Reviewed: October 06, 2008
Did you ever want to be in a rock band when you grew up? Do you still have those images of grandeur in the back of your skull? Good because unless you’ve been on some other planet for the last year then you know that that dream requires nothing more than a trip to your living room. Harmonix has brought family and friends together with the release of the original Rock Band and now nearly a year later with the release of Rock Band 2.
To compliment the release of Rock Band 2, several game accessory companies have started cranking out new peripherals. Mad Catz is one of those said companies and this year they have done something that no other company has done yet. Mad Catz is the first to release an officially licensed Fender Precision Bass Replica Guitar for Rock Band and Rock Band 2.
I am a big fan of Rock Band in general and am often times playing with friends and usually always playing bass since I just have a thing for Bass guitars. Not that I play in real life, but I just like the sound of a Bass guitar over a lead guitar. So when I got my hands on Mad Catz newest guitar I was in heaven. To find out if the Mad Catz Fender™ Precision Bass™ Replicafor the Xbox 360plays as good as it looks read on.
Recently I had the opportunity to review another Bass guitar but that one fails in comparison to the Mad Catz Fender™ Precision Bass™. Mad Catz newest addition is by far one of the coolest and authentic looking guitars that I have seen in a while. This is the replica of the bass used by artists Adam Clayton, Roger Waters, John Entwistle and Steve Harris. Even if you are a terrible player, the Mad Catz Fender™ Precision Bass™ just looks awesome in your living room.
The Mad Catz Fender™ Precision Bass™ does several things right as far as I’m concerned. This guitar is the first to feature a patent-pending dual/split strum bar for a more authentic bass experience. This allows for faster finger work in even the toughest of songs. I’m no expert player but I’ve noticed an increase in my performance.
The Mad Catz Fender™ Precision Bass™ is looks amazing with its Olympic White finish and Black pick guard and chrome volume and tone control knobs. The developers really took the time to make this guitar as authentic as possible while still regaining its functionality as a guitar controller. It features a conventional slightly sunken D-pad and 360 Guide button in the place where the amp out is located.
One of the first things you will notice right away is that the Mad Catz Fender™ Precision Bass™ is that it is missing a whammy bar. Well that’s not entirely accurate. The guitar features a whammy bar in the form of a knob near the beginning of the neck. You can perform tremolos and dive bomb effect by rotating the knob various ways. They chose to use a knob since traditional bass guitars do not have whammy bars. Also the Volume and Tone controls hide the whammy effect selector and the Start and Back buttons.
The Mad Catz Fender™ Precision Bass™ comes with a custom Fender Bass strap that is well reinforced and comfortable to boot. Having a strap is a blessing because if you’re not sitting down this guitar is fairly heavy, not to mention huge. The Mad Catz Fender™ Precision Bass™ is 84% to scale of a real Precision Bass making it easily the largest guitar controller on the market. I mean its 6” longer than the Stratocaster sitting nearly at a whopping 39” long. This baby is definitely not a kid’s guitar.
I’ve been using the Mad Catz Fender™ Precision Bass™ guitar for a good little while now on both the original Rock Band and its newly released counterpart and it has held up nicely so far. The guitar is well constructed and has survived the abuse that I’ve inflicted on it this past week or so. The keys are pretty solid and showed no sign of sticking or becoming loose with use.
Ah now to the gritty part of this review. The guitar looks awesome but does it hold up performance wise. The answer to that question is a definite yes. The Fender™ Precision Bass™ works great in pretty much every regard. It took be a fair bit of time to get used to the split strum bar, but I got used to it and have gotten progressively better at playing because of this guitar. I mean I never had a single problem activating Overdrive or anything with this baby. I couldn’t ask for a better guitar.
One of the other things about this guitar is that it can also be used as a regular in-game guitar as well for those of you who prefer ripping up guitar solos. This guitar also features left and right handed playability so no one is left out.
The Mad Catz Fender™ Precision Bass™ retails for around $70.00 dollars and is a fairly impressive guitar for the money. The only thing that would come as an argument is about the price being too high. The Precision Bass is wired, not wireless like the new official guitars, but honestly I could care less as I prefer wired guitars. This guitar is just plain awesome in every regard.
The world of gaming is changing every single day with the release of new and innovative games and accessories to go along with them. Mad Catz is on the right track by giving players a more interactive and realistic experience. I definitely recommend the Mad Catz Fender™ Precision Bass™ to any bassist out there looking to play with style. Hell I recommend this guitar to anyone looking for a new guitar. There is just no better way to rock!