We all have our favorite genre of music from the Blues to Rock. We all have our favorite bands and artists that we enjoy. Some of us sing out loud while others pretend to be holding our favorite instrument whether it be the cowbell or the guitar as we are just enjoying the moment. Music can help bring out the emotion in all of us to enhance our mood. But does publisher, Vertigo Games, and developer, Anotherway help to bring out the rock star from within? Let’s find out with Unplugged: Air Guitar for PlayStation VR2.
Unplugged: Air Guitar is a rhythm game that lets you rock out to some of the biggest and most insanely cool songs from world-famous rock bands, including Lynyrd Skynyrd, Garbage, Weezer & Ozzy Osbourne all while engaging the crowd to become the rock legend you were destined to become. But before you take the stage, there are a few things that you will want to be aware of. First, find that favorite place of yours to either stand or sit so you can rock out. Second, make sure the sound is up all the way. This is Rock ‘n Roll after all. Third, make sure those Sense controllers are fully charged. You don’t want to have that perfect combo only to have it come to an end and the crowd starts booing you because you forgot to charge them. And finally, rock out and have fun. With all that said, let’s continue…
Since your journey has led you to rock legend stardom, we have to remember how it all started. Just like anything we do, we are all beginners and must learn the ways, which in this case, is the way of Rock ‘n Roll. But just not any teacher of rock will do, no no no, we need someone who lives the life, who tours, and who knows how to rock the guitar. I am talking about none other than Satchel, the lead guitarist from the band Steel Panthers. He will give you advice in the best Satchel way possible and that includes moving and placing your virtual guitar to where it best fits for you, learning how to strum the guitar, hitting the notes, engaging the crowd, and even looking like a true rock star. Well, that last one is going to be up to you and how much you want to commit to the part of actually looking like a rock star.
One thing to remember is that the guitar is not going to move with you. So no need to be jumping up and down like this is Van Halen. Just stay where you are, take your time, and before you know it, you will be rocking out. To play, you are basically matching the colors on the right fret with the colors that come in your direction and strumming on time. Your last three fingers are used for the teal colors and your index finger is for the purplish blue color. So just pay attention to where the notes are coming your way and strum at the right time and you will have it in no time. As the tutorial is moving along you are thrown into your first song which is Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash.
Songs are broken out into different albums. Songs like Weezer’s ‘Say It Ain’t So’ and Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Flying High Again’ is on the album titled The Pick Of Your Life while songs like Rush’s ‘Tom Sawyer’ and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Free Bird’ is on the album You, Legend. Of course, these are not official albums by any bands, just how the songs are broken up. Each album needs to be unlocked and the ways to unlock them will depend on the album, but it could be things like earning golden records on the different difficulties to even the number of combos that you need to get on specific songs.
After each song, you get to see how well you rocked and try to catch objects that the crowd throws at you. You are essentially not only trying to play the best guitar possible but trying to gain as many fans as you can as well as trying to make those global leaderboards. More fans mean you can start to get new picks and guitars, such s the Punk Rack guitar that looks like a Tennis racket, to add to your arsenal of awesomeness. You also have objectives that you are trying to reach so you can unlock more songs and venues. Earning points is as easy as hitting all the combos you can, hitting special power-ups, and when your meter is full, putting up that rock signal to engage the crowd.
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. From the details of the guitars and pics to the album covers and the fans in the venues, everything really looked good as the colors just have this vibrant presentation about them. Of course, with a game like Unplugged: Air Guitar the sound and music are going to be the main focus here. Having the sound up and being able to rock out to the songs, with some making me a new fan, all sounded great with the Pulse 3D Audio Headset, and adding the haptics just adds to the immersive experience.
There are a few things I would love to see. First, you may be aware that Unplugged, was originally launched on the Quest platform with one of the main focuses being hand-tracking. On that platform, you do have more colors to play with which does offer a more challenging experience due to the hand-tracking. On the PlayStation VR2 version, there are fewer colors to have to worry about. So I would love to see that if hand-tracking ever came to PlayStation VR2, all the features would become available on this platform. Second, I would love to see some type of online battle mode of guitars against players added. I think it might be quite epic to see the different ways online could be used. And finally, more songs. There is a very good selection of songs here, but there is always going to be that wanting for needing more and that’s not a bad thing.
Unplugged: Air Guitar brings the Rock ‘n Roll home and brings the music that we can all rock out to. It allows even those that may not have a musical note in their body, to at least have the ability to live out a dream even if it is a virtual one. We all have dreams and ambitions that may never be met if we don’t try. But it’s when we try, no matter the reality, we can all be on that stage to show the world what we can do no and prove to all those doubters and the ones that truly believed in us to be our biggest fans, what we are truly capable of in this rock show of life.
Also, check out the Unplugged: Air Guitar video review:
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have some leaderboards to climb and fans to play music for.