In part three of this week's five-part series recapping some of the top titles from the E3 video game convention, NY1's Adam Balkin takes a look at how music games -- a genre which has recently fallen on hard times -- is trying to make a comeback through innovative new features.
There is a new generation of music games that teach you how to really play an instrument...not pretend, but actually play. And the game leading the way, "Rocksmith", is adding a new feature to its 2014 edition for those who are now somewhat proficient. The game will line you up with virtual bandmates so that you can jam alongside them in session mode, as demonstrated at the E3 convention by Jerry Cantrell from Alice in Chains.
"The technology is amazing and there's nothing really like it today I have to tell you that it's really fun and addictive and you could play for hours trying different bands and different instruments," says Cantrell.
"Rocksmith" now has some competition though from "Bandfuse: Rock Legends" which, as the name implies, gives players lessons from some of the best in the business, most notably Slash from Guns N' Roses fame.
"We've gone and met with them and interviewed them to find out what inspires them as musicians. Slash will sit down with you and show you how to hold a guitar, how to hold a pick, how to figure out how to play the notes," explains Jon Heiner of Realta.
Meantime, the folks behind "Rock Band" have teamed up with Disney to create a new type of interactive musical experience based on what most of us probably think of when we think of Disney and music: "Fantasia".
In "Fantasia Music Evolved" players wave their arms and become like the conductor from the legendary movie.
"We've worked to actually bring centuries of music together into one game to classical music from the movie like 'Night on Bald Mountain' and put it along side Bruno Mars and Avicci and also bringing classic rock in the mix to bridge all them and you can actually remix them in real time to move them between genres and eras," says John Drake of Harmonix.
Developers say this will allow players to do things like turn Bohemian Rhapsody into a classical song or Tchaikovsky into reggae.