Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Get Rocksmith 2014 Edition - PC/Mac (Cable Included)

Get Rocksmith 2014 Edition - PC/Mac (Cable Included)




Rocksmith 2014 is a great upgrade to the original Rocksmith. However using the new version has caused me some good, bad and ugly! I purchased the original Rocksmith last November after purchasing a guitar. I played guitar a little bit in my teens and 20's but now that I'm in my late 30's I really wanted to learn to play versus just tinkering around. The original Rocksmith got me past the basics very quickly. I only learned and mastered a few songs but my friends and family were amazed and impressed how fast I picked things up. The original Rocksmith was great but the interface and game play was a little clunky and slow.

Fast forward to the new Rocksmith 2014 and we have a much faster and polished learning system. In 2014 gone is the mode of start at the bottom working to play at top venues and large crowds and scoring points. This reminded me much of a Guitar Hero style of play versus learning. While yes you still learned it seemed focus was more on scoring points then really learning the songs. I guess you could say both went hand in hand but I really want to learn the songs and I don't really care if a crowd is watching or scoring points so speak. While Rocksmith gave you the world tour gameplay, Rocksmith 2014 feels like the get it right in a studio gameplay.


I'm using the PC version as I did with the previous RS on an Asus i7 laptop with 16GB of Ram. I currently a 1TB hybrid ssd drive and a dedicated video card for graphics with 2GB of ram. As far installing the disks, that went rather smoothly. Steam was already installed however with RS2014 it also installs Uplay. Uplay from Ubisoft is supposed to give you stats on the game as well as leaderboards to see how you rank against other players online. To me this seems like an unnecessary step when it could have been incorporated into Steam! Now not only do I have all these pops from Steam when I open and close Rocksmith, but I also get popups from Uplay. It's now even more annoying then previously before.

Opening for the first time

So I got the RS2014 installed and went into it for the first time only to get an error message "No Audio Output Found." My built in sound card worked fine everywhere else but not in RS2014. I closed out to troubleshoot. I changed the sound card sample rate in properties, turned exclusive on and off to no avail. I also use 1 of 2 external USB Audio interfaces for pro-audio recording. I plugged that in and it started with no error but the sound was garbled. I went back to the built and card and tried a few more things. Now I did just update to Windows 8.1 so I figured let me try to install an updated driver. Bada bing that worked! Now most of the time I do use 1 of the external audio interfaces because they allow me to have the lowest latency (delay you hear for when you play your sound vs actually hear it). I still couldn't get past the garbled crackling and popping with the pro interfaces. I did some digging on Ubisoft's forums and found you can change some settings in the Rocksmith.ini file if you're having trouble. For me on both my pro interfaces I had to change the latency to 2 and the output buffer size to 1024. That did the trick! Now all of this took about 1 1/2 hours to figure out! I did not experience these hiccups in the original Rocksmith. This was also an annoyance but I've been using and troubleshooting PC's for over 20 years. If there's a problem with a program I'm going to eventually figure it out. From to point of view of someone who doesn't have my troubleshooting experience, I can see where this would be quite frustrating! Now I know not everyone has the same hardware configurations so it can make it a lot harder to program and get this stuff right but the install experience should not have been this complicated! I'm going to give that a big needs improvement!

Learning your first song

When you first start RS2014 you have to pick your guitar type, left or right handed pick, calibrate and finally tune it. After that you can immediately start playing songs. Just pick one and start learning. Like RS, RS2014 starts you out slow and then gradually gives you more and more notes as you get them right until you're at 100 percent mastery. What I really like with RS2014 is that if you have trouble with a section you can immediately go into Riff Repeater mode with exiting the song. This will focus on that section and make you play it until you get it right! Practice makes perfect and the more you play the better you will get at it!

Other notes

While I haven't experienced all of what RS2014 has to offer because I've only had it for a day, I can say I'm impressed with what I have tried thus far. Now if you own the original Rocksmith one would think you should be able to use those songs in the new version right? Well you can but you have to pay and additional $9.99 to Steam to transfer them to RS2014! What???? I've already payed for the game once! To me this is like paying for it again? $9.99 isn't a lot to ask but to me this should be free for previous owners of the game. Charge new players if they want to original song content!

Anyway, I'm still happy with all the new changes and upgrades. Rocksmith 2014 should help me get closer to my goal of being proficient on the guitar. I must say this is probably the most economical and funnest way to learn to play guitar and progress at a fast rate! I've taken lessons in the past and they've been boring, expensive and slow. Rocksmith 2014 will really teach you how to play guitar!

I going to give Rocksmith 2014 a 4 stars. I'd give it 5 in the installation wasn't so bad. I'll probably update this review after I've had more time to play it.

Cheers and Rock On!