The Freedom V Wireless is an excellent alternative to Red Octanes official controllers. Without the constraints of the cable you are free to live out your fantasy of being Yngve Malmsteen.
One of the best games for the PS2 last year was Red Octane’s Guitar Hero. The game allows you to use a guitar controller and even if the controller is much smaller than an actual guitar it still allows you to in some way feel like a real rocker.
The actual game play is just a variation of the usual “press the right button when the symbol is shown on the screen”. The buttons this time however are on the guitar controller and together with the strum and the whammy bar you really get to feel like you are playing the guitar. The game features lots of classic rock tunes and in a few weeks the sequel is going to be released. You can read more about Guitar Hero at Gamespot’s review.
If the original Red Octane Gibson SG guitar had any faults its main flaw was that it wasn’t wireless. If you really want to feel like you are a real Rock guitarist you don’t want to be stuck close to the PS2 just because of the wire.
TAC (The Ant Commando) however has come to the rescue with their newest guitar controller for Guitar Hero.
The Freedom V Wireless from TAC definitely has a completely different look from the Red Octane official Gibson SG. I like the flying V design and quite frankly the guitar really looks awesome with its metallic red and white.
The official Gibson SG at the top, the Freedom V Wireless at the bottom
As with the original guitar controller TAC includes some stickers you can put on the guitar but I actually preferred it the way it came.
Including in the box you also find a strap, a screwdriver, the stickers and the 2.4 GHz module which you stick into the PS2.
The actual guitar is approximately the same size as the Red Octane Gibson SG but a bit heavier since it has a bunch of batteries in it. The buttons stick up a bit more from the guitar and feel a bit more sensitive than those on the original guitar.
The strum-bar is a bit quieter than on the official guitar, something I like since I did actually get a bit annoyed at the clicking sound the official guitar makes. The whammy-bar also feels a bit different and feels much sturdier than on the official guitar.
Last but not least we got the star-power feature. On the official guitar you activate it by positioning the guitar in vertical positioning while playing. While you can do the same with the Freedom V Wireless you also can just shake the guitar to activate the star power.
HOW DOES IT PLAY?
I’ve spent the last few weeks pretending I’m a real rock guitarist, much to the amusement of my wife. While the official Gibson SG works well even when I’m sitting in the sofa, the Freedom V Wireless more or less requires you to stand and use the strap. The strap is quite hard to attach but sits quite well afterwards. I had no problems with it unhooking while playing.
The start and select buttons are not as easy to accidently hit as the official guitar
I was a bit worried that wireless would mean lag, something you can’t accept in this type of game. I was however very pleased with the performance and I never experienced any kind of lag except when the batteries that already were in the guitar at delivery failed.
Even if you already played Guitar Hero to death you will want to consider this controller since Guitar Hero II is around the corner. Once you gone wireless you really don’t want to go back.
The design and build quality of the Freedom V Wireless is excellent but if you prefer to just sit in the sofa while playing you might have some problems getting a comfortable position. We all however know the real guitar heroes play it running around and jumping so being forced to stand up while playing is not that bad of a price for getting a wireless guitar.
+ Not to expensive @ $49.99
+ Looks very good
+ Great build quality
+ Wireless feature does not add any lag
+ Better whammy bar and less noisy strum bar
- Strap falls off to easy
– Hard to find a good playing positioning if you do not stand and play
Summary: The Freedom V Wireless is an excellent alternative to Red Octane’s official controllers. Without the constraints of the cable you are free to live out your fantasy of being Yngve Malmsteen.
I award the TAC Freedom V Wireless Guitar Hero Controller a score of 9 out of 10 and the Bjorn3d Seal of Approval Award.
The TAC Freedom V Wireless Guitar Hero Controller can be bought from Guitar Mania (http://www.theguitarmania.com) and costs around $49.99. They also have a lot of accessories for it including guitar controller cases and skins for the guitar.