Games That Rock
These tune-infused titles will make your groupies scream.
Ubisoft (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) The good guy: You, the budding guitar hero. The bad guys: None in the game; serious finger blisters in real life. The gear: In-game distortion pedals and an included USB cable for plugging in a real guitar. The gist: That plastic guitar peripheral collecting dust in the closet? Douse it with lighter fluid and burn it Jimi Hendrix–style. Rocksmith requires a real electric guitar to play (a $200 bundle comes with a Les Paul Junior), and it will teach you how to actually play using the same scrolling-note interface pioneered by the Guitar Hero titles. You strum along to more than 30 rock classics as best you can, while the game adjusts its difficulty based on your fretwork. The better you get, the more notes it’ll throw at you, until eventually you’re handling your ax like you’re Eddie Van Halen.
Children of Eden
Ubisoft (Xbox 360, PS3) The good guy: Eden, the first human born in space. The bad guy: Nasty computer malware. The gear: Lock-on missiles, a Vulcan cannon, a “Euphoria” smart bomb, and more.
The gist: It’s the spiritual successor to the trippy Dreamcast shooter Rez. You battle the digital tendrils of a computer virus threatening to dismantle your digital world bit by bit. Dead-eye aim isn’t enough; you need rhythm to blast to the beat of the thumping trance soundtrack. The game’s makers call this melding of aural and visual effects “synesthesia.” We call it a little pretentious, but the game is very pretty. And it’s fun to use the Kinect or Move motion-sensing peripherals to wield your arms like cannons.
Sony (PS3) The good guy: Any wannabe trance-tune composer. The bad guys: Hecklers who boo your concerts on the PlayStation Network. The gear: The PlayStation Move controller. The gist: If you ever wanted to know what all those Burning Man stoners see in their heads as they wander the desert, just boot this up. The trance-inducing not-really-a-game experience has you plucking music samples from an audio palette, then “painting” songs from those samples in virtual 3-D space. Your compositions will vary from trippy to toe-tapping, and you can broadcast your performances over the PlayStation Network. Appropriately enough, the game is available online for roughly the price of a dimebag.
2011 Penthouse Holiday Gaming Survival Guide, Also See: