I mentioned not too long ago that after finally getting a PS3 (now that the 4 is out, and the 3 is fairly cheap), I decided to get Rocksmith 2014 for the PS3.  I’ve had it for the PC for a while, and I liked it, but ended up not using it as much as I’d like due to limited USB ports, so I thought a used PS3 disc was a good investement to sidestep that particular issue. Overall the experience has been good.

It did confirm that it was not the PC/HDMI cable combo that was causing the String Skipping Saloon to freeze, though. This also happens to me in the PS3 version, where I’ll hit a string, the game won’t hear it, I’ll hit it again, and while the things I’m supposed to be hitting are still moving, the thing my bass is supposed to be controlling will just be locked in place for 3-5 seconds, then suddenly registers all the plucks at once, so I end up shooting the wall. This is a pretty fun way to lose a round, too – when it’s no fault of your own, but the game is just not responding.  This is happening exclusively in that one part of the game, so hopefully they’ll correct it in the next release. But, it’s good to know it’s something that happens across the board, not just in the PC version. All the other guitarcade games run fine.

But, there is a kind of weird setting difference in the Learn a Song section that I can’t quite understand.  In the PC version, I’ve gotten used to starting a song I’ve never played, and it gives me kind of a ‘beginner’ version, then adds notes when I’m hitting them well as I go, takes them away when I’m doing poorly, which is helpful.  Sure, there’s the riff repeater to slow things down, but honestly, the first time out of the gate, my eyes can’t even register what’s coming at me right away, so I really liked this feature, where it builds the song brick by brick. For some reason, the Ps3 version is not doing this. I click on a song I’ve never glanced at, and it’s just spitting me the full, most complicated version, like ‘sink or swim, bitch.’  Not cool, Rocksmith. Not cool. I’m not sure what the difference is here. The two games are entirely separate. The PC version runs through steam; the ps3 version runs through Uplay, so the two games aren’t tied at all. My progress from one hasn’t transferred to the other, so there’s no reason the game should assume I know what I’m doing (which, I don’t), but it does seem to be making that assumption, and I’m not sure why.

Of course, the way to work around it is to work up to it yourself by going into the Guitarcade and using the score attack mode, working your way up from easy to hard before moving on to Learn a Song.  I’m just not sure why the two versions of the game handle the Learn a Song in a different way. It seems odd to me.  I am certainly not ready to tackle any of these seriously involved metal songs, or even the Who, the first time out of the gate when they have some seriously involved stuff going on. There have been songs I’ve started and quit 10 seconds in because there’s just no way in hell I can process all that information, let alone play it, without giving my eyes smaller chunks to work with first, and building up from there.  It’s very little to do with my hands, and more to do with the time it takes for my eyes to send signals to my brain.

This is also how we read. We don’t read every letter in a word. What we actually do, once we know the letters, and know the words, is read entire words as one unit. So we might see “read” and from the shape know the word, rather than the letters. This is really not possible in learning a new song (not for a rookie, anyway). We’re still learning the letters. This is, of course, why they put the riff repeater in the game; so you can slow down a section of the song and learn to read it before having to play it.  I just don’t quite get why the PS3 version has taken the sink-or-swim tactic to learn a song when the PC version gives it to you in smaller chunks. The difference in functionality just doesn’t seem to make sense.

So, while I used to just dive into Learn a Song, it seems on the PS3 version, I’m going to be spending more time in the Score Attack section of the game, to give my eyes less data to process, and then work my way up from there.

Programs are weird.

On an only vaguely related note, I think my new Schecter has lower action than my Ibanez. I’m definitely finding myself more prone to fret buzz (not related to yesterday’s fret buzz issue) when I pluck the string a little on the harder side.  I either need to learn to be more gentle, or get a heavier gauge string to raise the action a hair. I remember when I was an older kid, having to teach our much younger neighbor to pet our dog gently. Our dog happened to be a passive old lady who was great with kids, but I remember teaching this little toddler ‘pet the dog gently’ because she used to basically whack the poor thing, thinking the dog actually liked it; I feel a bit like that when I pluck a string a bit more firmly than the bass likes, like it’s going ‘hey! Not so rough!’ lol. Not something I had to worry about with my Ibanez.

Until Next Time, still breaking in my new bass. 

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