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Music on: Acoustic Guitar - DSiWare App Review

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Music on: Acoustic Guitar

DSiWare | Abylight | Out Now | 200 Nintendo Points
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24th October 2010; By KnucklesSonic8

I'm becoming more and more fond of Abylight's 'Music on' series with every passing release. While I still think there's much room for improvement, they're hardly poor efforts. But in some ways, I think Abylight has taken a couple steps backward with Acoustic Guitar. At the same time, that's not to say you can't get your money's worth out of this application.

    The amount of different options you have to choose from is admittedly smaller than what was seen in the Keyboard releases. The interface basically boils down to three different selections: a chord database, a list of accompaniment styles, and a save/load feature. And then you of course have the strings themselves lined up along a cropped guitar. All of these can be found on the touch screen. Along the top screen, you have a display of active chords and labels signifying which notes each string plays. With the press of the D-Pad, the appearance of this area will change to show the different chords you've assigned. The entire setup this time around is quite user-friendly to use and it's easy to look at too.

    Music on: Acoustic Guitar's biggest strength comes in the large amount of chord combinations one can assign to each of the strings. Having such a wide variety of preferences to choose from is very commendable, and it's something that any self-respecting guitar player will appreciate. Adding to this sense of appreciation, once you strum the guitar with your stylus (or even your finger), you'll quickly realize how realistic it sounds. The sound that's produced depends entirely on how quickly and how much force you put into your swipe. And since you don't need to worry about accidentally snapping strings, you can put as much force into it as you want.

Once again, players have the ability to choose from a small selection of accompaniments, reigning from different styles of music. You get to choose from Soft Rock, Classic, Pop Rock, Ballad and Blues. You can also choose to activate a metronome to keep you focused, and edit the tempo of the background sounds. Loading up one of these will also give you the ability to activate pre-assigned chords associated with the chosen style. Using the ABYX Buttons, you can apply different variants on the chosen theme as you play, creating a mix of sounds that would allow you to replicate existing compositions.

    In both 'Electronic Keyboard' and 'Retro Keyboard', players had the ability to save creations they made to one of 10 different slots. This allowed you to listen to your personal creations and even add additional elements to the playback. Sadly, this hasn't carried over to Acoustic Guitar. The save feature here is used to preserve the settings you configured, not to record sounds. And that seems like more of a step backward than anything else. 

    Music on: Acoustic Guitar doesn't carry as much appeal as the Keyboard releases. But anyone who has a musical background with this musical instrument will enjoy this portable application. The authentic-sounding guitar strings along with the amount of selectable chords is deserving of praise. As a whole, it doesn't feel as strong in terms of the different options you can control, but what is here works well. What about everyone else? While Acoustic Guitar may help you pass brief instances of boredom, you could just as easily toy around for a bit in the superior Retro Keyboard. You really need to be guitar player or have had experience with the instrument to appreciate it most. If that doesn't describe you, it's probably best to just skip this.

20/30 - Good

Functionality 7/10 - Extensive chord database, different accompaniments and style variations, unable to save compositions for playback
Presentation 7/10 - User-friendly setup, not as many different options to choose from, realistic feedback from the strings
Value 3/5 - Not bad at all for $2, the extensiveness chord database is where most of the value stems from
Lasting Appeal 3/5 - Guitar players will appreciate the application's portability and authenticity, likely won't be used as much as time goes on

Equivalent to a score of 67% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)

Review by KnucklesSonic8

Music on: Acoustic Guitar
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