- The fret buttons and strum bar are way too soft.
- It's generally unresponsive and imprecise: it will miss notes that you definitely hit right.
- Star power / overdrive is difficult to trigger when sitting.
- You don't need the additional 5 fret buttons and effects switch.
- The strum bar has a kind of cylindrical tip that will hurt your thumb.
- I's not wireless.
- It doesn't work in Guitar Hero.
Of course, there are things to like about it. It's been modeled after one of the most aesthetically pleasing real guitars, I like that it feels heavier and is silent, the start and back buttons are big, nice and accessible, which makes it easy to trigger star power without tilting the guitar. But it just doesn't click (pun intended) and the fact that it doesn't work with Guitar Hero is just not acceptable.
The problem is that if you want Rock Band, you'll have to wait until early 2008 to be able to find the components separately and avoid the bundled guitar.
The guitar that you want is Guitar Hero III's Les Paul. This thing feels even greater than Guitar Hero II's X-plorer, looks great and is wireless. It can't be found separately currently so if you need two that may be a problem. As a second guitar, though, the Guitar Hero II X-plorer is just fine.
As for the mike, apparently any USB mike will work so there's no need to get the Rock Band branded one.
So here's the set:
- Lead guitar: wireless Les Paul from the Guitar Hero III bundle; $99, game included. Careful here, this is currently very difficult to find at the list price. Don't buy it for more than $99.
- Drum set: Rock Band drum set; $79.99.
- Mike: generic USB mike; $16.99.
- Bass guitar: wired X-plorer from the Guitar Hero II bundle; $84.99, game included.
- Rock Band standalone game: $59.99.
This will cost you a total of $340.96 with three games and two guitars that work in all of them. Not cheap. One thing to notice is that buying the full Rock Band set might look more interesting as it's only about $15 more and you get an additional guitar and a USB hub. That may make some sense if you don't have an old USB hub that you could re-use hanging around somewhere in the house, but the guitar itself will be pretty useless and I don't like to buy stuff that I'm not going to use.