Guitar Praise by Digital Praise
Fans of faith based music finally get their own Guitar Hero and get to rock out to their favorite songs with Guitar Praise. Guitar Hero sorely lacks in this area as it has no content directed towards this large group of music fans. I was amazed how many good and familiar songs came with the initial Guitar Praise package. The question is, will this game be good enough to compete with the secular product it mimics.'
Guitar Praise is the latest game from a small software developer called Digital Praise. It is basically a Christian version of popular music games like Guitar Hero and Rockband. Digital Praise is well known for a computer dance game called Dance Praise 2 as well as a host of other games including VeggieTales and Adventure in Odyssey based games. Digital Praise’s track record is very good so when they announced Guitar Praise, I was eager to see the final product. After all, faith based music is a thriving segment of the entertainment industry and it has been all but shunned by the makers of popular music games. Now saying all of that, ‘Christian’ games tend to not to live up to what they try to mimic for one reason or another. This could be due to a lot of different reasons like limited budgets or inexperienced game designers but that fact remains is that Christian games struggle. So when I received my review package of Guitar Praise, I was very skeptical to say the least. I will take you through the entire process and give you as many details as I can so you can judge if this game is for you.
The retail box for Guitar Praise looks great and will display well in stores. Inside the box you will find a small setup manual, wireless guitar with strap, wireless USB adapter and CD with the game software. The CD contains both the PC and Mac versions of the game. I attached the strap and put the 4 AA batteries (not supplied) in the plastic guitar. I immediately noticed that the guitar feels better than the RedOctane’s Xplorer controller I have for my Xbox 360. The guitar feels more solid and comes with all the same controls. This includes five fret buttons, strum bar, volume control, whammy bar and on/off button. The wireless connection works great and has very good distance. The guitar also has a tilt feature to activate a spinner bonus during game play.
In preparation for this game, I attached a Windows XP computer to my high definition TV. After installing the software and attaching the wireless USB adapter, Windows automatically installed the driver for me. Setup of Guitar Praise was very easy and shouldn’t give anyone issues. Just click on the installed icon and you are up and running.
Guitar Praise comes with more than 50 songs from today’s most popular faith based artists. This list includes Superchick, Skillet, Relient K, tobyMac, Newsboys, Family Force 5, Flyleaf, Hawk Nelson and so much more. The musical choices also dip into the past, grabbing vintage music from Petra, Bride and Whitecross. I am very impressed by the songs that are available. Of course you can’t play all of them until you make progress through the game. By playing through songs successfully, you unlock additional songs to play. There are four skill levels so beginners as well as experts can jump in without a problem. The game has a slew of features to control everything from sound to graphics to system controls. I am very impressed by how much you can alter in this game. For example, while the backgrounds that are displayed during play are not to the level of Guitar Hero’s, you can change the animated backgrounds to many available styles. If you don’t want to see the animated backgrounds, you can turn on album art instead. This is an area that could be improved upon in future versions but it doesn’t hinder the game play. You will also want to create your own profile. There doesn’t seem to be a limit on profiles so each player can create and maintain their own progress through the game. The profiles include high scores, difficult levels and the songs that are unlocked.
Digital Praise has also created a built in way to submit your high scores to their web site. This looks to be a great feature. It will even verify who you are (the first time) via email before the score will post. As of this writing, the High Score area of the guitarpraise.com web site says coming soon. Digital Praise has told me they are pushing hard to have that feature ready by the official release date of September 25th, 2008.
One of the best features of Guitar Praise is that it can be played by two players. The play options include solo play, two players with one guitar or (if you purchase a second guitar) you can play two players at the same time. This option gives the ability for one player to play the lead guitar and the other can play bass. Additional guitars can be ordered via the digitalpraise.com web site. The two player option really opens up the game for family play. There even is a way one player can send a ‘surprise’ to their opponents play during a Power Duel mode. One thing to keep in mind, Guitar Praise will only work with the wireless guitars you get from Digital Praise. The guitars are quality units so this didn’t bother me at all.Recommendation
Game play is very impressive and the timing of fret buttons to on screen action is very similar to Guitar Hero and other similar games. The graphics are sharp and look real good. The actions that happen both positive and negative during game play have great onscreen responsiveness. My son flipped his profile to expert and started ripping through the songs. Instead of having to manage just three fret buttons, he was managing all five buttons. Of course I was impressed. The difficulty for him is similar to Guitar Hero. If you make too many mistakes during a song, it’s game over and time to try again.
Guitar Praise is a great game that didn’t disappoint me in the least. It’s a game for any age and if you can set it up in a family area, everyone can get involved because of the adjustable skill levels. Both beginners and experts will have fun with this product. I was very impressed with the music selection. It is wonderful to finally be able to play a game like this to the music I enjoy. It is a very addicting game.
I have been told that there are plans for expansion packs down the road with more music. The possibilities seem to be endless for future Guitar Praise versions.
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