55 million game units (according to Activision
and Harmonix). In that same amount of time,
countless guitarists have dismissed the games
with varying degrees of spite. And though anti-guitar-game sentiment has quieted perceivably
in recent years, one lingering question remains:
will these plastic-button “guitarists” ever transform into genuine wood-and-steel heroes of the
next generation—and what can the game do to
make that happen?
Enter the Squier Stratocaster Guitar and
Rock Band Controller—the first ever full-size,
fully functional guitar that doubles as a game
controller. Used with this year’s Rock Band 3
Pro Mode (see sidebar on p. 230), the first-of-its-kind hybrid is the only real contender in the
battle to bridge the gap between game
and guitar. And it puts up a hell of
a fight to win the favor of players
from both camps.
A Guitar that’s a Controller? Or a
Controller that’s a Guitar?
Let’s get this out of the way—this is a budget
Squier Strat that makes certain concessions as a
guitar to live a double life as a video game controller. If you’re looking for a superbly playable,
versatile, and toneful instrument, Fender makes
plenty of those at different price points. Aside
from the electronics, which we’ll get to in a
moment, it shares many of the same specs as a
Squier Standard Stratocaster: agathis body,
maple C-shaped neck, 25. 5" scale, 9. 5"
fretboard radius, 22 medium jumbo
frets, and 1.650" nut width.
Special polymer fretboard
with sensors built in
Pop-up string mute
Onboard game controls
Dual 1/4" and MIDI outputs