With Rock Band 3, music games take a significant leap, adding a level of real-music simulation previously unseen in this genre. Part of it is the two-octave MIDI keyboard that comes with the game, but even more interesting is the optional Pro-level guitar controller. Made by MadCatz and using a licensed Fender Mustang design, the guitar has separate buttons for each string at every fret--102 buttons in all--meaning one can play actual guitar chords on it.
To compare the experience to actual music-making, I whipped out a real guitar (in this case a Fender Telecaster--sorry, I don't have a Mustang) and did a side-by-side run-through. By hooking up this Pro guitar and playing on the hard or expert difficulty levels, the guitar part consists of the actual chords from the song in question.
Unfortunately, the onscreen notation for this was unfathomable to me, with lines of varying heights indicating the fingering, starting with a root note. Fortunately, the actual chord names float by at the same time, and if you stick with those, the effect is very close to real guitar playing. … Read more