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Widow Maker Bass
Score: 88%
Developer: The Ant Commandos
Device Type: Controller
Compatible With:


Function:

You can never have too many plastic guitars, though storing them does become a hassle, especially when you also have to find room for separate Rock Band and Guitar Hero guitars, not to mention the drum set, microphones and other accoutrements. In addition to looking cool, the Widow Maker Bass bridges the gap between Rock Band and Guitar Hero and can be used for either game. Additionally, it gives PS2 owners a chance to go wireless.

Performance:

Although the name would lead you to believe that the Widow Maker Bass was strictly for playing bass, it can just as easily be used to play lead guitar, making it a good option if you're looking to free up some space, but find yourself mostly playing as a solo artist (alternately, you could also try TAC's Double Range guitar if you're concerned with aesthetics).

The Widow Maker is designed similar to a bass guitar, so if you've never held one, it might throw you off a bit. The neck is a little longer and the fret buttons are more spaced out, which is helpful for big-fingered players. Compared to the stock guitar, the buttons don't feel as mushy and have a nice responsive "click". The new neck contours easily making this one of the more comfortable guitars I've played with. I have a tendency to grip the neck a little too hard to make sure I have a good grip; with the Widow Maker, the neck has a slightly heavier feel, so I found myself loosening my grip a little more. The only major layout issues are the strum and whammy bars, which felt a little too close together for my tastes.

I can't tell you the number of times I've tried to either show off my wireless guitars or get a game going only to be slammed with the embarrassment of having to find new batteries. The power management systems on the Widow Maker are a godsend. There's a red LED that will let you know that your batteries are running low. There's also a PowerThief Mode that will automatically turn the guitar off after a long bout of inactivity.

One of the Widow Maker's more interesting features is the 360FLY function. Using a big clip that attaches to your belt, you can snap the guitar into place and twirl it around like ZZ Top. It doesn't do much for the actual performance, but it's a fun addition - at least if you're tall enough to keep the guitar's head from hitting the floor.


Features:
  • 4-IN-1 - Compatible with Guitar Hero and Rockband for PS2 and PS3
  • 360FLY Clip
  • PowerThief Power Saving Mode
  • AutoSense 2.4GHz Wireless
  • Low Battery Indicator
  • ComfortNeck
  • PlayStation 3 D-Pad & Home Button Support

Drawbacks & Problems::

If you're not the instruction reading type, you'll likely think your Widow Maker Bass is broken the first time you plug it in. The controller inputs for Rock Band and Guitar Hero are incompatible, so certain buttons will work and others won't. However, those who took the time to read the instructions will know that you have to adjust a switch on the wireless receiver. Though not necessarily a hardware flaw, the switch could have been a little more apparent and visible.

When running as the primary guitar, I had few problems getting the sensor to recognize the Widow Maker. However, when using it as a second guitar, it took a little while to get the system to recognize it. After jumping through a few hoops, I was able to get it to work and had few problems after that.

All in all, the Widow Maker Bass is a great addition to your collection of plastic guitars. It covers a number of functions for solo players, and also gives you a slick new option when you decide to bring the band together.


-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated