Man, I miss Guitar Hero. That crappy plastic guitar brought me so much joy over the years so when I saw Unplugged – Air Guitar was offering something similar in VR I was immediately down, and for the most part it met my pretty high expectations.
Unplugged – Air Guitar kicks off with Satchel from Steel Panther ragging on you a bit. Cheese like ripping on nerds and rocking out are pretty heavy in the intro and sets a certain tone. That tone, like Steel Panther’s music, is cheesy as hell, and fun if you are in the mood for it. If you aren’t, it is grating as hell. Satchel takes you through the process of how to play, and this is where the real meat of the game comes in.
The game is in every way a rhythm game. You have a stream of lines headed towards you with the notes to hit. On the neck you basically have two buttons, one triggers one finger, the other triggers the other three, and then you have all the combinations of them. Keys with an outline means you need to strum and without them you need to slide to those locations, with the correct finger combination of course.
This simplicity may sound easy, but without the tactile feel of buttons like on a controller the simplicity is key. Any more complicated and you could get lost fast. That’s not to say the game is simple in any way, once they start coming in fast it is still hard as hell to keep up. Once you are in the rhythm it gets easier, but I still struggled for ages with some songs on easy, ramping up the difficulty I got booed off the stage pretty damn fast.
One thing that got me early was looking down to your hand on the neck for a full song was rough on your neck. Fortunately If you move that hand up the guitar gets held out meaning the fretboard and the incoming notes can be more in line with your eye level and that is much easier to play. This follows you even if you turn your body, which is great, until you are facing the wrong way. I was struggling on one song as the notes were curling around the guitar and I thought it was the game getting harder. Turns out I had my back to the TV.
The playlist is pretty damn decent as well. Out of the box it comes with a very solid selection of songs, and then there are more to grab from the DLC. They vary from some known hits like Weezer – Say It Ain’t So, to lesser known songs from big artists like Ozzy Osbourne – Flying High Again. I definitely like this mixture because it would be so easy to listen to the same songs we have heard a million times, but throwing some slightly less known tracks exposes you to some awesome new stuff.
On the whole, Unplugged is a damn fun game. It doesn’t quite scratch the itch that Guitar Hero gave, or reach the heights that Beat Saber does, but it’s still absolutely worth your time. Chilling out, having some fun to rock music as you air guitar in the lounge is well worth every second.