System Requirements
Windows Vista or XP
1 GHZ processor
650 MB available hard disk space
32 MB 3-D video card
Windows XP: 512 MB RAM, Vista: 1 GB RAM
One available USB port
USB compatible guitar controller (included)

Mac OS:
Mac OS X v.10.3 or later
1 GHZ processor
650 MB available hard disk space
512 MB RAM
One available USB port
USB compatible guitar controller (included)

Thanks to Digital Praise for giving us this game to review!

Music games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band have been very successful and have quite a following. I have enjoyed playing those games and it’s refreshing to see a very good Christian alternative. I have gotten many flaming e-mails for my positive reviews on the Guitar Hero series and the music in Guitar Praise is indeed God honoring. If you don’t believe me, the lyrics are displayed as you are playing; though to be honest, I tend to focus more on the triangles whizzing by.

The basic game play goes as follows. You have five different colored fret bars on the guitar and when you see a colored note line up on the bottom you have to strum and press the corresponding colored fret bar. The easier difficulties don’t have you using all five frets. As you play a song, the triangles will sometimes come spinning at you; if you strum when they align, they will give you “Star Power” allowing you to get bonus points. To activate this power, you have to tilt your guitar up.
As you play the songs, you will earn talent points. You get more talent points for harder difficulties. When you collect enough talent points, you can buy other guitars. Each guitar or bass instrument has a different look and its own unique sound. After you complete a song, you can post your score online and see if you made the top twenty or not. The scores are sorted by lead guitar and bass players.

There are various sets of music and the next set becomes available after you complete three out of five from the current set. Completed songs will be marked with a black lead guitar or a purple bass guitar depending on what instrument was used.

The Song List is surprisingly good. There are many genres represented here. There was a blues song, some praise and worship, rap, alternative, and heavy metal; I even enjoyed the 80’s hair band songs. The artist selection is excellent too. Some of the artists include David Crowder Band, Relient K, Skillet, Petra, Kutless, tobyMac, dc talk, Thousand Foot Krutch, Hawk Nelson, Chris Tomlin, Newsboys, Caedmons Call and many more.

The music files sound great which is to be expected of a music based game. The different guitar sounds are good, though they seem to drown out the song a little. It’s a pretty neat concept though it can use a little more polish in my opinion. The announcer is the same voice used in the Dance Praise games, and he sounds very cheerful. You can disable him if you like.

The graphics are pretty good. The game engine seems like a modified Dance Praise engine, especially after seeing the same 3D backgrounds available. There are no animated band members like Guitar or Rockband has, so when you change guitars, only your fret changes color. One of the darker brown fret boards is a tad dark and makes it hard to see the red triangles.

The interface is decent; it takes a little getting used to. Some things are not that obvious and it takes a little fumbling around to figure it out. It took me a little while to realize what the actual health (rock) meter was. As it turns out, there’s a marquee that displays your name and difficulty on the upper left hand side. As you play, it either lights all the way up or down. Another example is that trading in talent points for different guitars, and selecting the guitars, are done on two separate menus. It would have been nice to simplify that process in my opinion.

From an appropriateness standpoint this game is God honoring and a great alternative to the secular offerings. The songs are well picked and safe for all ears as long as they don’t mind hard rock.

Guitar Praise is available for $99, and it comes bundled with a wireless Guitar and a USB dongle. The Guitar is very similar in make, feel, and quality to a Guitar Hero guitar. I like the built-in dongle storage compartment, that is a great idea! A secondary guitar can be purchased for $69. These guitars do work with the open source game Frets on Fire. I was not able to get my PS3 Rock Band guitar to work (though it works in Frets on Fire), so you do have to use the proprietary Guitar Praise guitar controllers.

So now the question remains, is this game worth the $99 price tag? Given that it comes with a great selection of songs, a good guitar, and lots of replay-ability with the online scoring system, I think that this game is worth it hands down. To the veteran guitar gamer, this game may be slightly easier than the other offerings available. I was able to comfortably play most of the songs on hard and I found expert to be very challenging…okay …fine….un-passable. To be fair, I play on medium to hard on Guitar Hero, so I don\'t claim to be an expert. I am happy to say that my name (Cheryl) is on many of the top player boards. Though I’m sure as this game gets more popular that won’t last…but it sure does offer incentive to keep playing it!

Game Play 20/20
Graphics 7/10
Sound 8/10
Interface 3/5
Controls 5/5
Appropriateness 50/50
Final Score 93%

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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About Us:

Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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