Unplugged – The Review

October 27, 2021 ·

We all enjoy different things in life. But there is one thing that a lot of us will agree that one of the things we have in common and that is music. Music has a way of soothing the soul and can make us forget the most troubling of times to make us remember some of our greatest memories just by hearing our favorite type of music from our favorite genre and artists. Sometimes we like to sing along while other times, we can pretend to play that favorite instrument. Music can really get us in the groove, no matter our mood. But does publisher Vertigo Games and developer Anotherway allow us to be the hero of the guitar? Let’s find out with Unplugged for the Oculus Quest/Quest 2.

Unplugged allows you to play air guitar while you rock out to some of the biggest songs from world-famous bands that will have you match your fingers to the chords, strum the strings at the right time, and engage the crowd. Try an unlock new songs, venues, guitars, and more on your way to becoming the rock legend that you were meant to be. There are a few things that you will want to do first to make sure your time on stage is the most rewarding. First, make sure the room that you are playing in is fully lit. Second, don’t be afraid if you mess up. It’s all part of the fun. And lastly, make sure your headset is fully charged. You don’t want to be hitting that chord of playing as you have never played before only to have the headset die and you actually become unplugged wondering what the crowd’s final reaction is going to be. With that said, let’s continue…

In Unplugged, you will be playing the guitar. Not a plastic one or an actual guitar, but a virtual one. So before you go in and pick a song to rock out to, start with the ‘How to Play’ to get the basics down such as making sure the camera lenses on the outside of your headset are clean, but you also learn how to place the guitar for the best playing ability, strumming, pick which hand you are, and if nothing else. get a tutorial from Satchel from Steel Panther.

When you are ready it’s time to get into the first song which is ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’ by The Clash. Playing is pretty simple. Your four fingers are represented by different colors which will you move up and down on the neck of the guitar hitting different frets and then you will strum with your other hand. It’s all about timing in everything that you do when it comes to the guitar. There are powerups that can help slow down the song to even add points to your overall score which can come in very nicely when you start to hit harder parts of the song that you can hit with the neck of the guitar.

Each of the 23 songs is 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. But by unlocking the different albums, you also get to play bigger venues with more people in the crowd. And the crowd has no problem letting you know when you are missing notes as you can hear the sounds of the boos coming to even letting you know how awesome you are by the number of cheers you receive. After each song, you will get to see how many points you earned, how well you did against other players to even the number of fans you earned. And speaking of fans, you can earn them by engaging with them during the song to even catching things they throw on stage at the end of the songs. Not only are you trying to earn a place in the leaderboards of rock, but you need to have a certain amount of fans to unlock new guitars and amps. But in no time, you should be playing without having to look at the neck of the guitar and live in the moment.

Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. Graphically, everything looks very well done here. I liked the different looks of each of the venues. It’s not about having each person in the crowd look different, but seeing the silhouettes of the different people in the crowd adds to the moment. And even being able to make out the different notes coming at you so you can match them with your fingers is clear and helps things out when things are starting to get heated up and those notes are coming at you at a faster pace. Sound-wise, this is music. So depending on the songs, each one sounded good with me wanting to get as high a score as I could. And when you hear people cheering, even when you may miss some of the notes, it is encouraging. Even with Satchel’s humor throughout your journey was amusing and I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the things he was saying. Now, with that said, some of the things that he says may not be appropriate for those younger rockers in your household venue, so just keep that in mind.

There are a few things that I would love to see get added here. For one, the hand tracking was not always 100% accurate. There were times when I would hit some of the notes and it may have not registered correctly. It does a very good job and the developer is already working on a fix, so that is a good thing that they are listening. Second, some of the objectives might be a little more challenging for some, so hopefully, this will be addressed as well. And last, more songs. Anotherway has something here and if they can get more songs added with either a way to buy singles, music packs or even a way to incorporate songs that we already have in our collection, the amount of time to rock out very well could be endless.

Unplugged does allow us to be the hero of the guitar that allows our inner rock star to come out to play regardless of the reality of the crowds. In each of us, we all have talents that can help lead the way to our dreams. Sometimes we just need the stage to show it. And shouldn’t we do that regardless of what anyone may think?

Unplugged is out now for the Oculus Quest/Quest 2 on the Oculus Store and coming to Steam. A review code was provided.

To learn about the game, please visit the site, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, follow them on Instagram, and subscribe to their YouTube channel. To learn more about Vertigo Games, please visit their site and make sure you like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and subscribe to their YouTube channel. 

In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I am going to go and rock out.

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