I know: Power Gig has been out for months. It was skewered by critics. It was bought by no one (hilariously, on YourGamerCards, a site used to track trophies, only 260 people have played this game, and only 6 have platted it).
BUT, it is now forty bucks at Gamestop, for the full band set. "What the heck?", I thought, and picked it up yesterday. And in the end, it's not the worst game I've ever played, but it's definitely the worst music game I've played, and it's not really that fun in the end.
Well, all games have something good about them, but I struggle to find it here. If I had to pick, I would say that it is minutely fun to sing along to the songs.
No, I'm not talking about the quality of the peripherals. Actually, I don't think they're that bad, for something that I picked up for forty bucks. The guitar isn't going to win a beauty contest, but it does play. The AirStrike drums are silly, but the sensors do work (despite reports to the contrary - in fact, they work a little TOO well for my liking). The microphone is a microphone.
So, what's the problem? Let's start with the guitar. Look, I like that your game has a real guitar. How about really using the guitar? The fact is, you still play it, in the vast majority of the songs, like a GH/RB guitar. However, it's more problematic, as the frets are not very responsive to touch (unlike, e.g., the fret buttons on a GH guitar). It really busts your fingers, but you get no real reward from it.
The drums are a joke. It took me almost an hour to realize that I needed to put batteries into the drum sticks themselves (2 AA each, no less). The problem? You have to unscrew the back of the stick! Who thought of such a stupid idea? Moreover, when you put the batteries in, you can't put the back of the stick in place again - it won't fit without a major struggle.
The gameplay with the drums consists of you swinging them over sensors (DON'T HIT THE PADS!, or so they say). Whose bright idea was this? You know what's fun when you play drums? Hitting the drum. You play air drums when...you don't have a drum to hit. Otherwise, you smack a desk, the wall, etc. Why in the sam hell would I want to just swing at air? Come on - for a game that had a major campaign touting its realism (for a laugh, go and read some of the hilarious interviews with celebrity chumps that backed this game), this is just a joke.
Like I said, I find that the sensors work TOO well. Often, I will register two swings when I've only swung once. Occasionally, the note will drop as well, although most of this time, this was my fault. But it makes the drums almost unplayable. I would advise using the plastic guitar for GH for this game. I've even heard that the drums work as well, although the color coding will mess you up. The microphone seems to work fine.
The game looks and feels ugly. The graphics are just horrible. The deformed characters (there are only six total, and you can only choose from two on each instrument) look ridiculous. The story (involving some evil guy called Headliner who took all the mojo away from a world - I kid thee not) is almost corny enough to be funny, except for the strange voiceover you'll hear 1000x as you play: "Headliner: I call him Captain Braindead!". Every time you load up, you'll hear this. It's not funny or clever, and after 3 times, you already want to turn the volume down.
For some reason, the single player modes are shoved to one side of the screen. The drums are on the left. The guitar is on the right. I can understand this for 3-player mode, but why no use the full screen for SP?
The structure of the game even manages to be confusing and awkward. You are supposed to choose certain songs based on a symbol next to them. The symbol changes over time, and as there are 4 symbols (and more are added later), this ensures that you are constantly searching for these silly rune-like marks. Was it really necessary? Is there any reason not to have standard gigs with set songs, or at the very least, gigs where you choose to play what you want from a given list?
The overall single player mode can be finished in a night if you exploit these symbols correctly (a long night - it's about 60 songs or so).
What a mess. The game attempts to distinguish between two types of note hit. If you hit a note in perfect time (a "perfect" hit), you get a lot of points, and if you hit a note slightly off (a "good" hit), you get less points. In order to build your multiplier, you must hit consecutive "perfect" notes. Taken by itself, this isn't the worst idea ever. The problem is that it requires a herculean effort to calibrate your system. Even when you do, sometimes the game just...skips. A note will discretely move from above the strike zone to below it, because the game gets hung up. If this happens, it doesn't matter if you hit the note properly - you always miss it. This is a fatal flaw in such a system.
Like I said, the drums are notorious for adding/dropping strikes. I find them nearly unplayable.
The microphone works pretty well, although I have never been able to calibrate it perfectly. I always find that I have to start a note a little early in order to get a perfect setting, which creates a strange echo between the TV and me (you will hear your voice prominently on the television.
They are a joke. While some of them require multiple players, none of them require even one iota of skill. Every trophy except for one can be obtained on the lowest difficulty. This is probably good, since hard trophies would be brutal, given the limitations of gameplay.
I can't recommend this game to anyone. I gave it two stars in the fun category because I am a sucker for music games, but this game is really bad. I might say it's good for little kids, but the guitar is pretty heavy, and the drums will be broken in a week (kids like hitting drums, too). Some of the songs are catchy, but overall, the music selection is lackluster (you may know some of the bands, but you'll know few of the songs). The Black Sabbath song, in particular, is laughably bad. The lousy guitar might make it worthwhile (you can probably plug it into Rocksmith, although I don't know), but even for forth bucks, you'll be straining to believe you got your money's worth.