Reviewed: September 12, 2008
The time has come once again for two giants to clash together and battle to see who comes out on top. On one side of the battlefield we have Guitar Hero and on the other side we have Rock Band. Both of these franchises have taken the world by storm changing society and the way we play games. The only problem about having two competing games that use peripherals is that each has their own set and that adds up quickly when it comes to floor space in your residence.
Now I am a Guitar Hero/ Rock Band fan and the only problem that I have with these two games is that they each use their own with their respected game, with the exception of Guitar Hero guitars working on Rock Band. So that means that I have twice the number of guitars lying around my house when Iím not rocking out with them. Enter The Ant Commandoes, the company that has been making guitars for Guitar Hero and Rock Band for some time now.
The Ant Commandoes have heard all of our frustrated cries for help and have designed a new class of guitars that incorporates the controls for both Guitar Hero AND Rock Band together in one unit. All I can say is that itís about time. With that said I give you my review of the Widow Maker Bass Guitar for PS2 and PS3.
The Widow Maker Bass is by far one of the coolest guitar designs that I have seen in a while. Its design reminds me of all the bass guitars that were made popular by The Rolling Stones and other famous bands. The guitar features dual fret keys to allow players to rock out on both Guitar Hero and Rock Band with the upmost of ease.
The Widow Maker Bass utilizes a 2Ē Strum Bar, like its predecessors, to allow a tighter strum zone. This is okay for the most part but I still favor the 2.25Ē strum bars found on the GH Gibson and the Fender Stratocasters for Rock Band. The Strum Bar is complimented with a Super whammy Bar that has been built to take even the harshest of players.
The Feather Touch Fret Keys now have a new undercoating of rubber cushions to allow for faster key activations for the heaviest of rockers. Both sets of Frets Keys are housed on a new ComfortNeck that features new dimensions and a more contoured neck to allow for a more comfortable grip in those late night jam sessions.
As I mentioned above, the Widow Maker Bass is one of my favorite guitar styles. It just looks the part from its sleek black and white body to the chrome Strum Bar, Whammy Bar and Start and Back buttons. The Widow Maker Bass guitar is realistic in almost every detail and features a stylish headstock with five tuning pegs. The guitar also features a expansion slot for a future Whammy-Wah foot pedal for Star Power and whammy capabilities.
The guitar comes equipped with a slightly recessed Start button to keep players from accidentally hitting it, of which Iíve never had happen to me. The back button is raised a fair bit off the guitar for what I assume to be a more awkward way to activate Star Power or Overdrive. Donít ask me why...Iím still contemplating the practicality of such a feature. The Widow Maker Bass, god I love that name, also features a PS3 Home Button and D-Pad on the face for easy navigation of the PlayStation 3ís menus.
Thatís right finally a guitar that can be used on both the aging PS2 and the shiny new PS3. The Widow Maker Bass comes with a 2.4GHz wireless adapter that uses the controller port on the PS2 or the USB port on the PS3. The adapter also features a switch that you must change depending on which game or system you are using. And now that the guitar is running on 2.4 technology there are no more line of sight problems. As long as you are within 30 feet of the adapter you are good to go.
The Widow Maker also features the new Power Thief Power Saving Mode, which essentially powers the guitar off when it senses inactivity, as in breaks due to massive hand craps, to get every drop out of the 4 AA batteries it takes to power this guitar. Iíve been using rechargeable batteries in this puppy and Iíve yet to have to recharge them yet and Iíve been using the Widow Maker Bass a lot.
The Widow Maker Bass comes with the mandatory shoulder strap, which is good since this guitar is big and pretty much impossible to hold without it. The Guitar is a whopping 34Ē long, making it 2Ē longer than the Rock Band Stratocaster and a whole 7Ē shorter that the original Gibson guitars.
The guitar also comes with a nice surprise in the form of the 360 Fly Function Clip. When attached to you belt the 360 Fly Function Clip allows for strap free play and for pulling off some aerobatics ZZ Top style. At first I thought it was some hokey gimmick to get people to buy the guitar but it does have its practical uses.
While I did give the clip a spin, resulting in whacking my shin with the guitar, it works nicely. Not that youíll have time to do it while youíre playing that is. You do need to have to have some serious clearance when performing a spin as you will likely whack the floor or someone with the guitar if youíre not careful. But besides the funny business the clip does work fairly nicely as a means to play without the strap.
Iíve been using the Widow Maker Bass guitar for a good little while now on everything from the original Guitar Hero on PS2 to Rock Band on PS3 and it has held up nicely so far. The guitar is well constructed and has survived the abuse that Iíve inflicted on it this past week or so. The keys are pretty solid and showed no sign of sticking or becoming loose with use. The strap that comes with the Widow Maker Bass is actually much improved over previous models and doesnít come off the knobs without some serious tugging. Come to think of it, the strap was a pain to put on the knobs in the first place.
Ah now to the gritty part of this review. The guitar looks awesome but does it hold up performance wise. The answer to that question is YesÖ kind of. The Widow Maker Bass works great in most regards. I never had an issue with the keys sticking, but I did have issues with hitting the notes. I am by no means a star player but I know when I should have nailed a note. Maybe it being a wireless guitar has something to do with it.
Another issue I had with this guitar is that I had trouble activating Star Power and Overdrive. The Widow Maker Bass features a Bi-Directional activation mechanism. You can either shake the guitar lightly or use the original tip method. No matter which way I chose, the guitar failed to activate about a quarter of the time when I tried to activate it. But for the most part the guitar works wonders and I couldnít ask for a better rounded guitar. WellÖ maybe adding Xbox 360 support would make it better but I donít see that happening.
The Widow Maker Bass retails for around $60.00 dollars and is a fairly impressive guitar for the money. I havenít picked up my old Guitar Hero guitar since I laid my hands on the Widow Maker Bass. That is saying something since Iíve been using the classic Gibson since like day one of Guitar Hero.
The Ant Commandoes have finally given the consumer what they wanted and I personally couldnít be happier. The ability to switch between different modes with a flip of a lever and being able to sync more than one guitar to the adapter is fantastic. With its PS2 and PS3 USB controller connectivity this really is one of the best guitars of the market despite its very few flaws. If you are looking for a new guitar to replace your worn out one or looking for a universal one then look no further than the Widow Maker Bass.