I never thought I'd pay $170 for a video game. Well...this game seemed to justify it.
After opening the tightly packed box, the appearance of the items is definitely cheap. Barring the fact that I dislike Fender guitars to begin with, the plastic looks like it came from the dollar store. The drums are more solid than expected, but not as solid as they looked in mag and blog preview pictures. The included drumsticks are the WORST drumsticks I've held in my life; they aren't even laminated. As for the microphone...it's the goofiest one I've ever held as well.
This game takes a lot of room to play with 3 people let alone 4. We gathered around the 57" TV and went at it. For some reason...there was definitely a lot more "rockin'" going on between players compared to Guitar Hero. Playing with 2-3 other people makes the experience full and exciting. I caught myself jamming along to songs I don't even like.
My room mate who is more tone-deaf than I am got assigned singing, and he did fairly decent. I had to explain to him that he didn't have to match the octave of the singer on the recording; he incessantly complained of the tunes being out of his range. The game seemed quite forgiving on Easy...he didn't delve too much into Medium (although the game starts to insist).
The best part though, was when my drummer attempted to jump in and play a Foo Fighters song on Expert his first try. He didn't make it very far; the drumming isn't realistic and actually threw me off quite a bit as the guitarist. The sad part is that song is absolute cake to him on the real drums...he's capable of drumming multitudes more difficult. After more failed attempts on Hard and Medium, he vowed never to play the game again because it didn't make any sense. Take that as you will.
DemoltionNinja played the drums and did quite well. We played the game so long that his constant banging kept up our room mate downstairs. After playing an online game with one of our friends...we had to call it quits after 5 hours of playing.
My biggest gripe is that we've had to play the same group of songs too many times; it gets old quick. Apparently you have to gain so much popularity and perform so well before you get a new set of songs. It's rather obnoxious.
Expect a review soon; it definitely won't be getting %100 MSRP appraisal, but it will be high.