STAFF REVIEW of Air Guitar Warrior Gamepad Edition (Xbox One)


Saturday, July 22, 2017.
by Brent Roberts

Air Guitar Warrior Gamepad Edition Box art For those that know me, you should know I loathe Kinect. I don't think there are many software applications that are a "must have", and in fact, I find the whole thing a tremendous amount of failed potential. Now, let's talk about Air Guitar Warrior: Gamepad Edition from Virtual Air Guitar Company (I mean honestly, what other company would make Air Guitar right?) Air Guitar Warrior: Gamepad Edition is priced at $14.99 and it was my job to take this one out for a spin to see if it's worth it. What did I find out? Quite a lot actually.

For starters, the game is laid out with music albums on the screen and your job is to side scroll throughout the various songs, and press either the A or X button to fire various types of shots from your guitar. Now, all guitars have the same firing modes, but different shots, so you will need to become familiar with what works best for you. You will run out of ammo, but switching firing styles (press X instead of A) will allow your ammo to recharge thus enabling you to keep on shooting. However, there's a problem with this concept right off the beginning, as there is there's no real scoring system.


The game grades you on how many enemies you shoot down and that somehow gives you a percentage at the end, for some reason, and I don't know why because it's meaningless. With every enemy you kill you'll earn pieces of experience that will add up and level up your character, provided you actually play this long enough to care why. As you level up though you will unlock new abilities that will happen with new button press combinations, but other than that, as you progress you'll unlock new air guitars and this is pretty much the entire point of the game.

Everything I just said above could be the entire review right there. That's because there is so little to this game that you have nothing to hide behind or distract gamers with if there should be an aspect or two that doesn't seem to turn out the way you want it.


The graphics behind every song give a unique feel until you realize that there is a lot of repetition built into the game, and then you see that even in terms of environments and enemies that there isn't much variety. Your "ride" (if you want to call it that) will change from sharks with lasers, to a robotic T-Rex and even a unicorn, but when you watch the same aliens, skulls, etc. side scroll their way onto the screen as you blast them into oblivion, repeating over and over again, it will leave you with little enjoyment, and that's when it hit me about this game. It's going through a sort of identity crisis.

The Kinect version at least allowed you to partake in the enjoyment of physically strumming to fire, but in an odd state of reality, the enjoyment was lost when going to the gamepad version and actually reducing the way the game is played. I know this will probably send shock waves through the gaming community, but this is a unicorn moment, as the Kinect version of Air Guitar Warrior gives you more enjoyment than a non-Kinect version of the same game. The lack of enjoyment of the 'Gamepad Edition' continues to spread into the music which (when you're making a game where the focus is music) doesn't make much sense. And that's when the lightbulb clicked.


There's no replay factor. Like almost none at all. You have your character and you go through the game's tunes that feel more of a marketing ploy for an artist or band, and then you move onto the next song. Depending on if you don't die, you'll move onto the next track, and even though the levels get crazy towards the end, there is a microscopic amount of replayability. There are achievements such as kill X number of monsters with ______ guitar which will require you to grind over and over and over again, but that's when whatever enjoyment that could be found within this game is snuffed out like a candle in the wind.

Should you plunk down $14.99 plus tax on the 'Gamepad Edition'? In simple terms, I would say no. There is little to no replay value, mediocre music, and if you already own the Kinect version then you already have the best version available. On the plus side though, if you don't have a Kinect, then consider yourself blessed as you won't have to waste money on Air Guitar Warrior: Gamepad Edition.




Overall: 5.0 / 10
Gameplay: 5.0 / 10
Visuals: 5.0 / 10
Sound: 6.0 / 10

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