Product Review: First-Act GE-2000 Guitar Controller (PS2 & PS3)

firstactguitar

Being a guitarist, I’ve been intrigued by the idea of a full-sized wooden guitar since they first hit the market.

Today, I picked up the First Act controller to see if it made all my virtual rock dreams come true.

My review is inside.

For being made (mostly) out of wood, the guitar surprised me with it’s weight… or lack thereof. Although it is markedly heavier than a plastic controller, it’s amazingly light. Much lighter than a similar sized real axe. I say ‘similar sized’ because, let’s face it, it’s NOT a full sized guitar, being closer to a 3/4 scale instrument.

Perhaps my favorite feature of the controller is the spacing of the ‘solo’ buttons (the smaller buttons, high on the neck). The stock Rock Band controller has closely spaced solo buttons, with no clear delineation of where one button ends and the next button starts. This makes it difficult (for me) to use them with any accuracy. The First Act controller has solo buttons that are similarly spaced to the standard buttons at the bottom of the neck, and they are clearly raised, making them easy to distinguish from one another.

Another thing about button spacing: the standard buttons are placed one ‘fret’ away from the end of the neck. This is good and bad. It’s good because I frequently bang my index finger against the end of the neck on a stock controller, and this eliminates that problem. It’s bad because it removes a tactile ‘marker’ that I use to tell which button I’m resting my index finger on.

The Start and Select buttons are also a mixed bag; placed high on the body, out of the way. This keep them from accidentally being triggered. This also means that it’s an awkward stretch to reach the Select button while playing (if you’re not using tilt to activate Overdrive/Star Power).

The neck is thicker and more comfortable than stock controllers, and feels solid. No twisting, no bowing.

If you still have a PS2 laying around, the wireless dongle has connectors for both PS2 and PS3, and switches to change functionality between Rock Band and Guitar Hero games.

So how does it feel to play? Does it increase your scores?

It’s hard to tell, I didn’t get to use it long before it broke.

Yep… it broke. There is (to my untrained eye) a fundamental design flaw in the primary buttons. There are HUGE gaps around the buttons, and regular use (not pressing too hard) can wedge the buttons INSIDE the hollow neck.

Which is exactly what happened to me.

Before you accuse me of playing too hard, you should know that after it happened I SOFTLY pressed the green button down and wiggled it… it slid into the neck and jammed. Looking at it, I’m positive I could recreate the same problem with the remaining buttons with regular use. I’m also a little worried about the strum bar. It feels cheap, and just a little fragile.

As far as compatibility between rhythm games, I was only able to test the controller using Rock Band 2 on PS3. Up until it broke, I had no problems with phantom button presses, strums, or missed notes.

I can’t recommend hardware that has a fundamental design flaw, and with my hopes of having a cool wooden controller in my arsenal dashed, I’ll be returning this one in the morning.

Want to try it out for yourself? It’s your dollar.

First-Act GE-2000 Guitar Video Game Controller for PlayStation 2 and 3

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4 Comments

  1. […] Product Review: Peak Starpex Guitar Controller (PS2 & PS3) Continuing my search for a good full-sized, wood and metal guitar controller for Rock Band, I ran across this while returning a guitar that obviously DIDN’T fit the bill. […]

    • yea is it compatible with ps3? I have no wireless dongle to make mine wireless, and just got a ps3, and believe me I hate the idea of having to go back to regular gh controllers. I loved my peak since the day I opened the box and first held it !

  2. […] Continuing my search for a good full-sized, wood and metal guitar controller for Rock Band, I ran across this while returning a guitar that obviously DIDN’T fit the bill. […]

  3. Estupendo! Toda la datos que has apuntado me resulta de mucha asesoramiento!
    Sencillamente Estoy ansando para tenedr laa posibilidad de interpretar mas.


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