Published on November 2nd, 2009 | by Greg0
MadCatz Brings The Bass
It’s November now, and you know what that means- the holidays are upon us! Along with shopping mall Santas and pumpkin pie, the season should mean a bit more time to sit inside and play videogames. Yes, your family could try to sit around and talk, but you remember how that went last year, and the years before, right?
And what better family video game is there than Rock Band and it’s various cousins? Sure, you might not be able to impress the folks with your stunning rendition of Toxicity, but it’s worth downloading some of the classic tracks to be able to hear Mom belt out Blondie. It’s what the eggnog is for. It’s what the MadCatz Wireless Fender Precision Bass Replica is for as well- serious music, taken a bit less seriously.
Arguments will be fought over who gets what instrument. And unless you’ve already shelled out a bit more cash for the Stratocaster Replica, this MadCatz instrument will be the one your bassist grabs. Larger than most of the other plastic guitars, it offers a split strum bar, allowing you to flick with two-fingers. It can take some getting used to, but definitely can help during harder sections on those extreme songs.
In keeping with the realism, the bass doesn’t include a whammy bar, but instead a harder-to-use whammy dial. A sacrifice, yes, but a sacrifice in the name of realism! You aren’t going to be adding much vibrato to your bass lines anyway. Ours was the Xbox 360 model, but a PS3 version is also available. And yes, there are color options- ours was a cherry “Hot Rod” red, but green and white lovers can still find a bass to suit their style. And yes, this one works with The Beatles: Rock Band, the original Rock Band, Rock Band 2, and even Guitar Hero 5.
We had no issues with the battery life or wireless- it works pretty much the same as others. In terms of feel, the strum bar felt quite solid, but the knobs seemed much less so, and the tuning pegs attractive from a distance but really loose and cheap close-up. The length of the neck was a big plus, as it felt much less like a toy, and the strap was the best that we’ve tried. We would have liked a few more touch cues on the buttons- many instruments offer a small ridge on certain buttons to help keep your fingers aligned (kind of like the nibs on the F and J keys on most computer keyboards). As with changing between any instruments, this one does take some time to learn. But it’s easy to enjoy the look and feel, and real bassists will appreciate the realism and two-fingered strumming. Around $90, available online and in stores.